In case you haven’t noticed, I am African-American. Yup. The cat is out of the bag…..hopefully you won’t love me less after this startling confession…..
I mention this “shocking” tidbit because I was lucky enough to be included in a list of established and rising minority trendsetters as part of Le Rapport Minoritaire magazine’s 100 Outstanding Individuals in Architecture and Design….
I honestly am humbled to be included as part of the list and am amazed that folks even know who the hell I am. I have been a fan of Le Rapport for a while now and appreciate the editor’s push to give minorities in arts and design a platform to show their talents to a wider audience.
However what I appreciate more is that hopefully some budding designer in some remote city will stumble upon my profile via some random Google search and hopefully be inspired. See, the thing is that when I was growing up, I didn’t know a single ethnic artist, designer or anyone who did anything remote artistic. Along with my peers, I was told that in order to be successful in “today’s world” (circa 1990s) you had to be an engineer, doctor, lawyer or some other “business professional”. And my school provided these types of mentors and role models by the dozens. Honestly, if you were in high school in the 90s in Detroit, you couldn’t swing a cat without hitting some urban business professional in a school trying to mentor “tomorrow’s business leaders”.
I spent years deprogramming myself from thinking that success was found at the bottom of a briefcase or in an office cubicle. It was once I took my own leap of artistic faith that I have found most of my happiness, success and fulfillment. So today I proudly stand along with my other ethnic artistic brothers and sisters and say to the next generation……you are not alone. Success comes in all forms and in all shades. Know that 100 of us found our path and so did 100s of others before us. A path has been made and hopefully for you it will be a little easier find your way…..
Again many thanks to Le Rapport Minoritaire for my inclusion on the list. So I am curious, what was your childhood dream job? And even better, are you now doing it?