What’s the best creative and career-related advice you’ve received?
Just be yourself as much as you can. It’s so easy to get caught up in what’s popular, but it’s way more fulfilling to be yourself. I think it also comes back to living in a Western society where we base success on what people are telling you is good, or if it’s making you money. So, for me, it’s kind of radical to say, actually, success is none of that.
It’s definitely not going to be easy, and you’re going to doubt yourself and think about quitting a million times. But if you think solely about what you like to do with no compromises, you're on the right path. That’s where I'm at right now. It’s been really tough, but I’m the happiest I’ve ever been creatively. And if that means not making as much money, or getting as many assignments, or having to take on a part-time job and juggle both, I’m cool with that.
What advice would you give someone looking to work in a similar way?
Never stop creating, because that’s where all the exciting stuff happens. Even when you’re making mistakes. A lot of times, things that I thought I had messed up, ended up being the seed that started something new.
And don’t get caught up on what people think of your stuff. It feels good to have the respect of your community, but if everyone suddenly turned their back and was like, “Oh, whatever”, ask yourself if you would keep doing what you’re doing. Try not to get discouraged – for every success I’ve had or every grant, fellowship or publication I’ve received, there’s 100 that I didn’t get.
This article is part of a collaboration with ThisAbility founder Sulaiman Khan, to highlight the Disability Radical Imagination Impact Fund, open to applicants until December 3rd, 2021.