Note from the Editor: 26 — New Year, New Me (Kind of)

My age 26 New Year’s Resolution: To throw myself at everything, as in opportunities that may put me out there! The year of my career.

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In the past two years I have been faced with many challenges. Ones that seemed like the end of the world (the end of Ironworks, etc.). My mom survived two heart surgeries, I was forced to move back home for eight months, and more. I can not tell you how, but somehow I got through it all. Well actually I can tell you how, by the grace of God, the love and support from my family, boyfriend and my friends. I guess I am still surprised that my spirit is not completly broken, and I have been able to still work towards my goals (novel, and getting somewhere with my brands, ValleyGirlNJ and Masconsumption).

Anyways, lately I have been having to pinch myself. I keep thinking to myself, can my dreams really be coming true. Well the smaller ones, because you know I can dream pretty big. But I think that everything I have been doing and the passion I have for the Valley Arts District may finally pay off in the long run. I believe one of the best things about being an artist is the never-ending journey towards self discovery. The growth it takes to perfect your craft, identify with your purpose and really putting yourself out there is immeasurable. You do not feel it when it is happening but gradually it all starts to click.

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I have learned so much and I want to share some of it with the creative doers of the world and the individuals that exist in my valley arts district community. I want to help hard working artists, and people in the industries that do not come with manuals.

Here are some lessons I have learned:

  • Timing is everything, and try your best to be patient.

I moved to the valley arts district in 2011 and have been working on Masconsumption since 2012. There have been many trial and errors, and me losing focus due to other projects and personal stuff. When you first start something you think it is going to take off as soon as you begin. That could not be further from the truth. Everything has to get better, build a foundation. You are not going to know that is happening but there is an important thing to remember: you gotta keep working. You have to keep doing things to work toward your brand. Just do not stop. It will go in many different directions and ups and downs, but keep going. Be patient.

  • Sometimes your plans will all go to shit

I have always seen plans in my head of where things would go and even how the public would respond to something. I think this is a mix of blind hope, blind ambition and just thinking about the future in a big way. But let me tell you something, nothing will ever go as planned. Things in the Valley are constantly changing and you have to be strong enough to fight through what seems like a storm. There is always light at the end of the tunnel. Just adapt, and see how you can make what you do work for you in the meantime.

  • Maintain relationships with like minded people and doers

One thing that has always been a plus since my Americorps days with Hands was being able to meet a lot of different people. Being connected to artists collectives, working at Hat City Kitchen, social media and throwing events have put me in even more of a position to meet new folks. It’s amazing how dots being connected throughout my life have gotten me to where I am now. And it has all been because of my personal turned professional relationships with people. Learning to get out there, and stop being shy and literally just putting myself out there. I can not even believe some of the things I have done or the random opportunities that can and have come about by just staying focus and maintaining relationships.

  • Surround yourself with like minded people who can help you grow

I am now in my mid 20s, and have learned that it is important to not associate yourself with negative and toxic people. As much as you may love someone, if they are not conducive to my career aspirations I have to cut them loose. Time is money, and at this point I can not waste any more time, or money. Being a part of a collective helps with that, but at the end of the day I have to be about my brand and ultimately company and career.

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I am always inspired by Ray, and his work ethic. He is so passionate and focused on his music. Not just about putting out songs and projects and doing a million shows. Right now he is in the studio constantly just trying to perfect his craft. When he is not at the studio, he is listening to beats, reading hip hop blogs, listening to classic hip hop albums to and/or talking about hip hop. It has rubbed off on me and I am always working on what I do.

My sister Le’Trice also inspires me. Her work ethic is like unbelievable and she has a directness with people I try to emulate. She always has so many different projects she is working on and is always aiming higher. Any artist or team she is a part of is truly lucky to have her.

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There are so many things brewing I can barely contain it. I more like to think about all of these random opportunities as planting seeds. I think the best thing to take away from the last couple months is being recognized. Like I mentioned before I have been doing my thing out here for years now but I think I am finally being recognized for it. People I do not even know come up to me like. “I know you, and what you do” or “You’re like famous”. I am not sure how I feel about that last one, but it feels good to be acknowledged for what I do.

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It has also felt good to get back to my journalist roots. I can not believe how easy it flows when I am put in a position to do so. Doing the youth-led panel about violence was a huge wake up call. I am so blessed for those types of opportunities. Being a journalist was a huge part of my life at one point so it means a lot to me that I can use it in my career going forward.

Although a lot of this newfound drive has to do with the need for young minorities that don’t have deep pockets to prove themselves more than ever. Our artist collective, ORNG Ink, a group of dedicated artists and community participants was pushed out of our home unexpectedly. That experience taught me a lot and it definitely put more weight on the chip on our shoulders. We work harder now, and understand that we will let our greatness and art speak for itself, with or without the support of organizations, etc. We are making some good ass lemonade.

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What do I do? I am a blogger, writer, story teller, moment capturer, event planner, and working on my brand as a socialite and personality. Again, all of this is coming from hard work, learning from past mistakes and growing into myself. Staying true and passionate about the Valley Arts District and only moving in ways that I believe in, support and can benefit my personal goals in some way. If anything at this point goes against any of these things I want no part of it.

Looking into the future please look into the 2nd Annual Valley Gala event! Go to http://www.masconsumption.com/valleygala

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A side note: fuck college.

Written by Patricia Rogers

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