We had the good fortune of connecting with Brandy Bruce and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Brandy, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?

As an artist this is something you will face one time or another throughout your career, moments of self-doubt, mental tug-of-wars and stagnation but it all boils down to trusting the process. You have to believe in your abilities and know that the journey to whatever success may look like for you will not be linear or easy. The most important factor is to create art that speaks to you, create from experience, create from the heart – nothing beats veracity.

Giving up is like being in a mental boxing match where you’re constantly being defeated. When you hit those challenging periods pay attention because that’s when you need to push harder and continue whatever you set out to do. The feeling of gratification outweighs any feeling of regret.

A passage I came across while traveling resonated with me, “talk to yourself like you would talk to someone you love” often times we forget this little gem. Be kind to yourself, Always!

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Growing up I’ve always been drawn to visual aesthetics, anything I found pleasing to the eye drew me in. Naturally film became one of those outlets, more specifically music videos, it was a world where you could create anything in a small time frame and get people hooked. I was sold! One Christmas all I wanted was a camera – well my mom made it clear that’s all I was going to get which was fine by me. I started shooting everything from birthday parties, baby showers, things around the house and pretty much everything. Once I got a little better I decided to reach out to local artists in the area who needed music videos. In the midst of teaching myself the craft and building my portfolio work I decided to shift gears and begin working on sets and landed a job at the multi-award winning production company, Riveting Entertainment. Although I worked for a great content studio and learned the in/outs of the music video world I wanted to start another chapter and continue my education at Howard University. While there, I was surrounded by like minded individuals and furthered my craft to where I am today, having the opportunity to shoot for a number of companies such as Vanity Fair, Vice News, British Vogue, Revolt and a number of other respected companies.

Leaving a place that’s considered the entertainment capital of the world to attend Howard seemed absurd, especially where I had built a solid network. In hindsight I never forgot my ‘why’ I dug into the crates and used my skills to further practice my craft, I built a new network and paid it forward by teaching others what I knew. I realized starting over is all about perspective and optimism, although clique – I’m a glass-half-full type of person, I choose to focus on the good that will come from any situation. Ultimately I create for people to feel, I want them to connect on an emotional level and challenge themselves to think outside of the norm and lastly start dialogue across community lines.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friend were visiting me its only right that the majority of the trip be surrounded by food, being that were both huge foodies. The week would be encapsulated by laughter, music, movies and intimate outings. I image its a nice summer day, my rooftop is the first call of action with lobster tails, grilled veggies, sea bass, sides thrown on the grill while we take a dip in the pool. Tunes of Slum Village serenade the background. The following day we’ll hit Union Market to people watch and grab a spread of dishes to share. The famous smoked mussels from Neopol Savory Smokery, creamy etouffee stew from Puddin’ and mushroom bao’s from Bun’d Up.

We would grab the local scooters off the corner and explore DC landing at National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) followed by a night of watching documentaries. Turning things up a bit we must go to the Afro Soca Love event ending with one of my favorite places, Cane where they serve Trinidadian cuisine.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?

I would like to give a huge thank you to a couple of special people in my corner. Naya Jackson, the kindred spirit. She is a true gem, kind and genuine to its core. From the time we meant she has always believed in my art, always saw the greatness in me when I didn’t see it in myself. Thank you for always feeding me words of encouragement and pumping me up. If there are any mothers out there be sure to stay connected with her through IG @MommiesConnectedmc

My voice of reason, the scholar extraordinaire, Dr. Thabisile Griffin. Thank you for pouring into my cup, challenging me to be better, getting me out of my comfort zone and probing my thought process. You see me, you accept me and have a great deal of understanding. I’m grateful to have a person that is thoughtful, grounded and creative in my life. Not to mention she is an amazing writer and Historian. Check her out @thabisilegriffin

Last but not least my girl Sallie Keena @moonlightdetective thank you for trusting me with your vision, giving me opportunities and always finding space for us to create. You make it a point for women to have a voice, I’ll always appreciate you for that.

Website: www.brandybruce.com

Instagram: @brandybrucefilms

Facebook: www.facebook.com/brandy.bruce.5

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