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

Hi Clark, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I don’t think I ever imagined myself doing anything else. Since I was little, movies and photos have been such a huge part of my life, and it just seemed like that was the thing I was supposed to do. The credit really goes to my family, they fueled my passions by giving me a camera. But over all the reason I stick with it is that it is difficult to quantify success when pursuing a career in a creative industry. Other jobs have such clear lines as to what success is, a promotion, a sale, but art is subjective. I chose to pursue my creative career because of the complexities and challenges that it has presented me with. When I do achieve a feeling of success, it might not be what others recognize, but that’s what keeps me going.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?

I am a visual media artist, I specialize in portrait photography, short films, music videos, and I dabble in traditional studio art. Most of my work explores queer themes, as well as trauma surrounding immigration and growing up queer. I’m lucky enough that my first short film “Are You Ready” was nominated to be in the Pasadena city college film festival and won in its category. “Are You Ready” is a love letter and an exploration of what it was like for me to realize I was queer; it was my way of coming out to the world. Since then I’ve been a part of many other short films that have won awards, as well as having my work presented in the Kamil gallery in San Diego. I even had the pleasure to curate a section of the Maudit 2.0 film festival centering around Queer/ Latinx experiences. Recently, I’ve been working freelance jobs with a queer collective that focuses on uplifting queer artists and stories. I can’t say that getting here was easy, it took me quite a long time to feel proud of my work. Most of the time I felt like I was unworthy of the opportunities and awards that were presented to me, my self-doubt was my biggest challenge, but I kept at it! I kept working and practicing my craft. I’ve definitely grown since my first short film. I learned that you have to be kind to yourself, you won’t be the biggest name in your industry but your name and your stories deserve as much recognition as they do. Your time will come. I want the world to know that you have a voice and everyone should learn how to use it. I’m using mine to let others know they aren’t alone, regardless of your upbringing and trauma, and that you can create something beautiful from it all.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?

I’m a huge coffee fan, so every day I would have to take them to a new coffee shop. Some of my favorites include:

The Ugly Mug

The Palm

Dinosaur Coffee

Tiera Mia Coffee

And to round off my caffeine addiction, I would introduce them to Guaki yerba mate (enlightenmint to be exact)

From there we would take very cute Instagram pictures of our coffee and our outfits. After we would have to go thrift shopping;

I love the goodwill bins in Atwater Village, make sure to bring gloves! (cause dirty). We love sustainability and giving clothing new life.

On Saturdays and Sundays, there’s the Silverlake fleamarket that houses a variety of so many cute and small vintage resellers, and right next door there’s a pupusa lady that makes incredible food, her prices are great and the pupusas are amazing. 

Estate sales are another great option to shop second hand, you never know what you’re gonna find until you give it a try. To end the night, we have to go out either drinking, dancing or both!

My go-to spot right now is Bar Flores. They are queer-friendly and on Wednesdays they have 8$ margaritas. Some other spots to go to are Good Times at Davy Wane’s (has a great vintage vibe), and The Heart in WEHO (must see a drag show, very queer-friendly). 

If you want to see some good indie artists, go to The Smell and ask your friends about their upcoming creative showcases. They are doing amazing things, and it’s a great way to support them and their art shows, concerts, dance performances, and movie premieres.

And most importantly, bring your best friends, because everything is better with them. Also, be open to having fun and trying new experiences! 

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?

So many people deserve recognition for my success story. Friends, teachers, mentors, ex-lovers, and even my bullies. Everyone who has supported me and put me down has given me a reason to keep trying and to keep pushing forward. But I’d like to highlight my parents, who immigrated from Mexico to the United States so many years ago. Thank you for your struggles and efforts that have given me so many amazing opportunities. Thank you for providing me with everything I could ever need and more, for giving me the freedom to make mistakes, and for accepting me for who I am.

x

Website: https://clarkosalcantara.wixsite.com/clarkalcantara

Instagram: clarkos29

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/clark-alcantara

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