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

Hi Danielle, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risks and living life to me go hand in hand. We cannot grow without risks, risks at the end of the day are just choosing to move forward regardless of how scared or uncertain things are. What I’ve come to understand is that there are always risks associated with any choice we make so it’s best we just take a leap towards something we really want. A few years ago, I quit my 9-5 without having a real back up plan or another job to go to (not at all the way I was raised). While it took me months to muster up the courage to do so, looking back I realized that there was a larger risk to me in entertaining a job I felt wasn’t serving me anymore or bringing me the creative fulfillment I needed. I felt like I was slowly suffocating and staying would have risked my drive to be a director. I had to jump and I knew even if I landed hard on my face it would still be better then sitting numb.

That choice impacted me a lot, because it gave me the courage to experience the highs and lows of life. As long as I felt like I was still on my journey to my dreams it didn’t matter to me what my bank account looked like. Security is always great, but to me it didn’t mean nothing if I was sacrificing my peace. I had to decide what I wanted out of life + define what success to me was. And when I thought about it, money wasn’t my sole goal. It was fulfillment. And when you’re living a fulfilling life, the money will come.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Cultivating the right attitude to me is everything. Being creative is a very vulnerable journey, so believing in myself was something I had to first learn because if I didn’t no one else would be able to. With time, I’ve learned to be patient + respect the process which has proven really rewarding for me. Every experience I’ve had whether good or bad has truly been of value because I’ve chosen to accept + learn from it. For me, that’s where progress begins. I believe there’s a win in every failure. At the end of the day, it’s just a moment that instigates growth or change. Failure and success go hand in hand. They build on each other, that’s what I try to keep in mind. I’ve gotten to where I am now by failing and succeeding.

I am grateful for where I am today because I feel like I am becoming a confident, focused creative. I am beginning to understand myself more + consistently channel authentic energy into my work. What I feel may set me apart is my approach. For me, filmmaking has always held this weight for me, its such a powerful medium of expression and for that reason I’m also pretty keen about being conscious + responsible in my approach. I think when intentions are not right, or when the purpose isn’t clear a lot of things can go wrong. I’m always advocating for considerate filmmaking, and when I say considerate its meaning that you aren’t just throwing a story out there without making the effort to be educated in your voice or your approach. As a young girl the social work I did inspired me and it framed the type of person I wanted to be. I’ve always wanted to contribute to society in whatever I did whether it was promoting change, helping people get in touch with themselves or raising awareness.

I’m proud of how each project I’ve done seems to set a new bar for me. I’m excited to dive into more projects I just feel like I’ve grown a lot as a creative so I feel with each piece I’ll be pushing myself more and more. I have a piece coming out that I’m excited for because it reflects my visual style the best. My work and my brand are built around evolution and authenticity. Being authentic in the process to me always sets you up for success. I see each project as an opportunity to explore + push boundaries. I am always seeking to create something with a real impact rhythmically, sonically, and visually. I’m always looking to curate a resonant experience.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Earlier this year I had friends visit and we had a blast! Personally, what I love about LA is that it has the ability to compliment different people and different moods. You can go to an amazing workout class, hike, then club all in one day if you wanted.

We’d probably start the day out at a cute coffee shop or somewhere with great food. I would probably take them to Koreatown to Cafe de Mama to get a honey ginger or Rose latte (the BEST lattes i’ve ever had). Another great spot I love there is Have Some Coffee.

From there or before then we’d go on a nice hike. After moving from NYC i realize what a blessing it is to be around nature. Depending on how athletic my friends feel like being for the day we’d go to Baldwin Hills, Fryman Canyon, the LA Reservoir or Tuna Canyon. Those are some of my favorite hikes.

For Markets, I love the weekly Leimert Park African Market. Best shea butters, jewelry, plants, and just good vibes all around. I’d probably take them there. I think the Melrose Trading post is also great.

I love happy hours, I’d definitely be taking my friends to a few for sure. Some of my favorite Happy Hours + bars: Village Idiot, Black Cat, Toca Madera, Laural Hardware, EP LP or Harriets Rooftop.

Another favorite place of mine is Ysabel on fairfax. My boyfriend DJ’s there on the weekends and it’s really fun. For rooftops, you can’t go wrong with Mama Shelter or the Standard DTLA (it has water beds!).

The food in LA is amazing as well, there are so many different cuisines available. I’m basically vegan because I’m allergic to dairy + don’t eat meat. We’d definitely be hitting one of these spots.

Breakfast / Brunch – Mauro’s Cafe (amazing Sunday brunch), Zinc, The Grain Cafe, Pulgarcitos, Ubatuba, Go Get Em Tiger, or the Hot + Cold Cafe in Leimert (all so good!).

Lunch / Dinner: Pura Vita Pizzeria, Hollywood Thai, Flower Child, Bossa Nova Brazilian, Messob Ethiopian and Monty’s Good Burger.

I also enjoy the desert and how accessible different landscapes are in California so I probably would have us going on a day trip or one night trip to either the Desert or Pismo beach. We’d probably end up doing a photoshoot!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to first thank my mother + entrepreneur, Suzanne Boyd who somehow managed to convince me at an early age that I really could do whatever I wanted + that rejection was just not a big deal. In fact, she told me it was inevitable + to get ready for it. She was always telling me to count the no’s because that means a yes is coming.Since I was walking she would always say “Shoot for the moon, because even if you fall you’ll be among the stars”.

My father was also a big inspiration to me, he taught me about the realities of life and encouraged me to not let difficult circumstances deter my journey. He was always saying “Keep it positive, keep it moving”. He never let me get by with excuses, always repeating “Excuses are tools incompetent people use to build monuments of nothing” (Yep, I didn’t get away with much).

The great Maya Angelou was the reason I decided to be an artist. She inspired me at a very early age. She was such a renaissance woman, she did every and anything. She was a powerful force + every time I experienced her work it gave me chills.

There could be a full book of all he names I could thank, kindness is something that has played big in my life. I am so blessed to have had such an amazing tribe of people behind me who have supported me. A big thank to my Free The Work family, especially Emma Reeves who gave me my first job in LA. The amazing Nikki Weiss-Goldstein as well who really believed in me, HB Films, and my lovely family + friends who inspire me every day.

Website: http://daniellemboyd.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/daniellemboyd/

Other: Vimeo page for my work: https://vimeo.com/daniellemboyd

Image Credits
Giovanni Jackson, Ciara Zoe, Mikey Scho, Fast Company Article,

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