We had the good fortune of connecting with Dazzy Shah and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dazzy, can you share the most important lesson you’ve learned over the course of your career?
I think of myself as “Type A” leaning personality. I like being productive, making lists, checking things off of said list to give me that boost of serotonin, making schedules, etc. Being in a field that is not only creative but also highly collaborative —Production Design — has taught me that while on one hand, it is these “disciplined” habits that ensure that a task is done as efficiently as possible, it is the same habits that can lead you to spiral out of control into an abyss of never ending anxiety if said tasks do not get performed on time.. It is a fact of life that no matter how much planning you put into a task, things have a way of working on their own. Your art director may fall ill two days before the shoot, you may run out of this limited addition shade of pink that your director was set on, or your laser cutter may break a part two days before your model is due. Schedules are great, however they may not always work. Which is why, in my opinion, being adaptable is an even greater skill to have than being a stickler to Time. I think that is by far one of the most important lessons that the industry and my career has taught me!
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.
I havent always wanted to be an artist. In fact, if someone would have told me I would pursue a career in the arts while in my senior year of high school, I would most probably have taken it as a joke. It wasnt until the second year of my undergraduate education in Architecture at the University of Toronto that I realized that like so many, I too relied on art as a means of self-expression. With my other major at the time being visual studies, I often found myself creating art about my experiences in Canada as an Indian immigrant and finding a community there, while losing part of a community back home. These works started taking a form of installations, and paired with my architecture education and love for storytelling, I finally found my true calling in the world of Production Design! I started out small, assisting as a Set Dec Assistant at one of my school’s theatre, and soon realized my true passion lay in creating bigger worlds and I decided to gear my education towards the world of screens. I am currently pursuing an MFA in Production Design at Chapman University. Getting here wasn’t easy. There were personal and financial challenges along the way, but I made it to exactly where I wanted to be at this stage in my life through the boundless support of my family. I am excited to see what lies ahead of me after I graduate in 2021. I expect more hardships along the way, however my love for my work is what has always helped me get through them.
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?
Griffith Observatory! We could probably spend hours just perusing through the math and sciences of astronomy in there. I also absolutely LOVE the shows that they have in the planetarium, so that’s a must! It would be preposterous to end a trip to LA without showing the beaches off. Depending on the day, I would probably take them to either Laguna, Venice, or Huntington beach. Or all three! A teriyaki bowl at Lazy Dog is a must! So is a breakfast at Snooze! I myself have not been to Knott’s Berry Farm yet, so they would probably just end up giving me a reason to check that box off of my Theme Parks bucket list. A night in Fullerton downtown is a given to enjoy a chill night of barhopping. And finally, being a Dodge College student, it would be very wrong of me to not show off the campus, the production facilities, and all that glam. 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?
This may sound mega cheesy, but one of my biggest inspirations when it comes to my career is my mom. Neither an artist in the traditional sense, or a film veteran, she is a business-woman-slash-entrepreneur who founded and runs her own Jewellery Business, “Fairy’s Creation,” in India. Along the way, however, she has dabbled in a number of different professions, either to pursue as a side gig or just for the heck of it! She used to teach once upon a time, pursued an IATA certification course and even ran a small but mighty travel and tourism business along with her Jewellery business for a while. She did a hairdressing course, and so much more. I often talk about how difficult it is to be in an industry where you may have a job one week and nothing for weeks after, and one of the biggest factors that have contributed to my courage to pursue my passion, despite of it all, is her never-braking drive to chase her own interests. She is also an avid traveller. If there is nothing else that I inherit from her, I sure hope to live life with her drive and sense of curiosity.