We had the good fortune of connecting with Djeki Morris and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Djeki, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Growing up I was always making things, whether it was drawing comics on the chalkboard at school, to shooting fun paintball videos with my friends. So this led to a pursuit in monetizing some of my skills. I always felt that whatever project I was doing at the time, it was challenging enough to learn new creative ways to solve the problem, while also being able to show off my work and be proud of it. Obviously this comes with major drawbacks, especially in our busy-busy society with a hustle-mentality problem. One is that these skills aren’t immediately viewed as something useful by society. But I believe that our ability to be creative is what sets us apart as a species. Any animal can solve food supply problems, or create a hierarchical power structure, etc. But our ability to express our emotions and opinions through creative outlets is unique to us. I get a sense of fulfillment when I make something that I’m proud of. I believe that everyone is creative in their own way, and whether or not to monetize that the way I did is their own decision.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I think all forms of artistic expression have tons of overlap. Just like music theory uses mathematical principles found in nature, color theory is the same way. All software also has this kind of overlap, so it’s easy to switch from one to the other on your journey. My journey is one with a dozen different disciplines. On the visual side I’ve been an illustrator, photographer, motion designer, app designer, sketch artist, video editor, videographer. On the audio side I’ve been an engineer, DJ, pop musician, techno and house music producer. These things all overlap with each other which is why I’m decent at a lot of things. Fundamental principles of composition, light, color, music, etc all work in synergy. What makes me a good motion designer in making music videos is because of my fundamental understanding of the way the music is supposed to “look” like from my musician shoes. And vice versa. I can provide a good DJ show because of how I see the music from a visual side. In essence; instead of being the best at one thing, pick 3 things you have an interest in and combine them. This combination will always be unique and will set you apart.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I was a big fan of the Downtown LA warehouse music scene pre-covid. It reminds me of raving all night in Berlin or Paris. It’s the perfect juxtaposition to the bougie and gilded culture that Hollywood is known for. Nightlife is a primary motivator in my view of a city, and in LA it’s all about going against the grain – which is cool.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
This shoutout goes out to my parents for believing in my artistic skills while also criticizing and pressing me for choosing to pursue my artistic skills in my career. We are immigrants from Bulgaria, and for my parents it was extremely difficult landing in the US for the first time, barely speaking English, and successfully raising my sister and I. If I didn’t receive a daily kick in the ass from them, I wouldn’t be where I am today.