We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessica “Lorenzo” Rew Velasquez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jessica, how do you think about risk?
To be honest – I’m not a natural risk taker. In the past, I’m someone who thoroughly researched all my options, consulted some friends, colleagues, and family members on the decision at hand, and really put it out there into the universe. Slept on it. Slept on it again. Then eventually, at the last minute, pulled the trigger. This has proven to be – well – safe, as you can imagine. Not necessarily harmful, just safe. Thankfully, I surround myself with risk takers – quite literally, daredevils, adrenaline junkies…people who act spontaneously and live in the moment. And my best decisions as of late have all come from taking their advice and acting off of a gut feeling, quickly. So I’d say calculated risk taking has proved to be incredibly fruitful for me. Timing is really everything, and acting before you’re comfortable / 100% ready? Easier said than done, but 10/10 times, worth it.
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.
The root of my creative purpose is human connection and emotion. It’s always been that way, and that carries over to any medium that I’m working in. If I’m directing documentary content, I try to get one the same wavelength as my subject in terms of communication style and body language to get them comfortable enough to open up and tell their story. If I’m directing ad content, I only work with products that directly and positively impact their users, and I dig deep to portray this transformation in my ad’s story. If I’m editing video content, I utilize editing techniques and scene juxtapositions that heighten emotional awareness. Even when I’m DJing, I pick my next record off the energy of the people in the room. I don’t do art just to do it, and I don’t do it just for me. That sets me apart, I think. Where I am professionally in 2020 is such a blessing. It’s a culmination of so many seeds planted, years ago, with humans I connected with. It’s the result of working at so many jobs and taking everything in, learning from those more experienced than me, trying to push the boundaries of my job descriptions to make great things. There were tons of challenges – many resulting from trusting people with too much, too soon. That’s the dark side of valuing human connections above everything else. Don’t be afraid of contracts. Get everything in writing. Don’t be afraid to increase your rate. Know what you’re worth. But also, don’t be afraid to work for free, when the potential connection is worth it. Always plant seeds. Some will grow up to become trees!
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’d drive them up the PCH, stop at some wineries. Hit Santa Barbara, stop at Big Sur. End up in Monterey. The Pacific Coast Highway is like nowhere else in the US! If we had to stay in LA though, I’d definitely take them to Monterey Park for the best dumplings, and South Central for pupusas and tacos. Not gonna name drop any specific spots, I don’t want to burn them out.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My husband Marcos is also my creative and business partner. We’ve been working together since before we were in a relationship, and he’s pushed me to do everything great I’ve ever done. Anything in my career that I didn’t think I was ready for, he gave me the courage to step up and do it.
Photo credit to Vivian Lau and Vinny Nolan