We had the good fortune of connecting with John F. Thomas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi John F., how do you think about risk?
Taking a risk is scary business, especially when it comes to going after your career. I had many people in my ear telling me that it’s going to be hard, trying to sway me not to go down that path so that I can take a safer route…but I had to go after what I felt I should have in my heart. I’m not sure about others, but whenever I do have to assess the risk, I make sure to look at it from all sides. It’s one thing to either just do it, or to not do it. If I can research on it, learn who else tried this, learn about those who failed at it and why, then maybe I can have a better chance at succeeding because there is that information there for me to analyze so that I can obtain better results. Life is hard, and it’s filled with risks. Whether they be big or small, we take risks everyday. The question is, how big of a risk will you take to get the big payoff? By researching and analyzing, the role of risks have been a good one in my career. I don’t have all successes, but I have enough to know that I’m on the right path and I just want to learn as much as I can to get to where I need to be. And life has been so much more fulfilling because of it. If I didn’t take the many risks that I did, I wouldn’t have this wealth of life experience, met the wonderful group of people that I’ve come across on this path of life, and been afforded the opportunities I’ve been given if I had not taken that leap of faith.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am an artist and creative through and through. In anything that I tend to set my mind to doing, I try to observe what the lay of the land looks like in regards of who I’m competing against. Not necessarily the people, but the “product”. What I try to do is to create my own product that feels organic, professional, and distinct so that it stands out on its own. I started from a small city called Jackson, where I mainly had my imagination and whatever my parents had around the house that I could create with. I never had the money to buy the expensive equipment to do what I wanted, but my parents made sure I had enough to do what I needed – and that was enough to make it work for me. That being said, it was never easy. I was mostly overlooked by those who were the gatekeepers, but those around me appreciated what I was able to create. And I also never stopped. I believed in me, so my dreams, the love from my family and friends, and my faith in God were enough to keep me going. In order to make myself stand out, I had to think outside of the box. I always felt I was underestimated, so I went above and beyond to make myself stand out in the best way that I could. So that I could be taken credibly and seriously. The challenges that came my way kept coming, and sure, it got old. But because I had to work to receive my recognition, that made the eventual success all the more worth it. Because I earned that. Sure, it gets annoying seeing others receive accolades when a good portion don’t even have to try, but I learned that we all have our journey to walk down. I’m wasting energy “hating” on the next person, when I could be congratulating them and focusing on how to navigate my path in a way that makes it easier for me and eventually, my kids. Success is hard to achieve, but not making the effort to go after it is even harder. So for everyone reading this, taking the easy road is a choice, for sure. But taking that harder road, it does build character. And it’s going to always seem greener on the other side. But make sure to bring your focus back to your garden, your lawn. Water it, nourish it, and you’ll watch it grow. It takes less energy to be an ally in this artistic field than it is to be a envious hater from afar. Never let that get the best of you. You’re better than that. So my name, my brand, my company – it represents hard work and love. I love what I do and work hard at it. Success isn’t overnight, but it’s achieved over the days, that turn into months, that turn into years of keeping at it. Never giving up. So stand tall…you’ll get there.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Oh wow. That’s a tough one, because I’m at home working most of the time. Haha. But if I were to take a friend around the town, we would go to Citywalk in Studio City. It’s a nice place to walk around and purchase items, and the food is okay. After that, we’d head to The Grove. I’d show them how I used to work there, how amazing the mall looks, and we’d get some good food over there in the Farmer’s Market (“The Gumbo Pot” and “Pampas Grill”). I would then do the touristy thing, by taking them to Hollywood Blvd to see the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Afterwards, we’d then go to LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) and then to the California African American Museum. To finish it off, we’d hit up Santa Monica Beach and if they’re interested, Rodeo Drive to look at all the fancy things that we can’t afford. Haha.
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?
I’d like to shoutout my friend and mentor, Justin Key. He does so much in helping me realize that I am so much more than I even give myself credit for. He is truly a wise, smart, kind, and caring individual, that as much as he has going for himself, he still makes time to help out others. So many times where I felt down and wanted to potentially give up, he was there to shed a light and be a guide, and I’m sure he doesn’t even really know it. I look up to him and I also support all that he does. He redefines what it means to be an entrepreneur and creative, so the ideas that I tend to want to dismiss doesn’t seem that farfetched because he encourages me to either do it or I see him doing it. This is my opportunity to give him his roses. He deserves it.
Other: http://www.imdb.me/johnfthomas https://www.facebook.com/thejteffect https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1k6gzj5QSdxn-hHWQ8JuZw
Davon Williams, Damion Damaske, Desiree Louise