We had the good fortune of connecting with JP Neang and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi JP, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
“How can I live longer?” “The day will come when this will be no more” “I will no longer wake up to tomorrow.” Quotes from earliest memories or mortality. I had quite the imagination as a child. As early as 6 years old those thoughts course through my mind on countless nights. I desired to see the world as I felt it. I enjoyed the scent of freshly cut grass and humming to my father’s lawn mower. Giggling at the fantastic, often imagining fairies helping the sun grow new sprouts in my mother’s garden, I couldn’t describe what being alive was, but I knew that’s what it would feel like.
Becoming what we feel is by the great risk we take. Choosing a life worth living, a path distant from my cultural and social norms have been the greatest risk decision I have made my entire life. I was ridiculed by my community in my home town for thinking “different” and acting “unlike” the others. But like most ambition, conviction drew from the weight of not being able to do what I felt was true to myself.
I was certain there was more beyond the noise, I was compelled to act brave so I could BE brave. Risk, requires a plan and many, many mistakes. Writing down my goal since I was a teen to my mid-thirties has been my totem when life got too heavy. The how, the who, and especially your why. Keeping these items written and open to the universe WILL manifest once you start your ideas and move into action.
How I prepared for failures in Risk: Be open to asking questions out loud for people to help. Be kind to yourself and everyone around you. Your impact starts with how you live your life, not through a title or an organization. Move in your plan with positive thinking. We often want to do big things and have a big return. The saying “the only job where you start off at the top is digging a hole.” Have patience and humility. If this is your truth, whatever your organization may be. You will have the energy, strength, and tribe to fulfill this beautiful journey of yours.
To Women and Young Girls: Keep moving. I am Asian American, I am a new generation of warriors in my family, and I am a proud woman. We are rising and we are filling up space, all women alike. New space where we can thrive and be heard. Whatever that looks like, fill your space with voices that amplify your end game, women who empower, a community of wide perspectives, and people who are not afraid to give new meaning to a culture they have built. If you choose to surround yourself with seeds that flower, you must be aware that you are also the hand that plants them. Take the risks that challenge what you know.
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.
Many of my works focus on the intimacy of scale and are devoid of color. I describe a lot of my works as “Heavy Ground” to focus a viewer’s perspective from a birds eye view. The greatest weight of life rests in the palm of our hands, which is both literal and symbolic in the illustrations that I create.The deeper I dive into the “weight” the more I can feel I can challenge my own understanding of our human capacity. The fragility of my medium on a micro-scale I feel I can give lenses outside of my own to feel a greater significance of the self.
As mentioned in my previous response. Your outcomes in life depend on how you define your why in risk. You need to build a plan for what you are about to do, cultivate a strong mindset, nurture your relationships with others, which include yourself and build that tribe who will support and provide perspectives as you move forward in your plan.
The lessons I’ve learned in my 33 years of life all trickle down to the same act and practice. I believe kindness and love are the most powerful magic in this world.
“Thrive courageously in your convictions and give abundantly with kindness.” – JP
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?
In Los Angeles, I’ve always enjoyed anything that required a blanket and a friend. I live in the Bay Area, so warm weather can be a bit more scarce. One location I enjoy very much is Disneyland or wandering over to KP Project Gallery for a shower, obviously this was before the pandemic.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Johnny Neang, Managing Partner of Upper Cloud Media, master of laughter, life enthusiast and my big brother.
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