We had the good fortune of connecting with Samantha Jackson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Samantha, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I think the concept of risk could be redefined to support a more positive understanding of how important risk is to each of our individual successes. I’d even go as far as saying that failure is more important than success. It seems to be that the fear of ‘something bad happening’ often stears us away from moving in the direction we want to go, where we really want to be. I sacrifice my happiness when I rest in the familiarity of fear of not knowing, even if change is the only thing I truly desire. Living authentically takes courage and the greatest amount of risk, but yields life’s greatest pleasures. So for me, risk’s role in my life has played out more like a role model than a dead-end friend. I’ve moved countries (twice), changed my career (every three years) and have always trusted my gut. The biggest risk was accepting that my path was never going to parallel those who’d gone before me. So, perhaps risk taking is just misunderstood for what is actually the key to living out our dreams.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Writing has always been the core of my artistic expression. For many years, I’ve been working a ghostwriter, backing small grassroot organizations, brands, and businesses, helping others find and establish their unique, authentic voice. Creative writing has always allowed me the freedom to move through different industries and work with some seriously inspiring individuals. More importantly, it’s given me the ability to live all over the world. For me, to best understand the individuals I’m representing, I have to fully immerse myself in their culture. Maybe that’s a goes-without-saying, but I really find it a skill to be an energetic chameleon and change fluidly with each new environment. It’s an active choice and an ever-evolving narrative. But I also strongly believe in the power of good storytelling. I believe that good work is steeped in candid representation and full disclosure. My art is kind of like a secret sauce. I’m someone who’s pulling strings behind the scenes, getting you to where you want to be. For me, the satisfaction of championing and navigating others artistic direction through my insight and my way of words has been one of my greatest satisfactions in my career. I’m proud of how dynamic my work is, how much agency I have in how my energy is exerted and how authentic that makes the work that I do. Whether it’s writing someone’s cover letter for the job or their dreams, editing a book or producing content for a non-profit, I always choose to align myself with causes I care about and projects that feed my soul, the ones that people claim, “never feels like work”. I’ve overcome the Workforce trying to define what I do by always trusting that my community of collaborators will vet me and the work I put forward. At the end of the day, people want to work with kind and professional collaborators. Working relationships are built on doing what you say you’re going to do and being completely honest about where your boundaries are (aka what you can’t or are not willing to do). I want the world to know that there is no one-way of doing things. No one is ever going to give you permission, but you can certainly take it, and you can thrive in your individualism if you allow yourself to. In fact, people respect you more (want to work with you) when they see and understand that there is something to be gained from working with eclectic perspectives. I champion that in my Creative Consulting as well as my Writing, especially when brands and organizations step outside the safe lanes of trends and marketing norms.
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?
Los Angeles is the kind of city that pays to have connections in. This is actually a part of the service I provide with my Creative Consulting, specifically with artists moving to the area. Knowing your community is the KEY to enjoying any city and moving accordingly takes time and effort when you’re first getting your feet wet. A good time consists of starting on the Eastside of the city; Silver Lake, Echo Park, Los Feliz, K-Town, and Downtown. To narrow it down, Los Feliz is the best place to spend a Saturday. I’d recommend a morning hike up in Griffith Park and then a stroll on Vermont (or Hillhurst) for a variety of sips and shops. I’d stay on the Eastside for a midday movie at some of the most beautiful theaters I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing films. Melody is my neighborhood go-to for any occasion or time of day. I love the Hollywood Roosevelt for a swim or maybe just to soak in the sun and read a book. After an afternoon galavant, I’d cross the city to make a Malibu sunset and dinner reservation. As for nightlife, the city has some of the most eclectic nightlife, you can really find whatever you like; comedy, jazz, warehouse parties or even something more speakeasy, such variety and really, it never sleeps if you know where the beats are. Go to a Houston Brother’s establishment if you can and on a special occasion, The Magic Castle, it’s pretty spectacular. Oh, and APOTHEKE.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I cannot stress enough how important it is to have older mentors and young muses. SPREAD YOUR LOVE AND YOUR LIFE, FAR AND WIDE. I’m humbled and honored to have so many diverse friendships. In fact, one of my dearest and nearest friends runs an organization called lukelove, a nonprofit that supports victims of the drug epidemic. She’s maybe the best person I’ve ever met and for that, for all the pain she holds so others don’t feel so alone, I dedicate my s/o to Sheila Scott & lukelove.
-all images are my own