We had the good fortune of connecting with Shivawn Mitchell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shivawn, why did you pursue a creative career?
While in film school I saw a gap in the type of stories that were being told and who had the power to tell them. When I stood up to say what type of feature film I wanted to write I was put into a box of what they thought I wanted to create. The wonderful thing about creativity is that it’s from our perspective of the life we’ve lived and the people we’ve encountered along our journey. If we limit who gets to hold the pen, stand behind the camera or greenlight the project we are missing out on many colorful stories. It was in that moment of standing up in class that I made a promise to myself to tell Good stories, Equip more Storytellers and Greenlight those stories that wouldn’t traditionally get picked up.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My story didn’t start in film. It actually started while I was sitting at my desk of my then 9 to 5 knowing that I wanted to be a voice for the voiceless and why not start with sharing my story through a book. I had no experience on starting my own publishing company or how to put all the pieces together. From launching my own book tour to hiring people to make sure that my book came to life. I experienced the challenge of losing my voice on the way to the first leg of my book tour, to convincing my friend to ride with me 6 hours away to another destination to promote my book while still juggling my 9 to 5.
There were many costly lessons I learned along the way but instead of looking at it like failure (painful as it was) I saw it as a lesson to learn and grow. I’ve been able to pivot my creativity to film and building my own Media Network and none of that comes with exact steps to take. I try to focus on my why but that doesn’t mean I don’t cry, toy with the idea of taking the safe route or just quitting. That’s when I lean into my faith, my people and also resting.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My shoutout would be my tribe. I have a group of people who aren’t necessarily all in the film industry but believe in me as a creative. It’s important to have people that believe in you, especially on the days that you forget who you are and even why you started. They are my people and they consist of my Parents, my Brother Aaron, LaKesha Womack, Charisma Adams, The Girls (NSU), Fann Sanders, Amanda Witcher and Tiffany Dobbins.