We had the good fortune of connecting with Sierra Imari and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sierra, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
One thing about my industry (entertainment) that outsiders are probably unaware of.. hmm.. that’s such a great question. I would have to say that one thing most are unaware of in my industry is that we’re going through a triple revolution right now. Most focus on the digital shifts taking place (rightfully so), but we’re also shifting generationally and economically. The digital revolution reflects how entertainment is created and consumed while the generational revolution reflects who is in leadership and their specific leadership style and the economic revolution reflects what forms of entertainment people are now finding valuable.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Yeah ofcourse! As a multi hyphenate creative, I actually had to create a creative ecosystem to ensure all my passions and projects can be integrated within each-other in some way. So regarding the work I do, I am the Founder and CEO of Imari Entertainment Group: a creative incubator, I’m the Creator and Executive Producer of The Zodiac Games™: an unscripted social experiment series that puts representatives of all 12 zodiac signs in 1 house over a span of 30 days (which IEG is the parent company of), I’m a digital asset creator and I’m also a senior at the Los Angeles Film School, majoring in Entertainment Business. One of the things that distinguishes me from others in my niche is that everything I create down to certain features and fonts are intentional. Like Solange said “Do nothing without intention”, and I really do live by that. As creatives, we have so much power, specifically in how the masses perceive the world through what we create so I do my best to ensure that those who consume my work, can utilize it and benefit from it in some way.
I’m most excited and proud about Season 1 of The Zodiac Games coming out so the whole ‘is Astrology real?’ debate will be finally put to the test (As you can tell, I’m a certified Astrology Nerd) and for Digital Artist Development, IEG’S virtual bootcamp. We have so much in store so I’m honestly super hyped for it all. It was not easy by any means to get to where I am today professionally but fortunately, I have such a supportive tribe that it has definitely made the process much smoother. Some of the challenges I’ve had to deal with and still do to this day, is ageism. Due to me being as active and experienced in the business of entertainment as I am, it takes many by surprise when they find out I’m only 21 years old. Sometimes people project their insecurities onto me like “Wow it’s really hard to believe you did all of that and you’re still in undergrad” or “Are you sure you’re 21?” but I overcome these by continuously reminding myself that my age and youthful vigor are actually one of my greatest assets and that most people question my reality/purpose because it wasn’t a reality for them. Once I realized that you’re going to be doubted, questioned and tried on the road to success, it made it easier for me to acknowledge and healthily process the ageism challenges.
One of the major lessons I’ve learned along the way is rest is just as important as productivity. We sometimes become so consumed with producing results that we forget that we need to recharge before we can pour ourselves into a something outside of ourselves and let’s just be real for a second.. Burnout isn’t cute. I had to check myself and stop romanticizing “hustle” and “comparison” culture. I want to the world to know about my brand is that it has always been and will forever be bigger than just me. I’m so passionate about what I do because it allows me to use my abilities and resources to expand the experiences of others, and if I can contribute to something bigger than myself that will have an everlasting impact, even after I am no longer physically present on earth, then that’s what I’m gonna do.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my best friend was visiting the area, I would definitely start by taking her to the Tender Greens restaurant on Sunset because their salmon with the lemon sauce is just straight fire, I could cry just thinking about it (and they’re extremely health conscious too.) I then would take her to the Getty Villa since she loves art and interpreting art from different cultures. After that, we would probably go to the art district and go to Wisdome LA, the immersive art experience so we could trip out (responsibly of-course). In my view, the most fun and interesting places in LA are the places that challenge your way of thought so anything artsy/creative/ psychological would be where we would be at. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to give a big shoutout to my tribe!!! I have the upmost gratitude for my ancestors, my family, my friends, my team and my mentors: DJ Beverly Bond and the entire Black Girls Rock! team, Kim Burse, Donna Loyd, Tony Ferguson and the Society House PR team and Vivian Scott Chew and the entire Power 2 Inspire Family. I dedicate my shoutout to everyone who believed in me and cheered me on before I even believed in myself, thank you for seeing me for who I really am and embracing me fully. Your genuine support means so much to me, more than you know. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.
Sierra Imari Ty Smith