We had the good fortune of connecting with Stephanie Korski and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stephanie, how do you think about risk?
My golden rule: if you’re afraid of an amazing opportunity because you don’t think you can do it, just say yes. Many of the best experiences in my career have come from taking a risk, for saying yes to an opportunity that I didn’t think I was creative enough to do: photography, cinematography, editing, graphic design… the list goes on. I learned to trust myself by looking back at my history: how many times have I overcome something that I didn’t think I would? How many times have I surprised myself by what I was able to accomplish? What are some skills that I’ve taught myself before and do well? Was there any failure I experienced that didn’t leave me stronger and better for having gone through it?
It was a long process. I think many of us are taught to think that we have to be perfect in order to be able to take the next step. Or that we need to be absolutely prepared for any new task that comes our way. When we trust our ability to learn on the go, to think on our feet, we’re able to begin to push through our fear. Positive experiences will then lead to more positive thinking, which in turn leads to more positive experiences, and so on. It’s something we need to unlearn and relearn, and it’s something that anyone can do.
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.
When it came to picking a major, I had no idea what to pick: I loved doing so many things, how could I pick just one? Film came to mind as a medium that allowed for all sorts of art forms within it: music, dance, acting, cinematography, and many more. I graduated from film school armed with a bunch of different skill sets, ready to take on the industry.
I’ve never been able to stick to just the job description in my career. My love of doing a little bit of everything continues, even today. If there’s an opportunity to do some photography, editing, graphic design, photography, producing, you name it – I’ll do it. At first it put me at odds with employers in the early years of my career: why couldn’t I just stick to my role as assigned? I thought there was something wrong with me, I just couldn’t bring myself to specialize. I didn’t want to lose the variety in the work I was doing. I was persistent, and continued building my creative and analytical skill sets, and eventually they became huge assets to me in my career. I was able to carve out a specific niche for myself, with a skillset that most producers don’t offer. Best of all, it allowed me to balance between creative and technical work, which is where I’m happiest.
The key lesson I’ve learned is don’t sell yourself short. If you’re a fellow multipotentialite (someone who expresses themselves through a range of different interests or skills), you don’t need to force yourself into doing just one thing because that’s what people expect. If your unique skillset doesn’t fit in where you are in your career, don’t shoehorn yourself into doing anything less than what you love. There’s always going to be someone who needs exactly what you offer, so keep looking. Bring your skills to each job and see where it takes you. And don’t be afraid to move on if you’re feeling stifled. The world is in need of people who think differently, so do yourself and the world a favor and be true to who you are.
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.
LA is full of amazing food, great locations and special experiences. If you’re spending a week in LA, first and foremost you have to visit the beaches. It’s all about the coastline, baby! Check out El Matador or Malibu Beach, Thousand Steps, and of course Venice! After all of that sunshine you’re probably going to get hungry, so be sure to stop by Canter’s Deli for a delicious pastrami sandwich. If cured meats aren’t your scene, you can check out Koreatown for some amazing hole-in-the-wall restaurants like Dan Sung Sa If you want some of the best tacos of your life, check out Leo’s Tacos – a food truck parked at Sunset and Western. If you like to kick loose after dinner with a few drinks and dancing, make your way over to La Descarga or Good Time at Dave and Wayne’s for amazing secret spaces with fabulous cocktails and cool aesthetics.
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 shout out my high school photography teacher, Mr. Ian Cowling. He is one of the most dedicated, selfless and passionate people I know. He singlehandedly built our school black and white and color darkrooms, taught us how to develop and print our own photos, and on top of that took the time to teach us digital photography and Photoshop. His unrelenting faith in his students went on to produce many art school graduates and successful artists. I owe my first creative sparks to his classes. Thank you Mr. C!