We had the good fortune of connecting with Ty Greenwood and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ty, what’s your definition for success?
Success for me, is not about the awards or how much money you have made. For me, it is knowing that I have made an impact. When someone comes up to me after seeing one of my projects and they are excited about it or crying about it or just want to talk about it…that’s success for me. I love being able to connect with the community no matter where I am. I want people to have conversations after seeing any of my work. I want people to be enlightened to a different perspective after seeing my work. I want my work to encourage action. Anything from having a difficult conversation about the subject matter I present or maybe my work will inspire the next generation. Success for me is making an impact. Affecting change. And encouraging action.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My work focuses on telling stories that are not damaging to the identity, existence and bodies of Black people, but are rather empowering, unapologetic and radical in nature. My work is bold and fearless. I am not afraid to put taboo topics right in your face. I think something that sets me apart from other artists is my ability to capture a rawness and authenticness that maybe isn’t seen in other work. I truly aim to create stories that are REAL. And make you think about them long after you have left the show. If I get people talking after, then I’ve done my job. I am most proud of the hard work I have put into my dreams and aspirations. “Faith without works is dead” are words I live by and it is not enough to simply “just dream.” I have manifested and spoke into existence what I am going to do. And I am most proud to say I am living out my dreams in more ways than one.
I have always been very hard working and determined. Ever since I was little I just wanted to go go go. I was curious about everything and wanted see all I could. I took advantage over the years of joining and or being apart of different organizations that either helped me improve my writing, speaking, acting, photography, networking skills…YOU NAME IT. I have always been a go getter and I think that’s why I am where I am today.
HELL NO, it hasn’t been easy. I mean would it be real life if everything was handed to me? I had to and continue to put in the work. I have had set backs, failures, loses all of that. BUT IT DIDN’T STOP ME. You have to keep going. No matter what. If you are really serious about something and passionate about it…you wont give up on it and more importantly you won’t give up on yourself.
I have learned many lessons along the way but here are 10:
#1: BE TRUE TO YOURSELF
#2: Loyalty is above any fake “love”
#3: Failure IS NOT A TATTOO
#4: Validate yourself and don’t seek it from others
#5: Quality over Quantity
#6: Be Careful about who you let in your space and surround yourself with
#7: If you don’t love what you are doing then you aren’t living.
#8: Protect your mental, your energy and your happiness.
#9: If they knock you for your “9-5”, they aint your friend and they don’t know about your “6-10” KEEP GOING BABY!
#10: YOU ARE ENOUGH. YOU ARE WORTHY. YOU MATTER.
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.
I am very new to the west coast. I moved from Pittsburgh, PA in August of 2020. I feel like things are just starting to open back up in some capacity and there is still a lot closed. I need to get out and explore more. BUT for me any outdoor park or nature filled area is a go to.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Oh wow there are almost too many to name! First and foremost my family. They have been my biggest supporters and I am truly thankful endlessly for their support. My friends who are close to me…YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE! Without my friends I wouldn’t be the artist I am today. They continue to inspire me, challenge me, encourage me and love and support me and vice versa and I couldn’t be more thankful to be surrounded by such an abundance of pure genuine energy. Over the years I have had so many mentors who have motivated me and lifted me up…YALL KNOW WHO YOU ARE! Aside from my immediate family I have so many other “MAMAS, AUNTIES, UNCLES, etc” that have taken me under their wing and I am so thankful for their love and support. My time at Washington & Jefferson College definitely helped me grow into who I am today. I am thankful for my entire undergrad experiences. And last but not least the newest member in my life, Uni my 3 year old border collie.
Facebook: Ty Greenwood