Passion // 86blvd // Graphic designer
My creative side started at a young while spending time at my grandmother's house during the summer.. I had a cousin that lived with her who knew what his passion was, which was everything that has do with filming. Around this time he was in college so during those times i got to see him at my grandmother's house, I got to watch him create storyboards for school projects, listen to him come up with themes, characters and so on. I saw the passion while doing all of that and I knew that I also wanted to be a dream chaser as well. He showed me that whatever my vision was that it could also be my reality. My creative side started to develop each summer. He went on to "Dream Big" as he would say often. He moved to New York to be able to work on his projects, even working aside Spike Lee one time. He is known as one of the go to directors in music, commercials and television. That was a better chapter in my life because it led me wanting to find what I had a passion for. It took me a few years but my passion came from my parents allowing me to get on the internet for the first time. This was around the time the internet was still new to the world. I began looking at all the graphics I saw everywhere online wonder how they did it. I learn by watching so I watched my big sister get on all these sites and that is when my passion really took off. She joined a site that was popular at that moment called “Black Planet” so being me I had to join as well. First thing I noticed was a lot of people had these jump out at you profiles while mine still looked so boring. I remember running into someone who knew how to do web pages I asked if he could do mine and he did.. From there I studied codes that they use when learning how everything thing works and how to change stuff. I got so hooked I would do other people pages just because I wanted to learn more coding. This quickly became a passion of mine but i wanted more, especially the graphic design side. I started networking with a lot people at that time especially with models which lead me to yahoo groups which was at that time the place to network if you were in the entertainment business. It had upcoming models, video and magazine models all networking on this one site. I had my own group page on there where myself and a young lady would use the page to promote other people. Sometime during all that I downloaded the trial or free version of graphic software. One of my uncles even gave me these set of discs that had software on them.
You will see how this all goes together in a minute, I came up in this business around the time urban models started to get more popular you know where video vixens models were posted on most guys walls, or the reason they bought Smooth, King and other magazines. Like any business there's always a few that mess it up for everyone else or people look at the rest of the magazines and think they all must be the same. I was just a teen when I got started at this but because people look at a lot of magazine owners who was 30 year old dudes and so on. There for that's what they labeled me as, I mean the ones who didn't know me. It works in my flavor a lot in this business trying do more graphics and make more connections with models because a lot of times they would say " Oh he's just a kid but he doing his thing. I started networking with more people,which lead to a lot more connections and projects which led to more graphics. All of this from a hobby and now it is my passion. In the beginning there were a lot of people who did not feel what I was doing, I quickly learned that I could not listen to the naysayers, I had to chase my dreams. I was just working with females who wanted to be models which was their passion. I always would show respect to them but to a lot of people looking in they saw it in whole different way or that you a teen you should be focusing on other things. which i understand but was my passion and that just made me want to o it even more. I learned real fast over the years people are going to notice models in my magazine before my graphics, and I was cool with that as long as they were buying the magazine. Since then i done found ways get my graphics notice just as much. I always look at everything as there is no easy way in finding your passion and finding ways make noise with it.
I ended up changing my graphic companies name to 86blvd Graphics and when I made that move more clients came my way, more people noticed my work. A lot times before they would see my graphic work in my magazine but a lot of them had no idea I was the one doing the graphics behind scene. When 86blvd magazine started I was dropped from another magazine. more doors began to open for me. After 8 or more years doing this, it;s like 86blvd really put a face to graphics and anything I was doing. Biggest thing I learned over the years is you are either going take a risk or fade out the business. I always love being behind the scenes. I have been lucky to keep doing what I love even though there are times when I want to just say forget it all but I keep going. It has always been a way for me to get away from the real world or relax mind from my everyday stress. Of course as the years have gone by I still had a couple of people state how they feel about what I do, whether it is good or bad. As forthe graphic side of things I am either working with clients or my own graphics for my magazine. I will always tell people "Do what you love even if you never go major because you can still look back and have no regrets. On magazine side of things I have went from a grown folks story magazine to eye candy magazine and I keep challenging myself so now I have moved away from the eyecandy to an all around men’s magazine.
It took me years year to make that move. At first I thought if i made that move my magazine would just fade out. That was one of my biggest fears knowing all it took for me to get this far. Second was magazine is what built my graphic clientele. It take a lot for me to find a mix of what I believed would grow my magazine rather than kill it. Now of course i had people telling me don't change at the same time i had people that said i should do it. Best thing i could say is that the same cousin who i grow up with and taught me all of this was still in my corner cheering me on and even now no matter what direction i go in now or in the future. This all i could see myself doing it was like it's just me myself and my business nothing else mattered until I had a special person come in my life and show me business is good but it can't be the only thing that matter to you. When I was finally able to see that it opened up the bigger picture I had in my head. I will admit when come to doing what I loved I was so hardheaded even she will say that . I have learned to that chasing what you want to do means nothing if you can't even deal with everyday life. Second don’t let business be the only part of life you care for. I am grateful I am able to turn nothing into something but I am glad to have someone like her with a great creative mind like minds. At the end of the day I am glad i am able to do more of what i love but at the sometime have a great supporter like her and my cousin in my corner.
Passion // Jonathan // Graphic designer
Jonathan what is your passion? Describe to us what it looks like?
I have a passion for the arts, any arts (Music, dance, photography etc.), even life I view everything as a work of art. I am a Graphic Artist and a Music Producer and I plan to add more to that list.
When did you find out you had a passion for it?
About 2 years ago when I came home for summer break, before that point I didn't really have a passion.
Does it scare you?
Yes, but the scary part is also fun, Its more scary knowing that you actually have talents and abilities that are unique.
People say that when you follow your passion it is indeed a journey. On this journey we have heard that you tend to lose some of the people who started out with you. Have you experienced this? Yes, It seems like almost everyday, I lost a few of my best-friends I had for years, it hurts but you just have to keep moving along.
In order for you to meet your passion what things have you done so far?
PRAY ! I don't think I would have ever found myself unless I asked God to show me the way, I wasn't lost but I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing.
The problem with some people is that they don't want to put in the work it takes to chase that passion....Would you say that following your passion is hard work? It takes a lot of hard work and persistence but it all pays off when you start noticing the results.
Was there someone who inspired you, someone you look up to whether in the industry or not?
Kanye West more for his creativity, 9th Wonder more on the musical side of things, Those are people I really model myself after.
Chasing your passion goes against the norm...most people don't get it. What would you say to those people in this moment?
I'd say that you are here on earth to chase what God has for you, we were all placed here to fulfill a great purpose and you cant be afraid of your moment when it arrives, we all were not meant to live the same kind of lives, so go write YOUR story.
I know that you are in school currently, is it hard to balance the two? What is your major? I'm a Communications Major, It's not hard to balance the two, you just have to know how to manage your time, Its more of a mental struggle because most people in college believe college creates a dream for you so when your doing something outside of just school or working they don't really understand.
Jonathan what advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue their passion but hadn't yet?
Never ignore your passion because you think its just a hobby or it'll never get you anywhere because it will always chase you down, there are plenty of people who die wishing that they would have take a different route, do what makes you happy regardless of what others think.
Where can we find your work?
I post most of my works on social media though Facebook and Twitter
Can you tell your readers how to keep up with you on social media?
On Soundcloud: TheCommonTheoryEra (Music) Twitter: 89thBlvd Facebook: Jonathan NaShan , Instagram: 53Strokes (Art)
Interview by KM