We had the good fortune of connecting with Meissa Hampton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Meissa, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I’m not sure I would have chosen to be an artist if I had a choice. It is a calling. It is the only place I feel at home. It is how I communicate and how I reflect the world that I see as I see it. It is how I give voice to the nuanced stories that are often overlooked. It’s how I bring those voices to our attention. It’s how I hope to contribute to a more diverse culture with social justice at its heart. It’s how I contribute to a vision of a more compassionate world. Envisioning the world I’d like to build for our children helps me navigate the world we’ve inherited from our troubled past. I was called.
Art is communication with connection. Well expressed creativity invites a participant to find themselves within the work. By the artist’s own unmasking, well expressed creativity invites a participant to explore their own unmasked soul. Well expressed creativity is truth. We need more of it in our world.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I was drawn to film as a collaborative art. Film is a modern visual medium with clear roots in theater and literature, but certainly has its own choreography. And what is a film without its soundtrack? It is certainly an art that thrives on input from a spectrum of artists. It’s where the arts connect. It’s where artists across mediums connect. Perhaps this is why film connects with such a broad audience.
I came from a diversified background in the arts. I’ve studied music and dance since I was 5 years old. I began writing poetry as a teenager and earned scholarships for my poetry as an undergrad. I studied film and theater at college then studied at Stella Adler and moved into performance. I came back to filmmaking in more recent years.
From early in my studies I understood the impact of film as an immersive medium. I believe film has the power to change minds and even change lives. As I’ve studied and created across the arts what has consistently moved me is the drive to affect positive social change. To me this is art’s greatest effect. Everything I’ve helmed has been focused on a social issues.
Creating at it’s best comes with ease. Building a career in the arts can be challenging. There are many of the same challenges as Entrepreneurship. Understanding yourself and your creativity as your brand can be complicated.. Understanding your own identity and self-expression as a marketing tool requires introspection and humility. …And of course courage..
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
NYC galleries and museums! Exhibits continuallly move in and out of the many, varied galleries and museums, so always keep an eye on the latest notices. What remains a consistent joy are our parks and features like the high line or the new Little Island park on the Hudson.
Broadway is uniquely NYC and boasts some of the best theater in the world, but I always look to the smaller off-broadway productions to see what’s currently coming up through the NYC arts community.
I like visiting outdoor weekend events like Smorgasburg in my own neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn to get a broader taste of what’s cooking in NYC cuisine. Such events give you a chance to browse and sample some of the area’s best restaurants and eats. Movies and concerts in the park are my absolute favorite summertime events. Definitely check in on what the parks are offering when you visit.
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’m a single Mom, so my biggest shout out goes to my son. He is my greatest inspiration and my consistent motivation. He is my whole heart and in everything I create.
I am deeply indebted to all of the extraordinary artists in my NYC community. My community has shaped me as an artist and as a person. There is not one who has touched my life that hasn’t touched my work.
Opportunities as an artist can be tough to come upon, so I hold dear every artist that has referred and supported my work in even the smallest ways.