We had the good fortune of connecting with The3rrd and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi The3rrd, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I decided to pursue an artistic career due to my love for performing and expression, specifically through music. Life is about performing; I perform a gender expression in my own life, I perform at work and in social groups, but music allows me to perform for myself. My family also has an entertainment production background that influenced my decision to become an artist. Art, especially music, can serve as a universal language due to its transcendental quality.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
What sets my artistic expression apart from others is my perspective. My collective life experiences contribute to a unique outlook on life, unlike anyone else’s. What I’m most proud of is my tenacious ability to behold my own beauty. I’ve struggled with insecurity regarding my looks and body type all of my life, but my art has helped me uncover my highest self and understand what makes me beautiful.
I got where I am today by working steady jobs and investing in myself. There seems to be a misconception concerning artists having corporate or regular 9 to 5 jobs, but it helps more than it hurts. I thought it was more ideal to get a job within the music industry in order to make the right connections, but I learned that the industry’s standards don’t suit me as an artist. I ended up using my education to navigate the corporate landscape and got a job that pays well and provides benefits. This in turn helped me build a strong foundation to focus on my creativity and efficiently invest in my art.
It wasn’t easy, however, not easy at all. Jobs tend to be tacitly abusive and getting paid a living wage is more of a privilege than an entitlement. Collaborators, equipment, and (most importantly) time all cost money, adding up very quickly. I’ve overcome these challenges by building creative partnerships and improving my communication skills. Indecision tends to be the most expensive when you consider how much time and resources are spent on executing incomplete ideas. Learning how to concisely communicate my expectations has helped me streamline my budget.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that collaboration is key! Not only is it a great way to bring more perspective to my work, but it’s also great for consolidating marketing efforts. Each person involved has their own audience and platform that can serve as a more organic approach in bringing attention to my project. I always return the favor by lending my services to my creative partners on their projects as well.
I want the world to know that you can be anything you envision yourself to be. Vision is different than sight because it is conceptualizing something that is not tangible or makes sense at the time. But if you can envision your dreams – you can achieve them, and that’s what I want people to know.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Here in New York City, there is an abundance of things to do – even within a pandemic. The first place I’d take my best friend is to the piers at Brooklyn Bridge Park, my favorite place in the entire city. All of the piers overlook downtown Manhattan and have great activities, my favorite being the swing sets on the water! Another great part of the city is the numerous food options; my friend should be prepared for boozy brunches, decadent dessert spots, and overly indulgent food tours. I’d take them to catch a great happy hour deal in the Lower East Side during the week, before taking them to an underground warehouse party out in Bushwick (when nightlife turns back into normal). Of course, we have to spend one night drinking Cabernet with some takeout!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
One of the most important things I’ve learned in the development of my creative process is the power of collaboration. Having a network of people to collaborate with is the reason I’ve kept going, with my main partner being Kim Killa! Kim is an artist/DJ who is also pursuing music and she has been a great source of inspiration.
Lanee Bird, Justin Carter, Rashida Zagon