We had the good fortune of connecting with Nadiya Jackson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nadiya, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk taking has taken on a new role in my life. It has been simplified to everyday me and other people taking a risk by going to work in essential public institutions in the middle of a pandemic. When I speak for myself, I’ll acknowledge that I have become more timid of taking risks because of the uncertainty we’re currently experiencing. However, it doesn’t completely stop me from believing in taking 2 steps of faith that could transform my life. In terms of the art work I have shared, being authentic and staying true to my voice is a risk in itself. There are those who may not agree with my artwork, that doesn’t stop me. I possess the courage to stand by my work and the messages I spread. I practice taking risks with intention and I do confess that during these times I am filled with doubt. However, if I were to refrain from taking particular risks, I will be cutting myself off from exuberant experiences. I have taken risks and the outcome may have not been what I was hoping for, but I can go to sleep at night knowing I still took a chance and learned something I wouldn’t have discovered had I not taken a risk.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I dabble in a little bit of everything. Acting was the beginning for me. I began acting on camera when I was about six years old, then it transformed into creating my own stories with pen and paper and eventually growing up and witnessing them come to life onstage and even on film. I am proud that I don’t limit myself to one practice. When I went away for college, I fell in love with woodworking and welding and I anticipate the day when I can be reunited with the two mediums. I am always and forever open to learning new mediums and techniques. My hope is as I continue to share more art, people will notice how my style and voice evolves over time. This is just the start of my creative endeavors, while I have made a few remarkable achievements as a 22 year old artist, I am nearly as close to where I yearn to be.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My father created a tradition where every summer he, my sister, myself, and few other family friends would adventure up the mountains and camp out for a couple of days. Camping would be the highlight of the trip for my friend, however, we must amplify the experience with a few other escapades. In pre Covid times, I would take them to a concert at Red Rocks. Nevertheless, we go and shop at a Black owned business, Akente Express, and enjoy some ice cream at the Black owned ice cream parlor, Walia Creamery. If they enjoy being active, we would hit one of the many scenic biking trails or perhaps enjoy a skate session at the Denver Skatepark downtown.
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 would like to give a shoutout to my parents Kevin and Michelle, for their endless support of me and my aspirations. I have deep appreciation for 5280 Artist Co-Op for sharing their platform with a young artist like myself, to share works with our community. There is a special place in my heart for playing Lady in Red in their 2018 production of “For Colored Woman Who Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf.” Sheila Traister, the director of that production saw a light in me and continued to amplify that light by casting me in future productions she directed. A mentor I’ve had the honor of learning from since high school, Candy Brown. She instilled in me the importance of dedication to a craft and never settling for mediocrity. My friends, who share the same passion as me for the arts, who push me and hype me up to be my best and authentic self. I shall not even dare to forget to mention my grandfather, who proudly hangs up the poster from the Colorado regional premier of “The Color Purple, ” in his home in upstate New York. My aunt Renee, who gifted me the Adobe software where I can continue to create. I am so blessed to have people in my life who support and believe in me, I don’t believe I would be the person nor the artist I am today without these miraculous people.
Amani Batura (Photo 1) Brian Miller (2 photos of Zaryn,2020 and FCG< 2018), Snapshot from short play “Planning a Wedding in Quarantine