We had the good fortune of connecting with Waladi Ali and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Waladi, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Honestly being home from college, my work and life balance has been very interesting, but required great attention and management. Seeing that I a mainly remain at my home with limited modes and reason for transportation, I continuously work on art and music, often without end. And it feels amazing to be so productive, until by body cries out for me to get up stretch and finally go make breakfast. Thankfully like any skill, you can grow to challenge and maintain it the more you work on it. Work to life maintenance for me has become more defined and exceptionally kinder to my body and mental states. Mainly what I have done has been in line with creating a schedule for myself everyday and time slots specified for work and resting, because both are equally important. In no way have I mastered this skill just yet, I’m doing fairly well, currently planning to watch a movie at the end of the day.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
When considering what sets my art apart from others is the sense of soul and spirit that goes into it. Though I am relatively new to the avenue of music (only having really have been participating for 3-4 odd years) I’ve created visual arts for all 20 years of my art proficiently and can confidently say that it is a craft I am more than well versed in, while simultaneously learning new amazing things from masters older and younger than me each day. But my work ethic is what scares me most while also getting me extremely excited. For about two years now, I have been working on a comic planned for 2020 but is now gentle shoot mid 2021 for release, while at the same time: creating commissions for various companies and small businesses, running a fun and amazing weekly webcomic hosted on webtoons and tapastic titled “Heart & Brain” since February of 2020, and creating my own music searching for a way for it to coexist with the art. All of this while being in college and the world falling apart, I need to take breaks more often honestly! Though thankfully none of this was easy to accrue, so it allows me to remain confident but grounded. I continually thank God for the trials and errors, failures and things I say I will “Never Do Again” within my professional life. And the biggest lesson I can certainly say I’ve gained from all of this is to try everything, so I can know for certain what works with my spirit and what doesn’t, and if it does work, how can I build value for myself and the world around me besides a ‘good story’ or monetary value. I want the world to know about my brand and story that at one point, there was always at least one family member or friend who questioned my dreams and altitude in substitution for a “real job” and I hope to continue not only to go harder despite the challenge, but although I’m living my dreams because of help, it was up to me to take my life as serious as possible.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
See if I was in Atlanta rather Denver my answers would change quite a bit, seeing that is where I used to physically attend college. But ideally I would take my friend first to the local Colorado spots such as cherry creek mall or the Aurora Town Center to eat, play video games and socialize and explore. Then later on, a trip to downtown Denver to explore my favorite hole in the wall shops and eatery, and then to Elitches for the time of our life (as per custom). And indefinitely beyond exploring the streets and businesses of Denver, we’d take a drive to Colorado Springs for the day, to visit landmarks and events of course, but also to sit outside of the car in a grassy field or plain, and watch the sky. Because every time I visit there, the clouds seem to hang quite a bit lower to the earth, casting a beautiful shadow among us. Almost as a reminder, that the sky is the limit.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Firstly I’d like to explicitly shoutout my mother and father for there involvement in my growth as an artist and human being in general. My father guided my spiritual life as well as providing me with materials for the growth of said work, and providing the foundation for the life I am currently living. And my mother for keeping me grounded and from getting to far into the clouds by providing me with scholastic structure and the inspiration to finish college and receive my degree so the rest of the world can be open to me. Speaking of my wonderful family, including my sisters, cousins, grandmothers, grandfathers, and all of my friends that I consider family, they have spoken into my life and helped propel me forward financially and with great inspiration, grace and love. Everyone, (including the brothers that I’ve made special bonds with during quarantine and exes of the past and future) will always have a special place in my growth and development as a person as it translates back to the arts and skillsets I will hopefully continue to use, to help and inspire my community and the world.
Other: Heart & Brain on: Webtoons: https://www.webtoons.com/en/challenge/heart-brain/list?title_no=382380 Tapastic: https://tapas.io/series/Heart–Brain/ Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/ida-law/1518482910 Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/6c2YaMtEz9AYzTc3eYb0bU?si=m0oC6DJdQoeqx_FMYYaDPQ Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/ida_law
Colin Donovan, Mansa Aziz