Tell us who you are and what you do!
My name is Adrian Javon, I’m a 22 year old photographer and I work for a production company by the name of Haute La Vie. I picked up a DSLR in 2015 because a friend suggested that I should; I always had an eye for pictures. Going back to MySpace and Facebook my pictures were always set up a certain way or taken a certain way. All the while using cell phone cameras. I went and bought a Canon DSLR when one of my close friends said that I should give it a try and so when I bought this camera I didn’t have a clue about it, ordered the first one I seen and literally learned it as I went and I’m still to this day learning.
Buffalo has inspired me to open the doors for people from Buffalo. The hunger to get better inspired me, self doubt inspired me and fearing the unknown inspired me. My creativity comes from the reality of Buffalo like the stereotypes and statistics and what not and I just simply wanted to change that. So my creativity comes from the change I want to see happen in Buffalo. I’m becoming that change.
What is the inspiration for your work?
My work is based off of beating the odds. Every picture I take, every photoshoot I encounter, every person I talk to, it’s all about beating the odds with me. Reason being is because I grew up with a speech impediment. Being bullied for the way I spoke made me feel like I wasn’t capable of anything, made me feel like an outsider and for years I would hold myself back from so much like talking to girls or raising my hand in class when I knew the answers.
As years passed, I got more active with my speech and started doing more and a lot of that came from friends who supported me and loved me no matter what. I view myself as the voice for people with speech impediments and for people who feel like they’re not capable of achieving goals. I’m here to show those people and whoever else that anything is possible and that it all starts with believing in yourself. You’re just as smart, funny, athletic, beautiful and artistic as any other person. Challenge the odds and beat the odds. Whether it be photography, music, fashion, etc, I’ll always do it 100% for the people who need to see someone who was in their shoes do it first.
What would you say to prevent an upcoming artist from making the same mistakes you have made?
Find your purpose. When you find the purpose behind why you do what you do and why you want to continue doing it, it clears your mind and you begin to hold yourself to a certain standard. Always keep in mind that there’s a thousand other people working in the same field as you, but there’s only one you and nobody can do what you do, like you. Also, never stop wanting to learn about what you do, ask questions, be curious, research, etc.
What obstacles have you faced as a Black Artist/Business Owner?
Dealing with bad customers, sometimes losing customers due to bad business. Those obstacles helped me better myself and not just as a photographer, but as a people person. From asking customers about their day to making sure they are satisfied when they have questions.
Also, being prepared was a problem for me in the beginning. I used to always forget something or not charge something all the way. Nowadays, I constantly drive myself to prepare myself like a professional. When the customer sees and knows you have everything in order and under control, the cooler they are and the more creative freedom you’ll have; because they trust you. Prepare yourself and concern yourself with the customer’s needs.