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  • Writer's pictureAshley Raymond

Five Gems from Brandon 'Jinx' Jenkins

Working creatively often brings us to seemingly ambiguous intersections of personal expression. It presents circumstances which may challenge our integrity, relationships and self-worth. The most difficult pill to swallow when it comes to the creative realm is there is no standard blueprint. Many of us walk by faith, feeling around in the dark to find that light switch. There is truly a method to the madness but that is still unique to each one of us, so how do we navigate through this?

photo by Ike Abakah

We study, whether it be formal education or chopping it up with an OG. I had the excellent opportunity to attend a free lecture series at Yale University this past Wednesday. The admirable Brandon "Jinx" Jenkins was the guest of honor who stopped by to share his journey. A wonderfully intimate setting at Saint Anthony Hall allowed us to gather 'round closely with bright eyes and open ears. Jenkins, a man donning many hats, spoke with such grace and sincerity.

The confidence he possessed shone through in his demeanor and cadence. He recounted the precarious balance between doing what we love and doing what brings us security. Within this hour, there was much to glean from his journey and a great deal of which we can connect to personally through our own experiences. Here are five gems that Jinx dropped off in Saint Anthony Hall.

photo by Ike Abakah

5. Be selfless until you can be selfish.

Being a writer means it is our duty to tell stories but most times, they are not our own or ones with which we connect. Jenkins attested to moments where he had to cover certain events or topics that may not have moved him. Nonetheless, the love for what we do is that second wind to push us through to the end. When we are able to take a step back and understand the bigger picture, we remind ourselves that these details are of equal importance.

4. Do your job and do it well.

This works in tandem with number five. If we freelance, run our own business, become an ambassador-- do so with fervor! In order to have the access to create what we want, we have to demonstrate that we can do the work. Consistently producing quality opens doors for more opportunities and connections.

3. Stay diligent and grind it out.

We all know it's easier said than done to stay 10 toes down when everything else hangs heavily in the air. It can be quite suffocating at times and moments of rest are necessary. This does, however, tie back into the first two tips. We're to do the things we have to do so that we may do the things we want. Cultivate a body of work that speaks to your work ethic and creativity.

2. Show up and be on time.

This seems redundant or something we should know intrinsically but there is just a slight difference. Showing up is more than physically occupying space but also being present. While it's important to recognize the effect a present action can have on a future circumstance, it's just as imperative to focus on the moment at hand. Being on time signifies reliability. When we are prompt and present, we are best equipped to handle whatever Murphy's Law decides to throw our way.

1. Be yourself.

Again, duh right? However, this mantra is supreme. We are all 1 of 1 (even twins!) and with all that the complexities we embody, there is novelty in every single one of us. That creative fingerprint we leave on each piece of work is a coalescence of our livelihood. No amount of saturation, obstacles, or outside chatter can stop what is meant for you.

Thank you Jinx, for your transparency and kindness. These lessons transcend boundaries and better yet, create infinite crossroads that connect us in an abundance of ways. Stay updated with Jinx on Twitter (@brandonjinx) and catch him every week on Revolt for State of the Culture.


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