“To all the ones who think this is still just a dream,
that think things are still going to be the same in five years…
to those who can’t feel the rumblings..
…cha.”- Alicia MG
One of the best parts of what I do, has to be when I get to be friends with amazingly talented people, who are constantly pushing the direction of what’s cool, what’s right and what feels right to them. I love the feeling of connecting with all these light bulbs, all with different creation stories, experiences and perspectives. Like I said before, this one is extra special. I had so much fun interviewing and getting to know her, and for someone as eclectic and culturally connected as Alicia is, she’s the cool kid that’s furthest from trying to be. Her work ethic and credibility are contagious, and her God given versatility gives her that “touch”, that will anoint her business, and all her projects. She is a true influencer with distinctive creative direction,and that’s why I want to present to you Alicia MG!
1) Tell us about Alicia Griffith,who is she?
Alicia Michelle Griffith. I had to change that. There are many Alicia Griffiths, so I legally made my middle name a part of my first, so now I technically don’t have a middle name. With that being said, I’m 22, born and raised in Barbados and I love to travel. Everything I kind of strive for right now, as much as the experience is taking me in life, the finances are taking me on aeroplanes haha. I love music, I CAN’T live without it, I hate stress, I hate anxiety, and I’m not good with shouting and pressure and noise. I’m in my gap year right now, I finished my undergrad in Communication Studies with a concentration on film production in Montreal. For a part of that I did an exchange in Hong Kong and that was really great for me.
2) Tell us about Hong Kong.
Hong Kong was amazing! The culture is completely, I mean literally on the other side of the world. As much as it is very cosmopolitan, there’s a big mix of everyone there. It was British up to about 15 years by now, so all my Professors were fully British. We went to China when I was there too! Actually, we left Beijing about 3 days earlier than expected, and since I’m a vegetarian, the carcases hanging everywhere was an uncommon experience for me. Hong Kong really puts everything into perspective, and you realise how small and just how mobile you are. There’re so many people, and you could just zig zag through the crowd, it kind of just frees you. I think I kind of re-found myself, because you’re with a bunch of strangers and you can’t go on reputation or things that you go for when you’re in Barbados. You can’t ask someone “Hey do you know this person? tell me about them”, you really have to learn to trust your instincts in everything you do. You’re in a different culture, different language and you have to learn to feel things through, and it really tunes you into people. I think that is one thing that travelling does, when you have to communicate with anything except words, you really get to know people.
3) Give us a list of you’re all time favourite things to do.
My best friend, my dad and I play this game, where if you can choose 5 things in the entire world that you like to do, what would they be. Mine came down to laughing, dancing, eating, I mean I love good food, like the flavour, if I could just put it on my tongue and spit it out, that would be fine too haha, I love to cook and I love getting lost!
4) Getting lost?!?! What’s so fascinating about getting lost?
Because you don’t know!!!! I love the thrill of finding out how to get home, the adventure of it all, the quest! haha
4) I know that you’re a Jet setter, how important is it to you to travel, and why?
My friend Khadija Bullen, tweeted me one time and said, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” If you know everything about a place, what’s the fun in that? You’ve conquered it. What now? are you just going to sit there? I love the feeling I get when I’m inspired, it comes from the slightest of things,and travel just opens it up for me and gives me more opportunities .
5) So tell us what inspires you?
Everything! I’m so darn sensitive!!, I’m a girl!!!! (I’m dying with laughter at this moment) ,you tell me a story and I’m like “omg! I can do a film about that, I’d like story board it”. To narrow it down though, there’s music, artists and creative people, you catch it, its contagious you know? I love talking to people and watching how people interact. I love to learn about new things, and basically just taking in life.
6) What’s your favourite film and why?
Oh my gosh! It’s so funny, this is the worst thing to ask me. Most people don’t get this, but I studied media, I’ve been studying media exclusively, from the time I was 16. My homework was to sit and watch movies, my essays were about watching movies. I had to watch with the soundtrack off, watch with the video off, watch it again and then write an essay, so it takes a lot for me to sit down and enjoy one. With that being said though, my favourite movie I think would have to be “Catch me if you can”.
7) Why did you study Communication Studies with a concentration on film production?
Originally, I was going to be an Engineer or Architect, so for CXC, Maths, Physics, Art etc. were my subjects. I then had this brilliant idea to be a club promoter and my mother, being the loving lady that she is said, “Sure! follow your dreams”. That then fell through the window very quickly, so I decided to go into public relations and then I did communication studies, which is theory of media communication, and the program I chose had a practical aspect. In my first year we did film, video sound and graphics and then I went on an exchange. When I returned, I did film, and then by the time I graduated, I realised that I didn’t want to be a media producer, and I didn’t want to be a journalist. Everybody kept asking me when I returned to Barbados for my occupation, and I told them I don’t know…I’m a Rockstar! haha. That’s why I took a year off, because I was actually going to go straight and do my Ph.D in media communication studies, and I was going to do a complete socio-cultural break down. I wanted my thesis to be on musical genres, and my final paper would have been on music as culture; the culture of Hip Hop, the culture of Reggae and the culture of Punk. Then I realised! I don’t want to be a Doctor at 24! and that if I decided not to stay in Academics, there’s really no getting out of it with a Doctorate. I took my gap year, worked, and I concluded that I didn’t want to have to chose between PR, Branding, Advertising, or Corporate Culture. I just knew that I wanted to be Creative Director of a company, in such a way that I could do photography, video, write, and compile everything into one, doing which ever, when I feel like it. So that lead me to what I’m starting in September, which is an Dual Masters, split campus, it’s an MA. in International Marketing Communication, and Msc. in International Marketing Communications strategy. It’s one semester in London and one in France.
8) If you can have lunch with anyone who would it be?
That’s a very interesting question, but I’d have to say my Mom and my Dad. My mother has this way of being annoyingly right all the time, and they have always given me sooo much space. Every decision I made in life was completely mine and I love them a lot.
9) What does it mean to be creative and what is your creative process like?
Creativity is probably on of the the most important things. It ties into everything, all the basic things in life, creativity makes it better. To be creative to me is to portray an idea regardless of the medium. Everything that I write or take a picture of, anything I create period, I’m trying to say something. Everything is very organic in how I work, nothing is forced, and I don’t stress myself out, I just breathe . The most beautiful things come when I’m not thinking about it, and when I’m in a separate space, and with that being said,I think the hardest part of being a professional creative is balancing work and your own expression. That’s been a battle I’ve had for a while, which is why I don’t see my self as a professional photographer or writer, so I refuse to put my name across my pictures.
10)Do you think that creativity is something we are born with,or do we develop into a creative person?
Every one has the power to be creative, but every one isn’t. If you want to be creative, you will be. There’s nothing else to be said.
11) Do you think you are an influencer?
I don’t think about those things. Honestly, if I influence people it’s not on purpose, I just love to be happy and be a good example. If my joy influences you, then I’m glad, because I love to be around happy people too!
12)How do you translate your inspiration into production?
Well, my photography works in two ways. One is when I just have a picture day, I literally just take up my cam and drive. I set different challenges that inspire me, like only taking right turns, or staying on the coast, and the photography comes as a result of those challenges. The other way is completely flipped, where I have an idea, I set the shots up, and I make the idea come to life.
13) How important are associations to you?
Very important! Having the right people around you, with positive influence is crucial. If you have a vision of where you want to go, you have to be able to see the type of people that will help you get there as well. I’m against negative people, whether verbal or non verbal. I also make it a point to have people in my life who are also doing something with theirs. It’s very unlikely that you will be wishing well for someone in their life, if you aren’t doing anything with yours, that’s fake! It just isn’t human nature.
14) What does it mean to be a visionary to you?
When you told me that you wanted to interview me for the Visionaries series, I was like “Woa!, when did this happen?” I read your message about five times, and I was forever asking myself why. In my opinion, it basically means someone who has a vision, but as simple as it seems, it’s not. They set their goals, see their journey, and once they see it, they can achieve it. They’re cautious because they know dead weight is bad, but I think a very important part is going easy on themselves, and being patient, because the road may not always take the route that they feel is best. I also think a visionary knows when it’s a good diversion or bad diversion, and they’re having fun in their journey, regardless. Life really is as simple as Yes or no, and I think visionaries have that understanding, which enables them to see infinite possibility and opportunity.
15) How long have you been into photography? and what makes a good photo to you?
I first started photography about 5 years ago when I was at Barbados Community College. For the first time, outside of my parents I saw someone who was completely head over heels about their job. I mean my photography teacher really loved photography! and I’m like “Oh my God! I want to be this happy!” I was incredibly inspired! I’m all about composition man, it doesn’t matter what camera you have! How I take pictures, mega pixels doesn’t matter that much to me. I love depth to field, it’s about focus for me.
16) What kind of camera do you use?
I have like an amateur camera, its the Nikon D5000. It’s at the top of the amateur range.
17) In your life, do you think there is anything you could have done differently?
Yes, I think about this all the time. Dropping technical drawing. Like this isn’t going to sound very humble, but it’s really hard being very good at alot of things. People don’t realise, but being a straight “A” student can make life a little difficult at times, especially when it’s time to choose. A part of me will always regret not doing Technical drawing, Physics and Art, to do Interior Architecture, becasue I’m a very huge fan of design and very much into architecture. Sometimes I think I cut myself short, but then it’s hard to say, because then I may not have done Communications at University, and then I may not have been where I am now. Other than that, I really have no regrets.
18) Lastly, what advice would you give to all women in the world, who are pursuing their dreams?
The most important part of pursuing your dreams, is the verb to pursue. Until you do that, it doesn’t matter the amount of motivational quotes you read, or as many tips about being productive you take in, if you never get up and actually go, you’re wasting your time. You have to do it every single day. To all you beautiful women out there, be confident in your pursuit, and just look fabulous doing it!
If you made it to the end of this interview, I hope that you can appreciate the wisdom expressed by this extraordinary individual. I really believe that God is going to position her in places where very important people will understand and value her greatness, and will want to align themselves with her. Alicia is one of those people that will leave a mark on this world, and how is she going to do it?
simply by being herself, I guess .. ^_^
“we strive for simple lives, not simple minds.”
We have two options: change the world, or leave the world. ‘Accepting it’ is not an available choice.” – Alicia MG