Hey guys!!! Welcome to the first episode of our creator/creative series. Our aim as the name implies is to have a hearty conversation with young people of colour in the creative space.
It is really important that as an African inspired digital media company, we use our platforms to continuously tell the story of black folks in the homeland and diaspora
Our first guest Alexander-Julian Gibbson is a New York City-based creative content specialist and editor who specializes in style, travel, culture, and all their intersections.
He is a visual artist who prides himself in doing anything to create quality content that is aesthetically charged whether it’s styling, directing or picking up a camera himself and shooting. He’s worked with GQ, Coca-Cola, Vogue Italia in several capacities.
Enjoy the read.
Why do you call yourself the “master of enjoyment”?
AJ: A friend of mine actually gave me that name and I found it hilariously accurate. I like to have fun. I’m a Nigerian boy from the SWAT (Southwest Alief Texas) in Houston, having fun is in my blood. I feel like people in fashion industry take themselves too seriously, so I like to be myself, and let my work do the talking. If you see me out, chances are that I’m having fun, dancing somewhere, and living my best life even if I’m doing it all my own.
What do most people think about you that is absolutely not true?
AJ: Based off of social media and my career I think that people assume I’m pretentious, but I’m so far from it.
What has been the most challenging set/location to work at?
AJ:Probably Rwanda, not because it’s been harder than any of my other location shoots, but just because every time I’ve shot in Rwanda I’ve been pressed for time. I always up ending doing full shoots on the same day as my flight out of country, because there’s so much to do in Rwanda and my schedule is always full.
Patoranking, Burna boy, Wizkid or Davido?
AJ:Patoranking is the homie, I really love working with him and his team. He always has good ideas and even better energy. I do have African Giant on repeat right now though.
What identity/ race/ look would you want in your next life?
AJ: I wouldn’t change a single thing.
If you had a time machine, would you travel to the past, or future and why?
AJ: I’d probably go to the past to kick it with my younger self, and drop some wisdom.
What is or will be the “ultimate” gig for you?
AJ: Honestly, I really think what I’m doing now is the ultimate gig. I really love my job. I’ve recently considered being a fashion director for a travel magazine, but it would essentially just be me doing what I’m doing now without the freedom of freelancing.
What went into what has been called one of “the most creative magazines of the year” I.e the latest Essence Magazine featuring Ciara, Teyana & Iman. How do you feel about it??
AJ: It was an honor, and I’m so happy to have worked on it. Marielle Bobo, the Essence Fashion Director, reached out to me to help source African designers for these iconic covers, and I had just finished working on Patoranking’s Lenge Lenge video so it was perfect timing. It was special to me, because it gave me the opportunity to put on designers and some friends of mine that may not have otherwise gotten the opportunity. And putting African artists on the main stage is literally the thesis of my work, so I was ecstatic to do it.
If you had a chance to be mentored by someone in your field, who would that be?
AJ: Edward Enninful.
What keeps you grounded through your busy schedules?
AJ: My friends and family. They definitely keep me humbled too.
Favorite and not so favorite track off the “gift” album?
AJ: That is hard. My favorite is a 3-way-tie between Already, Ja Are E, and Water. My least favorite is any of the interludes, I have a playlist without the interludes that I blast every other day in my studio.
*This interview was conducted by Alice Johnson with additional editing by Yaw Tollo.