Hey, hi, it’s Emma, Ops Wizard and Content Manager here at Tako Agency. 👋🏻
If you’ve been following us for a while – first of all, thank you. It means the world to us that you’d pay repeat visits to our little corner of the internet. Second of all, you might be aware of the Conversations with Black Creators series we’ve been producing at the Tako Stand since June of 2020.
We started the series during a time when many people and businesses were, like us, trying to figure out how to meaningfully contribute to the conversation and protests surrounding racial (in)equality – specifically, the extreme disproportionate use of force against, incarceration of, and general negative bias toward Black people. As a design-forward agency packed to the gills with deeply creative team members, art – in all its forms – is something very close to our hearts. It made sense to us that we’d start meaningful conversations of our own with Black creatives from across the artistic spectrum – about life, work, creativity, Blackness, family, and more – and share them with our readers.
Not that any of these people needed us to give them a platform or a voice, of course – many of them have a much greater following than we do. We simply hoped to establish Tako’s allyship; listening, learning, and sharing these stories with the community we love so much. (That’s you!)
Since I nervously conducted my first interview (I’d never done that before 😬) with Will Dutcher – a Seattle-based writer and incredible person who is still in my orbit to this day – I’ve interviewed 14 amazing creatives and lovingly crafted those conversations into the blog posts you see on the Stand today.
I knew Conversations would be the perfect way for Tako to say, “Black lives fucking matter,” and I didn’t hesitate one bit to throw myself headlong into developing the series, but I honestly did not know just how important it would become for me personally.
These organic, authentic conversations have made me laugh and cry. They played a role in teaching me what it means to be truly anti-racist – and that we must be that – all. the. time. They confronted me with some experiences that had, to that point, been totally foreign to me because of my skin colour. I hope the same for anyone who reads the interviews, and I hope each of our interviewees felt heard and at peace during our time together.
NOW – time for some exciting news! The way we’ve produced the series to date is a great start, but we know it can be better. To that end, we’ve scheduled paid consultations with a handful of highly respected Black creatives from various industries to learn best practices for series like ours – expected compensation, interview process, donations, all that jazz – so we can make Conversations bigger and better in 2022 and beyond.
We already have our first interview of the year on deck; it’s on my editing desk as we speak, and I tell you what – you’re not gonna want to miss it. Be on the lookout for that, coming in late February. Also, keep your eyes peeled for my new production partner, Cindy, who will be using her staggeringly large heart, incredible research skills, and fiery conviction around social justice to help me create one hell of a Conversations 2.0.
In the meantime, puh-LEASE take a moment to peruse all of our other amazing Conversations.
Brooke Chaney (MadexMom) - Multi-media artist & muralist
Amira Sade-Moodie - Painter & Poet
Cynn Rankin - Clothing Designer & Vintage Reseller
Anjha Thomas - Luxury Candlemaker
Jonathan Aubrie Lewis - Filmmaker
Sandrine Somé - Creative Director
Timisha Porcher - DIY & Home Improvement Maven
‘Til next time!