Carlos Imani

5 Feb

Tastemaker Q&A:

  • GT: Tell us what you’ve been working on?
    CI: You know me, it’s not really working unless I have 3-4 things going on at once! Currently developing an after school enrichment program pilot, with a focus on photography, and then eventually bringing in other aspects of my visual media business with video, graphic design, and web development. I have a 10 week program starting at the Rainier Valley Leadership Academy High School and looking forward to working with some amazing young people. I try and keep a fullcalendar of various shoots, from commercial to fashion, and of course Food! My Smile Patrol photo booths (formerly Elite Fotobooth) business keeps me busy with special events for our Friends at Tulalip Resort Casino, to parties in the nightlife scene at places like Xtadium. All of this allows me to give back and stay connected to the community with events like the UNCF Black College Tour to the Royal Esquire Club’s annual Black & White Gala honoring Our Cities first Black Woman Police and Fire Chief.
  • GT: How do you balance so many projects?
    CI: If it doesn’t go on the calendar, it’s not going to happen! Number one thing I tell people that catch me at a networking function or something is send me a meeting request -a lot of people talk about we should work on this or that but unless you put it on the calendar, it’s not going to happen! Secondly, is having some sort of task manager. Some people like to write it down or use an app like Wunderlist or even the reminder app, but create some sort of accountability for yourself and any team mates that you are working with. Have defined due dates and scope of work. And Lastly, what took me to the next level is getting out of my own way! I need to get better at it but delegating is huge, I’m a huge proponent of people playing their part and I want to put everyone in a position to succeed. Work on your weaknesses on your own time, not your clients! Focus on what you do best and pass the ball when you come across something that a team mate can do better. The way Ilook at it is it’s going to take me four hours to do something that someone else may be able to do in half the time. Pass it on and go back to working on something that would be a more efficient use of your time and skill set!
  • GT: What keeps you motivated? How do you keep from getting stale?
    CI: ADHD! Passion, first and foremost when you get involved with passion projects it’s a lot easier to be engaged and give them your all. And it’s important as a creative to make time for personal projects in between clients where you can just create for the fun of it, try new techniques and/or equipment so you can stay sharp and recharge. And of course, I have a dope support system of team members that I collaborate with that help take me and the projects to the next level! You know what they say, if you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far, go together!
  • GT: What did you want to be when you grew up?
    CI: Initially I wanted to be a business consultant. From a young age I always felt Ihad a gift for listening, true empathy to put myself in someone’s shoes and see it from their perspective. Also, problem solving, which along with listening translated into an ability to look at a business or hear out an idea and figure out ways to improve the business or expand on that idea. In a roundabout way, I’m able to do that through my visual media and marketing.
  • GT: What do you love about Seattle?
    CI: It’s home. Spent every school year in Seattle and developed some great relationships with friends that I have to this day. My mom is from New York and I have family in the Caribbean, so I was always making trips back east and to the islands during the summer and spring breaks, so I definitely had some outside influences. At the end of the day, everything always made me appreciate the hometown that much more. I love Seattle for all the awesome WPS(wipipo sh_t). The outdoor activities are dope. You can go from beaches and lakes to forest and mountains in minutes. The unparalleled air and water quality that most people don’t appreciate until they travel to other parts of the country (world). And the amazing food! Oh, and can’t forget some of the worlds best fans from the Huskies to the Sounders to Seahawks. Not so much of late, but I was there for Griffey’s Mariners... and don’t get me started on our Sonics (GP & Kemp!) #BringBackOurSonics.
  • GT: What keeps you in Seattle?
    CI: Well, luckily I’ve had the opportunity to travel a lot with photography, shooting out of state/country every 6-8 weeks or so but I just really love my city man. I mean, I can definitely see myself doing and having more businesses and homes out of state/country, but I’ll always have roots back home!
  • GT: What makes you unique?
    CI: Contagious passion and positive energy bringing out the best in those around me.
  • GT: What’s on the horizon? New projects?
    CI: Aside from further developing the Smile Patrol and Youth Enrichment programs, The FLVR Brand & FLVR kids project that I have with an amazing teenage artist, Jordana and Sway from the World Famous Wake Up Show will be making some noise in 2019! So stay tuned for that! &