We had the good fortune of connecting with Deidre JohnBaptiste and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Deidre, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
My entire life, I tend to do more than what is asked of me. In school, I was labeled an overachiever. People would always assume whatever task, assignment, or job that there was to be completed, I had completed it at a rate above everyone else. They weren’t wrong, but as I have gotten older, I’m starting to see that the value of having that as a personality trait is actually burdening sometimes. The weight of the expectations of others whether implicit or explicit combined with my own outlooks disallow me from having opportunities to have a break, or it disabled my ability to take a break without feeling any guilt. The mantra of working nonstop to reach a goal is unhealthy and unreasonable. At this point in my life, I realize and deeply believe that the most efficient and effective way to reach your goals is to have harmony amongst the aspects of your life. Through micro-habits, planning, and being realistic with myself, I have developed more balance in my life. Sometimes we have expectations of ourselves that aren’t necessarily too high, but the rate at which we want to attain it may be unrealistic. Establishing a “do what you can” mentality has helped me incrementally to end the macro outlook I had on goals that prevented balance between my work-life.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I make art that can be felt; Ethos Art. I am most proud of the growth that is visible in my photography. I think most photographers begin with taking a “certain” kind of photo, and from there, you explore. My exploration of self and my exploration of various photography genres has helped me to get to where I am today, creatively. Professionally, I grew when I decided to connect with other people, create foundations of reciprocal support, and collaborate aesthetics. One of the lessons that I have learned along the way is that you must stay true to self. What does not align with self, is not always for you, so it’s important to reflect and evaluate frequently. Lately, I have gotten asked, “what is my goal with my photography” many times. So, I want people to know… my photography conveys my thoughts, my feelings, and because of that I want to continue to connect with people that can be honest with themselves. I want to continue to connect with people who have a story they want to tell. I want to connect with people who don’t care about placing a facade for the world, and would rather be authentic. Vagabond Aesthetics is for people who know that there is beauty within their own truth.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
This is an interesting question because we are under quarantine right now. However, if we were not under quarantine. I would probably take my best friend biking through Buffalo Bayou, we could eat at a Herban Frequency, then continue to talk and catch up. For the entire week, we would probably have a picnic, cook our own food sometimes, and go to different vegan restaurants. For my idea of fun activities, we could walk around Houston, take pictures, read, maybe see a good movie or just rent one on our own accord.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I believe that first, I would need to give a shoutout to my parents. Whatever I said that I wanted to do, they never stopped me, and gave me enough room to grow into who I wanted to be. Sometimes it’s important to have people in your life that don’t limit your “what” with “how.” Meaning, we all have our goals and destinations, and how we get there are by our own choice. We have the right of choice, so I appreciate them for supporting my autonomy. I have grown many friends within the sphere of photography. I thank all of those friends for allowing me to be who I am, and accepting my form of the craft. Chena, Brianca, Pierre, Tynaya, Melo, Chapo, Harris, Jeston, and Johnathan. Teaching wise, I’d like to give a shoutout to Nicolle, Molly, Melissa, Samantha, and Erica. I’ve learned so much from them in ways that they may not even know, but within watching how they interact with others or their nobility in the choices they make daily; I have a lot of value of life from them. They’ve taught me how to have support, accept it, and how to create a balance within life.
Other: Voyage Houston Interview: http://voyagehouston.com/interview/meet-deidre-johnbaptiste-vagabond-aesthetics-photography-baytown/
All photos were taken by Deidre JohnBaptiste of Vagabond Aesthetics.