We had the good fortune of connecting with Jalaiya Bartley and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jalaiya, why did you pursue a creative career?
From an extremely young age I always knew I wouldn’t have a normal 9-5. If you could ask anyone in my family, I have always told them, literally since a kid, that when I grow up I wasn’t going to live a normal life. At the time, I didn’t know exactly what that would look like in the future, but I knew it would be something I enjoyed and something creative, where I could express myself. I also knew from a young age, something else I’ve been telling my family since being a little girl, that I wanted to be a model and actress because it was just another way to express myself. I never thought I would become a content creator/influencer as well, but the minute I saw that I could show the world who I was through that, I knew it was something I wanted to do! Not only that, but I grew up loving arts! I loved to paint, draw, write, sculpt, sing, dance, and literally so much more, so it was only right I pursue artistic/creative careers! I find that I express myself best from creating!

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I see modeling and acting as a form of art. I am able to express myself with my body movements, my emotions, my facial expressions, my tone, etc. It’s so much more than just a career to me and when it comes to content creation, it has become such a huge part of my life. I think my authenticity in each aspect of my careers is what sets me apart. I am always true to myself and my audience. I don’t put up a facade to portray myself as someone I’m not. Who everyone sees online is who I am in real life and I think that is what has attributed to my success. I am so excited about recently signing to a modeling agency in New York City! Also, film producers have shown interest in me which is extremely exciting to see where acting goes for me as well! I am currently rebranding and finding my true audience on social media, so that’s an exciting but scary process! I got to where I am professionally, by being dedicated and consistent in all that I do. Even when I feel like I want to give up, its the drive for success and my family/Jesus that keeps me going! It hasn’t been an easy process but it has been a BEAUTIFUL one! I’ve learned to just be true to who I am and have fun in the process. Life is a journey and that goes for careers too. There will be highs and there will be lows but it’s what you do with those highs and lows that make all the difference. Something I want the world to know about me is that is that I truly give my all to everything I set out for.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friend was visiting the area and I wanted to show them the best time ever, we would definitely go to downtown Houston and explore all the places, even places I haven’t been. We would of course go to my favorite coffee shops like Black Rock Coffee & Pj’s coffee! I would take them downtown to see the nightlife in Houston! We would go to the bars because Houston has really fun bars and great drinks! I would also set up a content day where we would get a few different outfits, pack them in my car, and drive around Houston finding different locations and taking pictures and switching outfits at each location! We would start in the morning at a nice breakfast place to fill up our bellies before we start! Then we’d go to our first & second location, take pics/videos, then grab some lunch, more pics/videos, and end with dinner/dessert! I think that would be so fun and exciting!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I could not be where I am at now without my family and Jesus. I know it sounds very generic, but truly they have been my biggest supporters with EVERYTHING I have ever wanted and/or pursued in life. They have always pushed me to strive for more out of life. They keep my head up when I feel discouraged and want to quit. There have been a few times where I almost gave up with content creation, modeling, and acting. It was a tough time but my family and God are the only reason I am still doing what I’ve always dreamed of. They encouraged me, after leaving behind track and field, to keep going and pursue my other careers. So, huge shoutout to Jesus and my family!

Instagram: @jalaiyabartley

Other: Tiktok: @jalaiyabart_

Image Credits
first photo: @corry_photos (Corry Bergel)

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