We had the good fortune of connecting with Jamie Robertson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jamie, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I’ve always been creative but I did not consider it an actual career choice until I took a career aptitude test in undergrad. Even after the test, I still was trying to choose a creative career that leaned more on the traditional route. I was scared to pursue a completely creative career because there is no one way to become an artist. There is a lot of uncertainty and I don’t have much of a safety net. I worked in arts administration for a while and realized that something was missing. I wanted to make art. Going back to school (for the third time) to pursue an MFA really helped me conquer my anxiety and allowed me to see that I could define my own path as an artist. That sense of control over my career is liberating.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My creative practice is an autobiographical examination of history and identity in the African Diaspora through the mediums of photography and video. I earned a BA in Art and MFA in Studio Art with a concentration in photography and digital media from the University of Houston. This year, I started a podcast with my co-host, Marcelese Cooper, called Where I See Me, which examines the presence of Black and Brown people in comics and media. I am really excited about my forthcoming photobook, Charting the Afriscape of Leon County, Texas which is being published in December 2020 with Fifth Wheel Press.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I don’t really go out much now, pandemic and all. Prior to COVID, I loved going to The Flat, Under the Volcano, and Voodoo Queen. They are three of my favorite bars in Houston. The Strawberry Basil Margarita and the Frozen Screwdrivers at Under the Volcano are perfect to cool off in the Texas heat. As for food, you can’t go wrong with Pappadeux’s, Ramen Tatsuya, and Helen’s Kitchen. Three very different places but all equally delicious.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Shoutout to my family, particularly my mom and my grandma for always encouraging me to pursue my dreams even when it wasn’t always clear to them.