noun || yəNG ˈhefā
Asia Riddick is the founder of The Afro Bleus.
YJ: What’s your current hustle?
AR: Aside from being a full-time college student, I'm the founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Afro Bleus, a fashion, art, and culture digital magazine geared to cultivating community and inspiring creatives. It was birthed a little over a year ago, and every single day is an adventure. I enjoy and am appreciative for every bit of it.
YJ: Has what you’re doing now been a life-long interest?
AR: No, actually. I was immersed in the world of science once upon a time when I was a biology major, and by that I mean a year and a half ago. The plan was always to become a doctor, but I realized that wasn’t my dream. I wouldn’t have been living in my truth if I went down that career path. I absolutely, love what I do now, and don’t regret my decision one bit.
YJ: When did you realize you could succeed in your (current) respective field?
AR: Success is such a subjective term, as it won’t look the same to me as it does someone else but I’d say it was a combination of three things, passion, purpose, and ability. Realizing that I’m actually, passionate about what I do. Work shouldn't feel like a chore. Knowing there's purpose in it because it has to be bigger than me. And having the ability to do it well.
YJ: What do you think is unique about your creative process?
AR: Processes are often, recycled so, I’m not sure if mine is as much unique as it is refined and tailored for what works best for me. Taking notes from other creatives and innovators, past and present one thing that's huge in my creative process is writing everything down. I have a bullet journal, and there, I write all my thoughts, ideas, and questions, down. It's something, powerful about writing things down, making it happen, and crossing it off your list.
YJ: How do you "practice" your craft?
AR: I do, and I fail. I'm a firm believer that you learn better that way. Both are inevitable if you're serious about growing and getting better at your craft, they're integral parts of the process. In my practices, I've had to learn that it's okay to not always get things right because often, its the fear that something may not go well, that holds us back. Fear of failure and the unknown stunts growth so, I try my best to not give in to it.
YJ: What would you say to someone who may think that their talent is not an ideal career path?
AR: Well, if we look at ideal as being synonymous with 'perfect,' then you must first let go of the idea of perfection. If you don't, it'll hold you back from making your designated mark on the world. Don't let your gifts go to waste trying to fit your talent in a box two sizes too small. If you have a gift, use it. Essentially, you have to believe in what you want to do, and though that's not always easy, once you do, the journey you're on will become much more clear.
YJ: What’s been your favorite collaborative project thus far? And why?
AR: They’re all my favorite. I'm really big on narratives, and each collaborative project we’ve done tells its own story. All are equally special to me so I couldn't choose just one. The creatives we’ve had to opportunity to work with are amazing, and I'm grateful to, through TAB create with them.
YJ: What are you still looking to achieve?
AR: So many things! I could go into a full fledge dissertation on what I envision for the future, but one thing that's top of mind is inner peace. It's something that's an ongoing process for me. Peace of mind is necessary for my functionality so, as long as I'm at peace with myself, and what I'm doing I believe everything else will fall into place in due time.