This weekend creatives in Jersey City are coming together to celebrate the third annual Inspired Artist Movement conference. The Inspired Artist Movement (IAM) aims to help independent and emerging artists learn how to push their creative careers forward. The event includes speakers, performances and vendors. This years event features legendary hip-hop photographer Ernie Paniccioli, and an afternoon of inspiring creatives that make up our beautiful community.
I spoke with the creator of IAM, Josephine to learn more about her journey and what to expect from this year’s conference. Enjoy!
– How did you start Inspired Artist Movement and what were your initial expectations of this project?
I started IAM to level the plane of opportunity and access especially for artists who feel like the underdog. I grew up singing at the age of 4 and eventually started singing in a girl group called Mystiza. While working at Forever21, I was invited to audition for a girl group and the next day I was in. I appreciated and still do to this day, the opportunities it brought, the valuable lessons and the experience overall, but once the group split up, I didn’t know what to do or where to go. All I knew was that I was passionate about music and it was brought healing to my life. Shortly after, I was referred to a successful producer who worked with Mariah Carey. After talks with him about music, learning more about his work, to him meeting my mom as a sign of respect before a session, I felt good about potentially working together. We got to his studio and asked me how much I really wanted to do music and if I would take off my clothes for it. Did I see this coming? No. But so much of this happens in the entertainment field and I wanted IAM to respond positively by providing a safe space to learn from experienced artists, connect with their fellow creatives, encourage collaborations and ultimately, bring a community over competition experience to the forefront. My initial expectations of this project was for me to learn as an singer/songwriter what my next move would be. I’m a mother of 2 who has a full-time job, my time is limited and I needed to be more strategic as to what I wanted to spend my free time doing. I wanted to learn and meet people I wouldn’t otherwise meet and this is how IAM came to life.
– What was the hardest part in creating IAM?
I would have to say is finding people you can trust who can help build the movement with you. Many creatives are blessed to work with their best friends and they come up together. I don’t really have that luxury. I’m meeting new people and taking a risk and basing their character off of my direct experiences with them. I also have a high EQ and if I feel their heart and mind is in the right place, I’ll work with you. But unfortunately, this is a very cut throat field especially as a curator so if you’re not bringing something another person finds “valuable” that can serve their purpose and projects, you’ll get a lot of talk and empty promises. It is so crucial to have a team and people who care enough and see the vision of this. No one can do anything by themselves and if they do, it must be a very lonely road. Entrepreneurship is lonely as it is and I’ve come to learn this from my line of work as a Program Director of a small business training program called the Community Business Academy with Rising Tide Capital. But now being on this side of the coin, I feel what they feel.
– What has been your greatest reward since starting IAM?
The greatest reward is seeing people who are at IAM events having a great time, talking about how much they enjoyed it, hearing about what they learned. Knowing I’ve somehow touched someone’s life and made them feel special is one of the greatest awards for me.
– What is Inspired Artist Movement‘s mission?
The mission is to provide a platform for emerging and independent artists/creatives to be in the spotlight, to share their experiences, and be an inspiration to our IAM community.
– Tell us about this year’s conference?
We are excited to honor Ernie Paniccioli this year as our “Inspiring Artist” and we are also surprising him during that presentation of his award. We’ll have vendors, panel topics such as our signature “Inspirations of a Girlboss”, “I AM Entrepreneur”, “It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop”, “Issa Glow Up” and a fashion presentation by OTW Threads. We’ll have performances by Sade Emoni, Jmr Jcbs, Ezrakh, DJ BizzNice and our resident DJ Devi8tor Irs.
– What do you hope people take from the confrence?
My hope is that they feel more inspired than they did prior to attending. Inspired to keep going, to remain strong and not allow whatever they’re struggling with to get in the way of their passion to create and pursue their artistic endeavor.
– How do you find the artists involved in IAM?
I have found people through my experiences as an artist myself, who I’ve met along the way whether I’ve known them in my college days performing at Court Tavern in New Brunswick or through people within my network whom I trust. It really is a community organization because we all help each other at the end of the day. IAM‘s been blessed to work with an amazing group of ladies who are powerhouses themselves and they are: Flisadam Pointer, Julissa Bedoya, Marcia Senatus, and Alexis Krayniak. In addition to them, I have trusted friends and colleagues who I consider an advisor to IAM.
– What is something special about our local creative community and what is something we can do better as a community?
I see that more creatives in my local community really care about making a difference. And that is the heart and soul of IAM. It’s bigger than figuring out our careers because it’s bigger than life. It’s the positive social impact we make using our voice and artistry. I’d love to see more collaboration and less competition amongst fellow creatives moving forward.
– What are struggles creatives face and how can we work to overcome them?
I think creatives face doubt and for some of us, it takes a lot to keep going and believing in ourselves. If we can work together and not create borders, I think we can tackle that.
– What are ways for people to become more involved in the community?
Attend events, network, meet people. Coming together for a cause is always amazing. Offer help/support.
– Where do you see IAM headed in the future?
I see IAM making impacts in the West Coast and up north in Canada.
Be sure to enjoy this years conference by purchasing your tickets here.