We had the good fortune of connecting with Sydney Alexis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sydney, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk has taken me to the best and worst places of my life, and without it, I would not be who I am today nor have the life I have now. Risk isn’t the tricky part in my opinion- Fear and doubt go hand-in-hand with the risk you are taking. It’s up to you to believe in yourself while taking those jumps and trust the process. We are our worst enemies and our biggest cheerleaders. I’ve had the cards stacked against me more than they were for me plenty of times. If it weren’t for my close circle and my perseverance, my fear of failure would have gotten in the way and who knows where that would have taken me. Throughout my process, I knew if I didn’t take action on certain opportunities I potentially would never reach my end goal. At some points, the risk is lonely. You lose a lot when you take these steps to a higher version of your creative/career self. Being on the other side of the first chapter in my professional life, I can say with confidence I made the right decision by choosing my career over certain things. Most of the time we already know what isn’t the correct decision for us but we choose to ignore our intuition. I used to ignore my gut feelings and push through because I wanted something so bad, but I’ve learned too many times that what is meant for you will be presented to you. My easiest elimination process during the hardest times went something like this: Is this person/event/thing going to matter to me in 5 years? Does this potentially steer me away from my potential life goals? Does this persons perspective alter mine in any which way? Do I need this right now? Will I look back and be grateful for this experience? When I think about this person/place/thing how does it make me feel? My biggest fear at the beginning of my career was looking back in 30 years and wishing I would have tried to see if my dreams were possible. Risk was most of the time the only option for me. I tend to run side by side with it now. I am confident no matter what the decision is, that it is the right one for my path always. Risk has given me everything I could have ever wanted at this point in my life, but the fear of risk? That is a choice.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a photographer and mixed media graphic designer. The arts have been my passion since I was a kid, and have played a significant role in my everyday life. As an artist, I find my most unique attribute is my tones, organic flow, and messages. While photographing clients, I don’t necessarily tell them to pose even. It’s important for me to have my subjects be their most comfortable self. I do paint and draw as well. While painting or drawing I really focus on my internal feelings (happy or sad ones) and really try to express myself through those patterns. I find it extremely therapeutic. Right now I’m most proud of how far I’ve come as an artist in all realms. It’s something I am so passionate about I genuinely could not see my life any other way. I am always striving to better myself, whether it be in Photoshop, Acrylic paint, photo composition, or even just creative work flow. “Worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt” -Sylvia Plath My professional route was a little bit different than most. I did not attend a University and chose to go the hands-on experience way instead. Depending on your career field, I believe sometimes this is the better option. It was extremely hard to get where I am, but I learned a lot on the way. While at a University they teach you functionalities of your career, how to get there, what tools you’ll need, and what an all-star employee looks like, they don’t teach you what is the unprofessional side or just basic do’s and don’ts. In the field, I was able to experience those do’s and don’ts first hand without making them myself most of the time. I was able to hear my bosses and mentors vent about what they wish their employees would do and how much easier certain things would be if someone knew how to do “blank”. I took those comments, ran with them in my personal free time, and became that employee + who I knew I wanted to be in my professional world. “The elevator to success is out of order. You’ll have to use the stairs…one step at a time.” -Joe Girard It was not easy by any means going this route, but it was so worth it for my career path. As I mentioned before, I took extreme risks and lost a lot of people I was close to. I sacrificed big parts of myself and my familiarities to be something greater than myself. “You will have to sacrifice something from your current self to become the next version of yourself” -Unknown & “F-E-A-R has two meanings; ‘Forget Everything And Run’ or Face Everything And Rise'” -Zig Zalar. One of the main lessons I learned was to never doubt my intuition because most of the time is it right. Gut feelings are our body’s physical way of communicating with us on an intimate level-How could we ignore that? Once I started trusting what my body was relaying to me, I felt so much more in tune with myself and the things around me. Although you might not understand what you are feeling right away or even for months down the road, trust those messages. “Gut feelings are guardian angels” My brand is a visual story of the emotions and patterns in my life; It is a front-row view into my brain. I am thankful for the opportunities it has provided to me, and I know there is so much more to come from it. My art is the carving points in my past, present, and future self with a twist. I will never not be an artist, and that is something I am grateful for.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Phoenix holds a dear place to my heart and always will. There are so many parts to treasure and show a visitor! Some of the most fun things to check out when we are able to be in public a little more freely are our downtown farmers market, First Friday, live music @ Shady Park, Sunbar, or Valley Bar, national parks, and Saguaro Lake in the summertime! Eat: -Shady Park Tempe -Authentic Thai Kitchen on 12th St (Uptown PHX) -Liberty Market -Casey Moore’s Oyster House -Two Hippies -Taco Guild Drink: -Bevvy’s -Shady Park Tempe -Postino -Lux -Valley Bar -Lacuna Kava Bar Visit: -Sedona -Tempe Beach Park -Downtown Phoenix -South Mountain -Flagstaff -Lockette Meadow (in Fall) -Hole in the Rock
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Gosh, there are so many people and organizations that have gotten me to my current position. To start off- I’d like to thank my Shady Park/Sunbar Tempe team, Ryan Cornelius, Michael Nocera, and Shawn Erickson. These boys pushed me to be a better photographer and learn to accept corrective criticism from a place of love. They believed in me and my photos even when I didn’t. My team at Relentless Beats, Dylan Arndt and Melissa Szenda, for taking a risk on the undereducated girl with big dreams back in 2018. This position altered my perspective on my industry and set me up for what I want to do for my career long-term. My current wonderful marketing bosses at Item 9 Labs, Hannah Dahlgren and Kyle Jennings. From the minute I interviewed here they were extremely excited to work alongside me and build this shift in our company. Special thank you to Hannah for believing in me before our first in-person interaction. This job has pushed my creative/professional goals to my maximum and made me into a better employee. Thank you for taking the risk with me, from the bottom of my heart to all of these individuals. You have altered the course of my life and my professional career forever. I applaud you in your honesty, friendship, and transparency.
Website: Under construction
Linkedin: Under construction