Empress and Her City: DC Web Fest 7
Empress & Her City: DC Web Fest
I had the immense pleasure of attending DC Web Fest 7th annual festival April 12th-13th. Alongside my fellow creatives in DC Kawaii style, Ipukekawaii, and Noirhus. I refuse to diminish how important attending this indie festival was for me. This opportunity was not only a blessing but incredibly eye-opening. I felt my inner purpose growl in pride like a proper Leo as I released that my efforts with Jadedisland aren't in vain. My purpose and dream are no longer a mental idea but a reality that I'm living. It's my kawaii memoir, and I'm feeling my soul rise up within my writing work.
Fulfill me Digitally Friday:
I was so nervous I didn't know what to expect for my first networking event as the artist and creator Jadedisland. I'm glad I wasn't alone. We arrived at Google Headquarters. Listen. I really wish I worked for Google because oh my stars and cosmos their place is fantastic. I was in awe to be in the event that was hosted by Google. My favorite part is how creative their space is! Before I go on a tangent and talk about Google, let me tell you about my Friday Festivities.
We walked in grabbed badges, KIND bars, and I screamed when I saw Otessa. Grabbed a quick hug and went to await the opening ceremony. I should have screamed louder. When Otessa took the stage and opened up the event, I was in awe. She commands presence. She invites charm, intellect, and power singular and that's unforgettable. It was such a warm reception that I felt even more hype and energized about being at DC Web Fest. Afterward, the Kawaii gang and Security (Aquarius) rushed to the bathroom before headed to the General Assembly Dual Courses.
First, we attended the course on "Digital Marketing" with Kelly Aratoon by General Assembly. Now, I won't go into all we learned there because then this won't be a blog post but instead a short story. I will say, that being creatives having this opportunity to learn more about digital marketing was not only empowering to share that drive and ambition with the others in the room. It was also just a positive and supportive learning space, and I miss that. I love engaging with new things and learning so having the chance to be in a classroom setting again was fun. We also attended a panel on how to manage IP and understand the legalities of that process and its applications in real time by local activists. That panel was also insightful to recent events and helped provide an idea on how to navigate the law with your intellectual property.
We ended our day with DC Web fest then. Taking the chance to grab Ramen and have a photoshoot in Chinatown. It was a fulfilling day, but I was excited for the next day!
I rushed from Sakura Matsuri worried I was late. I was pressed about attending the Bloggers fireside chat because I remembered Otessa asking me about it. When I finally did arrive, I realized the reason why she asked was because I was talking in the panel?! I had nervous sweats I'm not the best with public speaking. I still have excessive room to grow in sharing my craft and art by speaking out loud. I was so startled by the idea I had a kawaii panic up until they started. What I came to understand only a little bit later, is that this experience was necessary and a big step in growth for me.
Jadedisland vs. Bloggers Fireside Chat:
I'm so grateful that our panel moderator was someone from my home town. You have no idea how much that put my heart at ease, Diana really saved my anxiety from taking flight. I felt like I just conversing with a lost friend. A lot of the questions focused on the process of content creation and what we hope to do. I surprised myself by having answers straight from my heart not sound that bad. Some of my responses you can find on IGTV on my Instagram @Jadedisland. I was utterly in awe at how this conversation went about, especially with the elegance and honesty of my fellow creators. I was not only inspiring others but being inspired by my co-panelists. Each a content creator on the rise. I loved how we each approached the content creation process and how we handled the strain of being a woman in our fields when it comes to digital media and expression.
My favorite question asked how I approach content creation blocks or as I know it "Writers Block" which you can find my response on Instagram. After the panel ended, I was interviewed by Click on This, which is featured on their Instagram and series. I was approached later and told that my answers were charming from an older gentleman. I spoke with Podcast Maven who encouraged me about the answers I gave as a Black Femme, and from there I continued on networking after grabbing some Sweetgreen. A girl has got to eat.
Web Series Wonders:
I met some amazing people who submitted under the Web Series Category. Allow me to take a brief moment and tell you a little bit about their work and how amazing it was to interact with them. Aquarius and I were just eating our Sweetgreen, and soon our table was joined by creators from Changing the Narrative, and Diszha Nabani. I also got to meet the creators of Fake News Writer.
In this space, I was delighted to learn that Diszha Nabani is a project about keeping the language alive. I was even more glad to be introduced to the project in the live viewing of web series segment of DC WEB FEST. I admire storytelling that comes about as a way to preserve the culture and our heritage. As a descendant of the diaspora, I felt high respect for the nature of the series and the purpose.
What I love about this web series is its a conversation with an intention to share perspective. What I liked about meeting Patricia is that her openness in conversation also translates to the storytelling in her web series. I felt we related on a lot of topics from education to our experiences a Black women.
In a time of political unrest, a little satire and social comedy is needed. This web series delighted me, and the creators I met definitely showed me how writers can challenge history through a satirical lens.
Taking Home Gold:
I never expected to be acknowledged for my efforts in/for Jadedisland. When the words "Jadedisland" were announced my heart just fluttered. It was me, it was my name, my work called. I was so startled that I sat there in disbelief. Until I was urged to go up and accept the Gold award for digital expression.
When I reflect on how I felt in that space. I felt encouraged, a lot of creatives experience this "imposter syndrome" and I'm no stranger to that feeling but winning for digital expression reminded me that my work is a living story and I unify it over my social media in my own style and inspired by my own character creation. Yes, I was showcasing my work with my web series "The Rest of Forever" and supporting DC Kawaii Style, and I wasn't bringing Jadedisland alone without acknowledging the people who helped me voice my ideas and creativity so freely. I was grateful to be acknowledged, and experience what having a dream be a reality feels like.