We had the good fortune of connecting with Broderick Flanigan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Broderick, what’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
To not let fear stop me from actively working towards and realizing my dreams, goals, and aspirations. I was gripped by fear of failure, fear of making mistakes, fear of success, etc. Once I got rid of the fear-based thinking and stopped letting fear keep me from pursuing my passion, I began to blossom as a creative entrepreneur.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art is part of an ongoing dialogue with the past, present, and future of Black life in America. It broadly examines the tension between survival and leisure. I’m constantly looking for ways to add depth to my work. What sets me apart from most is the ability to connect my work to the community and causes people care about while simultaneously creating opportunities for “Other”. So far I’m most proud of a series of works I did in 2019 called “Sitting with the Elders” in which I highlighted some of the lesser known Black figures in my hometown of Athens Ga. I got where I am today as a creative through intentional networking supportive collaborations and people who believed in my creative vision/direction. It has not been easy. I’ve been able to overcome many challenges by asking for help and guidance from people who have been where I’m trying to go. There’s a wealth of knowledge out there and asking the right questions to the right people can go a long way. I’ve learned many lessons about myself along the way. What it means to be free or exercise one’s freedoms, what true justice looks and feels like, how to work through disappointment and low points as a creative, how to forge new paths that lead to greater opportunity, how to set boundaries and protect my peace and creative spirit, and how to enjoy the successes. I want people to know how rewarding it is to come to a place where what you do for a living, your passion, and your purpose align in a way that brings value to me and my life as well as to the lives of others. It is my desire for everyone to experience this.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’d take them to bishop park and Thomas N lay park to play basketball and hopefully catch some good pick up games. I’d take them to grab lunch or dinner at Rashes Cusine, Clock’d, Mannawenta, Food for the Soul, and Dawg Gone Good BBQ. We would hang out in downtown Athens and catch live jazz, hip hop, or good bands and meet interesting people. We’d also hang out at the Rail and shoot pool and try not to get hustled. We’d grab a drink at Porterhouse grill or Normal Bar. Lastly wed have to do a studio visit with sculptor Harold Rittenberry and take a guided tour of The historic Hot Corner and the Morton Building with Enightened Media Productions. I’d take the visitor salsa dancing at Little kings.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My mom has been a driving force of inspiration for my success. Both in a direct nurturing way and in a more indirect way. She taught me many lessons about uncoditional love, persistence, and resilience. A mothers love knows no bounds.