We had the good fortune of connecting with Doni Smoot and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Doni, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Everything we do in life has risk, there is no getting around that. So life, to me at least, is about how much risk you can effectively manage at any one time and still win? I lean more towards the “High Risk, High Reward” end of the spectrum. It takes the same amount of energy, time, and mental effort managing low risk as it does high risk endeavors so why not go all the way?

At the end of the day it’s all about taking calculated risks that in the end will play towards your favor and long term goals.

“Fortune Favors The Bold!” as the adage goes.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
The Apeiros World Project is a sci-fi fantasy epic set within an afro-futuristic/cyberpunk visual narrative. The story world experience seeks to explore the themes of self identity, discovery, mystery, and wonder. Albeit told in an “authentic narrative” standpoint–by authentic narrative, I mean alternative cultural stories not of the typical mainstream Marvel, DC, or common tropes and story arcs. But narratives that relate to a much more diverse crowd of people hungry for great stories. Think Parasite Film, Squid Games, or Into The Spider-Verse.

I think what sets me apart is that I understand the intersection of art x commerce. Most artists, in all disciplines, generally aren’t great business people, typically due to their attachment to their work. It’s a personal relationship and I wholesomely agree, however, if you expect to make a living putting your creativity into the world then understanding the marketing and how to express the value of your work to the masses is supremely important. I guess that’s just a few things that makes me different. The challenges that come along with creating something out of nothing is often a matter of just getting noticed in the first place, there’s a lot of noise out in the world and competing for people’s attention and the most important thing I can say is to not give up no matter what and don’t be too narcissistic to ask for help. We all need support!

Where I’m most excited about currently is in the next 6 months to a year is being able to have Apeiros World Project out into the mainstream in a big way, most notably having it in production as an animated short; it’s definitely not an easy or cheap task to do properly, but I believe if I can approach things in a disruptive sort of way I have a chance of really captivating a lot of audiences just like Star Wars or Lord of The Rings did.

I think it’s important to have more black/multi-cultural led voices and stories in a positive light, and not from a cheaply “check the box” sort of storyline or ones that seem to continually exploit African American’s history with slavery, but from genuine narratives that have their own unique storytelling struggles. The Apeiros World Project is aiming for that in the sci-fi / fantasy space and it’s only getting started!

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.
One of the best areas in the US is Washington DC, so without a doubt we’re hitting up a coffee shop pronto! I’d probably visit The Coffee Bar on M st NW or Swings Roastery in Alexandria, VA. DC has everything and by extension so does the DMV– My itinerary would include many a local eateries, Ben’s Chili Bowl on U street, Duccini’s in Adam’s Morgan, Union Market DC full of new local businesses.

I love history and art so it wouldn’t be complete without checking out The National Gallery of Art, The Renwick Freer & Sackler Gallery, and Artechouse; the nation’s first digital art museum! A portion of the day strolling the national mall and checking out the Old Post Office Tower on 12th street NW and the top of the Kennedy Center for amazing views of DC. Georgetown can be a whole day adventure full of good shopping, so probably a stop by Grace Street Coffee, a Potomac boat cruise, or a stroll through the beautiful neighborhoods near Georgetown University.

In Eastern Marketing behind the Capitol a good friend of mine runs a leather goods store called Quavaro, which the quality and design’s of their bags are unmatched if you like high end luxury items at fair prices. These are just a few of the many many more areas and adventures I would take a friend to, but a nightly visit at the Tidal Basin, a short visit to the Wharf for a evening well spent, and then spending some time at the National Arboretum would make the list as well.

I’m missing a lot here because The Capital District has so much to offer!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Firstly, I have to thank God for blessing me with all my talents. The struggles that have come along in order to make me better, and the opportunities as well as the mental vision to see the world in a creative way a futurist’s mindset! And then there’s the untold millions of interactions with close friends, family, strangers, information people I’ve never met that have left some sort of impression upon me and who’ve I’ve become and how I approach my creative endeavors.

I also derive a lot of inspiration from music, video games, literature, and history. Films like Tenet, Mr. Robot, and Star Wars; to video game developers like Naughty Dog, Sony Santa Monica, & Square Enix(although there’s many more to name)! I get a lot of inspiration from music by artists like Empire of Sun, Tame Impala, Kanye West, Cudi, and Lupe Fiasco.

For some of my favorite author’s and books I have to give shoutouts to are Cornelia Funke, a German children’s author who really helped capture my love for fantasy narratives for children. Phillip Pullman’s Golden Compass trilogy for the amazing adventure and masterful storytelling. And I’d be remiss to not name The Eragon series, Artemis Fowl series, Animorphs, and Anything Michael Crichton.

It’s all fuel to drive the engine of creation!

Website: apeirosworldproject.com

Instagram: apeiros.world

Facebook: Apeiros World

Youtube: Apeiros World

Other: linktr.ee/apeirosworld

Image Credits
-Artworks created by Doni Smoot. Mona Finden. Antithesis Daily. Cyber Art by Justin. And Boris Narn for The Apeiros World Project

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