We had the good fortune of connecting with Haley Dani and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Haley, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk means being willing to fail and try again. I’ve struggled with perfectionism, so risking failure has always been terrifying. I’ve always wanted to be good at something from the jump and it took a lot of time to be real with myself and say that that’s just not how it’s going to work. There are a lot of opportunities that I could have said no to because I didn’t feel ready or like I was capable of being successful but I had to push through those negative self thoughts and just take action. The anxiety only lasted up until the moment that I actually experienced the opportunity and then everything fell into place and made more sense.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I feel that what sets me apart is literally self explanatory. My artistic expression has come from an accumulation of influence, personal experience, and perspective that is true to me and that no one else is capable of experiencing. I’m just so proud and excited to share my journey with whoever is willing to listen. It has taken a lot of courage for me to come out of my shell and share my art without fear. I think just being authentically myself and just continuing to push myself outside of the bounds has gotten me to where I am today. Forcing myself to have that conversation with that person that I felt extremely intimidated by got me that gig I always dreamed of. Learning to build my website and brand from scratch got me recognition that I didn’t think it would. Through it all, I’ve just learned to trust my vision and go with what felt authentic to me even if I make something that isn’t that great.. I know that I’ll do better next time. As long as you continue to elevate yourself in the face of imposter syndrome, you will manifest who you want to be before you even realize it’s happening. My brand is just about being who you are and not being afraid to express that in whatever form you want to express it. Transformation and change is inevitable so it’s important to be fluid and allow your identity to live in the moment.
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.
Well firstly it depends on who the friend is! But if they are anything like me, I would probably take them to some local museums to check out some art to get inspired. I always love going to shows so I’d pull them along to maybe 529 or The Earl for some live music. I would have to take them to some of my favorite food spots. Nuevo Laredo and Lloyds are a couple of my favorite food spots but there are SO MANY and I love to eat.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Over the past few years, I’ve done volunteer work for a non profit organization called “Ma’s Street Meals” and I feel that they deserve recognition because I have been overwhelmingly touched by the experience I’ve had working with them. The organization was curated by the Kashi Atlanta Ashram in Candler Park. Every week, we meet at the Ashram and gather all of the food prepared from the night before to haul over to a safe house in Downtown Atlanta. We then serve food to the people who frequent the safe house. When everyone has their meal, we sit with them and talk to them and hear their stories. I can’t even describe some of the emotions I feel coming out of that experience. It’s truly eye opening and a blessing to be able to break bread with some of these humans who have had it extremely tough yet they persevere. Some of the best conversations I’ve had in my life have been under the roof of the safe house.
Joelle Grace, Ren Adkins