We had the good fortune of connecting with Kymani Roach and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kymani, can you share the most important lesson you’ve learned over the course of your career?
The most important lesson I learned from my business is that you have to make moves without supervision or guidance. Just be you basically. I can say that this journey would have been much easier if someone was there to mentor me but it wasn’t. As a creative, it’s actually essential to research, learn, and work on your own to achieve the success you desire. Understanding how to do things yourself makes learning with others or helping others easier and more lucrative. It also shows your work ethic when it comes to accomplishing something you put your mind to. In this very interesting world, you do need to know how to “put yourself on” because not everyone shares the same vision and it’s survival of the fittest out here.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art is a depiction of me. Most times I do have ideas and concepts around what I’m shooting but the essence of how I felt at that moment is always portrayed in the final product. I’d like to think of my art as just another representation of my persona and how the world effects it from time to time. This has actually made me proud of myself overtime. Last year, I dyed my hair and decided to create a shoot based on other black individuals with dyed hair. This was just a genuine shot at learning more about my community and the people that live in it. Even now, I still create in the same mindset as when I started; doing it for me. I believe that’s how I got here. Although monetary value will be inevitable, it was never about the money when I started. I even started with a Nikon D90 that was gifted to me by my cousin. With not much to do with 12MP, I really fell in love with just photos and frames in general. Soon I had to learn what do to this with this passion, which is a huge struggle for most and was for me as well. Building this passion in college was also a challenge for me due to my lack of knowledge when it came to the history fashion, photography and film. Not knowing what exactly to shoot or how to go about an idea is truly a fight of the mind. I’m glad I had people in the right and wrong places to guide me on this journey it’s been. I’m also excited for my future work with the ideas I have plan to execute.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
In the city of Atlanta, there is a lot of fun to have. At times, anyone can experience even the small things that go on in the city. I’d say the first stop for any visitor would be areas around Lenox Mall and Atlantic Station. As busy as it gets, this area has a lot of food and shopping opportunities like Adidas, Fendi, Aldo, Prada, etc. There are also very nice museums like the High Museum of Art in Midtown, and the SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion & Film. Those are actually two of my favorite spots when new exhibitions roll in, there’s a lot to learn from what’s brought to those locations. If this area is too crowded, I’d suggest places like Lil 5 Points or Riverdale. I personally like the skate parks and communities in both places. A good visit would also be Ponce City Market. This area has great views, murals, and entertainment all around. Also going anywhere in Atlanta could give you the chance to meet any local celebrity.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Aside from my parents, I would like to shoutout my close friends Alex, Nick and Byron (Martez). These people were not only with me from the beginning but they believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. When I first started shooting, Nick was actually one of my first models and we still shoot together ’till this day. I’m mostly inspired by them to continue my passion and go bigger places with the collaborations I can create for myself and the world. Another shoutout I would like to make is to a friend who got me into reading the history between photography and fashion. This was another huge step I made to add more passion into my work and truly show what it means to create art that anyone can like.
Other: My website and youtube are currently in progress. I’d rather have things up before making it public.
Photo of me: Credits to Kendal Bessent @kendallbessent on everything