We had the good fortune of connecting with Paul & Andrea Stafford and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Paul & Andrea, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
We both had this natural drive to pursue an artistic and creative career after slowly dropping out of college. I studied architecture for 4 years at Southern Polytechnic State University, now KSU. My wife studied broadcast media journalism at Georgia State University. We struggled with trials of life, making school become a major challenge for us; I had a dark battle with depression and suicidal thoughts while my wife (then girlfriend) was homeless in and out of shelters. After a few years of overcoming and healing from each obstacle, we married and started our life together. Equipped with this creative outlet, realizing there is a serious career potential in this unconventional profession.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Our faith based foundation and our actual love for each other sets us apart. We build each other as husband and wife team, realizing our downfalls and encourage each other to push our creative barriers. Alone, you can go a distance, but together has proven that Mad Dope is unstoppable. Per life, our journey has not been easy; from bouts of depression, homelessness and hopelessness but we make it a priority to look to God, uplift each other and surround ourselves with a strong village. We have learned that, and encourage others to, at the lease try! Because you will often fail, yet we do not have the spirit of fear, but of power, love and sound mind.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We love Ponce City Market and the belt line. We remember when we was in school and before it have became a hot spot and more developed, I remember doing design and urban planning project all around that space. So many views like and place to eat and play, you can find whatever you need there.
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?
*Grabs mic*: Ahem Ahem is it on!? “First of all, we give honor to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ who is the head of lives…” We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our large family who love us and supported us. To each of our combine 20 something siblings and especially to each of our wonderful and amazing mothers to give undying support. To our True Church of God in Christ family and friends, Words of Life and our Pastor Boyd. Also to my late father, William H. Stafford Sr. who always wanted to the best for me.
Facebook: Mad Dope Studios
Photo credit: India Milan Photography Photo credit: MadDope Studios