Black Creatives Japan was launched for over a year, and has over 500 members. This made it hard for me to choose the first Creative to post about. Due to a very recent collaboration with Kirk Brown, it was only fitting to have him kick off this blog of Creatives.
Kirk is the creator and author of the blog, Jamaipanese.com and I had the opportunity to be interviewed in his recent podcast. Kirk has been blogging for over 10 years in Jamaica and has visited Japan once in 2011. Fortunately, I had a chance to meet him in 2011, and since then we have stayed connected via social media.
If you haven't already guessed, "Jamaipanese" is what Kirk calls a candid portmanteau of the words JAMAIcan and JaPANESE. Therefore, Jamai + Panese = Jamaipanese.
Now, some words straight from Kirk himself.
What inspired you to start your blog?
I have been fascinated by Japan from an early age. My initial introduction to Japan was when I read about the tragedy of WWII and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I was impressed on how a country ravaged by war recovered to be a great economic power within a few decades. I delved deeper into Japanese history, manga, anime, folklore, art and more. Soon I wanted to learn the language and signed up for classes at a local language school. My blog was originally started as a place where I could talk about my discoveries while learning about Japan and the Japanese language.
How would you describe your blogging style?
As an "old-fashioned" blogger I'd say my style is very personal. Blogs were originally online journals that geeks kept about their life, experiences, and interests. My blog has grown and evolved as I have grown and evolved. I can loosely track most of the major events and experiences of my life for the past decade through my blog. Even my writing style and interests changed as I grew from a teenager to a responsible adult. As someone who has been blogging before the explosion of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Snapchat and other social media platforms I have had the opportunity to experience how that has affected personal blogs and online relationships.
I invited you to my group BCJ. What interested you in accepting/joining?
BCJ is a wonderful initiative. I would say I am a creative person. I write, I blog, I have an interest in music and an appreciation for all types of art. Being around like-minded individuals, being able to collaborate or being inspired is important for the creative process and BCJ could be that melting pot for people of colour in Japan. I plan to move to Japan in the coming months and BCJ has already allowed me to test the pulse of creative activity and personalities all over Japan and I can't wait to meet some of the members of the group in person.
What is one of your creative goals for this year?
YOUTUBE! I've been on Youtube almost as long as I have been blogging. This year is the year I decide on what I am going to do on Youtube and being consistent about it. I've done everything from vlogging to gaming on Youtube but my major creative goal this year is to be disciplined about making videos. For me its not about fame/popularity; its about getting some of these creative ideas I can do with video out of my mind and into reality.
Will you ever visit again or plan to live in Japan?
Plans are in motion for me to move to Japan in July. I don't want to count my eggs before they hatch but it is looking more and more likely that I will definitely be successful with that goal. I'm hoping I can be somewhere that is not too much countryside but definitely not in the middle of a major city.
You've been blogging for quite some time, what advice would you give a beginner blogger (like myself)?
Be clear about your blogging motives. Ask yourself; Why should I blog? What do I have to share? What topics will I blog about? Blog your passion and stick to a particular topic or set of topics. Don't spread yourself too thin. Slow and steady especially in the early days and adjust your blog to your life and not the other way around. Let your personality shine through and collaborate with other creatives/bloggers as often as you can!
I want to thank Kirk again for this interview. I hope we can meet again this year and good luck!
Click below for all Kirk's linkable goodies:
Also, Kirk wrote a book! Check out The Jamaipanese Story now being sold on Amazon.com.
Black Creatives in Japan