This week’s dose of inspiration comes from London-based creator, Philip Joa.
Philip’s body of work covers an impressively wide range of media and subjects, but one particular interest of his caught this editor’s eye – his love of skateboarding.
From Portugal to Palestine, Philip has used skateboarding as a tool to bridge the divide between cultures and bring people together. He’s directed movies and written articles for global publishers such as Huffington Post about various examples of how skating has permeated the globe.
He also has a very interesting habit of repurposing forgotten flea market items into trendy designs and products.
Basically, he’s a creator’s creator, and we’re stoked to share his answers to our 5 Creator Questions this week:
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Philip Joa, a documentary filmmaker and photographer based in London, UK.
The type of work I do can differ massively from one project to the next, not only in the subject matter but also in what’s needed to tell the story in the right way. So I tend to wear many hats from filming and editing, to writing and graphic design.
How did you get started?
Much of that comes from being an independent filmmaker and having a DIY approach but also, when I got my start, I took on a variety of jobs in production and post-production to learn the ropes. I’m part of a generation of creatives who have a background in doing a bit of everything.
What sets you apart?
I think I’ve really run with that ethos, and I’ve always tried to push myself to experience life far outside my own world. That’s landed me in places I never imagined I’d be, doing things that constantly challenge me. Even if you don’t realise at the time, that ultimately reflects back on your work.
What obstacles did you have to overcome?
It’s not necessarily the easiest or clearest path, but it is rewarding. Often self-doubt can creep in but you have to remind yourself that, whilst someone else might have all the best or most expensive kit, you’re the right person to be telling this story.
Many of my subjects have become lifelong friends – which is crazy, even unorthodox – but in my case it’s very fulfilling to know that we’ve had an impact on each others’ lives in a positive way.
Do you have any tips for other creators?
I’m trying to progress and aim big, which hasn’t always come naturally to me. It’s easy to settle or feel that something’s beyond your reach. The only thing I’ve learned is that when you do put yourself out there and work on something you believe in, it really does take you in new and better directions.
Be like Philip – aim high and put yourself out there! The only way to get something done is to start, so dive in and get your hands dirty. Push yourself beyond your comfort zone and you’ll be surprised at how rewarding a challenge can be.
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