Our 'ON THE SPOT ' interview series highlights individuals throughout the creative community for their contributions to art and culture. Putting these artists "on the spot" we created a space where creatives and innovators tap into the conversation to uplift and continue to inspire the creative community. Next up is...Balioriginal.
Originality is the key to great content. South African artist Balasela Sipamla, known as Balioriginal, creates story-telling content by bringing out people’s individuality. Rich in color his images are intimate moments caught in time. His work has been featured in several publications and he produces commercials for small businesses, ad agencies, and some big franchises such as Audi, Remy Martin & Black Label. Using his storytelling skills to create memorable photos, videos & other media that leave an indelible impression on viewers. Balioriginal hopes to impact & inspire the youth through his art and journey.
What's the best thing you've done, simply because you were told you can't?
The best thing has to be believing in my vision still in High School. In the small city, the creative culture wasn't understood and accepted very well. The market & demand for this business is also very small. So being a young Black African kid , not many of my African brothers supported or understood the path I had chosen. I quit playing Rugby (which I was good at) for my passion to pick up a camera. It raised many questions but I still stood firm and believed that I was years ahead of my time. Having picked up two years of experience capturing content for the school magazine has helped me a lot. My the time I finished school I was pretty used to a camera and knew very well how to use it. I took a gap year. In that gap year the passion became serious. I started earning money which was a big motivator to keep me going. So the best thing has to be staying committed to my creative journey and not giving up with all the odds against me.
What are you manifesting in 2023?
I have a few career goals on my list. I'd love to achieve at least one of them this year, I want to join a magazine company and become an in-house house photographer. Gain more corporate clients for more commercial deals. I need more than I have already. Shoot a commercial/ad deal for a big franchise and for the content to be used for digital marketing and a lot more brand partnerships/sponsorships. Grow my social media presence for my work to reach many users and potentially grow my clientele. Purchase new equipment and gear to improve Original Productions Originalproductions.co.za and relocate to Johannesburg for better business
If you could build your dream creative team who would it be?
Sam Dameshek & Brendon North. They're both photographers who I'd like to work with. More importantly, I'd love to learn from them. Peter McKinnon is also a Videographer I would love to sit down with him and have a conversation about his work, editing methods, and tips and tricks.
What have you grown to love and/or outgrown in the past year?
What I've grown to love in the last year has to be my improved editing skills with my work. My wardrobe as well has to be on this list. Love my new attitude toward my ambitions which has pushed me to take my work much more seriously than I did two years ago. The two things I've outgrown are definitely my old editing presets + my old fashion sense/style. That most definitely improved.
How do you feel about this statement: "Black Artists Matter"...
I 100% agree. I feel like our culture as black people is exploited for entertainment purposes to generate as much money as possible. Little do people know that we Black artists barely get compensated for our work. When we do we're expected to be cheap, especially by our own community as well. Black artists need more opportunities and resources to be given a chance for their work to be recognized & respected.
What creative source or outlet do you often visit to get inspiration and renew your creativity?
I like to browse through Pinterest, Instagram, and Behance when I get the chance. I'll save something I find intriguing for inspiration.
What are you unapologetic for?
Definitely my confidence & personality. They most definitely show in my character.
Have you ever had a "this can't be happening" moment? Tell us more about this experience.
It has to be when my work went viral on Twitter early October last year with 1 Million impressions. My friend Trevor Tewo and I were on a radio station headline in Zimbabwe. He brought forth the idea and I made it come to life. This also happened a week after my first business trip. I was on an all expenses paid trip to film and sports tournament as part of the media team. Those two consecutive weeks were definitely that moment for me.
If you were to throw a message bottle into the ocean, what would it say?
May Original Productions reach unimaginable heights. May I earn my country's respect and love for my work. May they always be my supporters as I want to work in the UK as well. May I make sure I got enough money to take care of my mom as she has raised me. Lastly, May I live long and be remembered for the legacy I'm building for my last name.
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