Subject: Miya Bailey

Shot by: Artemus Jenkins
Instagram: artemusjenkins

please do not remove this tag

"No New Friends"

Along with turning up, twerking and there being levels to this shit, (whatever this shit is) another commonly used phrase for 2013 is no new friends. No new friends is a very interesting concept, especially coming from someone who is in their mid 20’s. Apparently a 20 something can be so damn certain of their circle of friends, that they have no need for a single new one for the duration of their entire lives, riiiiight. I remember my friends and I saying shit like that when we were in our early 20’s as well, except personally I think saying we aren’t taking any new friendship applications is cooler than no new friends, but to each it’s own.

That being said, I’ve made at least a dozen new friends since I first said that dumb shit some years back; not just cool people to drink and kick it with either, but people who have added real value to my life and helped me become a better person. About 4 yrs ago I met Miya Bailey; the abridged version of how we met is basically he liked how my work looked and told me he had a business proposal for me. Although I was young in the film game (still am actually)I had already met my fair share of people who had these “wonderful opportunities” and projects that would provide me with “exposure” so I basically gave Miya the “yeah, whatever nigga” face and kept it moving. Had it not been for a new friend at the time who was ear hustling like a muhfucka, asking me “hey did you see what ole boy was talking bout, sound like he was talking bout some money” I wouldn’t have called Miya back, met up with him and gone on to make “Color Outside the Lines” which was a monumental stepping stone in my film career.

 Just to take you back to the process of making the film, it involved spending a shit ton of time with each other! So for three years, we spent days at a time, often in the same room, cars or tattoo shops working towards the goal of making an awesome film, that would redefine an entire culture; reason enough for two business minded people to tolerate each other right? Well as a lot of you know, we made the film and as you could’ve guessed by my awesome foreshadowing, we became damn good friends too. Funny thing is, I can’t pinpoint when it happened, but like all friendships I can think of, you just wake up one day and you enjoy the hell out of somebody’s company and they do nice things for you and you are happy for triumphs in their lives and you exchange advice and you don’t call each other all the time, but when you get together after a month or so, it’s still all good. And to think I wasn’t even gonna call this nigga back!

Now getting back to that part about adding value to your life, Miya may not even know this, but he has largely influenced my artistic growth. As a personality, I can be a bit…aloof at times, I blame my mother. She told me awhile ago “…you don’t need to be all up in everybody face tryna make friends, the people who need to be your friends will come to you”. MAN, did I ever take that shit to heart! Turns out Miya’s philosophy on art is very similar, to paraphrase it, if you create your own lane you don’t have to worry about competing with anybody else. Make art for the people who fuck with what you like to do, then once you identify those people give them everything you got and they will give it back. So when you see me making things like P.O.P and Smoke and Mirrors and whatever is next, a piece of that is influenced by those words. Those words and that ideology allow me to just create and not worry about if my shit needs more cowbell to please motherfuckers who don’t matter. I approach everyday and every project basically figuring out ways to make shit I like and even though I’m not rolling in dough(yet), I’m very happy not only with what I create, but with life in general; a stark contrast to my earlier days as a filmmaker.

Another thing I mentioned earlier was being happy for someone’s triumphs in life. Anyone who has spent time with Miya knows he is BIG into being a provider for family and friends. As we grew tighter I’ve heard plenty of conversations about getting a house for his wife and son; a goal every man should want for a growing family. When I heard that Miya had finally done everything he needed to make it happen, from finding the right neighborhood to getting those keys, I was excited for him.  Getting a whole ass house? Especially coming from an apartment in Vine City is a big fucking deal! So personally when I see these photos, they will always make me smile. I’ve got other photos of Miya, but these represent something totally different. When I look at these it’s the manifestation of dreams, hard work and love. A lot of people will see these and it’s just yet another dude with a french bulldog or yet another black dude with an old school he’s about to trick out. However those people don’t know what that dog means to him and may be overlooking what it’s like to actually find your dream car and buy it or the importance of having a yard that you can watch your kids grow up together and play in. How many people can really say they are doing exactly what they want and everything they earned is because of that?

I think by now it’s apparent this man has inspired the fuck out of me in 4 yrs and he should be an inspiration to anyone who takes the time to know his story. I don’t know how different a person I would be artistically without having developed the friendship Miya and I have, but I do know I’m proud to call this man a brother and I look forward to the paths we have yet to walk together in art and in life. If you are really that certain about life and you don’t like change, than I guess you can go on not making all the new friends you’d like. Even still though, adding one or two can’t really be that bad, can it?