Interview with Jacob Beam (@jacob2fire)

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Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path? 

Everything I do now is a result of intentional choices and thinking ahead, after that things fall into place. I do things backward. Literally, I’ll eat my dessert before the main course. So I decide what title I want – director for example, and figure everything else out afterward. I’m still figuring it out. I think other people do this and mess up when they shove things in people’s faces. I remember winning a local photography contest in 4th grade. Technically, I came in 2nd place – 1st place was given to a kid who went to the Grand Canyon which is across the country from Indiana. I thought my pictures of flowers and butterflies were better, I realized there are no rules. I remember being young and my mom started getting into photography, and my parents took hers more seriously than mine for a sec. I remember being frustrated and thinking.. but it’s my thing. She gave up quickly. Something about this helped me catch onto the reasons people respect your work or not. The art teacher at my middle school approached me one day saying she was starting a photography club, specifically for me. There were two other kids in the club and we’d walk around and shoot, use the darkroom after school. I’m a digital artist and entrepreneur. The high school pushed me away from photography because I didn’t see myself surviving with it. The photography teacher at my high school sucked big time – he only gave attention to girls and made everything boring and difficult. I couldn’t afford my own camera to do anything professional with, and no one around supported things like taking pictures. Instagram really helped boost the importance of photography in this day and age. High school is when I got into design and business. I had a good graphic design teacher and started a consulting business with two of my best friends. We did websites for a local fitness center, and doctor. During high school Vine was big – I actually got it the first day it came out. I predicted it would pop and I ended up with 200,000 followers. Mostly doing stop motion animations. This led me to work with a startup company in Lexington – where I got to see the ins and outs of tech and advertising business. I studied Media Advertising at Indiana University, and it wasn’t until that time where I could afford a nice camera. I worked as a photographer for the daily student newspaper. At first, no one let me take pics of them – I never wanted to beg anyone, and they knew I was good – but no one wanted to take the time of day. I helped my friends do sorority recruitment videos for like $2,000. I started a clothing brand – a collection of graphic designs on tees and hoodies with a website. It was pretty cool and I got some attention – the one friend I trusted to collab with me on it, was a senior photographer and he died in a car crash. I didn’t really try to continue the clothes thing after that. I tried directing a music video but let the artist and my other friends take control to avoid conflict. It wasn’t until I dropped out and lived in LA till people took me seriously. After the clothing brand, I started making beats. I would leave my dorm room – sit in my car with the laptop plugged into the aux and produce.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started doing this? 

Spent the night at Dan Bilzerian’s once, fixed the aux, and started playing music at Diplo’s grammy party once. Took a piss next to Flume. None of them have any idea who I am. 

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”? 

I would be brutally honest with yourself and others, think like a child. Don’t let people boss you around, and don’t boss people around. If you don’t want to burn out, sleep more – haha, everything else can wait. 

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story? 

My mentor Quincy, gives me audio engineering and songwriting lessons. Erik Zamudio and Gregg Morton – they created the business Fooji and were the first people to give me a good job. Anyone that’s let me take their picture, anyone who’s answered my questions about music. Often times people make things out to be big hard tasks – when in reality it’s like – turn that knob left. 

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? 

I’m here for anyone – I’m down to give advice because no one wanted to give me advice, I feel like a crowbar. I let Lucas Lex sell merch on my website – we sold like 70 shirts and it was all for Black Lives Matter. I want to take more pictures of the homeless and give them a spotlight. 

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life? 

I think about quotes and things all the time. 2 The side is an idea of protection, I can be a demon or angel any time I need to. Amor Fati – the love of one’s fate. “You’re gonna blow it’s just timing.” – Octavian

How can our readers follow you on social media? 

Twitter @x2sides, 

Instagram @jacob2fire

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