Being a Black creative isn’t as simple as people make it seem. In many creative spaces, Black people have been shut out and forced to pave their own lanes in order to thrive. TTK Harris, a senior art director at Havas Chicago–a multi-cultural ad agency–has created a short documentary titled Just Like Me. The doc shows that despite the obstacles and hurdles, there’s always a way to do what you love.
Harris said he created Just Like Me to “celebrate the people that helped [him] get to this point.” The documentary highlights different Black creatives in advertising industries–places where Black people have previously been shunned from and turned away.
Having done projects for Nas, Run The Jewels, and even Urban Outfitters, Harris knows a thing or two about finding success doing what he’s passionate about. “If you love something and give it your all, you can live off [of] that,” Harris told True Star participants during a recent Havas tour.
A screening of the short doc took place at Havas. It definitely wasn’t your typical office building. It features lots of artwork, colors, games, open work spaces, and more. Havas is a place that allows creatives to create without judgment or limitation, something that many Black creatives are deprived of.
Being a photographer and journalist, I’ve definitely noticed that it’s harder to get my foot in the door. Seeing Harris and all of the other Black creatives making a name for themselves, makes me more optimistic to continue doing what I love.
Harris offered these words of advice for young creatives: “Don’t doubt yourself,” he said. “The ideas you have aren’t crazy. They’re crazy if you don’t do them.”
You can view the Just Like Me short documentary by clicking here.
By Cierra Lemott, Junior, Columbia College Chicago
Instagram: @cece.kodak / @kodakscamera