How We Got Here —
Gavin Guidry

Text by Charis Poon
Photos by Michael Kusumadjaja

Text by Charis Poon
Photos by Michael Kusumadjaja

Everyone’s journey is a unique inscription through time and isn’t a path that can be retraced or duplicated. How We Got Here is a series of concise recollections of personal journeys as told by talented creative individuals with different backgrounds, careers, and interests who share their struggles and motivations to explain how they reached this point in their lives.

We continue our series with Gavin Guidry, an Atlanta based photographer and videographer. For his account of how he got here, read on.

Gavin Guidry

— 27, Atlanta —

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As a kid I knew who I was: an excellent artist. I was always hungry to exercise my creativity, even to the point of becoming anxious and restless if I wasn’t making things. This feeling would come over me, almost like a nervous fit, until I could draw or build and get that energy out.

My dad saw my artistic potential as soon as I began expressing it. One of my earliest memories is from when I was five; I drew a picture of birds in a tree and showed it to my dad.

I said, “Dad, this is the best picture I’ve ever drawn!”

He said, “You can do better.”

So I kept doing more and doing better. In middle school, I would draw agenda book covers and bookmarks to sell to my classmates. My dad started giving me design challenges that were helpful to his business. That kicked off a period of drawing logos for his labels, designing his artists’ MySpace pages, creating art for tours—essentially fulfilling music industry briefs as a twelve-year-old.

I continued consistently making, anything really, until a stretch of time shortly after finishing college. Suddenly, there seemed to be a million ways my career could go and it was no longer clear to me what I really wanted or needed and, crucially, who I was. I wound up in a very structured environment as a strategist where I wasn’t making anything. Something was missing. A part of my soul felt absent. In the midst of the situation, I didn’t understand why I didn’t feel like myself.

It was only when I started making again that it hit me—I’d been missing for the last year and a half because I hadn’t made anything. That’s when I learned that being a creator is ingrained in who I am. I believe that everybody on this earth is creative, and that it is by creating things we express our full humanness.

Something was missing. A part of my soul felt absent. In the midst of the situation, I didn’t understand why I didn’t feel like myself.

I’m not fulfilling myself without expressing my innate creativity. For me, putting things out in the world is an opportunity to challenge the standard point of view and present an alternative that I think reflects reality more closely, therefore resonating more strongly with the real stories of people’s lives.

Using my personal creative lens to make sense of the world comes naturally. If I have a question about something, I’ll seek the answer through creating around the subject. Since I realized creativity is integral to my identity, I look for the ways other people express their full selves by being creative too.

In my role as a creative director at Havas, I focus on the real things happening in real people’s lives. I’m proud of having given large platforms to stories about young people making great music that no one’s heard of, the importance of small establishments in out-of-the-way towns, and the flip side of occupations viewed in stereotypical ways. We’re too committed to routine ways of seeing the world and each other. Creative expression has given me a way to showcase and celebrate differences in experience and perspective.

The innate creativity in each of us is a powerful glue that can form bonds—for me, I am most myself when making and my creativity supports others being fully themselves.

We’re too committed to routine ways of seeing the world and each other. Creative expression has given me a way to showcase and celebrate differences in experience and perspective.

— How We Got Here —

Anna Sian
Gavin Guidry
Jasper Wong
Josephine Cruz
Sam Zhang
Karen Okonkwo
Arthur Bray
Santi Arbelaez
Charis Poon
Mahira Jamshed

 

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