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Joshua J. Pinkay Interview
OBVIOUS came into the picture in its earlier years. I followed Jerris and his production of the magazine closely and always respected what the brand represented – a direct line to young models and creatives with a passion for editorial content.
– Joshua J. Pinkay
Take us back to your childhood interests and experience. How does this connect to you becoming a part of OBVIOUS Magazine?
Joshua J. Pinkay: I remember I was always just a nosy kid – I liked being “in the know” of things. There was a movie that came out in the ’90s called “Harriet The Spy” starring Michelle Trachtenburg and Rosie O’Donnell.
The character, Harriet, was a kid the same age as me who would spy around her neighborhood and write everything down in her special journal. I remember distinctly that it triggered something in me as a kid to want to do the same and experience the world in that way – through documenting it. So I started writing things, anything really. My thoughts became notes that I would go back and read to myself.
As I got older, a visual component to my notes happened when I started cutting out images from magazines of my favorite music artists and fashion campaigns, then putting them together on different pages in a binder. It was like my own way of saying, “this is how I would’ve formatted these pages and laid out stories.” I thought the idea of laying out page design and the copy was just so cool.
OBVIOUS came into the picture in its earlier years. I followed Jerris and his production of the magazine closely and always respected what the brand represented – a direct line to young models and creatives with a passion for editorial content. It’s wild to me that I developed my own relationship with Jerris to become Senior Editor years later eventually.
As Senior Editor, what do you believe was the most vital part of your role?
Joshua J. Pinkay: Part of what I brought to OBVIOUS was a new perspective. Jerris trusted me with the role and wanted to give me autonomy as a professional creative to make decisions about new opportunities and the direction we could take the magazine. I think I added an element of a production strategy that was vital to some of the campaigns we worked on during my time here.
What have you worked on with OBVIOUS that you are most proud of?
Joshua J. Pinkay: The development of The Music Issue was special to me. I poured my heart out into those issues, and to be able to bring in fellow creative friends of mine to work on that issue is something that I will always hold near and dear to me.
I had an opportunity here to curate and showcase an editorial approach to music in a way that the OBVIOUS audience would appreciate. That wasn’t something I was going to take for granted. As a collective, what we created with The Music Issue was impeccable, and I couldn’t be prouder.
What is one experience you’ve had as Senior Editor that was eye-opening for you that impacts the work you do now?
Joshua J. Pinkay: One thing that I realized is that as a publication grows, so does its audience. I saw this mainly during the curation of our Visionaries to Watch list. I wanted to shake things up a little at OBVIOUS and curate a list of individual professionals creating a positive impact across multiple industries outside of fashion.
I wanted the Visionaries list to present OBVIOUS as a multi-faceted story-telling publication. We’re not a one-trick pony, and the curation of that list showed how we could do that in a way that stays true to the brand.
The eye-opening part about that is how receptive people were to the lists. The response was so positive and reaffirmed that we were doing something right.
The Visionaries to Watch list explored and honored professionals in tech, art, startups, nonprofits, health, finance, and several other industries. To know that our audience received it so well lets me know that allowing yourself to grow and evolve as a media outlet is a positive thing.
What is your POV on the future of publications? What area should publications pivot to or harness?
Joshua J. Pinkay: We’re far into the Digital Age, and the Digital Age evolves quickly. The ability for publications to be innovative in this media era will keep them thriving for years to come. I don’t think there’s one way to define an area of focus.
Another thing I’ve learned in this age is that everyone and everything has an audience, and every audience responds to different mediums. Publications should stick to what feels right to them and learn to evolve that approach with the times.
What are you working on now or looking to achieve next?
Joshua J. Pinkay: I’m excited to be curating the music and set lists for the 2022 Equity Crowdfunding Week conference in Los Angeles this November. The world of equity crowdfunding is a dominantly white space.
The talent I’m bringing to this conference will serve as a bridge to people of color and people from the LGBTQIA+ communities, showing them that opportunities for financial wealth and equity are attainable.
We not only deserve seats at those tables, but we have the right to decide how to build wealth for ourselves and our communities.
I want my story to inspire other young creatives to grow in their careers and platforms.
In working with (Blavity/LaMay Day Media), what are you looking to amplify in this space that is meaningful to you?
Joshua J. Pinkay: The opportunity to help cultivate and lead teams of young creatives is bringing me joy in my career these days. I don’t just manage other emerging media professionals but seek opportunities to help them grow.
Blavity, Inc. has been such an incredible place to work and develop my own leadership skills in media. I’m looking forward to amplifying more talent within this company and managing the production of campaigns that boost Black talent and initiatives that drive the culture forward.
Being a part of LaMay Day Media has been exceptional over the years because it’s a platform built as a labor of love for creatives.
My show, Limelight Live!, which I co-host and produce with Sharíck LaMay, is continuing to grow and is still dedicated to engaging dialogue that serves and elevates the creative community.