Hi, I’m Tamara Lackey and I’m this episode of reDefine show for AdoramaTV. I speak with josé Rosado and we discussed his writing, his photography, and his podcasting, but mostly we talked about the vulnerability, insecurity and depressive nature often, of being a creative. He created an organization called Creatives Against Depression to open up the conversation to make it less quiet, and I think you’ll find it really interesting. Check it out! Hi Jose, how are you? Good. How you doing? Good. Thank you for joining me we’re here in Union Square, New York City. Mm-hmm we’re not literally in the square we’re, right next to, five feet away! Yes, yes, and you drove in from, well I was actually in Philadelphia. In Philadelphia. Tell us a little bit about your background in photography? Sure! I, I always appreciated photography, never ever picked up a camera until my senior year] of college. Okay I took this intro to digital photography courses, like free elective. Right. And I really liked it. Okay, and I was like this is pretty cool and then I graduated, and for my graduation my parents got me a D50. Yes and I took, yeah, I took the whole course with a HP R707, do you remember they made digital cameras? They did a little while and then I got the D50, and I was already committed to go to grad school. I was going to go to Drexel to get my MBA, and I figured.. okay. I’ll just do this mm-hmm to make money, while I’m in grad school. Yeah. And you know then I’ll get a real job, yeah, and then I graduated in ’08. So, so it wasn’t a great time to get a real job in New York, no less, you know! So I kept falling back to photography, and what I thought would be you know six months, ended up being six years. Yeah you know I did it full-time for six years, and it was great. When I graduated, I quit the job of the studio, and moved to Philadelphia. Okay and I had nothing. Yeah! so I was horribly depressed. New city! Right. You know, you know, you’re not throwing that out as I was depressed, no genuinely, no. Oh yeah I’ve been, yeah I’ve suffered with that since I was 14 right? And it it got real dark for two years, yeah, and luckily I had photography you know and I just said you know what, I’m going put out feelers and resumes, and apply to places, but I’m going to put all my effort into photography, because this is the only thing that’s paying you right now. Right, and I started treating it like a business and approaching it with an MBA kind of mindset. Yeah. And doing pretty fairly well. Right, and and then was that part of like coming out, and personally dealing so much with depression. Was that part of your kind of movement into because you created that Creatives Against Depression right? Yeah. That was something that, so this, like this all kind of went along with the, the, merge or the emergence of social media. Right. Okay, so back then when I was starting out it was like MySpace and Facebook was kind of there, right, so it went from that
to all of a sudden, like social media was a business entity. I would treat it like a business, and I for years, I saw so many friends who like you, were speaking around the world, traveling, had highlight reels like Chase Jarvis. Right! Right. Right, and I talked to them and I’d be like how’s it going? I see all the stuff you’re doing… it’s crazy. Yeah… and they’re like um it sucks… I’m depressed, like I, I don’t want to pick up a camera. Yeah! I don’t want to shoot any more but I can’t say that. Right! Right, cause I got this sponsorship, and this sponsorship, and this commitment. Yeah! And I’m like.. well that sucks.. The disconnect. How come you, and you can’t be open about it? Right? So you just, you know you’re alone, yeah! And you can’t acknowledge to anybody for fear of losing clients and all that other stuff. Yeah, and over the years, the, the people I would talk to got more and more, and more of those kind of stories. Yeah and also it was a sense of vulnerability, you’re like, if you’re ready feeling that low, you really want to open yourself up to sharing that. Right! It’s funny I was talking even last night, so just finished a gallery exhibit here. Which was, looks great. Thank you, thank you, but I was talking last night to a photographer, and I was sharing how I was going to meet with you, and he’s like, so he’s like, are you gonna talk about the fact that we could do things like this, but then we drop hard. And I was like…yeah! I think that’s what we’re going ti talk about, because you know sometimes you feel like it’s just. I got a lot of energy, I don’t have a lot of energy, and sometimes it’s a lot more than that you know. It’s hard to recognize, when I thought about it, and I was talking to someone, a psychiatrist and I said. ‘You know do you feel this, do you feel this?’ I’m like yeah, but you’re just talking about being a full-time creative. There’s highs, I’m moving, I’m going there’s 100 miles an hour, then there’s that low. Yeah. And I get depressed, and I get angry and I get bitter. but then as soon as something comes. And lonely. Yeah! I strike Yeah! Cause you know how it is right? strike while the iron’s hot. You never know when it’s going to stop. Right. There is that scary part of it, you know, so I said you’re just explaining a professional photographer. You call it bipolar, I call it photography. I thought yeah, I thought my career is, it’s as a real artist. Yeah, it messed with me, because I then I started reading articles where they’re saying is bipolar, you know something that skews more towards creatives. It’s one of those things that like you mentioned, it’s been around forever. Uh-huh, so a lot of the media stuff you mentioned, happened when I got laid off. Huh, so I got laid off, I had a, had a job as a, working for a New York company, and I was working remotely, so I could still do photography, I could still travel, and do all that kind of stuff, and I got laid off in 2014, I went from being a single guy in the city to now, I had two kids I’m raising. I’m in the suburbs with the house, so the whole thing changed, and I lost my job. It was the same frustrations that I had when I graduated in ’08, but now compounded. Oh yeah! I kind of had like a breaking point, and I set my, my parents and Jessica down, and I said.. I can’t, like give me one month, I want one month to not apply to jobs, yeah? I just want to do my art, so I started writing, and what was different was, years past, when I started blogging, it was like behind the scenes, right it was like BTS, here’s some shots of the set up, here’s what we got. ‘Which is not writing. Right! It’s boring, and I hated it, years ago. Yeah, so I said you know what? Let me do something different, and around that time like you mentioned, the vulnerability, I started realizing, hey like, I’m in this struggle, I’m frustrated, I’m thinking that I should, I’m employable, I’m passionate and I’m professional. Like I really want just a break, and I started writing about that, I started writing about my emotions, what made me feel, all the vulnerabilities, and everything like that. And all long form everything was like 1,200 words or more, and two weeks in, I got a job offer to write for Fstoppers, well I was like hold on a second, in two weeks time I was doing my own thing. More progress than I did for eight months going full-tilt. Yeah, so I said alright, let me keep going, and, and, the writing started getting better, and I started actually picking writing clients, and getting paid to do it, and it was you know, awesome. I started writing for Chimera Lighting for Borrowlenses and all this stuff, and I said all right. I had the idea with a podcast for a while, we’re at PPE, and I started the same thing. I started saying okay, who can I interview, who do I know and I starting all my friends, and Doug Saunders one of the first people Zach Sutton was another one and then we’re talking to Doug, and who walks by with Jeremy Cowart, then Jeremy Cowart came on the next day then Pratik Nail the retoucher, his girlfriend Bella, and I started realizing, in one day, we talked to all these amazing people, right, and that night I
went to.. was it, it was the black and white party, You ever been to that one? I don’t know it’s such a whirlwind. Yeah, so I went there. Everyone wearing black and white? No they just call it the Black and White party. Yeah I think it’s by RGG, okay. Maybe… I think, and so I went there, so I started talking some people and then I bump into some people from Creative Live. Cool started talking to them, and in walks Chase Jarvis and we start chatting, and I said, listen I started this new podcast called the Angry Millennial you know? He was.. ‘Dude.. just stop because I’m in. You know like what’s the Angry Millennial mean? So the Angry Millennial. The words… but what is it what is the point of it? So you know what it is, everyone asked me is it like a Louis Black thing? Are you just screaming the entire time? And you’ve been on it right? Likeyou know what it is? It was the hangups… like I never knew I was a millennial. Like I said, when I graduated people started talking about our generation is a generation of filled institutions, you know first adult children of divorce, you know realizing college is not all it’s cracked up to be, you know the economy collapsing, and then you have the ‘gig economy’ you know, where no one’s a full-time employee. Right, right. And it was very frustrating for me because I’m old enough that I’m like on the cusp of Gen X, and yeah and I sit there and say I want to do all the things that Gen X people do. But as a millennial I graduate at a time where there’s nothing, yeah it was very frustrating. I was very angry for years right, and that was something I had to make peace with. I know and kind of let go yeah, and stop being so angry and just say… hey here I am, you know essentially this is a whole period right? I’m doing all my own thing again, yeah which for me, I was I’ve did it for years and I was over, it I was like I don’t want that feast and famine for my kids. Right so I was like, I want something steady and my arts my ar,t no longer like a job right? And it you know here I am doing that, and I did it for a year. We did a hundred episodes, okay, and it was awesome and we talked to amazing people! You know, you were on there! Dixie Dixon, everyone in the photography world and we went out, and did like comedians, and film people, and it was a great mix of entrepreneurs. People are sharing these things that are so profound. And I started really thinking about it and a lot of emotional intelligence played into it, but I started looking at like, the breakdown of an interview, and it said 2/3 of it are, well it’s long-form, right so it’s an hour long, yeah! So 2/3 of it are talking about you your business, what’s going on, shop this person out, shop this company out, and then at the, with like the last third we start going in deeper. Things and they’re all set questions, so I asked these same questions to everybody. Okay and what people shared was huge, and that’s when I started, it started going more towards a mental health thing you know? Talking about vulnerability, about anxiety about you know depression, and those sort of things, and I kind of wanted to go more in that direction right? And around that time you know, Dave Mirra, he was an extreme athlete. Yeah, he did like everything you think of, right? he was like I think, he still is, the most gold medal-winning, x-games athlete of all time. So I met him years ago, shooting a rally event in New Jersey, and I had grown up watching this guy. He was like maybe five, ten years older than me, so I grew up watching him and to meet him was great, and I got to meet him, and Tanner Foust and Travis Pastrana and all those guys, and he was the nicest one out of all them right? And he was in the podium that day, so when I went to go shoot the podium, he had two little girls and I didn’t know her had kids. Yeah, that’s so cool I didn’t know he had kids, and that was it. I didn’t know fast forward five, six years, and now I’m in you know Baltimore, my whole life has changed right and he took his own life, and it just made me angry, you know it made me angry to feel like you know, he had no other way out, like the isolation right? You know? Yeah! And it’s, it was, it was one of those things that I said, you know what let’s just, I got it gotta do more, so I started the site Creatives Against
Depression, then the blog, then it became a medium publication. We also started, I teamed up with Mickey Coachella, who was, or is a comedian and a radio DJ, down in Baltimore, and we started doing weekly support groups, support groups because we realized there are none! Like literally if you suffer from anything else, alcohol abuse, addiction, you know, cancer grief, loss, anything, stress – there’s a support group right? But not for mental health. I think one of the most bizarre things about all that, is the reason we talked about stigma, especially the history, and why that might contribute to current, you know societal stigma, but also there is the self-imposed quiet, that isn’t always, ‘I don’t want to talk’. Sometimes it’s ‘I don’t want to bring people down around me’ you know. I feel like there’s an expectation of me to be this like for work and this and that, but then there’s also, ‘this
sucks but I’m going to get past it’, so you don’t treat it like a real issue. Right? So you’re you know, 5, 10, 15 years down the road right, and you’ve lost so much at that time, because you keep thinking optimism right? Like you can be really depressed and also feel like you’re going to get out
someday, and you know what’s, what’s even worse, is it’s true. There is episodic, you know, depressional little episodes right. That kind of thing, where it could be just a rough time. Yeah and you know for me for a long time that’s what it was, it was I moved had no friends right. I lost my job, I couldn’t get work. I lost my job again. You know, so things that people will be like that’s totally understandable but at the same time then I look back, and realize it was kind of steady, there the entire time. Oh yeah, so we still have the site and the blog and the medium publication. So if anyone wants to be a part of like the blog and some writing articles or even just literally funding articles online and sharing them, we’re always looking for for new writers, contributors. We are still doing the talks at colleges. Yeah I started just now recently. I accepted an adjunct position at the University of Baltimore, so we’re going to try and do one there, and one at Mica in Baltimore, and it it’s one of those things where again, like it’s a huge need you know? So it’s not just the greatest part, but realizing also we’re obviously more susceptible to it, but we started one called ‘Together We Got This’, so it’s more of like an open umbrella to the public, and then we say, hey, if you also happen to be creative you know, and you know we know those woes. You sit there and say it’s constantly a struggle between am I sick? Or am I not? Am I you know, just a loner sometimes? Or am I really escaping and isolating myself? And, and then, you couple that with I’m really anxious but I’m really ambitious, and I’ve got to get offline, and do that, do these things. That’s mental gymnastics all the time! Yeah, it never turns off right right? And that can be a lot, yeah, yeah. Well I’m guessing a lot of people who are watching this can understand they should go to CreativesAgainstDepression.com You went with the dot-com? Thank you. And then the other site you said Togetherwegotthis.com, I’m sorry org, .org. Okay and where can they go to find more about you and your work? if you go to joséRosadophoto.com Ok Joserosadophoto.coml Ok and on the social medias? Let’s see Instagram @joséRosadophoto twitter @JoseRosadophoto and on Facebook it’s Jose Rosado photography and Creatives Against Depression as well ok? Perfect. Thank you, thank you. It’s great seeing you again. Yeah. Thank You Jose for talking so openly about something we all need to be talking about more. Check us out here next time on AdoramaTV and don’t forget you can subscribe.