1. Introduce yourself and describe a typical day-in-the-life of Jalyn Baity.
I’m Jalyn Baity, a sophomore in Entertainment Arts at CCS studying Digital Film and Videography, with a concentration in business. A typical day in my life, as a student, entails a good deal of time dedicated to preparation (proper pre-planning, goal setting and task managing) and then, tackling those goals sunup to sundown. To begin, I make my bed everyday to start the day off with a win and set the pace for completing goals. Throughout the day, I list the day’s tasks in order of priority and typically spend several hours in class working or out in the field, shooting for a new video project. On occasion, I meet with my international mentees or friends for lunch or dinner and even manage to slip a campus event onto my schedule. But at end of each day, I take note of all tasks I’ve completed and goals accomplished as motivation and to remind myself how hard and effectively I’ve worked thanks to the systems/habits I’ve put in place.
2. How would you describe your experience at the College of Creative Studies?
Thus far, my experience at CCS has been a pleasantly challenging one, revealing to me just how much I can achieve even when put to my limits. It was a roller coaster in the beginning (freshman year), but after I’d proved to myself that I could come back from what was a nightmare of a first semester, I just began trusting the process more and not allowing myself to stress over the things I couldn’t control. Since, I’ve excelled greatly academically but, I’m more proud of how I’ve matured and how I handled the obstacles that presented themselves.
3. Describe the purpose for your recent trip to Haiti.
I haven’t been to Haiti yet, I leave March 4, 2018 but… There are two main purposes for the trip. The first is to work with children in orphanages and schools teaching basic art skills and interacting with children outside of the lessons to build relationships. Our second purpose for this trip is to work with the adults to expand their knowledge of the arts, teaching them a variety of skills they can use to create an income. However, we will also be in Haiti to provide any relief services to organizations and schools in the area. This program serves not only as an opportunity to empower Haitians but to also learn from their talents, skills, and rich culture.
I spoke to Jalyn after his trip to Haiti and he gave me a full description of the trip. Check it out here:
Going to Haiti to try to learn vicariously, experience wholly and understand the lives of people with whom I share complexion and race with was the aspect I'd initially anticipated would most overwhelm/have an effect on me. But, I ended up being most moved and shaken at times by the reactions to the culture shock I witnessed within my group, the shear amount of hospitality I received from everyone from our guest house's hosts to the artists I worked with in Jacmel to our driver, Patrick's, selflessness and compassion throughout the entirety of our trip.
Only a small portion of our team was minority, (myself being the only African-American individual on the trip). I personally grew up with less fortunate circumstances and even before arriving in Haiti, a dichotomy of personal norms within the group became abundantly clear, then even more so after our first couple days. As opposed to majority of my group, my exposure to poverty and/or blight has been life-long and nothing short of close-to-home. In Haiti, I found myself being more numb than anything, while my peers often struggled to hold back tears. Initially, my numbness in conjunction with the assumptions I made about my group's sensitivities made me want to withhold my perspectives, but in an effort to not lose sight of the trip's purpose and value to me, I made it a point to start sharing my insight despite my original apprehensions. I brought up my concerns regarding race, savior complexes, the difference between a misfortunate set of circumstances and a discouraged potentiality, and in what ways I could relate.
To my surprise and delight, I was met with open minds, affirmation and thought provoking feedback. The team really appreciated hearing my perspective, a perspective I had been scared to share. That experience taught me that vulnerability is, in fact, a strength, not a weakness; and that by tapping into and sharing those deeper thoughts and then letting go of our forebodings, especially on trips like these, you increase the power of and lasting impact that the experience can have on you and those around you.
p.s. I also really enjoyed spending time with the kids we taught lessons to in Jacmel and in the Ouest department of Haiti, they were filled with so much life :)
4. How does the city of Detroit inspire you as a creative?
People from my city are so proud of where they’re from which wasn’t always the same experience I concurred with, the city felt hopeless to me. But now I see my city as a stubborn entity, that doesn’t stop fighting for what it loves; it has Hope. I’ve learned that for anyone who’s loved Detroit, the feeling isn’t one-sided; Detroit breeds some of the strongest-willed individuals I’ve ever witnessed. In Detroit (or my neighborhood), the one thing that has always had the power to bring everyone together, is a common love or hope for something (change, strengthened police presence in neighborhoods, less crime, etc) despite the circumstances that the something currently exists within. My story could not be told without mentioning the immense amounts of love and of belief in me, from my community and city, it took to get me from where I began to where I am today. For those reasons, I hope that when I create, my work screams love and hope into the city and that the vibrations from that reach a hopeless soul, an underappreciated potential and are cause for a scream back, that concurs in love and hope, for itself, for this city, for shared dreams, for unity, etc.
5. Where do you find motivation to create?
I find motivation in my ability to express myself and my ideas. I love the liberation that comes from seeing an idea start from the beginning stages of sketches and eventually, develop into a fully refined and finished product. Also, as a filmmaker or general artist, the feedback I receive whenever I create is crucial because each time, it gives me a new foundation to start building from again. Ultimately, the more often I create, the quicker I can improve and touch up on my skills; being on a road to my 10,000+ hours is what motivates me.
6. What are your ultimate goals for your career?
All in all, I have several different career paths I’d like to pursue at some point in time. I think my career will be comprised of learning how to take them all and combine them in some way. A long-term goal/dream for my career is to become an author and eventually, a public speaker. I aspire to teach people the lessons I’ve learned and motivate them to push through their adversities. But, in the meantime, I want to focus on my cinematography/photography and leveraging those mediums to tell the stories I want to tell. For now, I’ll primarily pursue a creative career and continue my freelance work and work on my personal experimental projects, as well as, building my social media platforms and influence through my works