This article originally appeared in Amadeus Magazine Issue 08. Buy it in the Amadeus Shop now.
Creativity takes different shape in every artist’s life. Whether they are painters, musicians, graphic designers or the inspired minds meticulously finding new ways to stimulate the ideas of those surrounding them, artists of all mediums find inspiration from a range of lifestyles, cultures and walks of life.
Anthony Cole, creative mind and owner of Lightworkers Republic, realized his artistic capability at an early age. Growing up with an ambitious attitude, Cole eventually set out to share his imaginative and unique way of expressing his artistry by helping visionaries of all mediums spread their concepts through photographs, video and music.
Who is Anthony Cole?
I felt early on as a biracial kid, I couldn’t fully relate to either side of my family tree. I remember having friends and family that were committed and proud to be able to claim a culture or skin color. I honestly just didn’t know where I fit in. Now I look back and think of course I didn’t know, the “mixed generation” was literally a new concept in the 80’s. What I did know was I loved to break dance and DJ. I like to think through those two creative outlets I got a sense of who I was and how the person I am today took shape.
Tell us about Lightworkers Republic. What role does it play in the expansion of your own creativity?
So I’m a sensitive ass person. I remember breaking my mom’s cigarettes when I was like four years old because I knew smoking was bad. I remember when a friend got sick, coming home and my mom asked what was wrong, I said “Roy is sick and I need to get him a card.” In the card I wrote ‘I hop you get better’ and when I brought it to him at school his friend just laughed at the fact I spelled “hope” wrong. I went home feeling like an idiot. During my more formative years, when I began really diving into my record collection, I started to accept that artists were really like me; sensitive people expressing their stories through their art form. I began realizing that there was an opportunity within being both biracial and hyper-sensitive, where I’d like to think the purpose of Lightworkers Republic starts.
I went from DJing, to producing music, to becoming a full time professional recording engineer/producer for over five years, which is where I honed in on playing a supportive role with others and helping them to produce their best work. The studio is an incredibly unique space, where people came to create, discover and permanently put themselves on record. This experience, for both artist and producer, quickly becomes a bond that transcends the need to create a product. This creative process is never the same and for over five years I threw myself into any and all types of musical projects. I recorded metal albums where we stacked six to eight guitar tracks, focusing all our energy on tone; country albums where my client cared more about the lyrics than anything else; old jazz standards where honoring the original composition mattered the most; alternative rock where the drum tones needed to be absolutely perfect. Lightworkers Republic is this same creative space, but for today’s larger creative community. My mind was blown when I realized I didn’t need to just focus my efforts on one genre to feel a strong sense of success. Today my mind is even more open to the fact that creating purpose-driven content is not limited to music. So when you ask what role does Lightworkers Republic play in the expansion of creative ideas, I feel like the expansion continues because each artist I associate with is as unique as the next.
What is your mental work “zone” like? What does it take to get you there?
So I’m an artist at the end of the day. I literally go absolutely nuts trying to find the ‘zone’ every single time. I will say that I try and keep a flow going or a train of thought that makes it feel like movement verses being stagnant or stuck on a creative idea. If it starts to feel forced it probably is, so I’ll attempt a different direction if I feel that coming on. I believe what comes from the heart goes to the heart, so I try and keep the process as transparent as possible.
What is your relationship to/with your work? Is it representative of you, or more so of our culture as a whole?
All the things I mentioned before relate to my work currently. I love trying different mediums to express myself, probably because I grew up never committing to one side. My work is more closely related to me because I never really felt like I had culture growing up. I would say that I’ve gone from being insecure about my purpose, to finding that not only can I thrive when I trust myself, but I can hopefully help others achieve a stronger sense of confidence in their own creative endeavors.
When working with a client, how important is it for you to stay true to your own style versus catering to your client’s specific vision?
I really just want to create great memories because I feel like that’s what we resonate with most when we look back on a project. I want my clients to remember our experience as positive. That’s what is really woven into the work that we do together.
You work in a range of different mediums: photography, videography, design and music. Do you have a personal preference?
I value them all in different ways. The one common denominator is simplicity. As hard as I make it look, I’m really not here to change the world with my work. I just want to look back and feel like I did something that reflects human nature.
Check out Lightworkers Republic at www.lightworkersrepublic.com.