MATTE10: Creative Conversations w/ Amber Grace Johnson

Matte Spotlight



Amber Grace Johnson (aka Bam Bam) is a NYC born and bred filmmaker working with the likes of Jorja Smith, Kali Uchis, J.Cole, A$AP Rocky, Prada, Nike, Dior, among other recognizable household names. Beginning as an intern at MATTE and quickly rising the ranks, she has now grown into a lauded creative leading global projects with massive appeal. Her work centers around character-driven storytelling and unique perspectives collected over the course of her creative life.





In your own words, how would you identify as a ‘Creative’?
Being creative to me means being always curious, looking for answers to challenging questions, asking why, trying to see things from different perspectives, and being as observant of the world around me as possible.

What is one of the greatest challenges of working in a creative industry in NYC?
Going broke, the heartbreak of rejection, needing to “prove yourself” to others, or being at the mercy of someone else’s bad taste.

Where or who do you go to when you feel burn-out?
Within! Or I run far away.

Where or who do you go to when you feel inspired?
I usually force myself to go “out of body.” Sometimes with the help of mushrooms and music. Otherwise, being in transit is a surefire way to trigger inspiration. In the air, in the shower, aimless on a walk, on the subway.

How are you measuring your own success recently?
If I’m not having any fun then there’s no point and if I can’t go to sleep that night knowing I tried my best that day.

What advice can you give to someone looking to build their own creative community?
Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. People will love you exactly the way you are supposed to be. And it’s never cool to act too cool for anything or anyone.

Do you feel that a healthy amount of risk is important for creative growth, or growth in general?
Absolutely. If you’re not at least a little bit nervous or afraid, you’re doing it wrong. Comfort is death.

How does one ‘survive’ as a creative in New York City?
Never stop grinding and be delusional about who you want to become.

What was most important to you 10 years ago? What is most important to you now?
Then and now: Always be self-reliant and find happiness even when it feels impossible.

What’s still keeping you in New York?!
Show me a city with the same soul and energy, I dare you!

Describe MATTE in one sentence.
Irreverent, playful, so much grit, culture

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