The Awesome Alternate
Rashid Zakat is a resident Philadelphian and Temple University alumni. He has been able to build an eclectic career as a media artist due to his warm nature, unique ambition, multi-media talents, and infectious sense of humor. I can personally attest to this because during our Temple days, Rashid held a wonderful rep for his celebrity impersonations (my favorite was Kanye West), hosting music and poetry cipher house parties, or using his acting or videography skills to assist a fellow classmate on a media project.
After college, he’s been successful in lending his talents in pre or postproduction efforts, videography, and web design for some reputable companies and organizations such as Philadelphia Tourism, The Black Star Film Festival, Nike, Delta, etc. From his great work ethic and local Philly creative ties he has been fortunate to interview an impressive roster of artists and musicians such as Questlove, Jill Scott, Bahmadia, Diplo, and Dexter Wansel.
In this phase of his career, Rashid is focusing his efforts on two different entities that are near and dear to him. First, is his company WJS Creatives (www.wjs.is), in which he is the co-founder and partner along with two of his close friends. After a spontaneous trip to Berlin, the three friends had an epiphany to commit to creating this company together after toying around with the idea throughout their friendship. Their brand of service is to assist other media organizations and businesses in finding innovative ways to express their mission through product or program advertisement and brand development. Rashid and his two partners successfully combine their talents of graphic and digital design, videography, photography, and creating advertising campaigns.
The second is The Awesome Farm Newsletter. This is his blog that was initially started via Tumblr. It reflects his obsession with searching the Internet for all aspects of culture that spark his interest or reflect his point of view in film, music, art, television, entertainment, etc. His inspiration for the blog started when a close friend of his tweeted about creating a newsletter about all things that they liked on the Internet. Rashid instantly liked the concept and then created a similar platform steered towards his own point of view of the world. He appreciates the “word of mouth” evolution of his blog, and the engaging responses to his article posts via email from his growing followers.
In the future, Rashid plans to expand on his docu-series Short Journeys (www.shortjourneys.eo), which is a WJS original. The concept behind this project is interviewing people of all different media industries that have a unique correlation between creativity and travel in their career. The series focuses on how travel influences these individuals’ creativity. WJS steers toward artists that focus more on their craft then recognition or celebrity. Their subjects are mostly people of color that range in age and ethnic backgrounds.