"It's not only just being in the right place at the right time, but also working really hard."
Photograph of Bagio White
Being successful in the art industry doesn't happen in just one particular way. Take Bagio White for example. The celebrity Creative Director behind some of the most iconic magazine covers for his magazine DOPENESS was interning for Def Jam and was attending college before he was creating editorial art.
"Believe it or not, I was in college and interning for Def Jam when I decided to make my magazine company,” Bagio tells Elucid Magazine. "I was totally engulfed in it," he explains. As a result, the creative tells us, he was published his first physical magazine in college, in Morrisville, NY. "I started my magazine with my best friend, and we had no clue how the print industry was we sort of went with the flow and did whatever we felt was cool to us [laughs]" That's when everything started to change.
"One of the talents that I got to work with, early on with my magazine was Tinashe. She was so dope and free-spirited and the creative concept I created for her cover fitted her style so perfectly at the time. We found out later our cover shoot was her first solo magazine cover; it blew my mind" White later said that moment gave him the drive to dive even deeper in the print industry.
Singer Tinashe and Bagio White photographed while at her DOPENESS cover photoshoot circa 2012
Singer Tinashe cover for DOPENESS issue 5
"There was one day," Bagio explains, "BET was gearing up to do there BET awards show and experience and my publicist, Jovana, was like ‘listen I showed your magazine to the head of PR over at Viacom/BET and she totally fell in love with it, they want to do a collaboration cover immediately.’ I didn’t believe her at first because this was in April of 2014 and I thought it was a late April fool’s joke' then she was like, 'Yes, they want to headline their two hosts of 106 at Park' and we ended up doing shooting the editorial for both hosts, Bow Wow and Keshia Chante, within a week or two. And to me That's when my career really kicked off. It's not only just working with celebrities or people of influence but working really hard on your craft and making it have an impact on the masses."
(left) Rapper Bow Wow cover for DOPENESS issue 11, (right) Actress Keshia Chante cover for DOPENESS issue 11
As the years progressed, Bagio was responsible for some of the magazine's most iconic covers, namely his 2015 cover featuring comedian King Bach, many of the magazine’s features and videos, and of course. His favorite cover he’s creative directed though? "I would have to say the cover I’ve directed is DOPENESS issue #8 with radio personality Angela Yee. She was amazing to work with and I had to really diversified how I designed her cover and feature, we had two photographers for her shoot, so that experience gave me some important knowledge moving forward in my creative directing career"
Radio personality Angela Yee cover for DOPENESS issue 8
While Bagio has been having a pretty incredible in career, creative directing isn't just the glitz and glam you see in covers and posters; it's really tedious work. Especially if you want to move into creating multiple magazines, and expanding your brand, as Bagio is planning. "Most people don't really understand that you grind so much and really sacrifice. On this path you're gonna lose days of sleep, you're going to miss holidays and social time with family and friends, you're going to be missing so many regular parts of your daily life. But You're grinding and giving your best to the art and the impact and satisfaction it will have on the people who sees your final work, you can’t trade that feeling for anything in this world, its priceless.”