Every Human Ep 002 - Fivish Talks Defining Creative Identity & Prioritizing Authenticity

Kaila Mathis

Welcome back to Every Human, where we tell the stories of thriving creators, entrepreneurs and leaders, with the goal of educating and inspiring every human to create the life they want.

In today's episode, we’re speaking with Ryan Cass, aka Fivish. Fivish is a photographer and entrepreneur living in Tulsa. He acts as the documentarian of the city, most notably as the lead photographer for the award-winning project Fire in Little Africa.

We touch on...

  1. Fivish's journey to defining his creative identity
  2. Prioritizing authenticity in your work
  3. The power of documentation through photography

Watch on YouTube, listen on your favorite podcast streaming platform or dive into the episode transcript below.

Episode Links:

  1. Fivish's Instagram
  3. Fire in Little Africa

Who is Fivish?

Kelsey Davis  00:01

Cool, that's life. You know? That's life. You just got a vibe. Jordan, how are you feeling today? Elle how are you feeling? Lovely Kaila, where you at? Ivanna? Curtis, where are you at? Fivish. Yeah. Welcome to the every human podcast. You know, Fivish was one of the first people I met here in Tulsa. He's warmed my spirit from day one. 

Fivish  00:40

Warmed? How'd I do that?

Kelsey Davis  00:43

existing presence?

Fivish  00:45

Well, that's mean. That's very nice.

Kelsey Davis  00:47

Your presence is a gift. Who is Fivish? Let’s start there.

Fivish  00:54

Fivish, was my my mom's uncle. So my great uncle. Originally, Fivish is Hebrew for Philip. So he's like Uncle Philly. He raised my mom when her bietet Isaac died when she was like three. So when we were little, my mom decided to be Jewish. Me and my brother got Hebrew names and Fivish was stuck. kind of started to use it as a photography alias. Because it was Fivish photos better than Ryan photo. It's not like the airplane. Airlines like Ryanair. Yeah, yes. So Fivish just kind of just started using that. And yeah,

Kelsey Davis  01:39

it's a nice starting photography at like, 15,16. Like it was around that time.

Fivish  01:44

It was kind of I got a camera much earlier, like, middle school. In high school. Yeah. But it was kind of like just taking photos of friends when we were all hanging out. We'd skate around Jenx and do different stuff. But it was not really serious or anything. And it still wasn't I played soccer.

Kelsey Davis  02:03

So you're playing soccer at the time.

Fivish  02:04

 Yeah, that was the main focus.

Kelsey Davis  02:07

How did that change your like, what was that relationship between balancing like photography soccer, like,

Fivish  02:13

what didn't have to balance it? I was. I played for a year, my freshman year college and Colorado State Pueblo. It's like a division two school and we you know, it was a good season. But Pueblo is kind of a not great town. Okay. And I was getting Mass Communications degrees. So it was kind of not what I wanted. And then I was getting tired of the soccer so transferred to you met the right deed and started shooting concerts and it kind of just,

Kelsey Davis  02:46

yeah, what you were you were doing photography while you're still on campus. Previously that started out

Fivish  02:52

I mean, I have my camera and I would kind of fuck around and go, Yeah, take photos around town or whatever. But yeah, not anything more than a hobby.

Kelsey Davis  03:02

So then what made that exciting? Oh, you you met a friend.

Fivish  03:05

I was there for two weeks, I met this guy who his granddad owned a venue that the fraternities do like a bid day shows. So there's Rick Ross and Lil Yachty at this video, and I was I had finessed like a media pass from exactly how it starts. I started shooting and I shot that and then I met a dude at that show. Kyle from OKC and early citizens made through a bunch of shows like six or seven over the next year and a half or so.

Kelsey Davis  03:36

Yeah, I literally like I was was had been like super heavy. Like, by the time I was 16 or 18. Won like five state championships. Yeah. And

Fivish  03:49

yeah, my club team in Tulsa was we won six state titles in a row. Okay, so we were good. Okay,

Kelsey Davis  03:57

If I caught you in soccer, you kill me if I if I mean basketball?

Fivish  04:03

Yeah, basketball my shots pretty rank. But like, rank like bad.

Kelsey Davis  04:08

Okay. I don't understand. I didn't know the slang. Yeah, rank means bad.

Fivish  04:13

Smelly, stinky. Okay. But I can pass and dribble over pretty well.

Kelsey Davis  04:21

team player, I know my strengths. That's necessary. No, I literally have been to the point of knowing strengths. Like I was. I was stupid. And it was like, I kind of did the math especially is like, you know, for me, it's like WNBA would have been the Yeah, you know what I mean? Or, you know, and I started doing photography, videography, and like high school, sorry, like meeting friends. Artists, you know, and I kind of started realizing like a like, I want to be here anyway, right? In terms of like, these are festivals I would have been at. These are places that I'm already occupying. It's like, well, I might as well go for free chi finesse and media pass and I'll bring my camera

Fivish  04:59

same mindset, the exact same mindset.

Defining Creative Identity

Kelsey Davis  05:02

So how so how did you go from? Okay, so I wouldn't say accuse you or you being a photographer, basically, video passes show show, especially college campuses. It's like, Yeah,

Fivish  05:13

I mean, mostly, that's like shows every weekend. Well, most of them were in OKC. So it was like, we'd go down there to the criterion. And that's kind of where they did all the shows. Yeah. But the other wasn't much in Norman. Like at all. Norman just college town. Yeah, we'll go bars and stuff. So

Kelsey Davis  05:32

talk to him about how you went from, you know, basically, media pass to Okay, I'm going to be a freelance photographer, like I'm going to I'm going to eat from photography, like, what is that transition of going from hobby into professional?

Fivish  05:47

Well, photography wasn't even like my main career choice. At that point. I got an advertising degree. Okay. So I was gonna work in at an agency and like, in a creative department. Yeah. Pretty much like the team. That would create the idea. Yeah. And then, you know,

Kelsey Davis  06:05

he got started. Yeah, yeah.

Fivish  06:07

But like, I'd be creating an idea for a photographer, maybe for someone to execute. Yeah. And I was doing the concerts for free and got, like, a message on Instagram from a youth football. Like some guys in their front office, like their creative department. Yeah. Because of the concert photos. And yeah, I worked for them for like the recruiting department, which is just like, shooting games. And yeah, I guess they weren't games it was offseason, but practices and kind of in the locker room.

Kelsey Davis  06:40

Tell me about how that's so interesting. You say that because like, my Instagram DMs have literally driven probably like 80% of my income, I would say like for as a freelancer in terms of, I mean, I started freelancing, maybe in 2014. And I mean, like, the Instagram DMS, because it's like Instagram, in theory was like, has been the only way. I would say, as a photographer videographer, like you've been able to visually show your work and like a super social way. And so it's like, man, like, tell me about the DM game. I know. For me, for example, like I would literally go from Alright, let me get the media pass. I use an example like Lil Yachty. And what are the content appear from this little this little Yachty show? Or shooting or shooting Lil Yachty at Syracuse gotten media pass had literally edited like, I would literally shoot shows like on the bathroom after I edited it up real quick to have the first one. Yeah, exactly. Because why? Because what why is important the first one, because that's the only one

Fivish  07:43

because then I mean, depending on who can pick it up. Like if a complex or somebody or anyone wants to, you know, is waiting for a photo from that show. They see yours first. That's the one that's gonna go Yeah.

Kelsey Davis  07:56

And then especially, it's like, if it's hot. It's like, you tag the right people, your shots, the right people, like I know, I came up with a lot of creators who would try to like, especially when you'd be around artist and stuff, they try to like get cool with the artist, right? And then it's like for me, I'd be like, I literally look up beforehand, like alright, who is their PA, who's our PR guy? Like, who's your manager? And like, just be reaching out to them, tag them DMS no point

Fivish  08:18

in trying to be cool with the artists as the shooting the show. I mean, yeah, I was there was always guys like in the pits. Like it was like the same group of people in those concert pits. And a few of them, like still good friends and like doing really cool shit. But a lot of like some of them. There's some people to try to, like get that shot behind like backstage. And like, just try to get closer or even onstage to appear like they were on stage to get the shot or whatever. Yeah. But I was always about just getting the real, real clean, like good shot that I had wait a couple of days. I wouldn't really do it immediately. But I would tag the right people. Yeah, kind of get it. Like the fan pages. Yeah. Because like those big fan pages for like Kodak and other artists. They still message me about Kodak pictures.

Kelsey Davis  09:08

Tell me about who are some of the most favorable experiences what are some of the most favorable experiences either people? Places venues?

Fivish  09:19

I mean, the Travis Scott show was really cool.

Kelsey Davis  09:21

Okay, tell me about Travis.

Fivish  09:22

It was birds tour. Yeah, I mean, the set like the shows that I would shoot that were part of a tour were always better than them paying like an artist to come and do a one night. Yeah, because they wouldn't really give a fuck about that. 21 Savage showed up like, he showed up at like, it was like really early in his career. Like he'd kind of it was before the knife thing like it was before they went out. And he showed up at like, one o'clock or maybe 1230 And he was supposed to be there like 11 or 1030 Yeah, I just kept dragging on. He did it like he did 30 minutes. Yeah. But he was the first to post one of my photos.

Kelsey Davis  10:08

I saw the that tour at Syracuse. It was like 40,000 people inside the dome that was it was insane.

Fivish  10:17

It's really cool. Yeah.

Kelsey Davis  10:19

Tell me about, um, you know, when I think about Fivish, right? So if I was just not a typical photographer, yes, you're a celebrity photographer. Right? You're what? Festival photographer, right concert music photographer. But I would liken you to a historian. When I see you know, especially experiences that I've shared with you, whether it's at different festivals, different events, it's like when I see five issues point of view, after Yeah, it's like, yeah, no, that is what it was. Right? I love being a director, because it's like, the world is able to kind of view through your lens. And I think a lot of times when people relate to it, or they emote with it, it's because they enjoy what it is that you are saying, right? What is important? Like, why is it important for you to have such a specific point of view, and focus in your work not only as a as a as the photographer, but also their relationship? It seems like you have or that you can draw out from your subjects

Fivish  11:33

that relate or, I mean, the relationship you build with your subject is, you know, probably 99% of the photo, like taking a photo is really technical. Technically, like you don't I mean, it's just you get your settings right, you know how to do it, you just pressing the button, but I was I was always more interested in the photos that had a had a lifespan beyond when you initially see it, like, a lot of work and photography these days is kind of made for social media. And then it's posted and it kind of dies, you know, it goes away, and it's on a hard drive, or someone can go back and look at it. They're creeping on a page, but it's kind of final. Whereas I don't know that I mean, that's still kind of what I'm doing. But the bigger I don't know, the bigger idea is that the pictures kind of show a time in Tulsa, or wherever it is, as it's happening. You know,

Fire in Little Africa

Kelsey Davis  12:33

one of the things you did that super well with was Fire in Little Africa. Yeah. Yeah. Talk about that. Fire in Little Africa, right. Yeah. was Fire in Little Africa. What was your role?

Fivish  12:47

I initially my role was just to document the weekend, as they recorded the album, me and a few other photographers. And I knew a few of the guys and kind of met more that weekend. But I mean, now like, if if that happened, like, right now, it'd be so much easier. It'd be so much like better work. That's why I'm really critical. Like, like, looking back on what I could have shot like, I could have done more in terms of being there. And obviously, I got a lot but it turned into me being like the principal photographer on the project and doing the album cover and kind of all the shows and everything else. Yeah.

Kelsey Davis  13:33

And Fire in Little Africa, was an album that was a commemorative album, 100 year anniversary, Black Wall Street, Tulsa race massacre. Fivish, super underselling himself on this, I would say. I mean, shit. I mean, yeah, damn. We'll talk about wellness in a bit. But yeah, like, I mean, I would say, you know, I wasn't in Tulsa right? After it was me recording. And I've never I'm from Atlanta, right. So I'm from a city where you see collaborative music, through you know, the studios to the shows the streets, the videos, the way that music integrates with culture. I mean, it's such a cyclical process. And you know, I've lived in New York, I've lived in LA and never seen anything like what I've seen in Atlanta. What happened though, in Tulsa with the Fire in Little Africa project. I mean, what it was like over 40 artists on one album One project all recorded it like in five days over 100 years songs and you know, five, which was able to not only capture in real time, help sell all the stories, shoot the album cover, but really actually, I think create the I don't know like the image like you were literally able to kind of create the visual or the aesthetic.

Fivish  15:08

Brandon have such a specific

Kelsey Davis  15:09


Fivish  15:13

It are you talking about the album cover? Yeah, yeah, the album cover idea. I mean, To Pimp A Butterfly cover, which was a big reference, as well as the photo of it photo of businessman in Tulsa, kind of. It's just like, getting all those people into one photograph was going to be hard. always ends in how do you do it? And where do you put it? And what do you need to do it because we needed like bleachers for the back few rows, we needed the shape to look on our kind of, I was trying to make the shape, you know, reminisce and always

Kelsey Davis  15:49

tell me like the creative process, like how did you go? How'd you go from start to finish of the almond cover? Like, so they came to you? And you're like, hey, we want you to do the album cover or and then you were like, Hey, here's the concept or what? Yeah,

Fivish  16:00

I created a concept after they asked me to do it, and told them the references and kind of I went to the mansion and kind of took some images

Kelsey Davis  16:12

that Brady mentioned. Yeah. Yeah.

Fivish  16:14

So basically, I went in Photoshop and kind of cut out all those business owners, and then went took them out and pictures of the match superimposed onto it, so I can give a visual of what I wanted it to look like. And the black and white seem obvious.

Kelsey Davis  16:32

Do you treat that almost kind of like a like a mock up? Like,

Fivish  16:34

I mean, like you were approaching project planning. It took a couple of weeks. And then the day of it was so cold, it was 20 degrees maybe. And I forgot my camera when I got there initially.

Kelsey Davis  16:49

Tip pro tip bring your camera to the photo shoot.

Fivish  16:53

I was a little nervous. It was like a lot of people. Yeah. Should have had a megaphone.

Kelsey Davis  16:58

Huh? Okay. All right. Yeah, give give give, what are the hacks? Right? Alright, you show up to a photo shoot that you have to shoot indirect, with over 40 talent in the photo? It was

Fivish  17:11

having a megaphone or some way to communicate. Yeah, with everybody to just like, tell everybody not to blink for like 12 seconds. So I can just spray some photo because like, it's probably 65 photos ish. And six, were usable, where everyone was looking. And each of those six, there's probably one or two that like, yeah, yeah, it was hard to get everyone kind of looking. Yeah, especially there's like two dudes move back trying to make people laugh. As Jerry wouldn't stop talking, I cracking up and it was like, really cold. So I was trying to get it and get out.

Kelsey Davis  17:49

And then once you got the photo, what was the process of Okay, getting the photo, the photos on your SD card into what was ended up being distributed,

Fivish  17:57

picking the right frame that I want to use. And I kind of pick the one we use the next day, and then cropping it into a square and kind of getting the crop of the house, right. And then the burning part. You know how it's kind of the photos burnt and it's overlaid over that image of Tulsa. It I printed it like I'm just like a normal, like quick print. And then like actually took a lighter and like burned it. Oh, word.

Kelsey Davis  18:27

So that was real? Yeah, I

Fivish  18:28

didn't take it back and scanned it. That was like super high res and you do that before? No, no, but I don't know. It was like, just the picture wasn't really enough. I didn't think so.

Kelsey Davis  18:41

When you're when you're when you're in those moments, right? What do you feel like? Where do you draw the dots from? If that makes sense? Like, is it just like, and how do you choose what respect you give to what thoughts? Right? Because it's like when you're going from that process? There's so many decisions that you make, right? It's like okay, there's 60 photos. You know, okay, these are the six to six photos that we can actually run with But then here's the actual frame. Okay, that's all that is one decision process going from them you know, you're in Lightroom you're like you're editing or in Photoshop, whatever and then be like nah, like, I could just you know, go do some type of burning overlay on to this like not like I'm gonna go take this step like like, what is kind of your what speaks to you? Like how do you make those decisions?

Fivish  19:27

Well, I mean, in relationship to what the project was the kind of burnt edges made sense and then to add that you know, picture of like Black Wall Street after it was burned made sense to to connect you know, now and then especially from that mansion, which has so much history and was like a big

Kelsey Davis  19:46

was it educators what was the history of the Brady mansion?

Fivish  19:51

Brady was like, one of if not the main guy kind of leading the leading the white Tulsa people into into Greenwood, you know, and he's sat on that perch kind of watched it burn. And his house is like an exact replica of Robert E Lee's house like, weird thing for, but it's just like, you know when FILA bought it and brought it back to the community completely, you know, he's just rolling in his grave. It's great. Yeah.

Kelsey Davis  20:21

Like he probably Brady Brady killed himself in that house as a KKK member. And then black man bought it.


Yeah, and then we recorded an album talking mad shit on everything that. Yeah. He's just he's just fucking spinning. Like a washing machine. Yeah.

Kelsey Davis  20:43

Shout out to Fivish. Got Brady spinning. Yeah. So tell me about, you know, what do you what are some of the challenges that you've had? You know, your your would you say you're a full time freelancer? No, first. Yeah. Okay, so what are the challenges that you've had, you know, becoming a full time freelancer and then still now, you know, as you are freelancing on a day to day

The Main Challenges of Freelancing

Fivish  21:06

navigating jobs, which jobs to take, which ones could be easy, but unfulfilling. Which ones are worth kind of putting more effort into making? plausible, and I've been working? It's kind of what you were talking about earlier, is getting in positions that you would want that kind of interests you, but places you might be anyways, you know, making the most of a connection? or what have you to kind of push relationships to a point where you can actually get work from them. Yeah. And I mean, like, there's not a whole lot of work around till I mean, there is, but I don't know, I have ambitions for kind of a more full schedule as a freelancer. And that's kind of the harder part is figuring out how to get into those jobs.

Kelsey Davis  22:00

What are some of the when you're it sounds like you're talking a lot about like deal flow of opportunities, right? Like, yeah, what's that process? Right now? Right? Like, how do you historically kind of when jobs come in, or you're seeking jobs? Like, where do you generally find them? Where are those generally presented?

Fivish  22:19

Word of mouth is mainly, I mean, I could do better marketing myself for other jobs. But a lot of the jobs I want aren't really the type of jobs that you find. Yeah, like, they're not the jobs that you can just get without help. Or knowing someone or building a connection with someone that might be able to toss you a bone to do one gig, you know, you prove yourself in that opportunity. And you got, you know, then they start coming in for real. But yeah, I've been working on. I've worked on two movies now, as a stills photographer. And that's really, really fun. Yeah, so I think I'm gonna kind of try to push towards more film industry stuff.

The Present and Future of the Tulsa Creator Economy

Kelsey Davis  23:02

Yeah. And I mean, talk a little bit about if you can, like, even just like the film industry stuff, you're like, that's starting to happen in Tulsa, right, because you've been in Tulsa for a minute. And like, I know that when I was in Georgia, so like in elementary school, that was when like the tax legislation passed in Georgia and Atlanta, that basically created all these incentives for the production industry to boom in bursts out of Atlanta. So it was like, by the time I was in high school, it's like, you have all these programs around like developing PA is lighting sound like people are literally traveling from all across the country at the time, it was cheaper to live in Atlanta, still is I would say then, like a New York, LA and so the market was able to boom, I see a similar thing that kind of happened. Okay, talk to you about it.

Fivish  23:44

I mean, it's tax incentives. Yeah. So shoot multiple films here, like, in like, a year or two, like, Are these like plans? And I mean, you it's cheap. And you've got all the infrastructure and like, the settings depending like, you can go flat, you can go city, you can go so

Kelsey Davis  24:03

I say it's like people it's like, even when you look at Oklahoma as a state, right? It's like geographically, like the diversity of landscape that you have to operate in. I mean, it's like a filmmakers dream. I mean,

Fivish  24:15

yeah, cuz you can shoot a whole movie here. And, you know, say it's a Montana. Yeah. And if you shoot it, right, it's looks like it's in Montana. Yeah. You know, so the tax incentives are big. Yeah, like, I don't know. I think Tulsa will, you know, as it's growing into tech more and film industries and artists money and kind of cultivating local talent. Just gonna keep getting bigger

Kelsey Davis  24:43

like what do you what do you feel like it needs and what do you feel like? What are gaps that are currently missing that you see right now that need to be filled in order to actually grow this into this like production film music market that's also wants to be

Fivish  24:57

Exposure, maybe like this year? Between this I mean, you can do, we can do cool stuff here have been, we'll keep doing it. But it doesn't really reach the masses in any impactful way that makes. I mean, it's starting to probably but I don't know that makes people interested in, you know, coming to visit or coming. I mean, like I said, it's starting to more and more, but it still doesn't feel like a place that's it's partially where we are in the middle of this otherwise terrible state. Like Tulsa is a weird little pocket of culture and energy that we don't really we're from Tulsa, like I say from Tulsa, not from Oklahoma. Better.

Kelsey Davis  25:42

i It's the same thing saying you're from Atlanta versus you're from Georgia.

Fivish  25:45

Yeah. You know, yeah. Very similar.

Kelsey Davis  25:48

Yeah. People asked me they're like, how do you feel living in like, Oklahoma?

Fivish  25:54

No, you're like, Yo, so

Kelsey Davis  25:56

like, I'm from like, Georgia.

Fivish  25:57

Backers as fuck in response to like, I'm from Oklahoma.

Kelsey Davis  26:02

What are some of the funniest the funniest Oklahoma responses?

Fivish  26:07

Like, someone didn't know if you get cars? I swear to God it's like bro. If you don't know, if you like, Oklahoma, like you've maybe seen the play. Like you guys just fucking go around singing all the time. Like, yeah, cowboys. But yeah. They think some crazy shit. Yeah. But it's also kind of cool. Being from Oklahoma, and giving people another idea of what people from what Oklahoma are.

Kelsey Davis  26:37

And I even say like and that's like Tulsa. It's like, even when I think about like Black Wall Street. It's like 100 years ago, right? It's like, arguably, people were kind of doing the same thing in the context of like flocking and Tulsa, building out these like business entities. Like at the time, like oil was the thing that struck you had people also coming like Greenwood was established in 1906. Black people, freedmen, you know, Native Americans, like all we're moving here, post emancipation, trailer tears. So it's like you had that whole era of like, mid 1800s, late 1800s, early 1900s, where like, all of this like was happening, like, then you have oil, then you have Tulsa city, becomes a city I think it was totally the city became a city 1898 Oklahoma became a state 1907. Listen, I'm a nerd. I have a master's degree in history. Now. But I mean, imagine it's like the Israel a lot of these people. It's like they lived, they didn't they didn't have any sense of like, like, they didn't live in slavery. You know what I mean? Like they didn't, they didn't live in, like oppression in the way that we understand it. And then like, that was brought on top, the opportunities came the oil comes the people move. And then I mean, you see what kind of happens right between like, what 1907 1921 Not just in Tulsa, but like, everywhere, you know what I mean? And so it's like, for me, it's like, Alright, man, you literally see this influx of we have people moving from all across the country all across the world right now, tapping into Tulsa. You see this way this started how I've been I believe that Tulsa has the capacity in the next decade to really build into one of the next rising like international culture hubs. In my opinion, I think even if you look at what's driven Tulsa so far, you see arts you see culture, you know, but we have to make sure that you know, you know, tech is great, right? These production is great, right? But being able to collaboratively integrate industry and community make

Fivish  28:42

sure it doesn't lose its soul. With all the business in tech, I mean, yeah, I agree. I think the more artists making good work and doing crazy shit, the better. I was just going to help everything else, especially with the money coming into artists.

The Power of Documentation as a Creator

Kelsey Davis  28:59

What role do you feel like artists play in society, especially in a city like Tulsa?

Fivish  29:05

The question Yeah. I don't know.

Kelsey Davis  29:10

All artists, not just musicians, like photographers, creators.

Fivish  29:14

Well in terms of myself. Documentation, kind of, that's the main purpose. I feel like I like I like print. I like things, you know, that live past social media, like books, photography, books, and things you can look at forever, and it still has a feeling of relatability but also of another time, you know, it kind of gives you

Kelsey Davis  29:38

what do you wish the fear of what happens when things aren't documented? Because it's it sounds like even like a lot of the projects and I know some of the projects you've worked on, and want to work on. And it seems like maybe you have an intrinsic desire for those things to be documented well, right like it to be captured in a way that people can You have longevity with, right and be able to experience for a long time, and you want it to maybe be there anyway. So it's like, hey, it's almost like you can serve that in that way.

Fivish  30:11

Yeah. It's, I mean, there's so many great photographers from like, beginning, you know, since cameras were invented, that you can just look at their images and you kind of you put yourself in their shoe with, like, where they were with, they're looking at, like, what's going on? I don't know. It's like time travel, pause, be like pausing moments that really can't really be recreated if, you know, they're kind of as they're happening, like a lot of the crowd stuff and street stuff. Yeah. Even the FILA stuff like a key. I mean, you could try to recreate the cover shot, but it wouldn't be the same. Yeah, you know, so. I don't know, legacy, maybe? Yeah. Something that's gonna last? Yeah.

Kelsey Davis  30:56

What do you what do you want people to know? About Fivish, obviously, yes, you're a photographer. You want people to see your stills. But I guess what, what is the differentiator? What is the kind of unique value for lack of better terms? You know, when fivish pops on set, like what happens that's different than someone else?

Fivish  31:23

That think I can people, I can move easily through, you know, big crowds of people, if it's all friends. Do you know what I mean? Yeah. And if it's a friend with a camera and your face, yeah, you're much more comfortable and open, you're gonna give people more than some random dude that wants to take a photo of you. Yeah, I think just more comfortable. Maybe more yourself. It's like, why a lot of those FILA portraits turned out so like, you know, the look and feel. Yeah, because you can, like kind of tell

Kelsey Davis  31:55

The subject is willing to be vulnerable with you. Yeah. I mean, even even like, our friendship, it's like, every single time I'm with you, I see you out. And especially if I didn't expect you to be there. It's like, immediately when I see you, so have my guard goes all the way down. It's like, you know, it's like the beginning of this interview. It's like, I feel warm, cozy. It's just Fivish, or maybe

Fivish  32:17

It's like trust, isn't it? Yeah. In fact, that's the true Tulsa, though, isn't it? It's accepting. But you've got to be cool. I mean, you can't be like a dickhead. Yeah. You know, you can't be like, selfish. Yeah. You can't be like, mean, for no reason. Yeah, I don't know. I feel like it's also like, accepts anyone as a Tulsan. As long as you've got the right attitude about it.

Kelsey Davis  32:43

Yeah, I think that's true community, right. There's value exchange. There's a level of similar vision mindset around like, what it is that we're all trying to create and embody. And I think that also comes with an accountability of trust and knowing that like, Yo, like, show love, be good. Don't be weird. And I think also in the context, it's also like, you know, we don't have to slave people in order to to have relationship. Right, I think in the context of whether it's artists, whether it's in any type of context, I think true community is one where we can cooperate. Right.

Fivish  33:23

And help each other. Yeah. And grow together. Yeah. And on your own. I mean, all of it.

What Freelance Creators Need to Thrive

Kelsey Davis  33:30

For sure. Cool. So tell me, we're about to wrap this up. Tell me, we always ask this question. If you can have anything added to your palette, or add it to your resource kit, whether that's people money, time, technology, what would you add in order to increase your ability to create?

Fivish  33:53

Big warehouse studio be sick? Okay. I don't know maybe even more opportunities for people from Tulsa. Like outside of Tulsa. I feel like I have this mindset that it's hard to break out of Tulsa. Like being from here. Yeah. Like you can break out somewhere else. And then come here. Yeah. Do so I think. I know. Just proof

Kelsey Davis  34:19

when you say warehouses like because

Fivish  34:22

I was. I mean, it was like, I just want to be warehouse studio to live in and do stuff. Cool stuff. But yeah, got me off.

Kelsey Davis  34:31

Track. Good. Good. Now we're in it.

Fivish  34:35

What was the

Kelsey Davis  34:37

opportunities for creators?

Fivish  34:39

Yeah, I think. I mean, for me, I can keep photographing Tulsa forever. I probably happy doing it. But it's also like another level of ambition to do jobs that just will never be here. Yeah. But then, you know, home base here. Yeah. And just having People, like big jocks, like come to Tulsa to do different brand stuff or X, whatever concerts, I mean, our concerts that we get like big concert to kind of battery. Yeah. And it needs to like, we just need, like, more. Yeah. I don't know, we could keep trying to do it ourselves. And we will, I will keep getting, like one shout out from someone big or like one little job for someone here. Like, you get to help a lot. Yeah.

Kelsey Davis  35:30

As we wrap up, if you gave any, if you had any advice that was given to you earlier on, like, if you could have Is there anything that? You know, it's like, dang, if I had this information earlier, what information would you would you share now with this audience?

Fivish  35:50

Focus on your motivations for doing what you're doing? Rather than like, what you are, how do you think people will react to it? Like, is there you know, are you passionate about it as something that you actually want to do? Or do you just kind of want to look cool for a bit? Are you like, actually, in the trenches of trying to become like a bigger, better artist or person? You know? I feel like Instagram kind of dilutes what people think is good and bad art. Yeah. Because there's just so much of it. Yeah. It's too much of it. I mean,

Kelsey Davis  36:29

so it's like that balance between like being a creator and influencer? Like, oh, is it good? Because you get

Fivish  36:35

Yeah, like, how does one stand out from the other? And I think it's, you know, the way they carry themselves, but also the, like, the motivations for what they do. Because, I don't know, just like people try to talk too much. Don't let the work speak for itself. When if it's, you know, good and if it's real, like it'll speak for itself back You don't gotta talk about so let's shut up. Yeah, shut up. I was a good Fivish Yeah, every every human

Kelsey Davis  37:17

Every human. Oh, yeah, that was the question. Dammit. Okay. All right. And we're back

Fivish  37:27

Coming at you live

Kelsey Davis  37:28

Before we before we wrap this up? Every human

Fivish  37:33

Just kidding. We don't want you to know where we are.

Kelsey Davis  37:38

What does tell me what every human means to you right? At CLLCTVE we say every human is a creator. When you hear that? What does that mean to you?

Fivish  37:47

Every person has, every human has a different point of view as humans. Maybe? Maybe not. I don't know. Lizards. No, every human has their own way of seeing the world. So they have their own things to say about it.

Kaila Mathis
Kaila graduated from Villanova University in 2021 with a B.A. in PR & Advertising and Journalism, with a minor in Spanish. She is now the Growth Manager at CLLCTVE and a Freelance Writer for Adweek.
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