Aziza Jackson (she/her) specializes in content strategy and storytelling. Geeks out over the AP Stylebook, underground art shows, and anything sci-fi. With a background in photojournalism and and experience working in both the private and public sector, she has brought strategy and systems to bring a bright, collaborative process for us and our clients.

What led you to bombilla?

A colleague/friend of mine actually told me about this opportunity! I call her a colleague/friend because that is exactly what she is. She knew that I was looking for a creative outlet and opportunity to really contribute to a dynamic team with a dynamic mission and knew that bombilla was where I needed to be. Without her sisterly tap on the shoulder, I would not have found this opportunity and applied. I’m so happy I did!

How are you involved in your Community?

Community is everything! I am a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Established in 1908 on the campus of Howard University, it is the first black sorority and has a legacy of service to all mankind. I am currently active in my local graduate chapter based in Oakland. Although we are mostly virtual with the COVID-19 pandemic, we are still hard at work providing crucial services and resources to the community. I am also newly active in Black Women Organized for Political Action (BWOPA) here in Oakland!

Photos from Aziza's trip to Paris and London with her mom.
"It reignited my love for photography and storytelling and is one of my most memorable trips abroad."

What is your favorite type of art to make in your free time, in your work?

I was heavily involved in photojournalism early on in my career. Gordon Parks is one of my favorite photographers of all time because of his uncanny ability to tell a complete story in one photograph, a million different ways. I can literally look at one of his photos over and over again and see a different story every time. Photos mixed with writing whether poetry, news articles, or short stories are my happy creative place. Lately, I’ve been busier on the writing side but am hoping to get into my photography a lot more 🙂

Gordon Parks is one of my favorite photographers of all time because of his uncanny ability to tell a complete story in one photograph, a million different ways.

What is your role at bombilla?

I am a bombilla newbie! My role is Creative Project Manager & Strategist and I work with clients on everything from overall brand strategy to copy editing and writing.

What's it like to work at a startup agency?

I love how new everything is! Everything is moldable and pliable and nothing is completely set in stone. It feels good to know that I can contribute to the culture here and that my opinion counts as bombilla continues to grow and get even brighter.

How do you deal with the criticism from a boss or client?

I always welcome constructive criticism. How else will you grow? I’m always asking for feedback between clients and team members because it is always valuable when becoming better and sharper at what you do. It’s also a two-way street, so if you have something to say then say it. That way, a larger conversation can be had and lessons can be learned moving forward. Nobody is perfect but we can all grow by keeping an open mind and being receptive. There’s always room for improvement!

I’m always asking for feedback between clients and team members because it is always valuable when becoming better and sharper at what you do. It’s also a two-way street, so if you have something to say then say it. That way, a larger conversation can be had and lessons can be learned moving forward

How do you cope with what’s happening all around the country and/or World? (War, discrimination, injustice, exploitation, ecoanxiety, systemic racism, etc.) Any tips?

Self-care! Self-care! Self-care! Read a book, draw a bath, light some incense or a candle, take a break and relax every once in a while. Lately, I have taken a sabbatical from social media all across the board which helps me quiet my mind. Believe it or not, I used to check all of my messages, texts, likes, mentions, etc. right before bed. Nope, not anymore. Peace of mind is something you cannot put a price tag on. Take care of yourself!

What show do you recommend we binge this weekend?

POSE! Omg before quarantine I never had much time to sit down and watch it but I finally got a chance to watch while quarantining with my mother this winter. It is such a good show and touches on so many important topics within the LGBTQ+ community. It does storytelling in a way that addresses very difficult and sometimes taboo subjects with this hint of humor that is quite masterful. Billy Porter is everything!  I highly recommend watching!

Where would you travel if you could tomorrow?

BALI! My mother and I had to postpone our Bali trip so I am hoping everything is safe enough to go soon. *fingers crossed*

What has the global pandemic taught you?

This pandemic has taught me how fragile life really is. People keep talking about returning back to normal but I don’t really think there is a normal to go back to. This pandemic has unearthed so many inequities across American systems and institutions such as healthcare, education, and government. We have to evolve and I don’t think we have much of a say in that unless we want to keep repeating the same mistakes.

This pandemic has unearthed so many inequities across American systems and institutions such as healthcare, education, and government. We have to evolve and I don’t think we have much of a say in that unless we want to keep repeating the same mistakes.

What advice would you give to someone that’s starting a career in the creative field?

Practice, practice, practice! Seriously, read a book and study your craft. Work on perfecting it every day. Every day I am reading and writing -- every single day. I am reading from other writers on different platforms and in different mediums so that I can be an even better writer. If I come across a word I don’t know or read a familiar word in a different context, I look it up every time. I’m a bit of a nerd in that way lol but that’s okay. I want to know the origin and for how long it’s been around. When I travel, I try to soak up as much of the language and culture there as possible. I like to study how people communicate, how they relate to each other, and how they build a sense of community. So all in all, my best advice is to be a lifelong learner. If you do that, there will never be a dull moment on your journey.

So all in all, my best advice is to be a lifelong learner. If you do that, there will never be a dull moment on your journey.

Shoutout to our 2020 fall intern Yandia Miñana Pérez for curating these thoughtful questions for the interview!