Are you prepared for what God has in store for you?
Before she became the charismatic Creative known for her genuine performances and dynamic talent in front of and behind the camera, Issa Rae was an awkward black girl determined to make a way for herself and others by any means. Likewise, the same holds true for visionary, entertainment mogul Tyler Perry who credits God for the courage to build his own table as opposed to seeking a seat at another.
They, along with other Creatives, serve as examples of people that have worked tirelessly to prepare themselves for success in an industry that is typically reserved for those within the same community of traditional studios, and have gone on to use their success and platforms to provide opportunities to others that have traditionally gone unnoticed. Although they have made the road into the industry a little less difficult for passionate artists, there still exists a massive barrier in between traditional studios and unrecognized communities.
To help combat this conundrum, self-driven engineer turned filmmaker Jerry Jerome created Full Color Magazine to serve as a platform for other Creatives of various communities to gain recognition and catch the eyes of those with opportunities in the entertainment industry.
As a native of the Land of the Trill - Port Arthur, Texas - Jerry’s journey toward a life devoted to creative expression hasn’t been entirely straightforward. He briefly dabbled in poetry to express his creativity at a young age, but lacked the drive and patience required to see it through at the time. That all changed after an inspirational trip to the Julie Rogers Theatre for a production of The Nutcracker.
“It was a majestic, beautiful moment that replays in my memory. The feeling, production, and color of lights mesmerized me,” he expressed as he reminisced on the experience that piqued an interest that left him in awe and ignited a spark for a potential love.
Caught in the allure of a new love, Jerry sought to learn more about theater through a class offered by his school despite the laughs and jokes that danced amongst the circle of fellow athletes that he found himself in. To them, the gpa-boosting class may have been a mandatory elective for the curriculum, but through it his captivation by art blossomed into a potential passion.
Unfortunately for him - as other students in a sports-crazed country - his education in theater was short-lived due to the all familiar budget cuts throughout the school district. With the flick of a pen, his flame for theater had been doused; but, Jerry is a creator at heart, and he decided that he’d still be able to create through the more widely accepted, society-conformed field of computer engineering.
Years after the completion of his undergraduate and graduate studies, he found himself employed as an engineer at AT&T in Atlanta. The work was manageable, the money afforded him stability and comfort, and Atlanta was Atlanta - a vibrant, modern Mecca filled with the many aspects of Black Culture in its glorious diversity and historical importance. This life was more than what the HBCU graduate - Prairie View A&M University - could’ve imagined, yet it wasn’t quite what he envisioned. The opportunity to truly create in the nine-to-five environment eluded him, but, again, Creatives have to create.
With the lack of opportunities for creative expression at work, Jerry bought a Canon 70D and began to shoot everything from the streets of Atlanta to aspiring models, then upload his work to his blog with aspirations to one day receive recognition from major publications. Photography provided the creative outlet that he sought, and gigs exposed him to other lanes of creativity, such as film.
Jerry would help out on the sets of other local artists that he met, and would soon realize, after dry moments as a photographer, that photography wasn’t the end of his journey; in fact, much like Stanley Kubrick who transitioned from a photographer to a director, it was to be used as a vehicle to help him transition into motion pictures as each frame corresponds to a precise moment in time, not unlike photographs. The opportunities to create behind the camera breathed new life into him, and he immediately placed himself on the clock for one more year at AT&T before he’d pursue a career in film.
God, however, had other plans.
One morning, nearly a year ahead of his planned departure, the company decided to part ways with a number of employees, Jerry included. He was offered the choice to apply for another position that was essentially guaranteed, but Jerry realized that if he were to accept a new role, he'd never escape the loop of lifelong claims to leave “next year”. The Most High told him to “go now”, and Jerry chose to listen.
Comfort was no longer an option, the decision to trade in salary and benefits for involuntary fasts and nights on the couches of friends weighed heavily on his mind as he’d ride MARTA from one job with baby-faced coworkers to another in order to support the late night and early morning writing sessions along with set time for short films and web series. However, it wasn’t just the struggle to deal with the unknown that was necessarily difficult, his faith in God’s plan subsided the majority of his worry, but the struggle to gain more recognition through the expansion of his audience was. This battle, indeed, was difficult to overcome, but it’s not uncommon to most Creatives in the communities that Jerry worked through.
He realized that a solution to this issue was needed, hence Full Color Magazine was born.
The world is filled with color and diversity exists within art. Full Color Magazine was created with the intent to highlight different artists from diverse communities of color - full color - in hopes to impact and inspire other communities. Jerry has set out to establish it as a platform that will provide an opportunity for these Creatives of underrepresented communities to gain exposure from the world and, ultimately, from those in the entertainment industry that are in position to provide opportunities with traditional studios.
He believes that exposition to unfamiliar cultures from artists of any form - actors, directors, writers, makeup artists, set designers, etc. - will increase the quality of life, and his desire is for Full Color to provide a sense of traveling around the world to witness these cultures to its audience. Jerry personally hopes that the magazine will inspire the audience to create as our Creator has intended because joy comes with creation.
Currently, Full Color highlights artists based mainly in Atlanta, but looks to expand to the rest of the country and, eventually, the world as it gains more steam. Jerry envisions a feature in Full Color Magazine to feel like an achievement to artists as they reflect on how they got their big break. Ultimately, he wants to use the beauty of art that he witnessed years ago to connect everyone.
Life has come full circle as Jerry continues down the path of creative expression that God has set for him. In February 2021, he’ll portray the role of King Dumah in Moliae: Moments of Love in Ancient Egypt at the Porter Sanford III Performing Arts and Community Center in Decatur, Georgia - currently being considered to be filmed, then released due to COVID - where another kid will be infatuated with costume designs, stage directions, and eloquent dialogue of the talented actresses and actors. Work for him doesn’t stop there. For the foreseeable future he’ll refine his feature film screenplay of Gold Rush, continue to grow Full Color into a premiere brand while he works with as many artists as he possibly can, and desires to return home to help reintroduce art, of any form, to those that hold a potential passion for it. No matter what, Jerry has made it a goal to provide a platform for artistic expression for those that might go overlooked, and he has made preparations in order to do so.
Success is when preparation meets opportunity, and from it stems the success of others. Are you prepared for God to use you?
To receive Full Color Magazine’s weekly newsletter and digital magazine, visit and subscribe to fullcolormag.com. To keep up to date with Jerry and Full Color Magazine, follow @_jerryjerome and @fullcolormag on Instagram, respectively.