Her Story: Nakia Hicks

Nakia Hicks is an art historian, publicist, and Principle of Vision Media Management LLC, a full-service marketing agency. She is also a part of the NiLu team, refining our public relations initiatives to share our story with the press. We sat down with Nakia to talk about her career journey through the arts, and what advice she would give to young women who would like to follow in her footsteps. Here is HerStory.

What has been the influence of art on your life?

I went to a performing arts high school at LaGuardia. I'm classically trained to sing opera, but I never leaned towards music for myself in that way. The other thing that I've always wanted to do is be able to draw, but I cannot. I fell in love with fine art, so my undergrad is Art History and my Master's is in Museum Studies. I always reset with art. My specialty is 17th and 18th century French art. That has always been really important to me, because as an 18-year old making that choice to study that course, French art was always escapism for me.

I'm very much in love with the idea that you can make something beautiful from nothing.

Art for me is a really important facet of my personal spiritual journey, my intellectual journey. This passionate thing.

How do you face the challenges of moving in the male-dominated industry of music & entertainment as a woman? 

I'm always very mindful of any of the unspoken, because it's a tightrope that you have to walk as a woman, especially in music and entertainment. You have to be visually attractive so that they'll even realize you're in the room, but not so attractive that you seem accessible. You have to be smart, but not intimidating. You have to be nurturing, but not suggestive. And so, you learn to do this dance, all the while you're pushing your agenda. Your agenda is getting the work done. You're pushing your agenda in maintaining the respect on your name. Never putting yourself in a situation where your respect could be called to question. So for me, in a male-dominated industry, it took me time to learn about asking for my equal pay. 

I had to learn to use language with men in a way that is not offensive, in a way that makes them feel like their manhood isn't being tested. There's no lack of respect, but there is also a surety that comes across. So in my business, I've just learned how to maintain the balance.


To the young women who look up to you, and aspire to be in your industry, what advice would you give them? 

The very first thing that I would suggest to young women is to become self-aware; spend time getting to know yourself, because once you know who you are, the boundaries are set. 

Be disciplined in your life, and in your structure. You've got to feed your soul. You’ve got to sure up your foundation, and get the healing, get the therapy. You’ve got to figure out what pertains to your life, and start defining yourself. It all goes back to self-awareness. So be self-aware. 

 

How did you pivot your career?

I am the definition of what self-made means, so ‘pivot’ is a new concept, but my entire career has been a pivot. I've always had to go and follow the business trends, and shift my business as needed. So there's not been one moment of a pivot that I could speak to. My entire career has been a series of pivots. I am very limber. I do all things well, and because of it, I'm able to shift when needed. And it feels like because it's this way, I am the pivot.


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