For This Artist, Her Muse is Herself
by Amanda Almonord
This story was originally published on the Brooklyn News Service.
If you want to understand why Annie Bercy is so passionate about her work, you’d have to take a quick look at her background. Growing up with her family on a quiet block in Queens, her days were filled with creating. She was either writing music, creating videos, or singing songs with her sister. While in high school, she filled her after-school hours working in the theater club and stage crew, a process that has shaped her drive to seeing creative projects from start to finish.
It’s no wonder her work is filled with her presence.
Now 23 years old, the New York City-based content creator’s presence is all over the internet; her work is a testament to how going against the grain is the best way to live.
“I feel like you have flow against the current until people see that okay, that’s just how she swims,” says Bercy.
But it’s not without its challenges.
“It’s interesting…people have no idea what I’m going through,” says Bercy. “People always see the finished product of things, but they don’t see the nights spent editing, having to meet deadlines, the amount of work that’s on my plate, you know, trying to balance it all…”
That balancing act became harder to manage over the summer with the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests. With protestors lining the streets, Bercy found herself overwhelmed with sadness and frustration. Longing to fill the hole in her chest and the lump in her throat, she decided to fuel her energy and create a mood board filled with images of the summer’s protests and marches.
“Posting that and getting a response was something that was unexpected,” she says, “but I wouldn’t have known the number of people it would have affected if I didn’t post it, and it ended up being the reason why Ciara reached out to me.”
The Grammy award-winning artist commissioned Bercy to direct Rooted, a proclamation of Black joy, happiness, and pride.
Bercy stressed that the creative process behind her mood board was not for the sole purpose of making a name for herself but rather a way to bring healing, and she suggests that others do the same. “Create because it’ll make you feel better. Your work will affect others and stand out,” she says.
Bercy credits success in her career was reached by being unapologetically herself. For had she listened to others, her life would’ve been completely different. “I would have been a nurse,” she said, laughing.
Bercy admitted that finding support was difficult at first. “When people try to like stop you, in a way, it’s to protect you because they’re worried… it comes out of love,” says Bercy, “however, you can listen to the worries, but you can’t join them. You can take their side into consideration to understand the risk that you’re taking, but you can’t join them. You have to say yes to your passion because that’s how one lives the most fulfilling life.”
But following one’s passion is a risky business, a business that Bercy had to faced head-on. In 2016, she took a year off from school and quit her job, something she says was completely frowned upon by her family. But her decision led to new opportunities and growth. “Taking that risk allowed me to meet so many people,” she said. “I was going outside meeting people, and that eventually, it connected me to my later job at Hot97. Continuing to freelance and continuing to network myself exposed me to the people that would be the foundation of what my career would be.”
While working with Ciara may seem like her career’s apex, Bercy has no plans to stop. Soon to be a graduate of Brooklyn College with a degree in film production, Bercy’s plans after graduation are the same plans she’s always had: to continue taking projects head-on and watching her ideas come to life through and through. “I want to take in work, take in these music videos, and I want to delve into other short forms of content. I’d love to delve into the fashion industry as well and create content for them,” Bercy says.
There’s no doubt that she will.