• Elsie Hernandez

"I pay careful attn. to the qualitieS I find admirable in others and try to mimic those attributes-J

When I first met Jessica Stallone the first thing I told her was that she reminded me of the princess Rupunzel from the movie Tangled. Even tried to convince her to come to my daughter's party as Cinderella. Not to mention, she's always in someone's wedding and from my previous posts, you know how much I love weddings. You can easily recognize what I mean just by seeing the vibrance in her images. With her artistic talent and zeal for life, Jessica is very inspirational and fun to watch on her adventures. Besides being humorous, Jessica is also a writer, artist, marathon runner, graphic artist, photographer, videographer, adventurer and currently the Director of Communications at SUNY, Rockland Community College. Her passion is extreme and she is genuinely a glow. We look forward to seeing her evolve. I usually say this at the very end of my interviews, because I truly love them all, however this is one that I couldn't wait to blurt out, "I love this interview"! I'm sure you would agree. All photographs were taken from Jessica's Instagram by the numerous talented people that she leads.

What do you remember about being creative when you were a child?

I was always very creative as a child. I used to keep a notebook of my poems. They were rudimentary and mostly about nature but the start of my self expression through creative outlets. Writing has always been a coping mechanism for me and a way to organize my many thoughts. I was also an avid reader. My favorites were Peter Pan and A Wrinkle in Time. I started painting and doing crafts. I loved being able to bring beauty to the world.

Where or how did you learn your talent?

I’m mostly self-taught through reading, tutorial videos and experience when it comes to technical skills. But, I’ve had a few amazing mentors in my life who taught me different types of skills that you can’t read about. I’ve learned compassion, leadership, time management, organizational and so many other skills from my many amazing friends, family, mentors and colleagues. Susan Lyddon, the Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Rockland Community College, has been a major influence on my life and leadership skills. She inspires me to live confidently, boldly and with positive intention. Dr. Michael Baston, the President of Rockland Community College, has taught me the importance of leading a team with a vision in mind, building a trustworthy and competent team, speaking with conviction and honesty, and empowering people to rise bravely to any challenge. I pay careful attention to the qualities I find admirable in others and try to mimic those attributes to improve myself every day.  

What’s the first thing you usually say to someone you just met?

I want people to know that I care when I meet them, so I try to say less and listen more. I ask a lot of questions and try to say their name repetitively in conversation when I meet someone, so I remember it. Remembering names is very important to me because it’s a sign of respect and inclusion.  

You are living your best life, where do you get your inspiration from and how do you think you are connecting with the people?

I get a lot of my inspiration from pop culture: TV, Instagram, Pinterest and music. I’m always trying to stay ahead and be current to stay relevant in a rapidly evolving industry. I’m someone who has always been drawn to innovation, forward thinking and fearless change.  

What would be a dream experience for you?

I honestly just want to continue to grow and impact more people. Someone asked me the other day, “What is your passion?” My passion is global good. I want to bring happiness and positivity to as many people as possible. I believe in my capabilities, my ability to lead and my positive intentions. The further I go in my career, the more impact I will be able to have and the more positivity I can bring into this world.  

What are the top three things you think about each day?

At work, I think about my career goals, senior management’s goals and clearing roadblocks for my direct reports. At home, I think about my family, friends and how much I need a dog in my life.

What advice would you give a younger person that is interested in becoming an artist?

Live your life with passion and money will follow. You must always follow your instincts fearlessly and tirelessly. Also, you can’t compare yourself to anyone else; your happiness will come at a different time and in a different way.  

As a writer what kind of writing do you like to create?

I have a tendency to write very dramatically. It got me into a lot of trouble as a journalist, because I would unintentionally over inflate. I write concisely with a lot of confidence and passion. In marketing, I’m writing to make things interesting to people. I think about why the audience should care, the needs of the audience and the methods they are used to being communicated to. At home, I do a lot of creative writing. I have a book of 400 writing prompts that I use to exercise my skills.

As an artist, what kind of projects are you into?

I love fashion, interior design, graphic design and videography. I make a lot of vlog videos to capture adventures I’ve had with friends. Mostly, I teach my skills to others at this point in my career. Managing staff is entirely different than working in production. I want them to grow and learn as I progress. Creatives are an integral part to marketing and I work hard to make sure they have the freedom to be innovative.

What other talents do you have?

I’m a very restless kind of person so I’ve tried a lot of different hobbies. I like drawing, water colors and pointillism. I make an amazing smoothie bowl. I’m also an amateur triathlete and long-distance runner.  

What is life to you?

I’ve been reading a lot of books about minimalism and Buddhism recently, so my response is influenced by those beliefs. I had a discussion with my brother recently, because he believed that, “We live to have a meaningful death.” Meaning, we live our lives for the culmination of death in hopes that our death would mean something to the rest of the world. I disagree. I believe that we live to have a meaningful life. Every moment, we have the option to be gracious to ourselves and impactful in a positive way to others. We live with an immense pressure to perform and be something. But, I really believe that all we ever need is inside us, and we can choose to get closer to that sense of self every day. I believe that the meaning of life is to live for every moment in a way that is true to yourself and positive to the world around you.  

Do you have anything coming up, that we should look out for or any future goals? 

I want to one day run my own business or be the President/CEO of a business. I plan to take my GRE this winter to get my MBA. I want to push myself to be the best version of myself with the most impact on the world I possibly can. I want to be good to myself and a role model to those who look to me for strength.

5 shot questions

Name a movie that would describe you.

I don’t know if there’s a movie/TV show that really sums up my life but I get compared to Daenerys from Game of Thrones a lot.

If you were a superhero what would be your power?

Super strength, like Jessica Jones.

What’s the worst thing you hate doing?

Like most people, I hate doing the dishes. Ugh! And, going to the dentist. Eek!

Who’s your favorite villain?

I love Regina George. Mean Girls is amazing.

What’s Your spirit animal?

I think it’s a cross between a unicorn and a mermaid, a mer-icorn.

We loved this interview! Thank you so much Jessica, you are amazing. Thank you everyone for reading our blog, please don't forget to subscribe. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook. Also follow Jessica on IG stonecoldfox2