Selena Davant took a dark time in her life–a painful breakup–and found something to smile about. In 2016, the art director, content creator, photographer, videographer and digital campaign director launched Smile A Day, a social media-driven project that captures smiling portraits of people. She asks them: “What makes you happy and why?”
With her passion project, the art director at Apple Inc., hopes to slap sadness out of her sight and inspire other people to do the same.
How did Smile A Day come about?
After experiencing the most unexpected but also painful breakup, I made a choice to be happy, to break through sadness and to fall in love with myself. That’s when Smile A Day was born. It is a passion project that looks into the richness of life through the lens of a smile. It’s my decision, my action, my way to slap sadness out of my sight.
For the past two years, I’ve been going out of my comfort zone to unlock my full potential. I’ve been traveling into different communities to capture smiling portraits and to collect the answer to a simple, yet personal question: “What makes you happy and why?” from people I meet. Each portrait I take is shared on social media platforms as a way to journal and gather all my sources in a limitless space.
What do you want people to learn from Smile A Day?
The moment we stop and look at things from a different perspective, the moment we choose to change our attitude toward life: life will start to change its attitude towards us. From that moment, things are never the same. What I learned from this experience is that being happy, even after a challenge or a stressful experience, is a choice.
What type of work do you do outside of your passion project?
I’m a creator. I turn challenges into creative solutions for brands, people and myself. From design to photography, I translate the essence of complex messaging into visual stories and experiences. I live for creativity, fostering new perspectives and connecting people. I love to feed my curiosity.
I want to continue discovering unexpected stories and capturing the essence of happiness, a smile, through photography and other mediums. I want to do it globally and build a safe community for people to be inspired and motivated to create and be fearless. There is so much I hope to accomplish with Smile A Day. I will kindly express it and patiently wait for it to come true because it will.
What inspires you?
My family, friends, God, my internal voices, my desires/dreams and living life to the fullest – all of these elements are my daily sources of inspiration. One can’t just be on Earth and do nothing with her life. I make sure to challenge myself to constantly love everything I do and do everything I love.
What advice would you give to young women interested in starting a business or passion project someday?
I’m going to keep it very simple and say, “Just do it.” All of your desires are achievable when you decide to start. Work on your project step-by-step and at your own path and magical things will unfold.
If you’d like to be featured on Smile a Day or take a look at smiling faces and inspirational stories, check out the Smile a Day Instagram.
Interview conducted by: Stephanie Taylor, 1,000 Dreams Fund Contributor