YOU'RE AN ART DIRECTOR AND ARTIST WHO HAS COLLABORATED WITH BRANDS SUCH AS DIPTYQUE, CAN YOU TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR CAREER PATH AND HOW YOU GOT HERE?
About six years ago, my then boyfriend gave me the advice to study the people I admire. It inspired me and helped me figure what I wanted to do and what is meaningful to me. Then I rented a studio on Saturdays. It was an amazing feeling to be free in a room where I could paint and draw and be away from any other responsibilities. This led to a gallery show. After a couple years of working on the side of my design day job, then going part-time, then totally independent, I have gotten to illustrate for companies like Birchbox and Diptyque while working on my own line of print and pattern designs.
HOW DID YOU FIRST DEVELOP AN INTEREST IN ARTS?
I was a strange little creative child, creating stop-action animations, directing puppet shows at school. I did my high school senior project on "color psychology". I've always loved drawing and designing things, so I knew I wanted to be a designer, but I really fell in love with drawing and painting during foundation year at School of Visual Arts.
WHAT'S A DAY IN YOUR LIFE LIKE?
I chat with my husband while getting ready. Around lunch time I grab food and check out shop windows on the way to my studio in Chinatown. From then on I’m in a creative flow straight until 8. I really do not like to be interrupted. It’s intense! I listen to a lot of podcasts. Then I either have a date with my husband or friends or watch something. This is a typical day, but I shake it up often with an “artist’s date.” Every few days I go to a museum, eat out by myself, shop, whatever I want to do to “fill the well” with inspiration and give myself time to think.
WHERE DOES YOUR CREATIVITY COMES FROM AND WHAT INSPIRES YOU THE MOST?
The aesthetics of the past fascinate me. I pour over history: art movements, music, subcultures. I obsess over imagining what it was like. I read a lot, watch a lot of documentaries and collect a lot of jpgs of these things. So much from the past teems with meaning and charm. I also like to imagine the near future and how technology and social changes will transform things. How will the world look in a decade? What does my ideal world look like?
WHAT'S A PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'VE RECEIVED THAT HAS STUCK TO YOU?
I reference the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron constantly. I referenced it twice in question 3 with “artist’s date” and “fill the well.” The book is full of advice, especially for creatives that have become inhibited by their day-to-day. For instance, an “artist’s date” is a time you block off to do whatever strikes your fancy, but totally solo. Treat yourself! It helps the creative ideas to flow.
WHAT'S SOMETHING YOU DO EVERYDAY THAT BRINGS YOU JOY?
Eat a croissant, muffin, or scone.
BEST AND WORST PART OF YOUR JOB?
Best part: getting inspired, being in the flow, manifesting the vision, not having to be in a corporate office. Worst part: tracking down checks!
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST LEARNING CURVE?
It has taken me a couple years to connect with great, collaborative clients, and to charge smartly for the talent/time involved. It’s an ongoing process!
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE BOOKS, WEBSITES, FILMS AND RESOURCES?
My favorite book I discovered one day at an internship: Marimekko: Fabrics, Fashion, Architecture. I love the way bold patterns gave this permission to women to BE bold. The simple shift dress is such a symbol of the early 60's.
More books: The History of Graphic Design by Phillip B. Meggs, Communion by bell hooks, Choose Yourself by James Altucher, and here’s a fun one: Psychomagic by Alejandro Jodorowsky.
Podcasts: 99% Invisible, How I Built This with Guy Raz. A new one I just discovered which is great is called Make it Happen with Jen Carrington.
IF YOU HAD TO TRADE JOBS WITH ANYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
Maybe I would trade with the female gondolier in Venice. I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing!
AT WHAT POINT IN YOUR CAREER DID YOU FIND THE CONFIDENCE TO REALLY TAKE CHARGE AND BECOME THE WOMAN THAT YOU ARE TODAY?
I’ve got to say actually its been a lot of gradual steps, a constant process of scheming, reflecting, and gaining confidence.
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT A WOMAN WHO HAS IMPACTED YOU?
Watching Oprah every day after school from 1998 to 2003 really impacted me. She showed brave women pursuing their dreams and overcoming obstacles like a very mainstream musa milano! She’s still inspiring me with her bold, unapologetic, but totally goddess-like voice. #timesup! #winfrey2020
HOW THE PAST FEW YEARS CHANGED YOUR THOUGHTS ON WHAT THE NEXT FIVE YEARS LOOK LIKE?
I’ve realized that I don’t want to wait for clients to come to me. I want to go ahead and make things, make it happen on my own.