I recently did an interview with Monica Lee host of Smart Creative Women. Monica interviews a wide array of creative women. Her interviews are insigthtul & encouraging. She's a wonderful resource for all of us in the industry. Here's the complete interview.
A couple of thoughts I had after the interview...
1. The main message I'd like to get out is to STAY TRUE to YOU!
No one is going to tell you what you should do. Yes, you get general guidelines but when is your own business you make decisions on how you invest your time & resources so knowing & being OK with yourself is KEY.
2. Being creative doesn't mean you easily fit into a specific box. That's OK, it's actually really good! It just provides a challenge for you to find outlets where you shine. (and sometimes a little discomfort because it takes some work to chart your course)
3. Having a small business you love often comes with some sacrifice. This is my 10th year & we've made some changes. For years my studio did a lot of crib bedding work. Mainly for Target and their Circo brand. We did this at my studio for 6 years. During that time we had full time designers on staff to help with the tremendous workload. (just too much work for one person) This eventually lead to the opprotunity to have my own bedding line in big baby retailers. After years of chasing this at full speed & learning the ins and outs of mass crib bedding projects I decided I needed to refocus my efforts. We decided to go back to the basics of what I did best- Make art. The studio is now just Antonio & I. This has allowed me to be more selective about what I decide to take on.
4. In the interview with Monica I mention that you're not always going to make a master piece. I think this needed some clarification on my end. Not every project you take on will inspire you. Some just resonate more than others. There's also the factor of how you personally feel- is your head off somewhere else consumed with other concerns? I tend to be very competitive so I always want to have the best seller, or top myself in some way. As I continue to do this & grow as a person I now realize it's counterproductive to add the additional pressure.
5. Last point. I mention being tired after I had my son. Yes, I have one child & I know many creative women that have several so I know I'm not the only parent out there. With my business I've had a fierce work ethic. (probably to a fault) The first 5 years Antonio & I worked at least 6 days a week. (religiously) When I was pregnant with Luca I worked up to the day I had him, a Thursday & returned to the studio on Monday. I felt at the time that I had to I had Antonio on staff & two new designers at the time. Today this makes me sad. I wish I would have taken more time for myself. By not doing so I felt flat & exhausted for over a year. Lesson Learned!
I hope the interview is helpful. I am introverted so this was out of my comfort zone. Last year I was at a transitional point with what I wanted to take on next with my business & brand. It's easy to discuss your success when you feel like you're on the top of your game. When your recharting the course, a little less so, but just as insightful- probably more so.