Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Smart Creative Women Interview

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.


Kristin Nicholas said...

Hi Jill - Great interview w/ Monica. You are an inspiration. Thank you.

Jill McDonald Design said...

Kristin I'm honored... Thank You.
You inspire me too!
You're farm is enchanting. Learning to knit is something I've always wanted to do.

I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment.
So nice to connect!

MaryJane Mitchell said...

Hi Jill
As a fellow artist and licensor of kids products, I have admired your work for quite a while.
I just wanted to let you know that your interview really let me see the artist behind the art and to take away some great insights.
I too am going through a re-arrangement of priorities and plotting a new path with my art.
I would love to stay in touch with you.
Oh, my website is a mess too and it seems I never get to it to finish it off.

Dana Barbieri said...

I really enjoyed your interview and the additional comments you made on your post. I am amazed that you had your baby on a Thursday and returned to the studio on Monday. Yikes. Thank you for telling it like it really is.

Jill McDonald Design said...

Hi Dana & Mary Jane, Glad you enjoyed the interview. I think you have to tell your truth. It's been really nice to get to connect with so many other talented woman going through their on ups & downs.
We all have them :)

Becca Groves said...

We read "How does your Garden Grow" nearly every day at bedtime, and I even bought an extra book to use as wall art. And it makes me so happy to know that this is the art that will be imprinted in their minds when they are older.

I loved this interview. It was so fun to hear your story.

I adore your art. Thanks for sharing it with all of us!

Jill McDonald Design said...

Oh my goodness Becca... I can't tell you how happy your comment makes me. This precisely why I do what I do! Thank You for taking the time to let me know. I am truly grateful.

Autumn Hathaway said...

Jill, I thoroughly enjoyed the interview. Thanks for the follow-up here with more comments. You certainly didn't come across as introverted. Good job and I can'w wait to see what you will be creating next.

Jill McDonald Design said...

Hi Autumn! Glad you enjoyed the interview & thanks for your encouragement. It's so nice to be part of a sharing, creative industry. Thanks for stopping by :)

Muffin said...

Thank you for sharing! I love listening to the interviews of other artists. You are amazing. Thank you for sharing your art. I'm coming to walk the floor of Surtex! I'll keep my eyes peeled to come say Hi! Everyone calls me Muffin! Hugs!