What do the words "Creative Community" bring to mind for you? How do you feel is the best way to utilize members in a Creative Community?
The word that comes to mind is family. That feeling of “we’re in this together” can be exceptionally powerful and motivating. I think the best way to utilize members is to be an invested member yourself. Your support of the community is its own contribution and, as with most things, you get out of it what you put into it.
What was your first “Big Break” in your profession?
I wouldn’t say it was my “first” break but perhaps my biggest break has been my current position with Smashbox Studios. My first set visit was here, in Lightbox, about 15 years ago (yikes – feeling old). As a result, it has always been the epitome of the LA photo world for me, so it’s surreal to be working here now. It’s been so satisfying to get back into a role where I can work closely with such a wide variety of creatives in ways I just couldn’t as a client.
What's in your backpack/handbag/tote right now?:
Clutter gives me anxiety, so my massive bag is usually more empty than not. That being said, it always has:
- iPhone - unless I've temporarily misplaced it, which unfortunately happens often
- Pen - I love making lists!
- Business cards - in case some unexpected networking happens
- Ukranian prayer card - I don't speak the language but I carry it with me because my mom asekd me to
- My entire makeup drawer - for when I have to go from a long work day to a long networking night
Top 3 Tips you would give someone starting out in your creative profession:
1. You’re never done learning and that should be exciting. Making an effort to learn more about different aspects of the business not only makes me better at what I do but also helps keep me from feeling stagnant or stuck. It sounds cheesy, but always be improving and growing!
2. Don’t be afraid to admit you messed up. Just as you own your successes, own your mistakes and learn from them. When I was still super green on my first PA job, I got sent to do a massive coffee run but didn’t bring back a receipt for the producer. As a result, she didn’t have one to submit to the client for reimbursement. I hate messing up more than anything and, while it seems so obvious now, it was something I apparently had to learn from experience. And you can bet your ass I never made that mistake again.
3. Always say “Thank You”. It shows that you’re paying attention to the world outside yourself. But, more importantly, it shows that, as much as we’re in a business, you’re still human. Showing appreciation for someone’s hard work is just one small way to support one another in an industry that can otherwise be pretty dog-eat-dog.
Who are the people that have been instrumental in your success as a creative professional?
I’m sure it’s not a surprise, but my brother, Art, is at the top of the list. He hired me as an office intern when I was in high school to help with administrative duties. In exchange for my filing, shredding, and organizing, he gave me a peak behind the curtain at running a photography business. I got to learn through exposure. Some people are afraid to start at the bottom whether it’s because of ego or pay, but there is no better way to learn the ins and outs of this industry than to immerse yourself in it and take a whole lot of notes.
What would be your last supper?
I would want to find out once and for all just how many original glazed Krispy Kremes I can put away in one sitting. And then wash it down with a lot of beer.
What would be your Networking Do's & Dont's?
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