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?
Collaboration is the name of the game for me and without a creative community I would have none of that. I thrive on bouncing ideas off one another to get myself inspired for projects. I am not one who likes to work alone all the time, and I love the feeling of community in a creative form and in life as well!
How did you discover your creativity?
It's funny, I think it's all I've ever really known. I was always coloring, doodling, and making things as a child. From about the age of six or seven I knew I wanted to be an artist, and sort of knew I would be doing something creative, not quite sure what it would be though. I never wanted to do or be anything else (other than the first woman to play for the Yankees, but that dream died around ten!)
What are you working on these days?
Recently I have done a couple commercials which was a new fun challenge. I am also getting my studio in order for photo shoots, commercials, and event rentals. This year as well, I plan on painting more backdrops for custom orders or rentals, as painting is one of my most favorite things to do.
What was your first “Big Break” in your profession?
Well, I sort of had a couple big stepping stones throughout my career. While photo and set assisting, at 27, I got asked to art direct, set design, and photograph a campaign for Sony's windows. The images were in the windows on Madison Avenue, in Chicago and San Francisco. This was HUGE for me! The windows got first place in VM+SD (Visual Merchandising and Store Design) 11th Annual International Visual Competition for "Windows'/Product" category. I was pursuing being a photographer then, but also loved to work on set concepts and producing my own shoots. Even though the Sony job did not quite get my photo career to take off, it was a great learning experience and accomplishment at the time.
The second bone thrown my way was when I was primarily set assisting a few years later. I had worked on a Target shoot once or twice. A few months after my last assisting job with them, I got asked to go to Florida as the main prop stylist. I wasn't convinced that this was my path, to only be a set designer/prop stylist, until I had worked on a photo shoot with Amanda Pratt making some kooky headpieces. I compiled whiffle balls and various tchotchkes, glued them together, spray painted them black, and they were a hit! From then on, I knew doing sets and props would be my main route.
What's in your backpack/handbag/tote right now?
Haha - so much! All sorts of chargers and battery packs for phones, lipstick and a mini pharmacy, work and personal notebooks, receipt binder for jobs, wallet, probably random screws I found in my pockets and threw in there, and way too many Bed, Bath & Beyond coupons that have probably expired!
Top 3 Tips you would give someone starting out in your creative profession:
1. Work hard! I'm from the pre-social media days of making your way, and I still believe you have to put in the time and energy to get ahead in this business.
2. Get your finances in order. Sounds so serious, but if you do sets and props, I highly recommend getting a bookkeeper and accountant in your back pocket from the get-go!
3. Love what you do. Doing sets and props is not for the faint of heart and you really have to love this to make it work and be successful at it.
Who are you following right now on Instagram for inspiration and why?
I love following various artists and painters for inspiration who are not in this industry. I also follow loads of places in the Mediterranean for that quick fix to daydream when I see an image of the sea.
What is your MOTTO in life?
Well my motto within my business has always been: "If I can't find it or buy it, I'll probably make it! And even if I can find it or buy it, I'll probably just want to make it."
In life: "Just be yourself."
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Getting a car and driving around Crete. I've done it the past six years so far and need go every year!
If you were on an island and could only bring three things, what would you bring?
A lifetime supply of macaroni and cheese (my other guilty pleasure), various gallons of paint, and The White Album.
What do your parents think you do?
They think I work way too much and too hard!
What would be your Networking Do's & Dont's?
Don't drink too much at a networking party.
Do drink just enough to talk to everyone.
And remember your business cards!