They got there early, stayed late, and in between made January’s In/Visible Talks conference flow. We wanted to thank our team (those people in the fabulously bright yellow T-shirts) and hear their own thoughts about their creative process.
What is your relationship to the creative process?
Elena: “A deep-seated connection, sometimes fiery and passionate, sometimes a functional and steady burn, it is always present.”
Noelle: “Words are my creative vehicle. Everyday I have to be able to sell products and build an online community in a matter of 140 (or now 280) characters. Being prepared to find new ways of engaging with followers on a consistent basis definitely keeps things interesting!”
Preethi: “I love that the creative process is messy, and there’s no right answer. I appreciate that gut and intuition are as much a part of design as the rules—it’s liberating to be the one who defines the constraints. I get bored with repetitive tasks, so I’m very grateful that, as a creative, I can be more than just one thing. I’m a designer-painter-writer-dancer-traveler, and I love that being all those things helps me approach my work in different ways.”
When did you first realize you needed to be in a creative field?
Aly: “After planning my brother’s first alien-themed birthday party. There were 3D invitations and full ‘lewks’ for the serving staff (my friends).”
Kathleen: “I was 8 the first time I got a crowd to laugh and was struck by the power I had to transport them away from their cares of the day. Although I don’t get to see the reactions live through my writing, I still hear about it when people respond to something I’ve written and tell me how it impacted them. What a gift—and a responsibility to do it well and with integrity.”
How or where do you find inspiration?
Cynthia: “I find inspiration in looking at the little things. Small, almost insignificant, interactions between people or within nature. The synchronicity of life moving on around you as you sit still to observe it all happening. It is in those moments that I feel calm enough to put pen to paper and draw out my ideas.”
Anni: “Nature, always nature. Whether it be of the outdoor or human variety, watching the ebbs and flows of life is always an inspiration.”
What was one of your biggest creative challenges?
Cynthia: “Working within strict confines of how much individual ‘creativity’ was allowed. I had to let go of my own ideas of what would be successful and follow someone else’s process. I learned that working with other people who have radically different ideas might be challenging, but it’s also an opportunity to create something new and put it out into the world.”
Preethi: “Putting my work out into the world has always been hard for me. I’ve always been fulfilled by the creative process and the work itself, so it felt unnatural or unnecessary to share. That was a cop-out though. Many of my projects haven’t seen the light of day because of my fear, and I one time I literally stepped out of a conference when my app was being featured because it made me anxious. In 2017, I made a goal to Play More, Make More, and Share More. Sharing my work has only brought me more support and opportunity, but even after a year of practice, hitting ‘Post’ still gives me a mini panic attack each time.”
Who is one of your heroes and why?
Susie: “I’ve only recently fallen in love with her, but I would consider Isabelle Legeron [France’s only female Master of Wine] one of my heroes. She’s a huge advocate for natural and transparent wine practices.”
What was your first job?
Kathleen: “My brother, sister, and I were little entrepreneurs: car washes, lemonade stands, picking up mail and watering yards when neighbors went out of town. And I had a thriving babysitting business. If only I’d learned about investing at an earlier age….”
Susie: “Donut shop in Claremore, Oklahoma.”
What’s your favorite digital or nondigital tool?
Aly: “A Post-it. The best way to think ‘physically’ with a low commitment.”
Elena: “A super-sharp chef’s knife.”
Anni: “Watercolor pencils are a super-fun new medium I’m toying with.”
Noelle: “My trusty Canon AE-1. Long live film!”