Guest Interviews

Set My Mind On Fire with Possibility

We sat down (virtually) with some incredible women that we've had the honor of discovering through social media. With so many articles out about perceptions of those we follow and how superficial our social media lives can be, we wanted to take a positive spin on that and feature some women who are a positive influence through their work and the way they live their lives!

Each woman featured in this series is following her dreams, and listening to her heart and her intuition. We hope this inspires you as much as it did us! 

Third in our series is the amazing photographer Madison Perrins. We stumbled across her work through another friend and have been following her for quite some time. Her posts on IG (@madisonperrins) chronicle her life on the road in the most beautiful way.

1.  I know who you are and what your business or passion is, but what do you say when people ask "What do you do?"

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When people ask what I do, the simplest reply is, “Photographer.” I’m one half of a road team that makes photo and video content in the national parks—so most days I’m a photographer and videographer, and sometimes I write for my job. And I’m traveling about 95% of the time. My side hustle is selling my personal artwork—photomontages with strong collage and design influence.

2. Was there an "aha" moment that made you feel like you just had to follow your dream?

I didn’t recognize it at the time, but my heart decided on photography while I was taking my first photo class when I was 19. I had nervously enrolled in a traditional black and white photo course, scared to even mention to anyone that I was taking it in case I failed miserably (little did I know that part was inevitable, and I was definitely going to be doing that. A lot.). In that first semester I was constantly in awe of the art-making process, and was empowered by this new knowledge that I had uncovered for myself. Being close to art might not seem very novel to some, but I had just come from a community of about 2,000 people in the rural Rockies—any culture beside Myth-of-the-West-inspired art was hard to come by. So the work we were studying for class, and being introduced to the intellectual aspects of various movements in photography, set my mind on fire with possibility.

3. Who are your biggest inspirations?

Inspiration comes from everywhere! But if I had to name just a few people, there’s this photographer named Francesca Woodman whose story is very tragic—she died when she was 23—but the body of work she produced before that time is profound in the breadth and depth of its symbolism, pulling from deep archetypes of identity, especially female identity. I’m among the legions of young female photographers who have been magnetically drawn to her work. The same goes for Pre-Raphaelite painters, whose depictions of many of their female subjects are expressive, decorated, and elegant. Lastly, my favorite book, Women Who Run With the Wolves, is a never-ending well of inspiration. It deeply analyzes the symbolism of fairy tales and fables, and basically blows everybody’s mind who reads it.

4. What does a typical weekday look like for you?

There is no such thing as a typical weekday for me living on the road : ) But I make sure to once a day read, write, or work on my personal art for a big chunk of time, so that I don’t go crazy from how random our life is. We camp almost every night, and spend a lot of time going to and fro in whatever national park we’re in, depending on our assignment.

5. What are you most passionate about?

Though making art is my lifeblood and my link to meaning, I am most passionate about equality. I can speak on the topic of women’s rights, but there are many other narratives that need to be heard from people who are living with discrimination—whether it be about race, sexuality, disability…we have to make room for and bring attention to those stories. How much potential brainpower, ideas, and wisdom are we neglecting by excluding huge demographics of people from having opportunity?

6. What has been the least favorite job and the most favorite job/ career you've had?

The absolute worst job I’ve ever had was working at Subway. I don’t know if it was because I was a teenager, but trying to drum up care about making sandwiches was not happening. I’m guessing they were not that sad to see me go when I quit. Was I a brat, or was working there that bad? I’ll never know. 
The best (and the most stressful) gig I’ve ever had was as the director of a small but bustling student gallery on campus. The learning curve was huge, and I won’t bore you with the details of the job, but holy. Crap. It was great because it showed me how much I didn’t know about that part of the art world, and challenged me to step up.


7. What would you want to tell other women who are feeling ready to take the leap and follow what makes them happy?

To be very upfront, I would let them know that sometimes it’s a hard and ugly process, but only to emphasize to those who are gonna take the leap that it’s 100% normal to not have it all figured out. I would also emphasize the importance of supporting each other. If you feel envious or conflicted about someone else’s success, which does happen, remember that everyone succeeds at different levels at different times (a gem from my favorite professor that I repeat to myself often). For every perfectly curated Instagram feed you see of polished work, know that those pieces represent both shining bright moments of love born from inspiration, and alternately moments of highly crippling self-doubt. I find a lot of solidarity in knowing that everybody’s going through that same thing. And when we dedicate ourselves to doing our thing, we are inspiring others without even knowing it.

To see more of Madison's travels and art, visit her site at mperrins.com

DISCOVER MORE OF OUR INSPIRATIONAL WOMEN AND READ WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY!
#1: VANYA VUKELIC
#2. KATE FREEMAN

This Invigorating Feeling Of Joy

We recently sat down (virtually) with some incredible women who are making their living doing what they love. 

Each woman featured in this series is following her dreams, and listening to her heart and her intuition. I hope this inspires you as much as it did us!

Missed our first guest post? Click here to read it!  Second up in our series is a woman that both Marlena and I are happy to say we know in person! Kate Freeman is an artist from our home state of Mississippi. Her work is dreamy and lively.  Each new painting she does gives us a glimpse into another talented Mississippi artist and what inspires her!  Follow Kate on Instagram at @katefree_ for daily inspiration of art and travel photos! 

1. I know who you are and what your business or passion is, but what do you say when people ask "What do you do?"
Ah yes, the "What do you do?" question! Whenever someone asks me that, I typically just say, I am an artist! I like to keep it simple when someone asks me such a broad question, you know? 

2. Was there an "aha" moment that made you feel like you just had to follow your dream?
When I was in 9th grade, I started doing black and white paintings of bands and people I admired. It was then and there that I was like "aha" something I can do for hours and not get bored! Aha! I want to do this for the rest of my life. I am so glad I decided to keep pursuing my dream after school. It's been incredible seeing how my art has grown over the past years, since the first "aha" moment. :) 

3. Who are your biggest inspirations?
My biggest art inspirations are Frank Stella and Hans Hoffman. I live in a town full of artists that also inspire me! I am so lucky! A few are; Ginger Williams Cook, William Goodman, Kristen Ley and my boyfriend, Justin Schultz. I find inspiration every time I walk out my door. I look at color, form, texture and flow when I get inspired. It's the most amazing feeling! 

4. What does a typical weekday look like for you?
On a typical weekday, I wake-up, snuggle with my cat, slowly walk to my kitchen and heat up the kettle for warm lemon water. I then get dressed and drive (or bike) the 2 miles to work. My main day-to-day job is working at a letterpress/design studio, called Thimblepress. It's FILLED with inspiration, on a daily basis. The vibe is so colorful in our studio! Then after work, I exercise to give my brain a rest, drive or walk home, then cook dinner and make ginger tea. While my tea is brewing, I get my paints ready and I paint all night until I can't hold my eyes open any longer. Then I sleep! 

5. What are you most passionate about?
I am passionate about SO many things. Obviously, I am passionate about art and always will be. I am also passionate about healthy living. I am a vegetarian ( I do eat fish) and I feel amazing. I really try to be conscious about what goes in my body. I also try to take really good care of my skin! I love looking up vegan skincare and all the new brands developing. I am passionate about interior design, fashion, music and cats! It's hard to narrow this question down!  

6. What has been the least favorite job and the most favorite job/ career you've had?
My least favorite job was working as a manager in corporate retail. I worked a corporate job for 9 months and then made a switch! My most favorite job is the job I have now! I work as the Online Sales Manager at Thimblepress and I try to help/learn as much as I can with the marketing side of the business too! I have the freedom to be myself in an environment that doesn't judge. Thimblepress is full of laughter, color and lots of studio animals! 

7. What would you want to tell other women who are feeling ready to take the leap and follow what makes them happy?
Oh love, DO IT! It's scary at first but that fear will turn into this invigorating feeling of joy. The harder you work, the more it will pay off. It may take you a while to take that leap and succeed, but once you do.. it will be life changing. Follow those dreams, you are only you once.. so go for it! 

To purchase Kate's art, visit her website: http://katefreemanart.com

DISCOVER OUR OTHER INSPIRATIONAL WOMEN AND READ WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY!
#1: VANYA VUKELIC
#3: MADISON PERRINS

Love Yourself In All Your Colorful Ways.

We sat down (virtually) with some incredible women that we've had the honor of discovering through social media. With so many articles out about perceptions of those we follow and how superficial our social media lives can be, we wanted to take a positive spin on that and feature some women who are a positive influence through their work and the way they live their lives!

Each woman featured in this series is following her dreams, and listening to her heart and her intuition. We hope this inspires you as much as it did us! 

First up in our series is the beautiful words and art by Vanya Vukelić, otherwise known as  @merakilabbe 

  • I know who you are and what your business or passion is, but what do you say when people ask "What do you do?"

    I tend to avoid conversations where I might be asked such questions, but sometimes it’s inevitable so I most often than not say I’m a writer or a poet. It’s quite interesting to observe others reaction to my answer as most people’s understanding or expectations of ‘work’ are based on society’s cookie-cutter standards.

  • Was there an "aha" moment that made you feel like you just had to follow your dream?

    I believe Iwas simply tired of using my energy, hard-work and long hours working for someone else. I was guided by the desire to start a fresh journey of self-discovery and a dream to sustain myself independently, so I started learning how to draw in order to express my visions. Through this learning, which still is on-going, I am discovering a myriad of possibilities within.

  • Who are your biggest inspirations?

    Forever inspired and guided by Mother Earth’s abundant gifts. Inspiration is all around us, within, us, encircling us every breath we take, and for that I am forever grateful. I love to read, and few of my greatest inspirations are the minds of certain authors, poets and psychotherapists like Carl Jung, Anais Nin, Gurdjieff, Herman Hesse, Kafka, and many more.

  • What are you most passionate about?

    Love, relationships and dreams...poetry, psychology, and travelling, and manifesting visions into reality.

  • What would you want to tell other women who are feeling ready to take the leap and follow what makes them happy?

    Be gentle on yourself and enjoy your solitude. Great ideas are born out of the depths of silence. Get to know and love yourself in all your colorful ways. Find a way where you are able to express yourself. Any way that nourishes you. It doesn’t have to be the “right’ or ‘correct’ or ‘accepted’ way but it has to be YOUR way. So nurture yourideas, your imagination and your being. Surrender to your brilliance. The journey of taking a leap is never easy, it is never comfortable or safe, but it is always rewarding, empoweringand gives you everything you need.

To order prints of Vanya's work, visit her Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/MerakiLabbe

DISCOVER OUR OTHER INSPIRATIONAL WOMEN AND READ WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY!
#2 : KATE FREEMAN
#3: MADISON PERRINS