My Favourite Interviews as a Design*Sponge Editor + Remembering Old Work
From 2016 through ‘18, I worked as an Editor at one of the world’s most popular design blogs, Design*Sponge. All about making the art and design world personal, D*S achieved through a focus on the creative community, and although the blog is now closed, Grace Bonney (the owner of D*S) continues to champion women in the creative industry. Her book In The Company of Women is a New York Times bestseller, and Good Company Magazine that came thereafter was no less successful.
And as an Editor of the Life + Business, Interiors and Travel columns, I’m proud to have contributed to the conversations, and today I wanted to share a collection of my favourite interviews and articles, including chats with Genevieve Gorder, Adam J. Kurtz, Julia Marcum of Chris Loves Julia, Jing Wei, Gwen Hefner of The Makerista, and more.
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After a year working at Design*Sponge, I developed my own inspiration column, Monday Mood, which was shared at the start of the week to set the tone of inspiration and curiosity. Essentially, I’d hoard anything that inspired, intrigued or evoked an emotion from me as I went about my week, and then sought out a pattern or theme to centre the post around! Renvent is a favourite.
Before he was as widely-known as he is now, I contacted an artist I was a huge fan of, Adam J. Kurtz, to collaborate on some Life + Business articles. His early articles with me are some of my favourites, like these Simple Tips for Success.
Another column I developed at D*S was Comfort Zone, aimed at sharing an intimate snapshot of homeowners in their spaces while chatting about their thoughts and feelings on home and self. Discussing what makes them uncomfortable, from the comfort of their home. Back in 2016, I spoke with Gwen Heffner (AKA @themakerista) about her Comfort Zone.
I collaborated with hundreds of D*S contributors to write Travel columns, specifically City Guides. This Portland City Guide with Valorie of Portland Flea was a fave, and fun to reference on my recent travels there!
MINNA is one of my favourite brands, so my interview with founder Sara Berks was oh so exciting for me. PS: I just purchased SISTERS Shampoo and Conditioner, and want to save for this Angle Pillow from her shop. Have a browse.
As an illustrator, I follow lots of illustrators. And one of my favourites out there is Jing Wei. As part of the Life + Business column, I contacted her and we chatted all things creativity, process and more. Def a highlight.
And last but not least, we have Colin and Justin’s Before and After! Looking at these photos now is strange because of how closely it resembles our new house, almost as if sharing their project all those years ago would lead me to where I am now. And I believe there’s a little truth to that! The things you surround yourself with, are inspired by and interested in are likely things that become part of your life in one way or another. And in fact, becoming friends with Colin and Justin led to my introduction into television and the world of HGTV, so truly it was part of the journey that led me to where I am now.
In closing, it’s worth mentioning that this process of returning to old work was valuable for me. It got me thinking about some new columns and social initiatives I want to start, and was a nice practice in remembering that your path leaves prints. In this increasingly digital world, it’s harder to tally the marks. You kind of have to remind yourself of the work you’ve done.
Take a minute to think about how you can actively champion yourself: Can you print out work of yours you’re proud of or love to hang in your space? Have you ever considered a physical mood board? In those times you’re scrolling endlessly and still uninspired, can looking through of folder or record of old work help inspire you? It’s sometimes easier to pick up where you left off than invent something new. Maybe you have lots of ideas in your noodle already that you’re forgetting you can run with…
Take a minute to reflect on some old work or jobs, and trace the path from then to now. It’s easy to see that things in your aura are there for a reason, so inquire within—trust the process. And know that the hard work you’re doing now will result in something— as the saying goes, every action has an opposite, equal reaction. The things you allow yourself to be inspired by now, the ideas you’re noodling on, the work you’re putting in, it’s all part of the path that will lead you where you need to be.