Sara Sara Sara. This girl tho. She does it all! We met recently and sorta via instagram and sorta through friends and all thanks to 'the universe'. Sara is a badass trend forecaster by day, and an absolute DOER and SHAKER by night. She curates popup art events and blogs about art via Culture Island, she writes beautiful personal essays about growing up and stuff for Huffington Post and others, and she also curates stories about the female dating experience through It's Not Personal. Even more than all the stuff that she does, Sara is extremely fun and inspiring to be around. I've loved getting to know her these past few months and I hope you do too!
We decided to do a little interview swap today, so make sure to also check out my interview on her blog where I get mega-personal about my life and my feelings.
What inspires you?
Anything or anyone that challenges me to see things differently. I believe obstacles are blessings in disguise.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I look for inspiration everywhere I go! I see every day as a chance to discover something inspiring. I love to wander around New York, or any place really, and see what catches my eye. I take pictures of everything–I love typography, signage, bodegas, 99 cent stores. People watching in my neighborhood, Greenpoint, Brooklyn, has become a favorite pastime. Chinatown is also great for inspiration hunting. There’s so much happening here in New York, and I’m always on the hunt for unusual things that will inspire me visually.
I also make a point to see art several times a week to stay inspired and informed. I’m a pretty intense gallery-goer. I prefer galleries to museums because they take up less time and you can hit more galleries at once. Often I’ll pick a neighborhood and make a list of all the exhibits I want to see. I’ll hit 20 in one afternoon! Right now, my favorite galleries are on the Lower East Side, like Louis B. James and 247365 but a gallery day around Chelsea is a classic in my book.
Who are your mentors? Who do you look up to?
Patti Smith is my number one. I guess she’s more of an idol since I don’t actually know her. She’s a fearless artist who’s unapologetically herself in everything that she does. I love her writing and her photos – She’s super honest, raw, humble and down to earth. Not to sound like a stalker but I believe we will meet one day.
What makes you happy no matter what? Like if you’re having one of those no good rotten days where everything is terrible, what’s the thing that pulls you off the ledge?
At the end of a bad day, a hot shower is my go-to move. I sit at the bottom of the tub, let the water pound on my back and breathe in the steam. It’s my own little sauna that helps me process whatever happened and cleanse it from my mind. I've never been very good at meditating but I'm training myself in small ways like this.
Where do you go to find your special thing?
I love vintage shopping, especially when I travel. I go out of my way to find vintage whenever I’m on a trip. I like to wear things that remind me of places I’ve been to and journeys I’ve taken. Lately I’ve been collecting vintage bandanas. I also love wearing hand-me down jewelry from my family – I wear my dad’s old pocket watch on a chain and my great uncle’s opal pinky ring every day. It’s a nice way to honor my loved ones.
What’s your formula for a killer outfit?
Lately, it’s a pair of old, high waisted Levi’s 501’s, a belt I got at Value World in Detroit for $4 and a sparkly, vintage leotard and an Asian style trucker jacket. Plus black leather booties and a mini back pack I got in Israel.
Tell us a story. What is your earliest memory of making a conscious decision about your style?
Often I think back on my style and laugh. I remember this one snow storm growing up I wanted to go outside and play so I put on layer upon layer of clothing plus my snow suit on top. I ended up peeing through the whole ensemble! In high school, I thought I was pretty experimental. I remember wearing a skirt over my jeans and these huge, white button earrings I got in Soho on the street. Another outfit was a pleated black skirt, ripped tights, a Ramones shirt and Converse high tops. An older boy asked me, “Who are you trying to be, Avril Lavigne?” To my surprise, my grade gave me the Best Dressed superlative senior year.
Social media. Who do you love/stalk?
Petra Collins, @petrafcollins, Lauren Faye, @C_L_O and Cleo Wade, @cleowade.
Social media hacks. Hit us. What’s your go-to trick?
I don’t really have any tricks! I rarely use hashtags. I’m an over-sharer so I post a lot (probably too much) on Facebook and Instagram but it’s become part of my creative process. I use Facebook for reading and sharing articles. I use Instagram for research – I follow a ton of galleries and artists and I take a million screenshots of things I find inspiring. I’ve made a lot of friends on Instagram. It’s even gotten me a few dates ;-)
What’s something you struggle with in your career?
Finding the time to do everything I want to do! There’s not enough hours in the day. Overtime, I have learned that all my different passions are equally a part of my identity: My various pursuits inform, complement and inspire each other. So I try not to beat myself up if I’m not doing everything all the time.
Tell us about a time when you hit a breaking point, a fork in the road? Have you ever wanted to quit and run away to Bali?
Last year I felt really lost in my career. It seemed like I had hit a dead end. I didn’t feel fulfilled in my job and my lease was up. I was so tempted to pick up and leave but I had no money and nowhere to go. After feeling so low for so long, I woke up one day and finally felt ok not knowing what was to come. I kept telling myself “Sometimes when everything is falling apart, it’s actually falling together.” I got to a place of positivity with the unknown. I figured out how to embrace it. Around that time, I had my first piece of writing published by Huffington Post. That helped me see I was doing some things right. In the end, I decided to stick it out in New York and find a month to month lease. Only a week or two later, an exciting career opportunity came my way.
What is something you’d say you are always fighting against? For example, many people fall prey to comparing themselves to others, which makes them feel bad about themselves. What’s the thing you have to pep-talk yourself about?
I constantly ask myself “Am I doing enough?” I put a lot of pressure on myself to be productive 24/7 but I’m learning to give myself love, time and attention. I’m learning to be more patient and have confidence that things will work out the way they should.
What is the skill you picked up as a kid/teen that you still rely on today (i.e. teaching yourself html/powerpoint/etc., getting what you want from mom and dad, making a great sandwich)?
Since I was a teen, my favorite part of art class were the critiques. I got really comfortable with constructive criticism. I learned how to not take it personally and to this day, I love giving and receiving feedback.
What are you most proud of in your life? Can be career or non-career related.
In the last year and a half, I have proved to myself that I can build the creative and fulfilling life I’ve always wanted. And I can do it with little to no money!
What is your Two Eggs?What is the one thing you throw on when you head out the door that gives you that warm glow from deep in the tummy that says, “I know I look good”?
Lately it’s putting on a baseball hat. I recently got bangs and I’m still adjusting to them! Also, dark lipstick (Cyber by MAC) and tying a vintage bandana around my neck.