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Podcast

Ysanne Spevack

Ysanne Spevack_mic & guitar

I became acquainted with Ysanne Spevack this past summer via the New York Observer‘s daily email, Very Short List (VSL). I started following her on social media, and she reached out to me shortly after. I was intrigued with her story and how her supper club, Kindelish, came to be, so we began corresponding via email. Through this correspondence I came to learn that Ysanne’s Chapter Be story involves a life of commitment to her creative self, and I knew that I wanted to interview her due to her dedication to creating a path that is meaningful and real to her.

Currently, Ysanne is Creative Director of Amazing Artists, North America. She is an artist manager who has had a successful career as a musician for over 20 years, working with such artists as The Smashing Pumpkins, Tiesto, Christina Perri and UK legends like Hawkwind and Elton John. She has also had 13 books published about food by such publishers as HarperCollins. She was born and raised in London, and currently lives between New York and Los Angeles.

I had the chance to meet up with her in person while I was in New York and over tea in the back gardens of The Standard, East Village I learned more about her path and current life chapter. Read on to see how she has managed to create a life that taps into all of her creative interests…

Can you talk a little bit about why you moved to New York from Los Angeles? I know you have a few different projects going on. Some are around music and some are around food – tell me more!

Ysanne Spevack_Amazing ArtistsIt’s really one thing that brought me here, which is that I’m working with a music eco-system called Amazing Media. It’s super-established in the UK, it’s been going for about 7 years there. The CEO is a guy called Paul Campbell, who was a BBC executive, but when he left the BBC, he founded Amazing Media. It’s a group of inter-related music business that all work together to discover and support new and emerging musicians. There’s a broadcast on-air radio station, a record label, an artist management company, and a number of other music industry parts to the whole Amazing eco-system.

Pretty much everyone who works at Amazing is a musician, and that’s a crucial reason why I’m so excited about the company. It’s led with that respect for music and an understanding of what it is like to try and get your stuff out there, get heard, earn money, get recognized… it has an experiential side and understands what’s it’s like to be a working musician. That’s the secret of how we are so good at being able to support musicians, because we know what it’s like.

How were you connected to Amazing Media – what led you to start working for them?

I released a song, The Mermaid Song, in May 2013 without a label, publicist, or distributor, or any standard music industry support. Instead, I partnered with a non-profit and a brand. I came up with this business concept so that I could do things differently, and reach audiences more organically, and with a message as well as with the music, and it worked. I had some great friends who were supporting me in an informal context, but there was no full time team.

It’s a 7-minute orchestral track with vocals, but basically it’s a piece of classical music, and it was released with a film I directed. So, it wasn’t radio friendly. This was basically custom music, and definitely not a pop song. LUSH_Mermaid Song_bath bombBut it raised over $24,000, which is a lot even for a song that’s more commercial-sounding and has a record label. I did that by being in partnership with LUSH Cosmetics, a British company with around 900 stores worldwide, and with the non-profit, Sea Shepherd, which is a marine conservation society.

Sea Shepherd was started by the founder of Greenpeace who left Greenpeace in order to set up a leaner, more effective ocean conservation organization. LUSH created a mermaid-shaped bath bomb, and with every purchase of it, you got the song. Sea Shepherd supported the release in a lot of ways via their network, and they gained because every penny we raised went to them.

Between the three of us, we generated a ton of buzz. The Los Angeles Times gave it a page of text and a photo, so that was very fun. And The Sun newspaper in the UK ran something, which was a big win for a classical piece of music and for them to be talking about ocean conservation. That made me really happy.

That is such an original way of getting a song out there. There are so many different ways now outside of record labels that musicians are trying to release their music. How did you come up with that idea? Did you have relationships with people at those organizations?

It’s kind of a long story, but I just made it happen. There is a whole array of different non-profits that I wanted to work with because they reflect my world vision. It came out of dissatisfaction with a lot of stuff that is going on in the world right now. A punk-rock approach to it would be to shout about how much I don’t like stuff, and although I think that is also valid, my approach was to shout about stuff that I do love. And to sell music while I was doing it!

I launched that in May 2013, and it got all of this incredible buzz. Paul Campbell saw what I was doing, and he was impressed that as an independent musician I raised $24,000 with one song. He was interested in how this kind of innovation could work in the context of what he was doing with Amazing, and how we could perhaps explore how I could support his own vision. Ysanne Spevack_stageMeanwhile, I was having a confusing time, because I was really happy for the project to be creating this much awareness around Sea Shepherd, and I was very grateful for everything LUSH was doing, but privately I was starting to feel uncomfortable being in the spotlight.

My whole career I have loved being at the side of a stage with a major artist, but now I was at the front of the stage with that much buzz. There was talk about playing a big show in Las Vegas with megastars and I thought, I want to do it for you guys but I’m not sure I’m enjoying myself right now.

That is a really good example that sometimes in life we get even more than we have asked for and can never quite anticipate what a project or venture might bring us!

Yes, so the whole idea of working with Amazing Media to help them navigate their way through this new market in the United States, and being a part of an inspiring team was appealing to me. The idea of being able to pass on my knowledge I’ve gained from years in the industry to other artists who do want to be in the spotlight sounded like a better fit. And the idea of directing an innovative and compassionate business model that is as lucrative for the artists as it is for the partners we work with is super exciting to me.

I get to keep working with non-profits and keep partnerships with great brands. There is a lot of brand collaboration at the moment, but it really is about how it all works together and making sure everyone wins. It’s about seeing a brand as a partner that also has a rich offering to bring to things. I’ve been able to elegantly bow out of the spotlight, and am also encouraged to keep my own creative things going, because that keeps me in the know and fresh in terms of the skill set that I’m able to bring to the team, and to the artists I mentor.

Can you explain a bit more about your role with Amazing Media and what it is that you are trying to do in the US?

We’re getting ready to launch in the USA. It’s primarily a radio station, which broadcasts on air, as well as online, in the UK and Dublin. It plays 100% new and emerging music so it’s completely opposite of most radio stations, which are about playing Top 40 hits, or Golden Oldies. It also plays every kind of emerging music. Ysanne Spevack_celloSo, there’s a show for rock music, another for EDM, a country music show, a folk show…every different genre of music.

Each of the curators for the different shows is chosen for having great taste in music, and being the best in their genre. So, there’s an Indie show that a guy named Simon Raymonde hosts who is from The Cocteau Twins. The way they get to find this emerging music is that the radio station is attached to Amazing Tunes which is kind of like a SoundCloud type of thing so that people at home can upload their music to Amazing Tunes.

The difference between SoundCloud and Amazing Tunes is that 100% of the music on Amazing Tunes is listened to, and then our curators select everything that they play on the radio from it. So, it all gets listened to. If it’s country it will get funneled over to the country area, and so on. They will go through and each radio person makes their own playlist. There is no “you must play this” thing. They keep finding people who go on to be huge. They found Alt-J, CHVRCHES, Daughter, London Grammar – who are all super-great, successful bands in the UK and in the States now. They all had their break on Amazing Radio in the UK.

So the idea is that the artists are going to succeed as much as the person who is managing them and their business – because so often the management gets more out of the relationship then the artist?

Yeah. That is what I am here to do. I’m here to look after Amazing Artists in North America, which is the artist management side of the business, and Amazing Records is the associated record company/distribution company. It’s flexible because some artists want to make their own records and sales, press out the CD’s, and give them to someone to distribute. Other artists are not suited to doing all of that on their own. There are those who are not good at YouTube. We are flexible in how we can support different artists with different needs. We have a team with an amazing range of skills and experiences, and knowledge in every genre and all over the world.

I came to New York, because we are launching the radio station here first. Sting and Steve Case are two of our investors, so we have got some pretty heavy backers! We are going to launch the radio station in New York. Los Angeles is next and then it will be laid out across the states. I’m unsure of the timeline but it will be nationwide with new music at some point, but right now, the service is online at http://amazingradio.com and also there’s a fantastic app for your smart phone that streams music and the radio shows.

How do you balance the work you are doing with Amazing Media and your own creative stuff? I know sometimes when you are in a work-focused city like New York it is very easy to let your job become all consuming. How do you make sure you find time for your own creative process?

Ysanne Spevack_happinessNew York works – It is the backdrop. I feel like I never work, and simultaneously like I work all the time, because what I do is what I love. I have no hobbies because my hobby is food, and that’s become a second career. Another hobby is to figure out the jigsaw puzzle of how to make music get out there. I don’t see that as a separate part of the creation. If you do what you love, doing what you love all the time is fantastic. I’m composing music and writing books as well as my work with Amazing Artists, so it’s all good stuff.

Also, spacing out is important to my creative process. I allowed myself dream time when I lived in the CA canyon with no cell phone reception. When you were at school and found yourself looking out the window and kind of spacing out and then the teacher would come and tell you off…that time is actually crucial. That blank time, I love it. I think that is as important as yoga time or meditation time. I like a lot of alone time. In New York there is a lot more “people time” than there has been for me, but that feels healthy to me right now.

You talk about following your passion, and it seems like you were lucky and knew what your passions were from a young age. Some people don’t always know where their passions lie. Yet, sometimes I think people avoid things like music or art because they think it’s just too hard of a road and they can’t make money so they don’t go for it. They might know they are passionate about something, but they don’t go there. How did you navigate through that? Was it ever an issue for you and did you ever consider something other than music?

No. I’m not financially oriented, in that I’ve found it essential to separate out the art and money, and I think that is a huge tip. That is a tip I was given when I worked on a project with a really great man who is recognized in the opera world. His name is Peter Sellars, he’s a celebrated opera director. He is totally committed to what he does, and lives similar to the way I do in terms of being on the road a lot, and being totally committed to his work as a creative. I was working with him, and at a juncture he said to me, “You should never consider the finance.” It wasn’t like an afterwards negotiate. It was never. It was a huge piece of advice for me, and I’m so glad I took it.

In whatever field you are in, whether it’s music or arts or whatever. I have friends who are millionaires in those industries. I’m not saying it can’t happen. I’m saying that in terms of making decisions about what you are doing, whether it’s to become an American Idol style super commercial artist (and for some people it’s in their path) or not – if you are really just in love and are passionately compelled to do something, you’ve just got to do it.

And then you create channels for revenue to flow towards you. For sure, it’s essential to create art and to create a stable foundation for it to become and stable and thriving activity. All art production needs to be sustainable if it’s to continue, and that means it has to make money. But it’s essential to separate out the creation and the revenue into two distinct places.

How have you been able to do that in your creative career?

Ysanne Spevack_studioYou might have to lighten up financial loads or take the day job doing some other thing, but just make the music happen in some way, and to the highest quality. Really lowering your personal overhead is a great way of doing it, as well as not being difficult in negotiations and working with decent people.

And simultaneously, create multiple ways for your music to stream income towards you. If you don’t have these different ways to invite money to come, like having great merchandise, and a great music supervisor working with you, and a great tour lined up, then you’re not enabling an audience to show their appreciation for your music, and to get involved in supporting more of your music being made in the future.

For me, because I’m kind of putting that energy out, I find it really hard to remember a time when I’ve had a client who has treated me badly in this thing that is known as a bad industry. I’m coming at it as, I’m good to people, I work hard and have a high bar, and I treat people right, so I find that people almost always treat me that way as well, and also pull out the stops.

Almost every person that I interview, it doesn’t matter the profession, it comes back to that relationship building and the fact that if you want to create your own path and be your own boss then a lot of that has to do with creating relationships. So, how do you work on building relationships, managing relationships, because I think that can take a lot of time?

Ysanne Spevack_Chapter BeI see this current chapter as really freeing for that. When I was trying to juggle being an artist and being my own industry support, I didn’t spend enough time on either of those pursuits. That is why, traditionally, they were two different roles done by two different entities. These days the same person almost always does both roles. I think you get a much better offering if one person is delegated to being the artist and another is delegated to be the relationships person and strategy advisor.

By partnering up with Amazing Media, I am now working with musicians who are extraordinary. I’ve got talent to be able to hear when something is exceptional, like one in a generation level. For me, that is a better use of my time, to try to get that out into the world. So, having humility has allowed me to be freed up to be the relationships only person – which is really fun because I love relationships! These are real relationships. This isn’t like getting their business card and working an angle. This is like this is my girlfriend and I get to remember to check in when she’s got something going on in her life.

I think when you can combine deep relationships with what you love to do that is a perfect scenario. It’s about doing something that you love to do, while working with people who you genuinely like to spend time with on a day-to-day basis. It seems like you have created that for yourself. How have you always maintained the ability to create your own path, and why that is important to you?

I have always created my own path, honestly. I think it was just knowing that opportunity doesn’t generally have a neon sign. It’s keeping your intuition. It goes back to the greens and super foods, really. It’s keeping the physical body in tune and trusting your instincts. It becomes easier every time you trust in it. I started trusting my instincts in my mid-teens and now I can feel when something is interesting or not. If I’m in a room full of people I can see if there is a shining person that I need to go and talk to. That is experiential and comes from exercising that instincts and intuition muscle. It’s knowing there is never a neon sign that says, “Opportunity.” There is just a feeling and you have to trust that.

You are also creating opportunities for that to happen. Yes, you trust your intuition and are open, but you are also actively creating. One of those creations is Kindelish. I’d love to hear a little bit about how Kindelish came to you and how you decided that was something you wanted to do.

Kindelish_food spread_Abbey RaymondeI’ve always had this big food hobby on the side. I’ve had a bunch of cookbooks published. The last one Harper-Collins put out, and Whole Foods commissioned it. I have two new cookbooks coming out. One is with The Ranch at Live Oak, which is a high-end spa and retreat center in Malibu. This book had a press launch in November, and will be released on March 17th 2015 by Rizzoli. The second cookbook is a sugar-free desserts book that is coming out in the spring.

So, I started Kindelish because I wanted to do some experimenting for those two books, and also because I didn’t have any gardening to do after leaving LA, so wanted a creative outlet to replace that. Also, I wanted to connect with New York. And finally, it’s become a vehicle for the musicians I am mentoring to have an intimate stage to play, because they play an acoustic set with the dessert course, which is a wonderful way to experience them play. And also it’s been a source of income, of course, which is excellent and very welcome!

It sounds like it was a way for you to get acquainted with the city in a completely different way – and to meet a whole other community of people, too.

Kindelish was an opportunity to cement some new friendships I had made. I basically knew no one when I came here. I kept meeting people in the park, or at yoga, or wherever I was. I would meet people, and by the end of June I decided to get everyone together and have a tea party. I had to test my recipes for my cookbook, so it made sense to have a party! I made this incredible spread and invited a load of people who didn’t know each other. It was a great group of people, all types who might say “yes” to coming to a new girl’s event in New York. They were all very open, nice, and interesting people who showed up.

Kindelish_dinner_Abbey RaymondeOne set of people was a family who live in the West Village who are friends of a dear friend of mine in San Francisco. They emailed me the week after, saying they loved what I had done and would I consider doing an underground supper club in their house. They suggested I make it a paid event. I was kind of reticent to start with. They made the point that people spend that in the restaurant anyway, so if I could come with something special that would be a really great thing, and would be excellent value. So, I did!

Also, an artist I am mentoring for Amazing Artists was the server for the night, and at the end of the night I said, “So, I would appreciate it if you would all be quiet because our server is going to do a song.” Everyone looked across the room like, “Oh, no! Really?” Then she played a song, and it blew them away. They all had an incredible meal that night, but that was the most powerful part of the evening. That’s why we’ve incorporated this element into the format now, building in the low expectation about her talent, because she’s the server, and then giving her the stage to blow them away, as she’s an incredibly talented musician.

You can’t assume that someone you meet at the surface level is just who they are. To your point, so often in the service industries, those are the artists and musicians and the creatives that are working there in order to pay their rent so that they can be artists and musicians and creatives. So, I think that is really important and an amazing experience to give people to kind of check themselves a little bit and remind them to be careful not to judge. So, are you planning on doing that again?

Yeah, it has been on hold because I’ve been so busy with Amazing Media! But we’re planning to throw another Kindelish dinner party in February, with the same artist playing music.

Part of Chapter Be is about being. So, the idea is how do we find something that allows us to be our authentic self and just be in this world. How do we not just follow the “shoulds” but allow ourselves to be present and be who we are. How you have worked to create your own path?

I have always had a dual career. My first career is music and my ‘overblown hobby’ career is food. I don’t really see them as separate, I see it all as having a common thread. The music is about spiritual and intangible sort of stuff, and the food is more about the physical. The physical totally affects the spiritual and the intellectual, so there’s a mind-body-spirit aspect that totally connects my music and food pursuits.

What are some ways that you have worked to connect your mind, body and spirit – in life and in your work?

Half of the year in New York City there are no vegetables because there is snow on the ground. I moved to New York City from Los Angeles, near Malibu and it was pretty rustic. I was living in an oak forest in a canyon with no cell phone reception and living off the land. So, it is horrifying to me, as I like to grow vegetables from seed and eat them fresh out of the garden. For me, vegetables from a store are almost like eating take-out, but that’s the best you can get in New York in December. So, you have to look at ways of supplementing that.

Ysanne Spevack_superfoodsFor me, it’s the micro-greens, the super green stuff. I like to have a tray filled with organic seed mixture (compost stuff) and then scatter seeds on there to grow in your kitchen so you can use it as a garden. That’s a way of getting really fresh greens as opposed to getting something that has just been on an airplane for a long time. You can have fresh baby greens right there on your kitchen counter, it’s great! You can grow anything. You can have mesclun greens, you can have salad greens, kale, anything that is baby.

Also, every day for the last 10 years I have taken Reishi Mushroom Powder. Taking it every day boosts your immunity and cures allergies. It does subtle stuff and they use the word shen in Chinese medicine to mean spirit. It is very difficult not to say things in a spiritual sense when talking about what reishi does for me. When I first arrived in Los Angeles, I was lost. I really couldn’t make heads or tails of the city. Somebody suggested I start taking reishi, so I did. It helped me to define my mission and my purpose, perhaps by helping me feel physically healthy and therefore more able to think clearly. It really affected me. There was a breaking point where the city totally welcomed me in and totally supported me in that regard. I totally flourished there.

Then there are other supplements I might take like turmeric and lycium extract, which is made from goji berries. I am fond of extracts and powders. I also make nut and seed milks every day. I like to use hemp seeds. I pour 1/4 cup of hemp seeds and about 2 cups of water into my Vita-Mix with a ton of different superfood powders to suit the different needs of each day, like the reishi, MSM which is sulfur, and a whole array of little powders. I use bacopa monnieri powder because it’s good for your brain, or shilajit which is rich in minerals.

Where can people find these various items?

Online. There are a few stores in Los Angeles where you can get them, but in New York I’ve not found one place to buy them yet. There are a few small stores that carry some ingredients, but not all of them. New York is super ahead on a lot of style and fashion related things, but L.A. is super ahead when it comes to diet and health related stuff. I am excited to get this information from there out to people here in New York.

So, what does an average day look like for you?

Ysanne Spevack_Buckingham PalaceThere is not an average day. There really is not. During CMJ Week, I went to bed every night at 4:00 a.m. I really wasn’t just reveling. I was seeing a lot of bands and meeting tons of people. Sunday was just amazing with new opportunities. Monday morning I was meeting with you. Tomorrow there is a dinner. Wednesday Paul Campbell comes to town. On Thursday we have one of our artists playing a show. And of course, in between all of these things I’m working on emails, and having meetings, and overseeing rehearsals for our artists, and shooting videos or whatever else needs to get done to create the maximum opportunity for the music we are in the business of creating to reach an audience, and to be heard and make a difference.

What is your definition of success?

Living your life with integrity. To some people that is the opposite of the definition of success. To lots of people (most actually) success is measured by how much money or how high your status is or how beautiful your wife is or these types of things. It’s kind of the opposite. Really, integrity is about that moment by the graveside when people are saying what a really good person that was, that is successful. If you rely on your own judgment, not with outside people but inside yourself, know you are doing your best and have integrity in your vision and what you are trying to do, then that is being successful.

Do you have a vision for where you would like to see yourself go, or are you the kind of person who just lets that unfold as you move forward?

Both. I think you would be horribly ungrounded and floating if you didn’t have some kind of balancing point. It’s like the ballerina has a focus point when she twirls. It’s something clear to look at. If I didn’t have this as a focus point then I would have no value in it. I do believe in having a long timeline idea of what you would like. I have ideas about what I might like when I am an old lady. So, I build toward these things to an extent, but I have the flexibility to not be rigid with anything, and to allow everything to move forward at its natural pace.

How do you keep that flexibility? I think that is where people can have a bit of a challenge. When you are goal oriented, especially when you are creating your own thing, it becomes so personal and you can own it so much that you lose some of the flexibility sometimes. So, how do you keep that point in mind but allow yourself to remain flexible?

Ysanne Spevack_chair and instrumentsI think being a musician helps. With music or anything creative, it’s kind of magic and it keeps you flexible. I’m an improvising musician. That is the core of what I do. Everything else works around that. My brain works in that way. There are studies about how artistic brains work, and it’s fundamentally different than how more analytical minds function. A lot of it is about being confident about making it up as you go along. Other people may work in a more structured way, and be used to having a set path, but for me, I naturally tend towards being flexible about everything while retaining my drive and focus. Also yoga helps, of course.

It connects to the idea of knowing what your skill set is, not trying to be everything and being okay with that. Let someone else take on certain roles because that is what they are really good at doing.

 

That is where their passions lie. I keep saying I am doing music on the side but it’s bigger than that. My path is wiggly. My best music is inside me still. I have complete clarity on that. I also have no fear to pausing at this time, or anxiety or urgency to do it now. Linda Perhacs released her second album last year; her first one was very successful in the 1960s. Devendra Banhart got in touch with her a while ago to ask her to make a second album, and he put it out. He was into the vintage thing and reached out and said, “I love your vintage record from 40 years ago do you mind going back in the studio?” She just made this record and it got great reviews in the New York Times, and has integrity. That’s so much cooler than if she’d made a record earlier.

The word I’ve been trying to repeat to myself a lot lately is “trust.” I think you put that so beautifully. This idea doesn’t have to happen today. How do we allow and trust that it’s going to work out exactly the way it is supposed to. I think, to your point that is within you. It’s not going anywhere. It will come out exactly when it’s supposed to come out. You can’t power something or force it to happen. Believing that can be challenging sometimes. I think that when you follow your passion the thought is that there is supposed to be fireworks and everything happens automatically and that is just not the reality.

Ysanne Spevack_i love stringsNo, it can feel like you are starting from scratch. Especially if you have had like a successful career in finance (or something) and you want to be a potter. You have to get real, but you have got to do it. It comes back to the advice I got from Peter Sellars, which is never-never consider the financial aspect. If you have to go do pottery now, then go out and do it. That is how you are going to find your authenticity.

It’s just finding a way to do it that makes sense to you. I’m learning that it may not look exactly what you thought it would look like. This person over here might be doing it, too, but it looks completely different from how you are doing it. When you are creating your own path, you have to make sure it is truly your path. It goes against the grain of how our society tends to work works. Have you ever come across people who don’t understand the fact that you have always created your path? How have you navigated your way through that?

I think I’m seen as half-inspiring and half-challenging. I’m an outsider by definition. I’m a pirate or a mermaid. I don’t live in a standard way in this society. And honestly when it comes down to it, I don’t really care! I’ve got enough punk rock spirit down inside of me that I respect whatever others want to do, but I check in with myself to see if I’m doing what I’m authentically meant to be doing. Other people’s opinions (whether good or bad) are just people figuring out their own hearts in the mirror. I do feel people sometimes project whatever it is that’s challenging them. I’m not really that bothered whether they are or are not into it. I’m too busy concentrating on my own journey, and doing the best I can.

If you are confident enough in who you are then you don’t allow other people’s opinions to affect you much. If you are genuinely living the life you want to live then you are okay with it. I think when people do follow their own path the world will be a happier, more creative, and more innovative place.

Yes, and everyone with their different skill sets would be doing what they should be doing. Everyone has their own passion. We are all unique flowers, so if we’re flowering in ways that are unique to us, then everything gets better. I mean, the bar rises! That’s our civil duty, really. I feel like I do a civic duty by shining and doing my thing. My thing does currently happen to be service, and I am here to serve these artists, but I think it was equally my civic duty when I was on stage. The duty is to be authentically you with whatever you are doing, and to bring that to any role that you choose to take on. And so for me right now, that’s to be the most authentic artist manager I can be, and to bring integrity to my work, and create opportunities for music to connect with audiences throughout the world via my amazing artists.

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Notes of Reflection:

  1. We all should have a little punk rock in us! The idea of not really caring what others think, and following what sounds and looks good to you. There is a lot of power in just saying, “I don’t care” when it comes to people who doubt or question those who decide to take a less beaten path in life. Tap the inner punk rocker inside of you and next time you are feeling judgement remember not to care.
  2. Never consider the finance. This is not to say that you don’t have to think about how you are going to make money or that money isn’t a realistic factor in life. It is to say that if there is something inside of you that you are passionate about or love with all your heart – you can’t doubt it based on financial reasons. It is the same idea that if you do what you love, the money will eventually follow. Yes, you have to be smart and make sure your are compensated, but don’t let finances be the reason you don’t do something.
  3. If you have a variety of interests – you don’t have to choose. Ysanne is a walking example that you can make a career out of being a creative in more than one field. So often we think we have to pick just one of our passions or interests and focus solely on that. Not true. It takes time, scheduling and hard work, but you can in fact find ways to do multiple things at the same time. At moments one will get more attention then the other, but it doesn’t mean you have to pick and choose. Find ways to integrate the two together when you can – like when Ysanne has her Amazing Artists play at Kindelish – as it is proof that a complex being can come together to make something quiet lovely. Get creative!!

Reading List:

  1. Quiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
  2. The Gardens of Russell Page by Gabrielle van Zuylen
  3. Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty by Andrew Bolton
  4. Entertaining by Martha Stewart
  5. The Union of Hope and Sadness: The Art of Gail Potocki by Gail Potocki
  6. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
  7. Bar Tartine: Techniques and Recipes by Cortney Burns and Nicolaus Balla

Images (in order) via Mila Reynaud, Zoran Kovacevic, Can Lifestyle, Kristin Burns, Jason Lehel, John von Pamer, Darin McFadden, Chapter Be, Abbey Raymonde (x3), Steven Cook, Scott Byrne, Laura Kelly

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