This month we had the opportunity to interview freelance floral artist and photographer Claire Fagin about her colorful arrangements and creative process! Get inspired with us by getting to know her, her work, and her perspective on staying creative. You can find more of Claire's work by clicking here, or follow her on Instagram @clairefagin
Tell us about yourself. Where are you from, where do you live now, what do you do for a living?
I’m originally from Dallas, Texas but moved to California for school almost 7 years ago and have been here ever since! In school I studied film and art, and felt like CA was a more conducive place to making a career in art happen. After several years of experimenting with different mediums and styles, I now consider myself a floral artist and a photographer!
What does your typical work week look like? Is there a challenge in staying productive vs creative?
A typical work week is hard to describe when you’re freelance because no job is the same and my schedule is always changing. Some weeks I work on sets- music videos or photo shoots, and others I work from my garage which doubles as my studio! Given that I’m a night owl AND have a lot of control over my schedule, you can often find me working late into the night and then sleeping in. Some nights are all nighters, and some nights I just get to watch a movie and chill! It’s always in flux. I think my biggest challenge when it comes to productivity vs creativity is making sure that I’m finding a balance between my art feeling true to me, and also being satisfying to my clients. Sometimes, especially early on in an art career, it can feel like you need to bend to what others want from you as an artist to get jobs. Over time, however, I’ve come to realize that the happiest clients are clients that are handed over art that perhaps pushes the limits of what they had originally wanted because it came from somewhere in you that they didn’t know how to ask for yet!
Normally we would ask, what has been the biggest challenge you face? Given that we’re all facing the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, what are your biggest challenges in keeping motivated during this time? What helps:
OOF being an artist during Covid! Tough stuff. I think the biggest challenge for me, and for many of my artist friends has been this feeling of guilt for not working for so, so many months- even though it has been totally outside of our control! I can only speak for myself, but I put a lot of my self worth into my productivity- I feel accomplished when I’m busy, but when all work was taken away for a full year, it kind of left me with this feeling of aimlessness which led to insecurity in my career path. I just tried to take it day by day, and reassured myself that whether I had work or not, and whether I had motivation to create personal projects or not, I am worthy!
What advice would you give someone who wants to work freelance in the creative field?
My biggest piece of advice would be to TRUST YOURSELF! I’ve come to find that there are a lot of people who won’t understand the idea of freelance- they might give you a funny look when you tell them what you do, and you know what? That’s okay! As long as you are pursuing your dreams, working hard, trusting your own path, and creating from the heart, you’re golden.
How would you describe your personal style? What role does denim play in your wardrobe? What do you look for in the perfect pair of jeans? And what is your go-to everyday outfit?
Denim ALL DAY EVERY DAY! I need to wear clothes that are durable and protective, so I’m able to splatter paint everywhere or kneel on the ground or feel guarded from sawdust and glue and every other messy thing in the studio! That said, it’s also very necessary to me that I’m feeling both comfortable and CUTE! The second I put on my first pair of Unpublished pants I was so impressed with how well they fit me. An everyday outfit for me is work boots, jeans, a t-shirt and a hat!
LIST YOUR PERSONAL FAVORITE(S) -
Quote to Live By
I’m not sure where I first read this, but I have a quote on my bedroom mirror that says “Move past overthinking and align with faith. Slow down enough to hear the solution. Blessings always arrive on time.” This has helped me in so many instances to just remember to rely on trust over trying to control!
Cocktail or coffee drink (s)
I start every morning with an oat milk latte with a little bit of honey and a dash of cinnamon!
Cooking/food obsession (s)
If I’m cooking, I love a good taco night! If I’m going out to eat, I love getting ramen or sushi- two things I’ll never master making on my own!
Oooh, perfect question! My favorite movie, Captain Fantastic, is currently on Netflix! I’ve been obsessed with that movie for years now!
I love to switch it up to keep myself interested, so I usually cycle between a Keep It Cleaner workout, a Sculpt Society workout, or running! I love me some home workouts… gyms intimidate me!
Beauty/skincare product (s)
The Cocokind Matcha All Over Moisture Stick…. OMG I keep one in my car, one in my desk ,one by my bed etc… I’m obsessed! My chapped lips don’t stand a chance.
Musical artist (s)
My guilty pleasure is listening to emo/spoken word artists like Hobo Johnson or Listener, to feel empowered I listen to female rock artists like Lucy Dacus or Sharon Van Etten, and when I’m homesick for Texas I love to turn on country/folk artists like Orville Peck or Ray LaMontagne!