[Welcome to Beyond The Workweek, a series of profiles featuring young people doing cool work beyond their day jobs. I had the opportunity to meet with creatives in order to pick their brains about how they work and what gets them excited. Quotes are paraphrased then fact-checked because recording and transcribing is tedious. Enjoy!]
It started as a conversation as we waited for the bus. “If you were to consult for something, what would it be?” I asked Amira. “Like what service would you be able to provide for others.”
Amira laughed. “Honestly, I’m really good at setting up my space to be optimal for relaxation. I could teach people how to do that.”
Amira was an Art & Communications Major at UC Santa Barbara (“It’s cooler if I just say ‘Art Major,’”) and doesn’t think her career should have a label. “It’s not about what I’m doing, it’s about how I’m living,” she says. Right now, she puts her artistic skills towards making her apartment comfortable and cozy. “I’m the type of person that spends a lot of time at home. I’m in my head a lot, so my space needs to be relaxing, safe, and fulfilling.”
One of the first things I noticed upon my first visit to Amira’s apartment was a basket in the corner. “Is this… a blanket basket?!” I asked. “Yes!” she exclaimed. When I asked her what her favorite touches in her apartment were, she told me that immediately two things came to mind.
“One is my curtains. When I first moved into this place with my housemate, I made sure I picked the room with the most light and airflow. I took down the basic, standard issue Venetian blinds that came with the room and put up my own, which really helped let the sun in.”
“Secondly, my art wall! I remember in college when my friends would visit my apartment, they’d compliment the movie posters and random Beatles memorabilia we had and all of it belonged to my roommate. It made me want to have nice things,” she says. Her art wall is now her own collection of things she likes. “A stark room is okay for a while, but once you do something nice and realize how much you like it, it makes you want to just keep bringing in nice things,” she says. In my own room, I realized that there are still so many places that haven’t been given The Treatment yet: a pile of earrings and necklaces, a craft pile turned junk shelf… My room is very much still a work in progress but it’s awesome to find these corners of your space that are raw and ready to be transformed.”
Amira isn’t sure exactly what she wants to do next. She feels like she needs to get inspired again and to reconnect with her interests. “I want to try everything,” she says. “I don’t think I’ll ever retire.”