Tell us a little about yourself – your name, where you live, your work.
My name is Skyla Freeman and I'm a Southern writer – I spend most of my time right now in Alabama or Atlanta, with fairly frequent visits to DC.
Tell us about your blog. What is your subject?
My blog is called Sanity Fair. It's home décor, fashion, and art, and shopping for all of these things. It's both inspirational and aspirational. As I say on the blog, "whether you're decorating a castle or a beach shack, dressing from Saks or out of a Target sack, there's something here for you."
How did you get into your creating? Do you have a favorite item you’ve made? Tell us the story (and include a pic, if you like)!
My creating is my writing – whether it's style, home, political or cultural commentary, or speeches. Procrastination is what gets me in the mood to write. But terror is even better. My creative style could best be summed up by an old Calvin and Hobbes cartoon. Calvin: "You can't just turn on creativity like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood." Hobbes: "What mood is that?" Calvin: "Last-minute panic."
As for how I began writing, I don't really remember. Since I learned to hold my first marker I've wanted to put things into words. That's not to say it's all been quality stuff. Most of my elementary school years were wasted writing bad poems about things like raindrops and tigers.
What advice would you give a creative person on starting a blog?
Blogging is just another communication tool – the same as a speech, a letter, an essay, or a news article. The point is to communicate something. Ask questions before you get started. Who are you? What do you want to say? To whom do you want to say it? Really, anyone can do it. But if you can't answer those questions, you should probably just read other people's blogs. Also, maybe see a therapist.
Do you have a book or movie that makes you feel creative? Tell us about it!
The places I feel most creative are museums. I was trained as an historian, and museums are wonderfully inspiring – they're an opportunity to travel across time and geography, to eavesdrop on experiences outside of our own. I particularly enjoy art museums; the National Gallery of Art is a favorite haunt of mine. That, and travel! Nothing is more exciting than traveling – the experiences, the people, the food, the unpredictability.
If we're talking about crafting, I'm inspired by Martha Stewart, or rather, lured into vain hope and delusion by her promises of easy and successful crafting. But then I'm usually uninspired three seconds after I actually try to make it on my own. Good thing she sells kits.
What is your favorite handmade treasure?
Pretty much everything I own. I'm a "collector." And I'm also a dumping ground for family heirlooms, since everyone knows I'll treasure it as sacred forever, and in the meantime, they'll ease their conscience and free up closet space. This is how I came to possess three sets of heirloom china before I even owned a dining room table. Probably the most valuable "handmade" items I have are family letters and stories. Naturally, I treasure the written word, and these notes – many from war zones or at critical junctures in family history – are irreplaceable. They're small windows into the past.
What blogs do you enjoy following?
So many, I couldn't possibly do them justice! I collect favorite blogs the way I collect everything else (check out my blog roll for more great finds). But here are a few I'm really enjoying right now:
Do you have any suggestions for creatively weathering these tough economic times? How are you creatively making the best of it?
Frankly, I think any economic time is a tough one for freelancers. You're reclusive. You're highly caffeinated. You spend hours each day in your pajamas (it's that way even if you're writing a style blog. The only major difference is that if I'm in pajamas, they're by Ralph Lauren and the slippers are color-coordinated).
Since I write about fashion and décor, which are shopping-intensive, my biggest recession-friendly tip is to shop vintage. You can find the most amazing things – and no one else will have them. My favorite vintage find of all time is an Yves Saint Laurent pendent necklace I scored for $12 in a junk shop. It's incredible.