Monday, April 26, 2010

Featured Artist - SanityFairBlog

Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to talented writer Skyla Freeman, the creative mind behind the fantastic blog Sanity Fair. Skyla writes about beautiful design, from interiors to fashion to art. Skyla has impeccable taste, and her blog is sure to inspire you to live artfully.

Enjoy meeting Skyla below, and be sure to visit her fantastic blog! Thanks, Skyla!

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:

Odi et Amo

Secrets of Domestic Bliss

Haute Design

Table Tonic

Grant K. Gibson

High Gloss Blue

A Gift Wrapped Life

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.


Averill said...

Ok Skyla, I need to see a picture of that YSL necklace! And I absolutely love Sanity Fair -- it's truly one of the best written blogs in the design blogosphere and it's been a pleasure to read it for the past year. Great interview! {And thanks to Skyla for the mention; I'm so flattered!}

Isabella & Max Rooms said...

What a wonderful interview, I really enjoyed learning a bit more about you and your work! Janell

Tina Steele Lindsey said...

Great interview, I enjoyed it, and I could relate to reclusiveness and working in your pajamas!

ashlina said...

Skyla is such a fantastic gal, isn't she? I loved reading this...getting to know the girl behind the great blog a little bit more.
Interview job well done and skyla...thanks for being a reader, i feel so honored. ;)
lots of love.

Ingrid Mida said...

What a marvelous interview! It is nice to learn a bit more about Skyla! Thanks.

Paper&Pearls said...

Thanks for enjoying the interview! Skyla is such an inspiration!!!

shari @ little blue deer said...

Very cool, Sanity Fair is an awesome blog, well-written and well-designed! Good pick, and I've enjoyed poking around your little world, glad to find you and I'm a new follower!

Sarah Klassen said...

What a wonderful interview!

Skyla such wonderful taste and an eye and appreciation for beauty, elegance and the little details. I completely agree with Averill -- on top of it all, she is a fantastic, gifted writer...I often visit her blog, and end up laughing and/or smiling, and always feeling inspired.

p.s Thank you for the mention :)

Sanity Fair said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sanity Fair said...

Rachel - thank you thank you for doing such a sweet interview! I'm so honored to be featured!
And thanks to everyone for so many kind comments. Wow!

Trish said...

What a great interview, so great to come across your blog, happy to be a new follower!

I love reading Skyla's blog, and this was a lot of fun to get to know a little more about her! :) xox

The Zhush said...

Great interview, really enjoyed learning more about the creative lady behind Sanity Fair!

Marija said...

This interview was terrific. I felt like I was write there for the conversation! And I loved learning more about Skyla...

A Gift Wrapped Life said...

It is always wonderful to read behind the blog and getting to know Skyla is indeed a pleasure. Thank you for the mention and I am honoured to be mentioned. Happy to know I am not the only blogger who wears my PJ's while blogging.