My name is Simone and I’m a product copywriter based in Toronto, Ontario. Although most of my time now is spent working as a copywriter, I also have a background in visual art, fashion and photography. I have a Master’s of Art in Fashion and I researched the significance of personal style as it relates to blackness, racial identity and social media.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been creative in some way. I think it first started with ballet classes as a toddler. Eventually, in addition to dance, I just kept progressing to different mediums like drawing, painting, sculpting, photography and finally writing.
Ideally, you should be able to both create for business and for pleasure. Who wouldn’t want to be paid for creating something they love? Creating for pleasure implies total creative freedom that for me comes in the form of making art. My dream is to be creative on my own terms and in a way that allows me to generate an income. Difficult but achievable!
As cliché as it sounds, avoid allowing writing, or anything you truly love doing, become work. Yes, you have to work at it to become a skilled writer but it shouldn’t become work that’s without passion and enthusiasm. Once you reach that point, it might be to reassess what your goals are.
Don’t hesitate to just start writing or making art. Even if you don’t like what you create at least you’ll have something to work with and grow from. Speaking from my own experience, it can feel comfortable to ruminate in the idea stage, but you have to actually make something!
At work I try to keep my desk as minimal as possible, not for style, but because I tend to quickly accumulate a random assortment of things. I have to have my favourite selection of teas at hand, particularly my green teas. I’m a heavy snacker so I try to keep it healthy with nuts, fruits but I always sneak in sweets like chocolate-covered espresso beans and cookies.
Even though it’s been a long time since I first made some of my art pieces, many of them still speak to me as being autobiographical. I have deep memories attached to each of them. To this day “You Know, they know we know what it is” (2010) is the piece I am most proud of because it came about so organically. I really allowed the materials I was using to speak through me and form a sculpture that is both beautiful and menacing. I started by hanging three pieces of fabric on my studio wall. Every day I added another layer until eventually, I got a sense of where I wanted to take things visually. I like that it gives you a sense of unease coupled with a soft, traditionally feminine colour palette.
I’d love to see more people leading with genuine kindness, not for personal gain. Giving without the expectation of getting something back. Doing right by people even when you don’t feel compelled to.
I want to see more people letting their “freak flag” fly. By that I mean, being more outspoken, more confident and more self-assured with what makes them unique. Grace Jones is a great example of this. I think when people see someone else loving themselves in that way, they’ll feel encouraged to do the same. I really want to see people looking out for the “little” guys too. That could be a simple as shining the spotlight on the shy person in the room. It can be a big as being an informed ally for marginalized groups. I could certainly do without hatefulness, willful ignorance and lack of empathy.
An entrefemmeur simply means being in alignment, coming to centre, calling on your inner “black girl magic”, queen of your own domain, finding your groove etc. With the number of distractions, societal pressures and personal challenges women face, it can feel comfortable to let yourself be adrift in the mess of it all. For myself as late, I’ve been striving to find out not only what I happen to excel at, but also what gives me a feeling of personal agency and satisfaction. I’ve been trying to hone in on this idea of “fighting” for my happiness. Not “fighting” in a literal, physical sense but pushing myself to be unabashedly confident in who I am, what I can create and what I can offer.