This week’s Creative Maven is the delightful Alana Wimmer and I couldn’t be more excited.
Alana is the boss lady over at Raspberry Stripes and the creator and editor of Raspberry Magazine (swoon-worthy, you must check it out!!). I had connected with Alana a few times online but it wasn’t until Problogger last year that we found ourselves sitting on the grass having a chat. She is a gem, creative goddess and one of the kindest souls you will meet. Grab a cuppa (or a wine) and check out our chat!
+ Firstly, Tell us a little more about what you do!
I run a digital design studio called Raspberry Stripes, where I work with rad lady entrepreneurs to bring their brands and eBooks to life! With my friend Katie Smyth, I facilitate an online DIY eBook creation course called Pen, Polish and Publish. I also create Raspberry Magazine, a digital publication to encourage and inspire women to make magic in the world, however it may look for them. All of this means I spend most days moving pixels on my computer, with a few friendly green smoothie catch ups, dog walks and road trips squeezed in!
+ What does being creative mean to you?
I think creation is coming up with something new, arising from yourself. Being creative is any expression of this. In fact, I think I am more creative than ever since running a business! 24/7 creation 😉
+ Show us how you have been creative today? I wanna see a pic, or a video or some words, don’t be shy now!
Oh gosh! Umm, well today’s creativity has been devoted to my clients. I’ve written a blog post, and created a workbook, flyers and social media graphics.
+ What kicks you in the arse creatively, what stops you in your creative tracks?
Overloading myself with work. For me, my creativity is a finite resource and I cannot deliver my best work to my clients if I have to create too many things at once! This is a lesson I’ve learned over the last three years: pace yourself. Leave room for creativity to naturally blossom and don’t try to force it. The project’s I’ve forced ended up taking longer because I wasn’t happy with the result, and started over.
+ What do you find continually shows up for your beautiful clients around creativity? Do they want to create it themselves and have ultimate control or are they willing to let go a little and let you weave your magic?
This is such an interesting question. I’d say there’s a spectrum amongst my clients – some give me complete creative control and some have quite strong ideas. I think the most interesting results are when we both have input – they explain their vision and I have some room to play and come up with something unique.
+Resistance shows up often in relation to creativity, what techniques do you recommend to recognise it and move through? And what happens when you resist them!?
Ugh – resistance. For me, I know I am feeling resistance when I’d rather be anywhere but in front of my computer. If I keep checking Facebook, or the fridge, I know it’s time for a proper break. I’ve learned that I am MUCH better of dropping everything for an hour or two and really having some time out (preferably by my local beach), rather than making myself sit there and press on. If I keep pushing, it won’t be my best work.
+ My favourite quote from Steven Pressfield is “If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), “Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?” chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.” how does that quote make you feel?
I love pretty much everything Steven Pressfield says! Hmm. I wouldn’t classify myself as scared to death, but of course I have fears and doubts like any creator. Sometimes it gets the better of me, but I do a lot of work on this (affirmations, meditation etc) so it doesn’t often win out. I find radical honesty is the best policy and allays these worries. I tell a client straight out if I am not the right person to help them, or if I am trying something for the first time. I never pretend I know what I am doing if I don’t – I just tell the truth and do my best!
+ I adore your graphic design work, in particular one of our other creative ladies eBook babes, She is Radiant by Claire Baker. I would love to know how you hone a client’s creative vision and express that via your design work, so it feels like THEM!? (Because babe, it totally does!)
Why, thank you for saying so! It’s so fascinating you chose this book to mention because it’s also my personal favourite! The wonderful thing about working with Claire (and there’s lots of them!) is that she is really trusting and allows me to go wild with my ideas. That’s why this book worked so beautifully – she showed me her vision and personality, and I ran with the rest.
This goes for my other clients too – to begin with, I ask them to create a visual pinboard of their ideas, because it’s the quickest and most accurate way to describe a vision to another person. Even if they can’t really articulate what they want in words, the images tell the story. I usually also do some sneaky online reconnaissance to see what their website, social media channels and Pinterest boards look like to get a sense of their style. Pair that with a questionnaire/Skype chat and we go from there!
I also trust that if someone is drawn to my work, they like the kinds of designs I do anyway.
Biggest creative inspiration :: Design Love Fest
A book about creativity everyone should read :: The War of Art, Steven Pressfield
What song gets your booty shaking :: ‘Can’t feel my face’ by The Weekend
Your Biggest Creative Dream :: Probably learning to paint (feels big for me!)
Favourite creative medium :: Pixels!
A Little More About Alana…
Alana Wimmer is a graphic designer at Raspberry Stripes, and the founder + editor of digital publication Raspberry Magazine. She works with rad lady entrepreneurs on projects and brands that create positive change. When she isn’t moving pixels, reading or planning a beach escape you can find Alana walking Rory and Roxy the boxers, with her husband in tow, probably on her way to pick up a green smoothie.
Did you love this interview?
I would love to hear from you in the comments below.