Leah Baird [leahbaird]
What is your profession? What is your title printed on your business card?
Owner, Designer & Artist at Be You, Be Me Studio LLC.
Owner & Licensed Massage Therapist at Just B., LLC.
What did you study and why did you choose to study that field?
I studied Fine Arts because that's what I've always done.
I studied Media Communications with an emphasis in Journalism because I believe in truth & activism through communication - but not Big Business Media so... basically it's a dead end.
I studied Film History & Criticism because there's NOTHING like a good movie.
I studied Massage Therapy to help others with their health.
What is expected of you in your job, and how do you accomplish it?
Creativity and Self Motivation. I take it one day at a time, let the design ideas all just come for that day's work or project. My Self Motivation comes from the shitty economy & having a neuro-musucular movement disease. I will not be disabled, simply ABLE - there's no expiration date tatooed on my arm!
What links do you have on the Internet: website, blog, social networks?
Are you satisfied with the education that you received?
Yes and No. I learned A LOT at University. But with no jobs available after my degree, it was a total waste (esp of money!)
However, I am completely happy with my massage education - THAT has come in very handy!
In which areas have you thought of building upon your education?
In which tasks are you good at, and in which could you better yourself?
I'm great at "hands on" tasks and working on my own. Not the biggest fan of "group" projects, but can deal.
Do you usually attended seminars or coursework to advance your professional work or would you consider yourself a more self-taught person?
I'm an Autodidact but still do CE courses for massage.
When did you realise that your work was being considered important and that it could possibly take you places?
Who have been the most influential people in your career?
My cats; Chairman Meow, Baby Jesus, Little Butt, and Meeba.
With which types of persons do you feel you work well with as a team?
Independent thinking Artists, Writers, Activists & Musicians.
Which goals have you focused on in your professional career?
Furniture design & refinishing, Fine jewelry, 2-D works.
Which publications associated with your field do you regularly read?
... I read everything I can and it all influences my work. Especially in social and political aspects.
Which languages do you speak, and how have you learned them?
English - grew up with it.
French - I took 4 years of it "way back when" and have since been teaching myself. It's rough - but I can read it and understand it when spoken to me. I just have a hard time speaking back!
Do you have a website or blog? How was the process in making it? Does it accomplish the purpose for which it was created?
Yes. I use Facebook, Twitter, my studio's website and Etsy. They have been great in networking and marketing.
How do you feel about speaking in front of an audience? What experience have you had in this arena?
Don't like it, don't want to have to do it. I screamed at the entire News room in college once. It was awesome, but I don't pull that kind of thing a lot.
Do you attend cocktail parties, presentations, fairs or conventions related to your profession?
Yes. Art shows, Craft shows... no cocktail parties usually - but it's nice at an opening show!
Have you explored the social networks for professionals online? Are you member of any of them?
Yes, like LinkedIn. They're kind of a pain in the ass to keep updated, but good to keep contacts in touch.
How are you different from others in your professional sector?
I'm not Emo; I'm not just some stay-at-home Mom with a Doctor or Lawyer husband so I already have "societal" connections & money to play with; I get my kicks from wine in a box and happy music! (preferably on vinyl!)
How is the Interent changing the way you work?
As the social network platform expands, so does my marketing and networking.
Do you do telecommuting?
I guess I could.
Do you feel your hobbies serve to elevate your career?
I don't have hobbies. I have one huge, colorful career!
Do your hobbies aide in professional networking?
Sure it does, everyone likes to ask, "whatcha drawing?", "whatcha painting?", "whatcha making?".
Would you relenquish some of your income in exchange for more free time?
No, because all my free time is dedicated as work time because i love my job!
What are the things you least like about your job?
Besides your current profession, what other things would you have liked to have been?
a meteorologist or someone who names nail polish colors.
What is the most important thing you have learned from experience?
What's NOT important about experiences?
When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Save some excpetions, do you believe professional and personal relationships should not be mixed?
HA. I married the editor sitting next to me. AND I work from home and for my friends on a regular basis so... there's no wall there for me.
List any credits, publications, competitions, etc.
The Journal (Webster University)
Art Business News
The Webster-Kirkwood Times
Strange Folk Art Festival
The Great Gatsby
How do you handle customer complaints?
If this is a hypothetical situation where I'm an employee of someone else then I either pretend I care while ignoring them and then forget about them. Especially in retail.
Or I tell them some kind of horror story about our products.
If it's me as an artist, I don't accept complaints.
If it's me as a massage therapist, I listen carefully and try to best suit the needs of my client in order to avoid complaints in the first place.
Someone wants to ask for a pay rise and they ask you for advice in how to approach the matter with their boss. What do you tell them?
HA. You're lucky you have a job.
What do you do to manage stress?
I sing and dance and usually put back a shot of tequila while tossing color onto the canvas.
What are the most common mistakes clients make when they judge your work?
They try to see "me" in my work, and they are, but they're also actually looking at themselves as well.
How and why did you begin to be creative?
Those are truly silly questions. I was born this way!
Your mind is your work tool. How do you take care of it?
With medication 3x/day.
How do you avoid repeating yourself, or falling into formula? How do you stay fresh?
I do a menagerie of things - a "jack of all trades" - in the artist/designer field. So I'm never, ever doing the same thing twice.
I stay fresh by sometimes curling up into a ball in the "veggetable-fruit" drawer of the fridge.
Do you have a ritual like retiring to a lonely place from time to time to cleanse your mind?
Woah - kind of heavy there. But yes, coffee very early in the morning in my garden. I also marathon TV shows while I work which helps me to focus.
What cultural sources do you draw from the most?
I'm going to have to say wood. Because that can be taken to mean all sorts of manners and all of them are correct.
Who have your teachers been?
When you accept a job, how much value do you place on each of the following? Money, creative liberty, visibility, and to work with the best.
in order from top-valued to lowest:
1. Creative Liberty
3. Work with the best
Have you ever had a job that was so stimulating that you could not get your mind off of it?
All the time.
"To give birth to ideas." Is this only an expression, or are there really parallels between giving birth and creativity?
Personally, I've never had a baby so I don't think I'm qualified to answer this. But hey, men aren't either.
Does spirituality contribute to your creativity?
It is possible to fall in love with a bad idea simply because it is yours. How do you avoid this?
Yes, it is. And you can't avoid it, you just have to work through it and keep going.
Must someone be the leader or boss in order for a creative team to function well?
Declaration: With what person or business would you like to work?
The Jim Henson Studio, or for a high profile design brand creating new fashion pieces for their line - with my name on it.
What criteria do you use when selecting someone to be a part of your creative team?
I have to like them enough to want them to be around me for extended periods of time and they must like me back.
The armchair psychologist: Is creativity an act of rebellion for you?
Certainly. It's also an act of peaceful expression of inner feelings I cannot place words on.
What is the best advertisement you've seen recently?
I was going through my old clippings and found a great Mercedes ad from a while ago - But recently seen by me! It's the one with Marilyn Monroe and her beauty mark is a really tiny Mercedes symbol. I love that ad.
Do you work well under pressure?
Yes, but I hate it.
What city in the world currently attracts you due to its creative environment?
New Orleans, hands down.
How is an idea sold?
Usually by pure coincidence.
What do you feel when, after two or three years, you see an idea of yours again?
It depends on the idea. Sometimes I reject it, and sometimes I rejoice in remembering something I had forgotten!
Ideas can come simultaneously to different people in different places with no connection to one another. How do you explain this phenomenon?
Magic. The world is truly made of that.
You are as good as your last idea. Wouldn't you like to have a more secure type of work?
Not in a Trillion years.
Saint Louis, MO - United States