Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Inspiring Interview { Gabrielle Blair }

I've been a huge fan of Gabrielle - the wonder woman behind Design Mom and Sk*rt - and have been avidly reading her blog since I first discovered it a couple of years ago. She's a busy mom of 5 juggling her design career, family time and blogging time in the big city of New York. And if you're not already reading her blog, you ought to be. Her blog is witty and creative and completely inspiring. We are so excited that Gabrielle squeezed us into her very busy schedule to do a quick and very candid interview.

You publish a very successful blog, work as an art director/graphic designer, help run sk*rt and are a mommy to 5 kids. How do you balance it all? Well. I just stick to a strict routine that my staff of indentured servants are instructed to never vary from.

Actually, the real trick is: lower your expectations. Example. Sure it would have been lovely to spend a thoughtful couple of hours responding to these questions. But I had 30 minutes total available. So, I made it work. During another interview I'll get to be super thoughtful. On this one, I get to answer fast and be a little bit obnoxious.

The same goes for the requested photos. Ideally, I would have had a friend with a super-amazing camera and a super-amazing eye come by and take a few shots. And then I would have fed that friend something wonderful and nourishing for lunch as a thank you for the photo shoot. Instead, Ralph, 10, Maude, 9, Olive, 6, (and even 3 year old Oscar) each took turns behind our little camera this afternoon and they were able to get a few shots that work. Grainy yes. But doable.

How did you get started designing and what made you choose this line of work? I was in an interior design program in college, and I was wandering the hallways of the Design Department admiring the students' assignments that were displayed on the walls. I noticed that one class had designed logos and CD covers. And I asked out loud with a healthy amount of awe in my voice: Who gets to do this stuff? And someone answered: The graphic design students. And I said: What's graphic design? And then I switched programs.

Where do you see yourself and your blog in 5 years? Myself in five years? I'll be walking by the diaper aisle at Target and not buying anything. (What is that like I wonder?)

My blog in five years? Surely blogs will have been replaced by then with some sort of new software that publishes-your-thoughts-as-you-think-them™. (trademarked by G. Blair 2008)

Do you think blogging has made you a better designer? A better mother? Sadly, I have not used blogging as a vehicle to improve my graphic design skills. (On that subject, don't you think my blog header is due for a change? It's been the same for how long? Forever.) But if my graphic design skills haven't improved, I hope my eye for the interesting and well-designed has been sharpened.

Has blogging made me a better mother? Maybe. I think I'm more aware now of the interesting things my kids do and projects we work on as a family. I hope I appreciate parenting moments more.

As a mom, what magical invention would you like to get your hands on? A wife from a 1950's sitcom.

If you had an entire day all to yourself, how would you spend it? Reading in a really nice hotel room. That I don't have to clean. Oh. Question: can I bring Ben Blair on my "entire day all to myself"? Because it would be more fun if Ben came.

What is your most treasured belonging? The Holy Bible. No really. I can't think of a single thing I would cry over if it was taken or lost (not counting my peeps). So I think I'm going to go with The Bible. Or the DVR.

What are you coveting this Spring? A weekly pedicure.

Thank you Gabrielle for taking the time to chat with us!