We're big blog readers here at Clementine Daily and have formed some of our deepest friendships through blogs, social networks and online magazines. Naturally, we're thrilled to welcome an inspired friend as today's Everyday Icon, a woman who - quite literally - wrote the book on blogging. Meet Joy Cho, author of Blog, Inc., product designer and powerhouse blogger. A lover of color and quirk, no one celebrates the everyday quite like dear Joy...
Welcome, Joy! So you're a published author, graphic designer, product designer and blogger (whoa!). How do you juggle this multidisciplinary career? Do your creative pursuits feed off each other in a symbiotic way, or do you find yourself compartmentalizing, focusing on one thing at a time?
They all feed off each other. I thrive off variety. One of the things that made my past jobs difficult for me was working on the same projects and for the same clients over and over again. The repetition killed me. I certainly have my distinct style but being able to apply that style in designing products or art directing photo shoots or in writing a book—it's a great way for me to be able to have variety in the work I do. It keeps me excited and constantly exploring how I can be creative in new ways.
Speaking of keeping things exciting, you've recently expanded your business, refurbishing a studio and adding to your team. Any tips for freelance creatives making a similar leap from producing solo to managing a team?
Over the past eight years, I've had help in a variety of ways. From interns to assistants to freelancers—some within my office and near by and some from afar. At one point, I was managing five freelance contributors for my blog and each were responsible for their own weekly column under my direction. Once my daughter Ruby came into my life, I felt as though I wanted my blog to come from a single author again and stopped having contributors. Now, my staff involves a couple freelancers who execute the photos or videos needed for blog content, as well as three employees in-house who help with design, production of shoots, and various aspect of the day-to-day of my business.
It sounds like you juggle quite a few responsibilities in your creative career - how do you stay organized and top of everything?
My Google calendar is my go-to. I keep track of both personal and business tasks/meetings/appointments/to-dos on it. I probably check it 248 times a day!
How do you separate personal Joy from professional Joy? Are they one and the same?
Oh man, this is a never-ending work-in-progress for me. I do "try" to keep work to work time and personal time with my family as that. And most of the time it works - especially now that I have a separate office outside of home. I don't do any work at home while Ruby is awake. However, once she is napping and in bed for the night, I do work a lot at night. This isn't ideal for me but it's how I can balance being with her part-time and still running my business. My goal is to be able to be done working by a set time every night so I can spend more time with my husband, too!
Clementine Daily is a space for women who believe in embracing simple pleasures, setting realistic expectations and bettering their lives to better the lives around them. In your eyes, how do you fit in with that mission?
In the last couple years, after Ruby was born, I've learned to embrace simplicity and every day moments so much more. My brain often tells me "go go go!" but my little one reminds me how important it is to soak in the "now" and fill your life with those you love. It's those moments you create with your closest friends and family that you not only remember forever, but that help shape you and the way you live your life.
Oh my gosh, your daughter, Ruby. We love her. What values, traits or philosophies do you hope to instill in her as she grows older?
We want her to be kind and polite. She's at the age where she's discovering so much and talking up a storm. She asks for lots of things constantly, and we're working on emphasizing "please" and "thank you". She doesn't get anything unless she asks nicely and politely. When she says "thank you mama" on her own without me having to remind her, it's those moments that I know my persistence has paid off.
You can eat just three foods for the rest of your life. What do you choose?
Ice Cream, chocolate croissants and noodles. (I don't really NEED vegetables, right?)
What is your personal motto or mantra?
You can be anything you want to be.
And what are five everyday items you can't bear to live without?
p.s. Loved Joy's story? Check out artist/designer and fellow author Samantha Hahn's perspective on life/work balance and all things creative.