Up + Out is a column which features inspiring business minded folk who work hard to create the lives they love by focusing on their passions. Let’s be inspired by the individuals behind the brands, and gives us a peek into the routines and rituals that make them unique.
Diana’s work is always filled with bright bolds colors that excite and inspire me. I knew I had to have her on the blog to share a peek or two into the life of the lovely lady behind the brand. I love Diana’s blog, always filled with updates on her amazing work and the goals she’s working towards!
Briefly introduce yourself and your business.
I’m Diana, a 27 year old painter living and working in San Francisco. Previously, I was a preschool teacher and a medical student, and I’m currently taking time off from med school to pursue art full-time.
How do you typically start the day?
I usually wake up between 6:30 and 7. After checking my email and surfing Instagram on my phone (a habit I’m trying to break), I get up to make some tea and muesli. While eating, I either ease into the day by reading blogs or a book, or get started on planning my day.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
After breakfast, I head into our second bedroom, which I’ve converted into my painting studio. My most productive creative hours are mid to late morning, so I try to maximize my time in the studio then.
I have lunch around noon, and I’ll usually read a book while I eat. After lunch, I try to get out of the house (I’d go a little crazy otherwise), sometimes running errands or going for a run around a nearby lake. In the afternoon, I head back into the studio or to my local coffee shop to finish out the day.
The afternoon flies by — thinking about it now, I’m not entirely sure what happens. Often I’ll catch up on tasks with deadlines, work on online courses, and finish up “business” side of things — emails, social media, and accounting.
My husband gets back from work around 7:30, and we make a point of eating dinner together and catching up on our days. After dinner, we sometimes finish up our work, or just relax and watch some Netflix.
Do you have a mantra/phrase that you live or work by?
Not exactly, but in times of stress I remind myself to take deep breaths. It really works.
What makes your creative style unique?
I think anyone who has seen my art can tell you that I love bright colors! My painting style has evolved a lot over the past year or so (and continues to evolve), but bright colors and distinct brushstrokes have remained a constant. I love creating bold art than can brighten up a room!
What’s your favorite part of being your own boss?
It’s been wonderful to create a schedule tailored to my high-productivity times. I also love that I can exercise in the middle of the day (great for when I’m stuck on a project) and that I never have that middle-of-the-winter feeling of being stuck inside for all of the daylight hours.
Describe a challenge you’ve faced in pursuing your passion.
It can be very hard to navigate the emotional roller coaster of putting my creative work out in the world to be liked or not liked, and bought or not bought. I’m still working on balancing that with feeling good about my creative work because I like it, independent of how other people feel about it.
How to you create work/life balance?
This is still a work in progress for me, but I think I’m moving in the right direction. My switch from medicine to art was in part a desperate move to regain some work-life balance. At the time, I was dealing with a health issue, living 400 miles away from my husband, and kind of sinking under the weight of school and exams and my personal life.
Now I have a better idea of what I don’t want, and that makes it easier for me to say “that can wait,” or just simply “no.” That’s not to say I have it all figured out, but one thing that helps me when I feel the pressure-panic growing is reminding myself: “this is not an emergency.” Because 99% of the time, it isn’t.