We get a lot of praise for our designs and packaging and I wish I could take the credit, but there is an incredible designer behind them. I've written about Pam and interviewed her a few times through the years (you can find those posts here and here), but today I am overjoyed to share that this pretty amazing mama and friend has now taken up residence here as Zoe Organics' full-time Creative Director! It has been my dream from the very beginning (when Zoe Organics was still very much a dream) for Pam to be a permanent part of the team and it has finally happened! What does this mean? Well... some seriously exciting things have been brewing here behind the scenes, and 2016 is NOT going to disappoint!
Pam and her family moved back to the States from Hong Kong this summer, and they are settling in here on the west coast. Her family is as precious as she is, and I know you will love her too after you read this interview with her. Enjoy!
What is the greatest source of inspiration for you?
Music. Specifically, the right set of songs, in the right style, at the right time. I consider the curating of playlists to be an integral part of my creative process! (See one of my playlists here.) Other than music, I am inspired by a broad range of things – from other graphic designers’ work to architecture to fashion design. I am amazed at how other artists have honed their craft, and it continually inspires me to become better at what I do.
And visually, I can’t get enough of Pinterest! With so much quick-access visual inspiration, I have to limit my access to such gluttony... I am a perpetual organizer, too, so the marriage of visual bites of inspiration with the ability to organize them makes Pinterest a very lovely thing indeed.
You’ve admitted it. You are a total font nerd. Tell us about it!
Yes, I am! Earlier in my career I actually considered becoming more specialized as a type designer, but then I realized there’s no way I would have the patience to sit in front of a computer screen for eight or nine hours working on one letter! I do have the highest regard for type designers (and hand-letterers, for that matter – one of my design heroes is Jessica Hische). But I’m happy using type as one of the tools in my palette, to create something entirely new from a whole range of elements: type, color, structure, grid, texture, content/text, etc. Ultimately that’s what gives me the greatest joy: the practice of putting all the elements together in order to create something entirely new.
How do you create an inspiring work environment as a busy mom?
Years of freelancing have taught me the importance of boundaries, especially working from home. I’ve created a schedule of daily/weekly tasks, broken into chunks of time, and I usually set a timer to let me know when to move on to the next task in my day. I don’t stick to it exactly – it’s more of a flexible template – but having those guidelines in place for the use of my time gives me the freedom to have times of art/design experiment and play, as well as times to work on a specific skill or study, which is important to me. Especially as someone who does the bulk of her work on a computer, the freedom of removing myself from the screen actually improves my focus and ability to solve design problems more efficiently during the bulk of my workday. This is probably more related to productivity than an inspiring work environment, but to me it’s the biggest component!
Environment-wise, I’ll always take as much space as I can get! A clean, organized workspace always helps – I’ve found the less things the eye has to focus on (read: distract the mind), the calmer the room and easier the workflow.
What one beauty/skincare product can you not live without?
My DIY facial cleansing oil. I actually make my own and have been revising the recipe for a couple of years, but I got the original recipe from Crunchy Betty’s blog. It’s seriously the most luxurious and effective way to cleanse and moisturize – and depending on which oils and EOs you use, it’s completely organic, affordable and extremely fulfilling to create this product at home. (I also make my own body oil, deodorant and sugaring wax, but I suppose that’s for another post!) If I could list another product I can’t live without, it would be lip balm (I use ZO’s Everything Balm on my lips all the time)!
Name one guilty pleasure.
Binge-watching mindless TV.
How has motherhood changed/influenced you?
Being a parent has somehow caused the peripherals of life to fall away, and has brought into focus what’s really important. I’m sure this is pretty familiar to all parents, but it’s amazing how the desire to provide what’s best for your children can also be the greatest motivator for becoming the best person you can be. If there’s an attitude or behavior that I don’t like in one of my own children, my husband and I have to look at ourselves first – the old adage of showing by example rather than talk is so important, I’ve realized, and never has this hit home more than in the way we raise our kids. So I guess becoming a parent has, above all, put me on the best path for self-improvement.
Also, it’s interesting to me that in our world of information gluttony – since there is SO much information available for pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and parenthood in general – the books and information my husband and I absorbed from the very beginning have in a way forced us to be deliberate about the style of parenting we chose, which in turn has set us up for lifestyle decisions we have made further down the road, many years away. For example, with our little ones we have loved the parenting style that includes baby wearing and sharing sleep, and as they have grown older we have tried to continue fostering this sense of bonding and open communication with our boys. I think maybe becoming a mother has caused me, more than any other time in my life, to really listen to my heart to decide what I feel the most comfortable with, rather than what “they” say is the best method of doing things... and this practice has given me peace and contentment unlike anything else.
I’ve also been learning how to be kind to myself, which is a result of motherhood and of age, but it’s something that has taken me most of my life to learn – and in fact I’m still learning... but it’s a good thing.
Share a hobby or interest outside of “work.”
Hanging out with my family, reading, swimming, experimenting with art, DIY skin and beauty products. :)
Tell us about a secret talent.
In college I majored in piano performance and composition; I can sit down and write music on the piano for hours.
What is your favorite food? / If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
If it wouldn’t kill me from the health effects, I’d have to go with chocolate chip cookie dough! And occasionally, brownie dough for variation.
What is your current favorite color?
This one’s a hard one, because every color has a different mood that’s perfect for something! Personally, for clothing, I will always choose black... and in general, if I had to choose one, it would probably be a dusty robin’s egg blue (examples here and here).
Share any observations or predictions for design/color in 2016. Let’s see if you nail it!
Yeah, no pressure! For some reason I see a range of bright and subdued reds and pinks and salmons making a statement... contrasted by lots of grays and lilac-blue-gray tones. Delicious.
Tell us why you are excited about leading the creative team at Zoe Organics.
I have really been fortunate in my career in that I’ve been able to work for companies and organizations that I believe in; Zoe Organics is no exception. I’ve been a part of this company on and off since the very beginning, and I really admire the way Heather has chosen to do business, with an innate sense of integrity through every step of the process. Companies, especially ones that make things to sell, cut corners all the time, and now that I’ve been given a glimpse of what’s behind the curtain, as far as the whole manufacturing process, I can attest to the fact that Heather doesn’t take the easy (or cheap) way – she takes the way that is the best for what matters to her and the company. So for that reason, I am proud to contribute what I have to offer to such a place.
And as far as the creativity, the possibilities are endless for what can be accomplished – we’re limited by manpower and resources, of course, but even these can be overcome! Every time Heather and I have a “dreaming” conversation, I come away energized and newly excited about my role in helping shape the way ZO is presented to the world. I believe in the mission of ZO, I believe in every woman and mother who is seeking the best for their children, and I am so excited to be a part of this.