Originally posted December 30th, 2014
Introducing a new feature here on the blog! It’s called Local in Focus: A Showcase of San Diego Women Owned Businesses. It’s important to me to showcase local women owned businesses and help them tell their story.
The Creative Lifestyle
I met Carmen recently and was blown away with how creative and talented she is. Creativity is a part of every part of her lifestyle. Right now her music is taking over, next month her styling will be the focus and so the cycle continues. She loves the flow of having multiple outlets for her many talents. In addition to being a musician, she’s also a fashion stylist, filmmaker and writer.
I had the chance to interview Carmen while she was recording her new EP with Roy Silverstein at the local studio Rarefied Recording. You can buy the EP here . I also had the honor of photographing the cover of her EP.
Where do you get your inspiration? For all aspects of your creativity not just your music.
Much of my inspiration comes from visual aesthetics: architecture, photography, fashion and style, street art, avant garde design and other pretty things like fashion accessories and cool home decor items. There’s something about looking deeply at beautiful things that fills my spirit with creative energy. I’m also inspired by music, soul-shaking live performances, delicious food and beverage and traveling to new places to see new beautiful things and indulge in new delicious food and beverage.
How do you stay creative everyday? Do you write every morning or have a routine that facilitates that?
I find creative fulfillment in small things everyday – when I create an outfit, when I do my makeup, when I write an email. But writing songs is different; this is an incredibly psychologically laborious process for me; I’m definitely not one of those, “Oh I wrote this song in ten minutes” type of songwriter. It’s sort of a three step process (with lots and lots of sub-processes in between): (1) go inside myself and do serious battle to find the souls of the songs; (2) do battle again on the way out to pull those souls to the shores of my consciousness; and (3) summon the courage to reveal to the world what I found.
I’ve tried routines and strict schedules in hopes of being more prolific, but I’ve discovered I work best when I more loosely decide on and commit to a project, set a timeline, and allow myself the space and flexibility to work with the fluidity of creative energy, always keeping my timeline in mind. I don’t always feel like writing. Sometimes I downright don’t want to, so discipline is a definite requirement. Sometimes creativity doesn’t actually come to me until I kick myself in the ass and force myself to the piano, and sometimes even then I’ll noodle around on the keys for hours and nothing really happens. So, for me, creative productivity is best facilitated by a healthy marriage between schedule and spontaneity.
Her EP is two years in the making. Between moving to Italy and working on her projects she feels now is a good time to get out these songs that she has put so many hours into.
What is the title of your EP?
Moments of Mercy
What are the songs about? Any specific themes?
The record is written from the perspective of a woman during a time of deep darkness and turmoil both within herself and in her relationship with her life partner.
She also has a fashion styling business. She adores to show women how to use the clothes in their closet to create a more flattering look by editing their wardrobes to something that will work with their lifestyle.
Favorite shops in San Diego?
I’m a bargain hunter but love very well-made, high quality garments, so I like shopping at places where I can find designer clothing at discount prices. For jewelry and accessories I like random indie boutiques and unique handmade items from local or quasi-local artisans. I always find great home decor items at Michael Todd’s Urban Renewal, and for funky accessories I like La Loupe Vintage.
I prefer timeless above trendy, but I do like the look of the currently-trending printed track/jogger pant – though I haven’t yet found a pair I would actually wear. I’m always a sucker for a fabulous pair of skinny jeans; pretty ballet flats; and an edgy, well-fitted leather moto jacket. Mostly I think my favorite trends are pieces that fit, flatter and make you feel fabulous!
Favorite Pieces in your wardrobe?
Absolutely my Ferragamo “My Joy” ballet flats. They are handmade in Italy and truly the most well-made, comfy, durable and long-lasting ballet flats I’ve ever owned – and that’s saying a lot because I am a ballet flat fanatic! I will absolutely invest in another pair when these reach their end of days. Also, my summery Chattawak dress that I cherish mostly for the sentimentality of having bought it in Paris. I recycle my wardrobe often, frequently purging items that no longer serve me to make room for new pieces that more fully and accurately capture and communicate my current states of being and expressing.
If you need a wardrobe edition or shopping session you can book your session with Carmen here.