I was lucky to meet Anastasia Parmson through a business mastermind, and was immediately drawn to both her and her work. She has such a bright personality, and it is definitely mirrored in her work. Having worked in some form of art since childhood, Anastasia realized in adult years that she absolutely loved travel, and her art was suffering because of the time put into travel. She knew she needed to make art again as well, and decided to make art based on her travels. I love that she is intentional in this way about her work.
I am personally grateful that Anastasia has inspired me to see everything as travel, whether it be travel to another country or county. She believes that what might not feel necessarily like travel for one person, is most definitely for another, and I've carried that belief with me since meeting her. A local river may be my "normal," but someone from Fiji may never see it. I travel constantly, and appreciate it in a different way than before. Anastasia started #ThinkLikeATraveler on Instagram - I hope you'll check it out!
What does Creativity mean to you?
Creativity is a state of mind: the awareness of our surrounding environment and how we can use it, change it or enhance it. It’s a hunger to make, to create, to explore. I encourage my followers to use the hashtag #ThinkLikeATraveler because for me thinking like a traveler is the foundation of creativity. It’s all about seeing the world from a fresh perspective.
How do you expand yourself creatively?
I travel and do my best to put myself into challenging situations despite my propensity for being introverted.
Were you creative as a child? If so, how have you evolved through the years? Did anyone encourage you, especially?
I was making art from the age of 2 thanks to my kindergarten teachers who had us doing crafty projects all the time. The first “artwork” I can remember making was some cotton stuck on a blue sheet of paper called “Cloud”. When I was 7 and ready to go to school the principal asked me whether I wanted to go to the sports class or the arts class. I chose art without a moment of hesitation. I have been choosing art ever since.
What inspires you most?
Innovative contemporary art, beautiful design, new technology, travel and successful people.
What turns you on creatively?
Every once in a while I just get the urge to make something. It can be art, craft or even cooking.
How does your relationship affect your creativity?
My partner is a pragmatic, raised in a family of very practical people. It’s a challenge to be an artist in a non-artistic circle. I can’t really ask him for any advice regarding my work and when I do I often end up rolling my eyes. But I think it helps me be more clear and honest with myself. If I was surrounded by artists I would run the risk of living in a bubble. I have become more pragmatic and he has started to explore his creativity so I think our relationship strikes a good balance.
Is there a Creative, past or present, that you would give just about anything to work with? Who, and why?
My favorite artist is Pipilotti Rist - she is amazing and her work has touched and inspired me a lot. She has taught me about pushing boundaries and thinking outside of the box. I would absolutely love to work with her, even if just for one project. We would make an environment of drawing and video projection so awesome people would want to live in it!
How do you care for yourself to ensure you’re available when ideas present themselves?
I feel that when I wait for ideas to present themselves is when I fall into procrastination. In my experience ideas present themselves when I am actively looking for them, racking my brain about a question or doing research. I think my best ideas have come through hard work and also through the work of others. Taking courses, going to exhibitions and consulting with other people helps to gain clarity and fresh ideas.
How do you deal with creative dry spells? Do you make space for them, or push through?
The only reason I would have a “creative dry spell” is because I don’t make space to create. One of my biggest problems is that I tend to put off the pleasant activities because I want to get the unpleasant tasks out of the way first. Of course what happens is that the boring and tedious daily responsibilities keep piling up and so weeks go by without making art. I find it hard to just pinch moments here and there to do some drawing; I really need the space and time to sit down with my work. It needs to be like a ritual.
How do you deal with change, especially when it comes to creative mediums and passion?
Change is my friend and always has been. I have this amazing ability to stop and question what I do and why every once in a while. I am not afraid of change. But sometimes I fear that I am leaning toward change just to avoid failure, that I don’t persist with things for long enough to see if they will work or not just in case they don’t.
How does criticism affect you?
If coming from a friend or someone whose opinion I value I won’t show it but I feel hurt, especially when they criticise me and my lifestyle. When it comes to criticism toward my artwork I don’t really pay attention any more. I know my work is good because I like what I do. As soon as I hear someone proclaiming that this artist’s work is great and that artist’s work is crap they lose all credibility in my eyes. Art is too subjective to talk about it in such black-and-white terms. All we can say when we think something is crap is: “I don’t like this kind of art”.
Do you have any other mediums you use to express yourself creatively?
I love experimenting with vegan cooking sometimes. Or taking up a crafty DIY project. I love interior design and home decorating. Last year I learned soldering and played around with LED lighting and electronics. And on a daily basis I love to dress up and experiment with bright hair and make-up. My fashion style is the most immediate expression of my creativity.
Do you enjoy collaborating, or prefer to work alone?
When it comes to drawing I want to be alone. But as far as long-term hopes and dreams for my artistic enterprise I would love to collaborate with people who have skills and expertise in areas I don’t to create some truly amazing projects together.
Do you plan thoroughly for projects, or go with the flow?
I think I do too much planning when I don’t really know what to do (a form of procrastination). When I feel confident in my ability to see a project to its completion I am very spontaneous.
Do you utilize social media? If so, how?
I have experimented with nearly all social media channels and the one I really love is Instagram. It’s the only place where I feel excited about checking in and posting regularly is not a chore. I use it to share my travel stories in little visual snippets and hopefully to inspire others to #ThinkLikeATraveler.
What is your typical day like?
I wake up, make the bed (a new daily habit I have taken up) and have breakfast. My favorite way to start the day is to make a green smoothie. Then I usually sit down to look through emails and immediate work-related responsibilities. I like quiet mornings, I’m not at all a “morning person”. When traveling it is a lot more difficult to maintain some sort of daily routine, especially when it comes to work.
Do you have any rituals that help to set your creative time and/or space?
When I know there are no planned activities or distractions ahead it’s prime time to get some drawing done. I usually have to actively decide that I will do some drawing the next day, a kind of a promise to myself. Then I find a quiet corner, set up the desk, make a cup of tea or coffee. I get cozy and put my headphones on to minimize distractions when other people are around. I love listening to audiobooks while drawing, it really gets me excited to get back to it when I’m in the middle of a good book. Then I spend as long as I can bear tracing my lines; it usually takes several hours to reach a state of oversaturation. It’s like a meditation.
Do you believe that connecting with your creativity, or helping others to do so, can positively affect the world? If so, how?
I believe that creativity is the new literacy. Being creative helps us think in broader terms and find solutions to problems. I also believe that creative expression is very fulfilling and thus makes people feel better about themselves.
Do you surround yourself on a daily basis with creative, inspiring people?
I often hear this advice about surrounding yourself with inspiring people. Since graduating from University it has been rare to find a situation where I can simply choose what kind of people I interact with. Especially when traveling to third world countries and small places. Sometimes I wish I lived in New York or Silicon Valley so I could take this advice. Instead I try to find inspiration in people that surround me wherever I am.
What effect do you want your art to have on the world?
I want to inspire people to see things from a new perspective and empower them to make their own adventures. Ultimately, I want to challenge the status quo of “what is good art and what is bad art” and push the limits between art and design.
What music, if any, plays while you work? What are you listening to at this very moment?
I prefer silence when doing something that requires writing or calculating. When drawing I love listening to audiobooks or podcasts. I absolutely love the idea that my drawings have this secret layer of information and each time I look at an image it reminds me of the story I was listening to at the time of drawing it.
Right now I’m listening to “The Four Hour Workweek” by Tim Ferriss.
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
You can design your life the way you want to live it.
Do you have any upcoming projects/collections to share?
I am currently in Fiji working on a body of work inspired by my adventures here. I will be adding new drawings and video blogs about my experiences until the end of 2014.
Where can we find your art?