The Creative Unconscious: What's your name, age, and professional title? Where are you currently employed?
Sandi Falconer: Sandi Falconer, 35, freelance illustrator, owner of my stationery & goods company Tough Luck
TCU: What hobbies do you have outside of your professional field that keep you inspired and motivated to generate personal work? How do they inspire you?
SF: I recently moved from a big city to a small town, so all my usual routines have been shaken up. It's a good feeling! I used to play softball before the move. I like to swim. I watch a lot of TV. Even though it's my job, I like drawing for fun as well. Every now and then I read. I love exploring & getting to know my new town. Getting outside to clear my mind is always helpful. It's hard to be inspired when you feel too anxious, and taking a step back always helps reset my brain. I tend to come up with ideas when I'm walking around or away from my desk.
TCU: Do you have a hard time balancing being a creative professional and generating personal work that you're proud of?
SF: Personal work always takes a backseat to work that pays the bills, and that's OK with me. I screen print all my cards, so printing takes up a really big chunk of my time. Because I get to make anything I want for Tough Luck, it feels like I'm constantly creating personal work/things that reflect my personality. I also feel like every illustration job I get helps me become a better illustrator, which leads to doing better personal work. One thing feeds the other.
TCU: What time of day do you feel the most creative? What about the most productive?
SF: Lately I feel most creative at night, but I'm most productive in the afternoon/evening. I could work all the time if I wanted to, and sometimes it's hard to stop, so taking things slow in the morning is becoming a really great ritual.
TCU: What are your creative goals for the future?
SF: To keep challenging my printing skills, to make things I'm proud of, to become a better more focused illustrator. I'd love to draw/write a book and design a line of patterned clothing as well, but those are big dreams.
TCU: Are you working on any personal projects right now? If so, can you share a little bit about your inspiration and your creative process?
SF: I'm trying to work on some drawings about my family and growing up. I really respect when people are vulnerable, but I'm a fairly private person so it will be a challenge. Right now it's a lot of notes, gathering some reference pics, trying to figure out where to go with it and how to begin.
TCU: What scares you?
SF: Horror movies, retirement plans.
TCU: What does success mean to you?
SF: I'd love to be a bit more financially stable, but at the end of the day this job presents me with so many satisfying challenges, and I get to put myself into my work in a way that would be really hard to replicate elsewhere! Having a career that allows me to be flexible with my location is a major bonus. While I have ambition, I don't have aspirations to take over the world - success to me means being able to get by doing something I'm passionate about.