Christmas has come early for me as I have one of my biggest inspirations, Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge, here to share for our Q&A Inspiration this week. A former freelance journalist and contributing editor for House & Garden,New York Home and In Style, Grace started the design blog in 2004. It now has, she says in her first book Design*Sponge at Home, a daily readership that would fill New York’s Madison Square Garden. While I’m smitten with her enthusiastic, ‘have-a-go’ attitude that comes across in her writing, I’m in even more admiration of her encouraging, altrusitic spirit. She’s keen to share the platform – Grace has established D*S Biz Ladies, a series of national meet-ups to support budding design enthusiasts, and founded the Design*Sponge Scholarship to assist art and design students in pursuit of their creative endeavours – their best life!
Tell me a little about you and your blog…
Both my blog and my life (which are pretty intertwined these days) are about trying to live the most fulfilled, creative life possible.
What is your vision of your best life?
A balance between personal and professional- and enjoying both so much that you occasionally lose yourself in either.
Can you tell us about some of the challenges/obstacles/fears you’ve faced and how you’ve tackled them?
My biggest challenge is knowing when to take a break. I struggle with it a lot and find the best cure is to surround yourself with people you trust who remind you (and force you) to stop every now and then to appreciate what you have and what you do.
Have you ever thought you had everything planned, only for life to show you an alternative?
Yes, never more so than in 2011. It’s been a difficult year for me, but it’s been an exercise in embracing life’s ups and downs and really, truly remembering it’s a journey and not something you have “figured out” right away.
Has there been a ‘defining moment’ that has changed your life/your view of life? What has been the nudge in the right direction for you?
My defining moments are usually negatives that turn into positives- moments where I regret a decision I made or see something happen that I never want to have happen for me. I find I best define myself and my life by knowing what I DON’T want more than what I do.
If you were to look back and offer advice to yourself, what 3 pearls of wisdom would you share?
Take a break. One day your optometrist will tell you that you have the eyes of a 60 year old. You can still stop that.
Time is more valuable than money. Don’t worry about paying bills- worry about enjoying what you have around you now.
Invest in your friends. They are your family away from home and worth every second of time, energy and love you have.
What book, piece of music, blog, quote or person inspires you the most?
I go back and forth between inspirations, but this quote has been special for me lately (it was originally written to me in a middle school note):
“Barn’s burnt down- Now I can see the moon.” -Masahide.
It’s a good reminder to me that sometimes things that seem terrible can reveal something even better or more beautiful.