Happy Friday! I’m excited to share a new DREAM JOB interview! Enjoy!
I first discovered Sasha Ritter when I discovered LMNOP : Let’s Make Nice on Purpose, a retail shop and blog based out of Newport Beach, California. Sasha served as the creative director and while the storefront is closing, I’m happy that their blog will continue and Sasha will still be up to amazing things. In addition to creative direction for LMNOP, Sasha also does freelance design, consultation, illustration & other creative projects and has a background in architecture. Talk about creative balance! Plus like I’ve already mentioned, I’m kind of obsessed with her photography (frequent updates here), aesthetic, and eye for detail. So I’m thrilled to have Sasha here today. Let’s learn more about her life and dream job!
(“Who Nose” booklet by Alisa Ochoa)
I really love working in several mediums and find that they tend to feed each other and overlap quite often, so it doesn’t feel like too much of a stretch for me to be working the way that I do. That said, I find it really helpful to dedicate specific time (within my workday or workweek) to each given project, to plan when I’m working on each one, rather than trying to juggle several at once- I’d go nuts. Even if I have a few different projects on my plate at once, they each get dedicated time, no distractions (maybe a couple here and there), until they are finished. Oh and lists are essential to me! I often tape lists to the wall above my desk to remind myself of what I am supposed to be doing & have several versions of the same list in multiple locations.
The decision to study architecture was a bit of a process for me really. At the time that I decided to go to graduate school for design, I was traveling a bit and became interested in public space & the way that people are affected by spaces, the built environment and the design of them. Even then though I was interested in several design disciplines as well as fine art (I also considered an MFA) and found it really challenging to settle on one- I’ve always been like this, I guess. I thought that Architecture would give me the opportunity to learn a very rigorous design discipline while also giving me a broader base of design skills that I could go into other fields with. Turns out, I was right, but the path wasn’t always (still isn’t) very clear! I did always have a hunch during school that I’d stray a bit from architecture & in the three years since I graduated, I haven’t done very much work with it beyond conceptual drawings or consulting here & there. I’d love to participate more in the field though, if the right opportunity came up.
I grew up in Southern California & then lived in Northern California, Scotland & Oregon. I’ve been back in the area for about 3 years after being away for 10, so it has almost felt like an entirely new place to me, coming back as an adult. I’ve really loved exploring Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Joshua Tree & the local mountains. It feels like there are endless things to do & see here, plus the weather allows for being outside almost all of the time- it’s a pretty amazing part of the country to be in. I’m actually contemplating a move right now though! My wanderlust is pretty insatiable. We’ll see.Having grown up here and now returning to Southern California to work, I have come to realize that this area has, from a very young age, had a huge impact on me as a person as well as on my work and aesthetic. The light, the colors, the plants & the diverse cultures that are represented in Southern California are always influencing my work. I love the combination of chaos, natural beauty and access to amazing art & music that I find in Los Angeles as well as the simple, slower pace that I enjoy in Orange County. It all makes its way into my work somewhere, somehow.
Traveling is a large part of my life, I love it, try to do it as often as possible (even if it’s just driving a few hours out & back in a day) and find it endlessly inspiring. I also really love to wander museums, see music, look at books & other people’s work. Running is also something that I’ve always done & I find it to be really helpful to my creative process. For motivation, I find it very helpful to talk with and collaborate with friends or people that I’m working with. There’s something great about collective energy.
Definitely. I have a few very close friends, fellow creatives, that I talk to or write to fairly regularly about the things that we are working on. We give each other advice or critiques on things from time to time, I find it extremely helpful. To name a couple of key people in my network- Chi-Lin Sun, is a photographer, (who I worked with on LMNOP & other projects) & has been a huge support and collaborator over the past few years. We work together really well & push each other, which is great. I’m really not quite sure where I’d be right now or what I’d be doing without her. She’s amazing. Also, my older brother, Ben Ritter, is an artist & graphic designer living in New York. He has also always been a big inspiration to me & supporter of my work from the beginning. It’s fun now to be able to work on things here & there with him.
Hmm, I think that the best people to work with are the ones that seek you out because they know & love your work & trust you to do what you do best. It’s also nice to have a bit of clear direction from the beginning, trust in the process & decisiveness. Word of mouth through friends, family & past clients has been great for me. I’d also suggest getting involved with causes or organizations, or working on friend’s projects that you are interested in & volunteering your services at first. It’s a great way to gain experience & make contacts.
I draw & take photos a lot & have an ongoing list of projects that I’d love to do someday. Slowly, but surely I’m trying to work my way through the list. I’ve got one involving tree stumps that has been on my mind for ages. I am determined to make it happen soon! I’ll keep you posted. I also like to take care of plants and my mini deck garden.
Chi-Lin & I have always seen LMNOP as a springboard for many other ideas and ventures. In fact, we often found it really hard not to want to try to launch several things at once. We both love photography & have loose plans for some projects together down the line (when her newborn is a little older!). As for me, I plan to keep working much as I am now, project to project, ideally collaborating with others to make things happen- I think it’s the way I work best. I’d love to manage & creative direct another project like LMNOP or an interiors project of some sort. I’ll keep blogging too in a couple of places: letsmakeniceonpurpose.com & florallittle.wordpress.com. I’m excited for whatever comes next!
When I was starting out, I had a few regular paying jobs (including waiting tables) that helped pay the bills while I pursued creative work (the work I really wanted to be doing) on the side. The creative work was often (usually) unpaid at first & I opted to do interesting work for friends for free rather than taking paying jobs that weren’t as interesting or as good of a fit. This all felt insanely exhausting and a tad crazy but I didn’t see any other way and it eventually paid off. Patience, working really, really hard, having a positive outlook and loving your work are all key, I think. Oh & having fun is important too! You never know who, where & what will bring new opportunities.