"I’m a New York City-bred, Toronto-raised artist, designer, publisher and mother to princesses Jayla & Qara"
I’ve always been a visionary. My art/design journey started at 4 years old when my older cousin taught me how to draw Bart Simpson. By age 7, I was drawing runway models and designing my own clothing line. I always knew I was a designer. I thought differently than the others my age and I always had a unique perspective. I was always captivated by art and design came naturally to me. I majored in Advertising at the International Academy of design in Toronto. Advertising brought out my skill to market and brand products.
My daughters have inspired my career thus far. Jayla inspired entrepreneurship, Qara inspired focus and precision. This is where Milk & Heels, Fruit Fashion & Royal by A.B. were born.
What is the average day like for the illustrator & creative director of a magazine?
Every day is something different. Last week, we were all focused on a fantastic Fall/Winter issue. Today, I’m writing a cool personal interview, then I’ll be painting custom fashion illustrations for a new project. Then, I’ll be starting our editorial calendar followed by pre-production: conceptualizing and planning 6 upcoming photoshoots (2 street style shots, 2 feature interview, and 2 product line shoots). Tomorrow, I’ll be doing something totally different! My weeks are filled with drawing, strategy and events planning, business meetings, posting, marketing, photo shoots, and of course motherhood.
You lead a crazy busy life. Working & being a mom is a lot of work. How do you stay healthy and balanced on a day to day basis?
1 year ago my family and I learned the benefits of alkaline foods and made a drastic switch to become a vegatarian! Focusing on eating the best foods (Healthy greens + none-GMO + Organic), helps me stay refreshed & energetic. I’m a parent by day and #bossmom in between that, so I need all the energy I can get.
Any life tips / tricks you’d like to share?
These are the most valued lessons that I’ve learned so far:
1. You must be willing to listen, learn and adapt to your customers no matter what you might feel or want.
2. People pay for originality. Be yourself, be confident, be persistent.
3. Work smart, not hard.
4. Keep it simple. Try not to overthink ideas, strategies etc. The best ideas are the simple ones.
5. Often our worst enemy and competition is ourself.
6. I think the best keep secret in business is “find yourself the best business partner(s)!”
7. Be honest and ask questions! Invite people who inspire you to lunch and talk to them. Ask questions, take notes, pitch your services for free and build relationships. You’ll be surprised what they might say!!!
Favourite healthy foods?
Lentil stew (poutine style) with homemade french fries and a side of tomato, avocado, cucumber, dandelion, kale, dried cranberries salad (don’t forget the berry vinaigrette)! It’s my favorite healthy lunch/dinner combo. Use coconut oil and red potatoes and stew up your lentils with fresh garlic, turmeric, onion, tomatoes, Himalayan salt, and even jerk seasoning! Yummmm! So much alkaline!
Thank you all for reading! It was such a pleasure sharing my experience as a #bossmom. If you have a dream make it a reality by finding ways to make it happen. And only keep positive supportive people around you!
- Interview by hereverydaylife.com