Boss Lady is a series by Social Stylate that shares personal insights from creative women in business. Recently, we were thrille to chat with Leigh Viner, an outstanding artist and photographer. Several years ago I saw her work in an article on Harper’s Bazaar and have followed her work ever since. Leigh’s photos, illustrations, paintings, and even her Instagram account are inspiring. I love Leigh’s unique, sophisticated and complex artistic style and cannot wait to see what she does next.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a full time time freelance artist / photographer with a passion for travel, fashion and would rather read most of the time then watch TV, but get me hooked on a show and I will endlessly have a marathon session with the episodes I have missed. I am also a mom to a wonderful 10 year old daughter who is growing up so fast. I am looking forward to sharing my passion with travel with her eventually and someday dream of living part time in Europe. The history and way of life over there truly has grabbed my heart.
What does a “day in the life of Leigh” look like?
During the school year I am busy with getting my daughter ready and off to school. I then (try to) get in a workout of some sort a few times a week, by then I am not usually in my office until 10:00 am where I start the day with reading and answering my emails with my coffee and usually have my business meetings over the phone with my clients. I will also post on my blog/Instagram and network a bit.
Before noon I concentrate on my print orders, ordering new ones, getting the ones that arrived ready to ship out for the day which usually takes me until 1:00 or 2:00pm. I then work on my illustrations for my clients for the remainder of the afternoon until I break again to grab my daughter around 3:30 to pick her up from school. I sneak in my errands, post office, dinner stuff, etc. with her.
After my daughter goes to bed, I am back at it until 11:30 pm or later most nights. Long, days for sure, but definitely doing what I love, which makes all the difference in the world.I used to continue that into the weekends working nonstop seven days a week, but finally this past few years I have allowed myself to be a bit more slack and just enjoy my off time as much. With certain projects and deadlines I cannot always have a day off, but it is so important to find that work/ life balance.
What inspires you and fuels your creativity?
I am constantly reading something, between many books I have a complete magazine obsession, so flipping through editorials I find a ton of inspiration there. I also love foreign and classic films, music and again traveling; I am endlessly inspired by it all.
What is your most successful form of marketing?
It shifts a bit with so many outlets to market. I try to make sure to cover all of the networks: Instagram, Facebook, blogging and Twitter, but as of late I have been so busy with commercial clients, that my blog has suffered a bit, but again finding a balance to make sure I am posting as often as I can because I really love it and notice I miss it when I am not able to get to it. Truly though a happy customer and word of mouth, the old-fashioned way, is the most successful form of marketing for me.
What advice do you have for emerging artists/photographers that want to make a career for themselves?
Be ready to put in a ton of hours for your passion, listen to your heart and continue with persistence. Create for you and practice, practice, practice. The best form of learning for me was to just experiment without fear. Go ahead and make mistakes and never be afraid to grow and learn new tecniques. I am still doing that myself. Also most importantly in this business make sure to charge what you are worth.