Laura Cassidy
  How and where do you find that inspiration throughout your day, and   what has that inspiration compelled you to do in your life?   It’s more like what doesn’t inspire me, but mostly it comes down to books. I keep piles of books everywhere—art and fashion books in the living room, favorite novels and story collections by the bed, weird texts from the thrift store in our art studio, poetry anthologies and biographies in my study. I know, intimately and abstractly, what’s in all those pages in all those stacks, and that’s what pushes me to chase the characters that intrigue me, to tease out the themes I pick up on, and to illustrate and share the ideas that connect me to the world as it is and could be.
  What challenges have you met in chasing inspiration?   Choosing one path. Knowing which direction to take. Wanting someone to tell me the answer but knowing that I’m the only one who knows.  Getting things out of my notebooks and laptop and into the world. That’s a big one. But I’m working on it.
  What’s a fantastic piece of advice you have been given in your life,   and who gave it to you?   My husband says “Make your weakness your strength” and although he’s sometimes being cynical or sarcastic, sometimes he means it. It’s really a pretty smart little nugget, and I happen to have a lot of weaknesses so it comes in handy.  There’s also this thing that one of my best girls, Emily Smith, said to me via text. “Chic and easy,” she tossed off, and really, it’s the only guideline you’ll ever need. It’s become a manifesto of sorts for our crew because it applies to outfits, dinner plans, and what to do when your boss is making your head explode.
   Who do you have a girl crush on?   I always have a girl crush, typically several. Often the woman is older—like, gray haired and richly experienced. A lot of times the woman is a mother. I do get pretty intensely involved with women I’ll never meet because they’re dead or not at all in my physical universe. Or maybe sometimes I get obsessed with them because I want to bring them closer to my physical universe.  I’m pretty crushed out on the writer Amy Hempel right now; it’s as if obsessively Googling her might magically make her start Googling me. Part of a crush is wanting the crushee to crush back, right?  The last time I really went down a bunny hole was with Zoe Dusanne, who was an African American gallerist in Seattle in the 40s and 50s. She created an avant-garde art scene in her home in a time when that was just anachronistic and totally punk. She was responsible for bringing Yayoi Kusami to America and hosted the first local showings of people like Marcel Duchamp and Piet Mondrian—but no one knows about her anymore. I have been talking about her for the last year or so, though, and I’m finally meeting other women who want to help me bring her back into existence.
  Who/what is your spirit animal?   It’s probably a giant cliche, but Joan Didion. Homegirl covered politics and broke down complicated world issues while editing at Vogue and writing fiction. And she is so perfectly inside and outside of herself at all times. Her style and writing style are swift, decisive, and unadorned—yet anything but plain. She’s composed and imperfect. Feminine and resolute. Small and mighty. Clear and beautifully complex. She was supposed to read here a few weeks ago but had to cancel, and it nearly broke my heart. 
  Tell me something pretty. A quote, a lyric, whatever it is that   inspires you.   "Say yes when no one asked." (Lao proverb) I saw colors when I came across that, because it seems a twin to "Listen when no one is talking," which is something that some wave or bird or breeze or flower said to me, so I wrote it down in a notebook and have been repeating silently in my head ever since.
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