An Office Sure To Spark Creativity

Photo: Courtesy of Paper Chase Press
Designer Beatrice Valenzuela is known for quite a few things: her collection of shoes and jewelry, her former flagship store in L.A., and her role as cofounder and director of the Echo Park Craft Fair. The Mexico-born mother of two is one of our creative inspirations, and she gave us a peek into her creative workspace and what inspires her every day.

This piece ran first on Paper Chase Press.
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Photo: Courtesy of Paper Chase Press
How do you start or end your day?
I start my day by opening all my doors and windows, I feed Chartruse, my canary, and then I drink a big, sometimes two, cup of coffee and make breakfast with my family. My day usually ends when I put Astrid and Dimitri, my two children, to sleep. Astrid likes me to tell her a story, which I make up every time. Dimitri likes me to sing him the same song every night, in a loop. It's an old Mexican lullaby I've adjusted by adding both their names in it.

How do you get your creative juices flowing?
When I want to be inspired, I look at images. I especially like to go to a magazine stand, buy a bunch, and then look at them very carefully. I love studying images. It's so interesting and very stimulating for my mind.
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Photo: Courtesy of Paper Chase Press
Describe your personal aesthetic in three words:
Colorful, vibrant, interactive.

What career move got you to own your own business?
I think that starting the Echo Park Craft Fair was the beginning of many things for me. Deciding to stick with it was very difficult. I never thought it would become what it has.

What are the most exciting developments in your industry?
Our community of designers has created a wave of inspiration not only locally but globally. That is something to be excited about. There is massive exchange of consciousness happening. This is positive and oh so good!
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Photo: Courtesy of Paper Chase Press
The vice you'd never give up:
I'll never give up drinking perfectly cold bubbly.

In my purse you will find:
Lipstick, sunglasses, postage stamps, credit cards, matches, bobby pins, my Square reader, hand cream, phone, and two shells Astrid found in the Kern River.

What would you encourage designers to print?
Beautiful personal stationery. Write thank-you cards. Write notes and put a stamp on and in the mail. It's so romantic.
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Photo: Courtesy of Paper Chase Press
Describe the creative pace at your home:
My husband, Ramsey, and I both design and create. We are in a constant search for new projects. I think that we both feed off of each other and our children creatively. We are all very curious and search for inspiration all around us incessantly.
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Photo: Courtesy of Paper Chase Press
What are your design inspirations?
I love functional and primitive design. The things that were made first, not developed or derived from anything else. That is what I find most inspiring in the world.
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Photo: Courtesy of Paper Chase Press
Share an insight to your life or your life that you've discovered:
I've discovered that my instincts are always right. There's always that very primal gut reaction to situations that I don't always follow. When I do, my decisions lead me to a successful result. When I don't, then I struggle until I finally choose to listen to that internal compass.

When do you think you're at your best?
I'm at my best while traveling and discovering new lands. I feel electric and most alive. All my senses are awake, and I love that feeling of being constantly fueled by new information. I find so much inspiration in seeing the way other people and cultures live and experience life.
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