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Fueling the Blaze of Creativity

Fueling the Blaze of Creativiity: A weekly digest of what gets designer Maya Ahluwalia’s juices flowing

The Weekly Edit

Maya Ahluwalia

Our days are filled with long lists of to-dos, necessary burdens of the everyday that propel life forward. And mixed in with the moments of fun and the mundane, there are the actions that fill our hearts with apprehension but are unavoidable essentials. For me, for example, the minutes before a networking event are a combination of the nervous sweats and a tumultuous stomach. By adopting a proactive shift in mindset, however, every obligation can become an opportunity.

When a friend forwarded this video to me the other day, my first thought was another motivational video filled with compelling images and inspirational words of wisdom. And it is mostly that, but one quote stood out to inspire this blog post and reframe my viewpoint on both the banal and the dreaded.  

While I have admired Iris Apfel’s unconventional approach to fashion for many years now, it wasn’t until the documentary Iris that I discovered what a creative, yet enterprising artists she is. At the young age of 93, her days are filled with personal appearances, estate sales and trekking through Harlem. No possibilities are left unexplored. And while I have always had a crush on Iris, now my crush has widened to include her husband Carl.  You have to love a man that always wore three cameras with three different lenses so as not to lose any picturesque moment.

While I have been a vegetarian for twenty years now, a good portion of that time I was a bad vegetarian that subsisted on pizza, pasta and cheese sandwiches. It wasn’t until I met my more conscious vegan boyfriend six years ago that I ate balanced meals and actually paid some attention to where my food comes from. Since then, what I have learned about the food industry through documentaries like Forks Over Knives and Vegucated, has emphasized how disconnected most Americans are from their food.  Natalie Joos, the force behind Tales of Endearment, takes the opportunity of her fashion-focused platform to expose the difference between mass market chicken and egg production and boutique farms. Utilizing her connection to the fashion industry, she has shared a distinct point of view along with a fun farm-themed fashion shoot, remaining in her unique frame of reference.

The story of Jessica Simpson’s multi-billion fashion empire is a fascinating one, one built on leveraging lukewarm success in one field into ground-breaking success in another. As a pop star, Jessica Simpson never quite made it to the levels of her competitors. But it did bring her Nick Lachey and Newlyweds, a foray into the power of reality television’s ability to turn the semi-famous into mega celebrities, a concept that was still relatively new at the time. Newlyweds turned Jessica Simpson into a household name that ultimately became a coveted brand for middle America.