Diana and I met through the blog-world, however we were actually in design school at NC State around the same time -- although our paths never crossed! She is the fabulous author of Please Sir and has graciously accepted my offer to ask her few questions about her blog, life, and ambitions -- hope you enjoy :)
How did you get started writing Please Sir?
Borrowed from Oliver Twist, my friends and I began using the phrase “please sir” during a wild mountain weekend, and it’s become a statement we use everyday! Originally, I imagined the blog as an explosion of all my repressed creative energy, since my “real job” doesn’t allow for the artistic freedoms I once enjoyed as a design student. However, based on my own interests and the responses to my design posts, Please Sir has evolved into a site focused primarily on inspiration.
From vintage finds to up & coming artists, you often feature a spectrum of topics--what inspires and motivates your posts?
The posts on Please Sir are quite eclectic because many different disciplines interest and inspire me. I keep a running list of websites to reference for future posts. But, I don’t wake with any set agenda regarding my posts – I just embrace all the unique events that occur during my day.
How does your background in textiles influence your content?
My background in textiles has enhanced my ability to recognize and critique different artistic mediums. Basically I’ve learned how to find the meaning and message behind different pieces, whether they are photographs, interiors, or fashion. Overall, I have learned to evaluate work as an objective and informed observer.
What are some of your favorites websites, blogs, books, etc.. that influence your work and blog?
I have a difficult time with any questions requiring me to “pick favorites,” because I’m inspired by so many things from different disciplines – for me, everyday experiences are my influence. My regular reading habits are quirky; for example the latest book I’m reading is David Sedaris’s brilliantly hilarious When You Are Engulfed in Flames. As for blogs, my daily reads are included on the Blog Love list, located on the right side of Please Sir. My Google reader is probably going to explode someday!
Are there any types of challenges you face as blogger?
I like to think of myself as having two jobs – one for pay and one for play. When things at my “real” job get hectic, it’s difficult to find time to update the blog. Also, as any blogger knows, it can be a challenge to continuously find original and interesting content. On a more personal note, lately I’ve been struggling with a desire to step away from only posting “pretty pictures,” and have started including more meaningful content like my recent posts from the Inspired Design conference. There are amazing advances being done in textiles and I think it’s important to highlight them, like the BioWall and Christy Matson’s interactive sound pieces.
You have lovely flea-market and vintage finds--what is your secret to finding the treasures through the trash?
Oh thank you! I give credit to my parents for helping me develop my flea-marketing skills. In high school I would go with them to fleamarkets and pick up neat finds, which now furnish my apartment. Presently I try to maintain a mental list of items that I’m interested in finding or photographing, but I’ve stumbled upon some of my best finds by accident. I think it’s important to nurture a careful eye so you’ll be able to recognize the treasure from the trash. Also, get up early to score the best finds at yard sales.
Do you have any other hobbies, things you don't blog about?
Though I don’t have much free time, fiber work, such as screen-printing, dyeing and weaving, is an area I’ve been interested in since college. I also enjoy photography, and feel fortunate that I’m able to incorporate some of my photographs into my blog posts. On the weekends I enjoy going to the lake with my boyfriend, obsessing about travel trips around the States or to a foreign country, and my guilty pleasure of hulu.com!
What are you hopes and aspirations for Please Sir--where do you see yourself going from here?
One of my short term goals for Please Sir is the development of an Etsy store. I would like to be able to share and showcase some of the vintage finds my mother and I have found throughout North Carolina. Beyond that, I hope to continue providing my readers with original insights and inspiring posts. As I grow and evolve I would like my blog to do the same.
Lastly, What do you hope your readers take from Please Sir?
A word that continually reoccurs when I describe Please Sir is inspiration. Whether I’m offering the reader inspiration for a project, inspiration for their creative development, or just inspiration to get through the day. I want Please Sir to be a place where people look for an imaginative and unique outlook on art and design. Like an old junk shop or a new travel destination, I hope readers will have a “you never know what you’ll find” kind of feeling for Please Sir.