Member Spotlight: Vanessa Blaikie

VanessaBlaikie.jpg

www.romeryounggallery.com

IG @romeryounggallery

What are you working on here at Radiant Workspaces?

I am the co-owner and co-director of Romer Young Gallery, a contemporary art gallery in the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco. Together with my husband, we founded the gallery with a commitment to featuring innovative, challenging and ambitious work by national and international artists working in areas of visual, conceptual, installation and performance art.

Though I continue to be one half of the gallery, I started working at Radiant Workspaces in the hopes of exploring some other ideas and projects that I might pursue independently. There are a few things bouncing around - one of which is me getting back into the studio and focusing on my own practice as an artist.

What are you most passionate about?

Art. Love. Family. Living a meaningful, wonder-full life. Going to sleep with a dream and waking up with a purpose. Raising compassionate, thoughtful little beings. Advocating for artists and those who have made it their passion and their purpose to bring beauty, meaning, moral uplift, edification, and a deep sense of connectedness to others and to the world.

In 1991 Felix Gonzalez-Torres, an incredibly inspiring Cuban-born American sculptor, photographer, conceptual artist and cultural activist made a piece called "Untitled (Passport)." It was a stack of white, blank, empty, un-inscribed pieces of paper. He described it as an 'empty passport for life' and invited the public to inscribe it with the best, the most painful, the most banal, the most sublime, and yet to inscribe it with life, love, memories, fears, voids, and unexpected reasons for being. The piece was a simple white object against a white wall, waiting to be engaged and acted upon. Its quietude speaks volumes to the power of art. I truly believe that art has the potential to unite and show people that what they have in common and what they share is more profound than what divides and differentiates them. It has the power to elevate empathy, awareness, and understanding as well as to celebrate love and generosity of spirit. My friend Griff Williams, and mentor in many ways, once said that a gallery serves not only as a market function, but as an important political and cultural purpose by providing a forum to amplify the ideas and agency of artists, writers and musicians. I could not have said it any better.

How do you practice beauty from the inside out?

If all the stars align that practice involves a balance of intention, meditation, mindful parenting, kundalini yoga, cold water swimming, cycling, being outdoors, surrounding myself with honest people who energize and inspire me, healthy food, more sleep, more laughter, more time in the studio, less technology, and 'doing small things with great love.' It looks like a long list in writing, but I'm working on integrating all those things into my life every week - even if it's only in small ways.

What songs/podcasts are on heavy rotation for you right now?

Music has been on heavier rotation than podcasts lately:

"Hearing" by Sleeping at Last (on endless repeat)

Lama Gyurme

Leonard Cohen

Lord Huron

La Dusseldorf

Emmylou Harris

Hildur Gudnadottir

Grateful Dead

Gordon Downie

Toots and the Maytals, Steel Pulse and Bob Marley with the kids

Podcasts:

NPR Fresh Air, A Piece of Work, HumaNature

Tricycle Talks (Tricycle Magazine)

SFMOMA's Raw Material

Modern Art Notes

The Conversation Art Podcast

Where do you like to travel?

I'm happy anywhere above the tree line with rock underfoot, sky above, and a cold, alpine lake; anywhere with ocean and sand as far as the eye can see. Iceland, Namibia, India, Mongolia, New Zealand, Bolivia, Japan and a return trip to Bhutan are on my bucket list. Closer to home: British Columbia, Hawaii, Tahoe, Yosemite, Mount Shasta. Montreal, home, always feeds my soul and New York City, home before San Francisco, is electric and always inspires me.

What won’t you travel without?

My boys. I love seeing the world with them and through their eyes.

From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?

Breakfast: water with lemon, eggs and fresh fruit, and I love a really good coffee.

Lunch: green leafy salad loaded with a rainbow of fresh veggies and grilled chicken.

Snack: fruit smoothie with almond butter, coconut oil and chia seeds.

Dinner: (because I ate it last night and it was delicious) heirloom melon and kimchi, with a ribeye steak.

Whom in the world would you most like to share a meal with?

Right Now, the Dalai Lama and a baby girl named Devi.

When in doubt your go to song is……..

"This Must Be The Place" by the Talking Heads

Member Spotlight : Joyce Hu

Joyce Hu is the Marketing and Creative Director for Wildlife Works @wildlifeworks, the world’s only carbon neutral, fair trade factory protecting wildlife. Based in Kenya, Wildlife Works factory produces for ethical brands such as PUMA, Globein, Raven & Lily, Lalesso and more. Her 15+ years in fashion also includes founding thebookr.com @thebookr, the first online direct-to-talent booking platform; www.sustainablefashionalliance.com, a member-based group of sustainable fashion professionals; and most recently, marlinray.com @marlin_ray_ , beach accessories that serve up beauty, function and sustainability.

What are you most passionate about?

Sustainable Living:

My grandmother who raised me survived two wars in China so she doesn’t let anything go to waste. Without intending to be, she is the biggest climate change activist I know. That foundation set me on the right path to being a conscious consumer. I balance modern living with doing right for our planet and its global community by thinking twice about every purchase. One, do I really need it? Two, what is the more sustainable alternative and choose that. By the way, there is always a more sustainable alternative. The key is to slow down and take the time to think about where our products come from and especially where they go after we’re done with it. We have allowed the consumption industry to turn off our brain and hearts to the humans behind the creation and discarding of products. If we can all minimize and be more thoughtful and heart-ful with our consumption, we can give Planet Earth a moment to breath and heal. 

How do you practice beauty from the inside out?

Daily meditation and gratitude, outdoor and nature time, eating healthily, conscious living

What songs/podcasts are on heavy rotation for you right now?

How I Built This

99% invisible

Death, Sex & Money

Conscious Chatter

Ear Hustle

Here’s the Thing

Artists as of lately:

Peter Tosh

Champs

’98 Maxwell

Toro y Moi

Dancehall for my work outs! 

Where do you like to travel? What won’t you travel without?

 Kenya, Italy, Chile

Won’t travel without downloaded podcasts, which have saved me so many times when stranded in rural areas or long modes of transport

Long, wide light weight scarf/s for all situations, beach, light layer, pillow, head covering, etc

 From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?

Eggs for breakfast and fresh green juice

Lunch: salad with in season veggies and small cheese panini sando, light EVOO, salt, lemon and pepper

Dinner: Wild caught shrimp pasta (So hard to get good, sweet fresh shrimp!) with fresh garlic and tomato sauce

 Whom in the world would you most like to share a meal with?

Michelle Obama

 When in doubt your go to song is……..

Stevie Nicks – Stand Back

Without a DOUBT!  

Things We Love from the Radiant Team

I don't necessarily listen to podcasts a lot but when I find one I love, it's golden. My current podcast love is NPR's How I Built This. Every story is such an inspiration and as varied and unexpected the paths are for the entrepreneurs featured, the common theme is good old fashion hard work. Sounds like whoever works hardest (and smartest) wins. I like that as it's an empowering way to look at the world.

That also ties in nicely with a book I just finished, Carol Dweck's Mindset. She's a Stanford University psychologist that discovered the simple idea of mindset (fixed and growth). It's primarily focused on the power of belief that you can improve. A thought which makes everything a little more achievable doesn't it?

- Temi

My recent favorite thing is the app called RADIOOOOO . Described as a "musical time machine," the app lets you pick a country anywhere in the world and a decade then you select your mood and it plays music based off of your selection. It is a great way to change it up and discover music that you would not normally listen to. The current station I am loving is the 1990's Argentinian station I highly recommend !

-Mehr

I'm currently in love with Talenti Gelato Ice Cream. I'm going between two flavors; Mediterranean Mint Gelato and Sicilian Pistachio Gelato. Talenti uses natural, fresh ingredients sourced from all over the world to make their addicting flavors.  The best part is that there is no high-fructose corn syrup like so many other brands. I tell myself I'll have a scoop and end up eating a pint in one sitting. It's that addicting! If you are looking for a new ice cream brand to try, Talenti is the go to.

-Sysamone

It's been almost a decade and I'm still as excited as ever with audio books. Nothing will ever replace reading a book but when you're on the move; driving, walking or running, listening to a great book adds to the experience. Three recent favorites  - The Nix by Nathan Hill, Born a Crime by Trevor Noah, At the Existentialist Cafe by Sarah Bakewell.

-Tobi

Team Spotlight: Sysamone

Alohaaaaa Beautiful Radiant Community!!!

 

I’d like to e-introduce myself! My name is Sysamone (see-sa-moan) and I am the new Director of Community at Radiant Workspace. I’m very excited to be here!  I look forward to meeting all of you very soon.  I can’t wait to learn about your ambitions, challenges and how I can support your journey towards success.

A little but about my professional self; I currently run an early stage tech/startup called FilmHero. I am building a monetization engine (fancy for web platform)  for independent filmmakers to monetize their films more efficiently in our growing digital economy. Our mission is to spark dialogue & call to action for social impact through film. I also run a women’s community on meetup called Women Supporting Women. This group was created for women in all industries and career levels. We organize events in various event spaces monthly (Google, Yelp, Runway etc.). Our mission is to always create safe spaces for women to empower one another towards success by sharing knowledge, tips, resources etc.  Feel free to add yourself to the group and join us for our upcoming events

Every Thursday starting in July, I invite you to join our co-working sessions at Radiant from 10am - 3pm! Our Co-Working sessions are a safe place for you to bring your professional challenges to the table. It can be as simple as needing more page likes on social media to user testing for products for feedback. Every challenge & request is welcome and we do our best to provide you with multiple solutions or find the right resource & support from our networks to help you.

A little bit about my personal self; I am a single mother of two. I have a 9year old daughter and an 8year old son. They both love baseball and play in the same league. I’m a typical #baseballmom! We live over in the East Bay side of the Bay Area, in the little town of San Leandro. I love red wine and if you love it too...let’s playdate! Haha.

Temi, Tobi and I are super excited to combine our two powerful women’s communities under one roof. With our values in alignment we hope to make the Radiant Workspace community a safe space for women to connect, collaborate and create together.