Name: Caroline

Vocation: Founder, Teacher - Create & Plate© LLC

Location: New York, NY

1. What do you currently do now and how did you end up here? Any pit stops along the way and did those pit stops help you get to the career and woman you are now?

I managed to balance a career of being a teacher and an artist for about 11-years in New York, and it was a really wonderful time. I started down the blogging route, thus ultimately leading to what I knew I wanted to do more, which was create a show to share and shed light on the great loves of art and food. I finally decided to go full-force into founding my educational company, which I hope will serve as a foundation for many great projects and opportunities, and encourage others to seek their own joys in these areas as well. Both, in my opinion, really do reflect so much of us in a universal way, and just manage to bring us all together.

There were definitely pit stops, and I won't lie, they really tested me. There's so much that goes into pursuing what one would consider a balanced and happy life, and for myself, it was the need to be ultimately happy with what I was doing. I knew that I loved to teach, but it also became more clear as time arched on that I was happiest when I was teaching about the things I most loved. There still was a definite part of me that was scared with not knowing what would happen, but in the end, I knew I wanted to be excited every day for what lay ahead. And I can honestly say that, even in the tough days, I definitely am.

2. What are your current gaps, barriers, facilitators, or motivators? Any of those in particular that helped you along the way?

My motivation really is just to have ultimate joy in what I do. I know it sounds overrated and a tad cheesy, but to each their own. I also know myself to be someone who wants to take the seen potential of something / someone, and just see it through until the very end. I feel for a long time that I chose differently, more "practically" as one could say. Learning to get over those personal barriers is not easy, but I think more so it becomes a matter of trusting yourself, and being open to learning all over again.

I think other barriers that remain are pretty much the importance of what lays in art & food. So much is happening in both areas, and this incredible potential energy could really pour into a new kind of education for both children and adults, alike, if both were given a lot of great attention.

I am excited to see that there are so many people out there taking more risks, women especially. Just seeing how we all calculate and conceptualize differently, and find the great things that can come out of collaboration and merely just supporting each others' work ... those definitely help fan the flames to the fire. There's a lot more to be seen from all of it!

3. What is your ideal state / dream state of being as a woman in your career and a woman in this world? How will you get there?

There's so much, really. Ideally? Just really being me while doing something I love every day. I know, it sounds incredibly cliche' but it's true. I think it takes a lot to just be, especially as a woman, yourself in your work. It's frankly the only way I find I can do my best, let alone push as hard as I can to do my best work.

I do hope to find a balance in being a family woman and my work: something that I think is more pressured to go one way or the other for women. 

But most importantly, I want to be someone who can have a strong hand in fostering a greater cause than myself. I'm bewildered by the fact that there is so much available technology and media, especially to younger people, and yet there is still so much that isn't known. For example, it hurt my heart a bit that a class of teenagers I worked with had no idea who John Lennon was. Also, that they studied a Campbell's soup design but the name, Andy Warhol, didn't ring a bell. I feel that art, although still appreciated, definitely doesn't get its due or as much credit as people think. If these great things we see coming from artists in the US are here without local, state, and federal funding, can you imagine what could happen if that was no longer the problem? I think once there's an encouragement to explore whatever lay in the past, it can be the best foundation to plow through whatever they hope to lay ahead.
With food being such a strong vehicle for causes, concern, and excitement, I hope that we realize both are equally capable of producing and leading to fantastic experiences. During a cooking lesson I once conducted with three-year-olds, it blew the kids' minds that they could make french fries from potatoes. If only that could be same communal experience we could get from other parts of our lives.

4. What common misconceptions do you find about your field, your life, about women in general? 

There are definitely still many but ones that I hope change soon enough:
- that we earn enough money
- that we're only capable of so much
- that we're "too emotional"
- that we all hate each other
 

5. Any advice or tips & tricks you want to give to a younger you? Whether it be how to apt hunt on craigslist to getting your shoes cobbled to getting a work mentor etc.

Keep going. You literally will end up exactly where you're supposed to be, every single time.  

BONUS QUESTION: What should lead your life: passion or pragmatism? (general thoughts, could be a convergence, could be one or the other!)

There should definitely be equal levels of both. For myself, I have to have both, because the passion pretty much is going to be the fuel to whatever pragmatic structure I've set up for the approach. If I'm not feeling it, it'll definitely show. But when I am, great things can happen. Having a road map and a plan can definitely be a guide, but I also know I'm going to have a pack a sense of humor and plenty of energy for plans B, C, D, through X and possibly back again! But yes, I feel one definitely should have both because I just feel one can't really steer or be the full reason without the other.

BONUS BONUS QUESTION: What are you most proud of?

Being me. It took me many years to even get to that point, and once I embraced that, I went forward rather than backwards. It's the direction I've always wanted to go, and it showed me a lot. I really just want to keep going.

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