Creative Q&A: Laura Wright
Name, Location, Occupation
Niagara region of Southern Ontario
Recipe Developer/Food Photographer/Hospitality Professional/Author of The First Mess
The First Mess
Please describe your workspace:
In progress. I do any and all creative work from home and my partner and I bought a 100 year old house last fall. Every day there's a surprise in terms of renovations/things that need some TLC. We completely gutted the kitchen, which was a painful process to deal with for a few months--these things always take longer than you intend them to, especially if you're doing the work yourself. I still have the tiles waiting in the basement for a rather large, all-encompassing backsplash (beveled white subway tile if you were curious) and I need to paint the window and door trim that we had restored over a month ago, but it's Summer and I'm fine to carry out with the rustic vibe a bit longer. We created and planted a bunch of gardens this year, so it's all flowers, vegetables + herbs everywhere. We're also the only people on our street with a wraparound porch, and it's easily my favourite part of the house. The light is just right at almost any time and the breeze always blows through. If I'm at home working on something, I'm generally there.
What are you working on right now?
I'm always working on my blog, and as of this moment I'm searching out some designers/web developers to revamp my online space. I also have a book proposal in the works and I just finished up a superfoods-themed recipe development job--lots of goodies with chia seeds, turmeric, basil, blueberries and ginger. Oh! And I just perfected my raw and vegan fudgesicle recipe recently--that was a good day.
What has been your most rewarding project to date?
Just seeing the evolution and change of my style on the blog has been pretty rewarding. Also, I get a lot of really encouraging emails from readers every week because they've tried a certain recipe or they've gained more confidence in terms of feeding themselves well. The power of food! It's really something.
Who are you inspired by?
Almost any living entity provides me with SOME kind of inspiration. But to name some names of people who just get me amped on creating and working and BEING out there: Alice Waters, Terrence Malick, Paul Thomas Anderson, Rene Redzepi, M.I.A., Ditte Isager, Dr. Andrew Weil, Barbara Kingsolver, Tamar Adler, Dave Eggers, Gabrielle Hamilton, Haruki Murakami, Cheryl Strayed, Jonathan Franzen, Anthony Bourdain, Jeff Bridges, Neil Young, Isabel Marant, Mara Hoffman, Garance Doré, Emmanuelle Alt, Grace Bonney...
Has there been a defining moment or turning point when you realized what you wanted to do for a living?
I think when Saveur Magazine editors selected The First Mess as a winner for their Best Food Blog Awards this year, my mind shifted away from leisure activity, and over into the idea of possible career a bit more. It was a nod of recognition that I haven't taken lightly. This isn't to say that I want to blog for a living, but the skill sets and ways of communicating that I've practiced through the blog have definitely given me more insight on what I'm capable of achieving.
What do you think is the most difficult aspect of your work?
Responding to emails and other administrative sort of bits. I gravitate to the outdoors by nature, so it's hard for me to hunker down over a computer for longer than an hour. Just any of the more clerical ends of things tend to lead to a certain mental fog/resistance on my part.
What are you reading at the moment?
Boozehound by Jason Wilson
What websites do you visit for inspiration?
There are many, but some of my all time favourites are: Garance Doré, The Selby, The Glow, Apartment 2B Baking Co., 101 Cookbooks, Manger, Local Milk, Wit & Delight, and A Restless Transplant
What are your simplest daily pleasures?
Coffee is the simplest and most thoroughly enjoyed pleasure in my day to day. It punctuates a morning/day of work with some percolations, steam, aroma, and--with varying degrees of necessity--it demands pause. Also, I spend at least 20 minutes a day puttering in my garden. Nourishing plants to fruition is a hobby/way of life that runs deep in my family, so fortunately there's plenty of wisdom at my disposal. I find it relaxing more than anything else.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Definitely in a house in the country with more space and room for a little garden shed-style kitchen studio. I'm thinking I'll have authored a couple books by this point and I'll either be running a community food-centred education project OR a small whole food take away/café/juice bar-ish place tucked within a large roaming nursery/greenhouse/outdoor living concept shop. Also hoping my man and I will have a couple little ones running around by then. Lastly, a little vacation studio-ish space of my own in a tropical locale wouldn't be out of the question either.