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read a lot, find some place to explore

Finding Creativity: Felicity Loughrey
Finding Creativity is a guest posting series where I invite people to explore how they find creativity in the world. In November 2008 we hear from creative professionals: industrial design, fashion design, writing and graphic design. Stay tuned.

I'm pleased to introduce Felicity Loughrey who is based in New York, New York. Please tell us, what is your design profession and the major focus of your work?
Thanks for this Romana. I write for magazines. Recent stories I have worked on include essays about mum blogs, women and the economy and children’s television. This is a recent story from Camouflage magazine, a publication devoted to shoes. I wrote a piece about my youth as a shop assistant in Canberra, Australia. And below is the Vogue Australia article that brought me together with you Romana.

Tell us when you look for inspiration and where do you go to find it?
Half of the work I do is from commissions – like an editor will have a topic they want me to write about and I’ll research it and write it. The other half of my work is from story ideas I generate myself and pitch to editors. So where do I find those story ideas? I read a lot. I feel like I read online all day – a favourite website is Arts and Letters Daily. This is a great leaping off point. There is just so much fabulous writing on the web – from newspapers, blogs and online magazines.

When you think of venturing out to find creativity in the world where do you think of going?
I get a lot of ideas from books. I source most of my paperbacks (and hardcovers too) from Paperback Swap.
I live in New York City so there’s always some place to explore – a museum, a gallery or a new boutique opening – and new ideas will come from stepping outside your front door. The Brooklyn Museum of Art, is a favourite.
I also think ideas, for the kind of work I do, will come from chatting with friends. You’ll find yourself just ranting about a topic and think, hang on, there’s an essay in this.

What have you always wanted to rethink, redesign or recreate, and why?
On the writing front I’ve always wanted to write a trashy, girly novel full of drunkenness and mediocre sex, set in Canberra. I don’t think it would win a Pulitzer.

Name something we can do to expose ourselves to something outside of our worlds, outside of the bubbles and environments we inhabit?
Read a magazine you’ve never read before. Here are three to get you out of a media rut: Monocle – like a really stylish version of The Economist; The Monthly – a literary Australian magazine with great writing; Bust – one of the smartest, sexiest, craftiest women’s magazines out there.