I read a lot of blogs - a lot. The best thing about following a handful of blogs over the course of time is to actually watch as they grow and develop both personally and professionally. Many of the blogs I read daily have gone through huge transformations since I first discovered them. Children have been born, engagements celebrated, careers changed - there have been highs and lows all witness by their readers and its these moments that make the connection feel strong and personal. Blogging is personal, you are writing words from the heart and letting strangers into your world. Better yet is when these strangers become actual friends. May sound a bit crazy i know but it's true that many of the bloggers I know here in Sydney actually have become close friends and while reading international blogs may make an actual friendship more difficult, it doesn't mean you don't connect on a strong level.
When I first started reading Megan Gilger's blog, The Fresh Exchange, I immediately thought - hey, this is a girl I could hang out with. Her blog draws you in and hits you straight on with the kind of honest conversation you'd have with a close friend. Meg gets real and I find that each time I read a new post it's like I can immediately relate. This lovely lady and her husband are two creatively charged professionals and you can't help but admire their talent, work ethic and ability to be raw, honest and inspiring at the same time. I was thrilled to be able to get a peek into Megan's world below and I just hope someday they make it to Sydney so I can return the favour.
Describe your blog in 3 words…
My Creative Playground
What is your blogging manifesto?
To live fully, create without bounds, and to tell an authentic story
Top 3 blogging essentials?
My Macbook Air, Photoshop, and My husband, Mike at the very base but I have so many pieces that help me create posts.
My biggest blogging moment/milestone was...
Anytime I really reach my readers and get a response where I hear I have helped them take the leap or choose to take a weekend adventure makes me feel like I did my job. I have achieved a lot with my blog and partnered with some amazing brands but at the end of the day the readers and followers who I am writing for. They keep me going so to know how I have helped them makes me feel very fulfilled in what I am doing.
My dream collaboration would be?
I would love to begin designing products with brands I really believe in. I also have a dream of maybe writing a book. I could go on and on, but collaboration ideas are honestly endless in my mind because there are so many creative and cool ways to create these days.
Right now I'm listening to…
The National’s Trouble Will Find Me Album. This band sleighs me. Their writing. Their passion for their art. Their desire for perfection. I try to move on but I cannot. When I am writing you can find me listening to them, Bon Iver, and Ryan Adam.
Best piece of advice to a newbie blogger?
Be you. Don’t try to fit in a box. Allow yourself to explore, fail, try, and succeed. Your space is your space. If you remain authentic and real and maintain an expectation to only deliver the best of who you are the world will begin to follow along. I tried far too many times to be something I wasn’t only to find a ton of emptiness in my work. The moment I let go and begin allowing myself the freedom to accept myself and my work the more fulfilled I felt. Also, never allow yourself to feel limited. When you desire something enough you can make it come together. Whether it means you have 1 window in apt for shooting, no idea how to code, or cannot use Photoshop. Limits are simply hills to the great achievement of creating your dreams. Don’t allow them to be what stands in between you and where you dream of being.
If I wasn't blogging I'd be…
If blogging had never happened in my lifetime I would have been an artist no matter what. I would have become a musician, a painter, or anything beyond that. I cannot hide my desire to create beautiful things. To do so would be suppress who I am by nature.
Behind the scenes of my blog looks like…
Me at my kitchen table or wherever I am that week with my Macbook Air creating a post. Tons of papers and pens around to create type or me rearranging my dining room for a shoot as it is my staging area right now for shooting in. I live in an 850 sq. foot home in Raleigh and our shooting space is all of maybe 8x8 for where we can shoot. What I love about it is that is keeps me real, humble, and on my toes for thinking how can we create better even with the challenges.
In 2014 I'm most excited about…
Living more. 2013 was a lot of deep hours in our studio and so I fell behind in the blog in ways I never wanted to. I questioned the space a lot and I hated it because I love it so much. I love designing but I have always dreamed of being an art director and that is what the blog allows me to be. My dreams lie in the blog so to think of creating all the ideas I have been writing down now for nearly a year makes me really excited. I have no expectations this year other than to live to create and to live well and as simply as possible.
Thanks Megan for sharing with us! All images courtesy of The Fresh Exchange