Has there been a point when you’ve decided to take a big risk to move forward?
I think having kids was a big risk. Leaving New York was also big risk.
But you left New York for the opportunity to teach?
I did, but it was still scary to work two jobs and live in two places. My husband and I wanted to have space to breathe, indoors and out, and I wanted to be closer to family and be in a place that was easier to raise kids in, but still a city—I didn’t want to be in the suburbs. It was a really big, really hard decision, but I’m happy with it.
Are your family and friends supportive of what you do?
My family is really supportive, and I’m very close to them. I have a few close friends. As you get older, it becomes harder to make friends; people are already paired off and have strict routines. It’s not the same as when you’re in college. But I’ve worked hard to maintain a couple of very important friendships, which are life-sustaining to me. Overall, I feel like I have enough people around me; I’m able to give them enough care and attention and they support me.
Do you feel a responsibility to contribute to something bigger than yourself?
I think that’s why I do the things I do; they are outward and public. Teaching is very much a giving profession, and I put a lot of mental energy and time into it. Time is all we really have, and teachers give their time to others. The other things I do—writing, lecturing, and curating—are about sharing something of value.
Are you creatively satisfied?
I’d say I’m 80% satisfied. I’m always too busy, but that’s a choice, and, for me, I tend to be more productive that way. When I’m not too busy, I don’t tend to get more done. When you are super-busy, you enter a state of frenzy that can be enormously scary and rewarding and productive. I don’t know that I’d be more satisfied if I only had one job or if I had more time.
Is there anything you’re interested in doing in the next 5 to 10 years?
I want to finish my novel. That’s my one thing I’m working on that’s just for me.
What is it about?
It’s about a young woman in the near future who is entering the design world and having adventures; it’s a satirical, humorous account of life as a designer. Writing fiction is fun, but very labor-intensive. I wish I had more time to spend on it, but it’s my responsibility to make time to do the things I want—I can’t blame anyone else.