Hello friends! It’s the first Monday of the month which calls for another installment of our Creative Couples series. I’ve gotten to know some incredible people through this series thus far and I highly encourage you to reach out if you’re a creative who is in love with another creative. I am really excited to day to feature designer and photographer Christie of Bedsidedesign and her husband, Ian, who is a writer and photographer. A few months ago I stumbled across Christie’s blog and absolutely admired the way she supports other bloggers. She is co-founder of Postmark Society, a fun pen pal exchange between bloggers through Postable. Her design residency series with Celestine and Kate was a longstanding favorite. I’m always in awe of bloggers who make time to support other bloggers by being genuine which is why I wanted to feature Christie and Ian. I also had a fabulous time reading Ian’s answers which I think you all will enjoy. Thank you Christie and Ian for being a part of this series!
What makes you a creative couple?
Christie: We both love creativity. From visuals to music to interiors we have a very similar design aesthetic and can appreciate our own work and others. I’ll never forget our friends comments when they helped us move into our apartment last year…they kept repeating, “We’re just moving musical equipment, technology and art stuff…do you guys own anything else?”….the answer – not really!
Ian: We’re both really into design. Christie tends to go more into the home design, artwork, style, etc side of things, as well as photography and lots of visuals. I’m into photography, videography, different kinds of graphics, especially text overlays, and then writing in general. I tend to have a strong interest in psychology, and art-meets-cognition.
Since we both like music and visual art, we balance out pretty well. We can ask each other for input on how something looks, how well something reads, if things make sense.
How does your relationship inspire you creatively?
Christie: Ian is a big thinker. He continually inspires me with the ideas that he is stewing on. I try to keep him involved in the projects that I’m working on to get a fresh perspective. One of Ian’s talents is connectivity – if I’m struggling with a way to communicate multiple ideas he is my go-to.
Ian: We usually find that if we want to collaborate, we have great ideas or input we can give to the other person’s project. I tend to be more of a project supporter than a project initiator. I have tons of ideas, but they’re all fragments of bigger ideas, so I plug in well when people need my input. I rarely launch into something all by myself. If Christie has a great idea, it will usually give me an idea as well, and vice-versa.
Do you think being creatives makes it easier to understand each other?
Christie: Absolutely. If the dishes aren’t done but my table is full of completed projects he understands why. He also helps when I need to keep the apartment clean in order to be inspired to create – we are a team in every aspect of our lives.
Ian: Yes. I don’t have a more complex answer, just yes.
How are your creative styles different?
Christie: Ian is so advanced when it comes to technology. He is some sort of wizard. I dabble with tech but he is the master. This comes into play with his photography, and videography. His editing always impresses me. He also is very precise about each creative project he works on. He narrows things down and works well on one project at a time.
I’m into the more tangible creative outlets and I have a select few that I am trying to “master”. I need to touch, feel, and create something that I can then hang up, hand out, or put in the mail.
Ian: Christie is probably more of a legit artist with her work and ideas. I love art, but I feel like I approach it with more of a scientific view. I like finding the formula to create something (which seems like it wouldn’t be artistic, but I think it is). I like knowing the details, the parts, memorizing the components, and analyzing the structure of something. But I can’t grab a canvas and slap paint on it. When I try, I always hate it.
Christie can grab a brush, throw something very specific, or very abstract on canvas, and it will look great, and I’ll love it. She will too, but she’ll say she doesn’t think it’s that great. It usually is. Christie is also way more consistent. I’ll brew an idea for weeks and then try to pump everything out at once. She paces herself well, and is consistent in what she does.
What is one trait you admire in your significant other?
Christie: His brainstorming process is something that I admire. He is very scientific when it comes to finding the best way to execute things. This is also what makes him an amazing baker – he loves following steps. I like to switch things up each time.
Ian: Dedication to one idea/project until its completion, with a general ease about collaborating with people. I like collaborating, but I tend not to trust others with my projects immediately, which is probably why it takes me longer to start, but then I finish everything really fast. She can keep something going for a long time. She can also decide what she likes/loves really quickly. I tend to jump around. When it comes to creative projects, I have wandering eyes.
How does your environment affect your ability to create?
Christie: I try to cultivate an environment that is conducive to help both of us get in the creative zone. Like I alluded to earlier – sometimes having a messy apartment works while others it disrupts my flow. Keeping a realistic clean apartment helps my sanity. We also try to work with what we have. We dream about having a small house but with a serious studio space…oh how I dream of it….
Ian: We don’t have a lot of space, and the space we have is multi-purpose. Our dining area is also where Christie does calligraphy. Our second bedroom is also my office where I work from home 8 hours a day, and it’s our personal office where we do most computer-necessary things. We’re not suffering for space, but it still feels like there’s not enough. The more space I have, the better I think. Long term, we’d love to have a house with a dedicated space that could be a large office, studio, and workshop.
What is your dream project?
Christie: What an awesome question! Since I’m about to launch my own calligraphy business I would LOVE to see my calligraphy letterpress printed – both artisan skills are very close to my heart.
Ian: Probably working on a documentary, or any kind of large scale travel project. I wouldn’t necessarily want to be in charge though: I’m not ok planning everything, just managing one specific aspect, and doing it really well.
What advice would you give to other creatives in relationships?
Christie: Maximize your creativity together – find out what your sweet spots are and encourage one another in them. Don’t be afraid to push your significant other – but don’t nag – no one likes that. Don’t spend all of your time being creative – I think Ian said this perfectly.
Ian: Be creative together, be creative apart. Take time to have fun. If you’re creative people, you’re probably going to figure this out on your own, since that’s your nature. Don’t be introverted all the time: spend time with people who are dissimilar from yourselves. If you’re the absent-minded creative type, take time to have a planned, fancy date or vacation. Never get offended if the other person critiques your project, and never get offended if the other person ignores your critique of theirs.
If you’re ever in the Syracuse area, be sure to grab a cup of coffee with The Joneses as they are amazing. In the meanwhile, be sure to connect with them online!