Margot Potter is an internationally celebrated designer, author, trash to treasure trover, freelance writer, consultant, public speaker, performer and TV Host. She invites people to not only think outside of the box, but to tear it up, repurpose it into something fabulous and stand on it to reach for the stars. Equally comfortable at the writer’s desk, in the design studio, onstage or in front of the camera, she’s been a professional performer for twenty eight years and a crafty chick since before she was old enough to hold a Crayola®.”
5 tools or supplies you can’t be without
I use it every single day. I have an ancient version of the program and I’m barely scratching the surface of what it can do. It’s invaluable. If you can’t afford it, I just found a free download for a program that’s pretty cool for making collages, animated gifs and basic edits: Photoscape.
This is my Photoshop adjunct. I like to think of them as partners in crime. I edit first in Photoshop, upload to PicMonkey and play with composition, labels and design. Then I download that and add text in PS. Adding text at a high resolution helps keep it crisp. It’s hard to keep text from getting fuzzy online. The internet is all about big juicy pictures, I wish I’d found Pic Monkey sooner. I couldn’t figure out how people all had these amazing layered graphics and fabulous photos. It’s so easy to bump up sharpness and fix lighting and other issues. Love this site!
I was on Blogger forever, with my face pressed up on the glass of WordPress. It seemed so impossible and confusing to make the move. Blogger makes it easy, but the SEO there is poo. I am so glad I finally made the leap. It was two months of teeth gnashing building the site, but using Genesis platform and a Child Theme made it really easy. So far, so fabulous.
Everything I do every single day requires an endless supply of imagination. When you are literally making it up as you go along, you’d better open yourself up to inspiration and creativity.
Chutzpah, moxie, determination, tenacity, true grit, whatever you want to call it, if you want to be an entrepreneur it may just be your most important tool. I know for sure it’s mine. It takes a whole lot of chutzpah to turn turds into rainbows every day.
4 favorite sources of creative inspiration
I remember years ago living in an old house in San Jose, California. I was home alone one day and opened a drawer to find a 1940s fashion magazine. It was life altering. Seriously. I collect ephemera (a fancy word for old paper and ephemeral objects that somehow manage to stand the passing of time.) There is nothing that gets my creative juices flowing more than the colors, composition, text and feel of vintage graphics. I could spend hours flipping through old magazines. In fact, I have.
Nothing can teach you more about how to translate what you see into something visually compelling than the work of the master artists. If you can get to a great museum and stand in front of a Van Gogh, a Monet, a Rembrant and look closely at how they captured color, light and texture it will change your life. It’s not the same as seeing these works in print, because you lose so much of the texture and the subtletly. I was blown away at the Schiaparelli exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, though she’s a fashion designer she collaborated famously with artists like Dali and Man Ray and her work is still outrageously innovative. You can see where every designer that came after her was inspired by her work.
Flea Markets and Thrift Shops
Yes, there’s a theme here. I am a vintage aficionado. They just don’t make things like they used to, those details, the colors, the patterns, the combination of form and function in antiques and vintage items are unparalleled. Plus, for me, there isn’t much that I find more exciting than hunting for treasure among trash. I like to think of it as modern archeology.
I have always loved movies. I’m an actress with a background in the theatre. I love escaping into a different world. The costumes, the sets, the jewelry, the performances of a brilliant actor or actress inspire and inform my work endlessly.
3 people you’d like to have lunch with, living or dead.
(Just 3? Hmmm…)
I would love to toss a few back with Byron while he regaled me with poetic stories of debauchery.
We’d sit in some impossibly chic French Bistro wearing surreal hats, dishing about fashion, design and style and sipping on Shocking Pink martinis.
Since I was three years old, she has been my idol. I used to throw fits when anyone tried to change the channel during her PBS show. What fun would it be to share some French cuisine and “a little wine” with the divine Miss Julia?
What 2 things are you not very good at.
I am quite possibly the world’s most impatient woman. There is a reason I used the moniker The Impatient Crafter for several years. My impatience is legendary and frustrating to those who surround me. (My husband is thankfully the world’s most patient man.) My impatience is also my biggest asset as it drives my creativity. It’s funny how our weaknesses can become our greatest strengths.
I am not a team player. There, I said it. Unless the team is filled with smart, secure, supportive, visionary people, I find group work to be a slog. I hate watching smart ideas get watered down by egos and power playing. I also abhor laziness. That said, I love being part of the theater. The reason is that there, everyone has a very specific skill set, a task that has to be completed well in under time constraints and a common goal. I think corporate America could learn a lot from the theater. Too many cooks really do spoil the broth and meetings are a grand and glorious waste of time. Everyone has a part to play and the best group efforts are ones in which people work to their strengths and focus on their part of the puzzle.
What is your super power?
I’m a visionary. I connect the dots and see what’s next long before it hits. Being ahead of the curve can be a gift, but it took me a long time to find a career where it was an asset. I have been laughed at, a lot, especially when it comes to my “out there” fashion choices! You can feel more than a little bit like Chicken Little when you’re obsessing over something that has everyone else scratching their head. I believe new ideas emerge into consciousness when the time is right and some people tune into them a little sooner. A great designer needs that kind of antennae, because we have to work and think ahead of trends. I’m also very good at connecting people, I can see who would go best with whom and where. It’s a weird thing because there’s not a lot of reward or return but I am compelled to make these connections. Maybe I should have been an agent or a matchmaker!
My new e-book: The Fine Art of Shameless Self Promotion http://www.margotpotter.com/products/the-fine-art-of-shameless-self-promotion
DIY Doyenne: http://diydoyenne.com
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