We had the good fortune of connecting with Ana Osgood and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ana, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
When I first sat down to this interview I was posed with a couple different questions to choose from. Immediately I was drawn to the question of why I have chosen an artistic or creative career. That seemed very fitting and an obvious choice for me, being that I have always worked in some sort of creative way. But as I thought about it a little more and reflected on my experiences, I realized that being creative is some how already woven into who I am. It has always been part of my life, from very early on. There has always been a natural curiosity and passion for artistic and creative ways that started from childhood for me. As I thought more about these questions and how they relate to me ,it became clear that what has made my experiences so rewarding is the very fact that I was willing to take risks. And these risks, sometimes did not work out, but honestly mostly they have, there has been reward, but with a lot of work and certainly with a lot of patience. I believe that the real challenge to being a creative person and choosing a creative career is all about risk taking. Without risk, there is no action, no reward and there is no progression. Certainly with an artistic career you have to be your own advocate and you have to be willing to take chances all the time. Finding that self confidence to trust yourself and trust your talents is at the core of what keeps you from taking risks or not. My creative process and experience with finding a balance between being creative and actually making a living doing so has been nothing short of rocky, but for me it has always been more about being happy and finding joy in how I live my life. Keeping perspective, and trusting yourself and most importantly finding that balance between maintaining creativity and the logistics of running a business. I can honestly say that everything good that has happened in my life is from taking a risk. The kind of choices that can keep your mind spinning all night, that give you a stomach ache and leave you wondering if you even know what you are doing! But these choices are paramount to the creative process and really are they even risks? Or are they necessary steps in finding your own success and joy.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Wow, Ok, where to start?! There are so many experiences to draw from. I started out with Ballet, 17 years of extremely physically demanding hard work that early on wired a willingness to accept challenge both mentally and physically and brought a real sense of joy to the creative process that I have tried to maintain throughout my life. Knee injuries ended that part of my life and I moved towards painting and drawing which brought a much needed introspection and thoughtfulness to my early twenties and has stayed with me ever sense. Moving to California was a pivotal moment for me. I grew up on the east coast, in rural Vermont and Mid Coast Maine; then went to high school in Boston, then to college in Chicago and Philadelphia and then moved to New York. I jumped from one art school to the next and for some reason never really felt that connected to any of these cities. They were difficult to live in, being young, broke and surrounded by concrete, it never was a good fit for me. I was back in Vermont in the dead of winter staying with my mom trying to figure out my life and a friend encouraged me to come to California. I had never been, California always sounded like a dream. I will never forget that early morning in February, with the sun sparkling off the frozen snowy ground, the sky otherworldly blue and driving off heading west by myself. The sun, like a magnet, pulling me west for 3,000 miles. It was the best choice I ever made. The golden west was where I was meant to be. I can say that it has been here in California that I have grown as an artist and found the ability to make a living being creative. Los Angeles is an amazing place to be a creative person, there is so much opportunity and so many talented people. And most importantly to me there is a beautiful balance between urban living and connecting to nature. Surfing has provided a balance for me, from work and fun, it gives me space to think; to reset from day to day issues and meditate on the moment. I have done a lot here in the past 22 years. Painting, food styling and most recently textile design. It is all connected, every experience and every step has been part of a bigger whole. Today, I am focusing on a new venture. I am taking my love of color and pattern and influence of travel and turning that into fabric, and into tangible usable objects; bags, bandanas, items people can use on a daily basis and hopefully spark a little joy and celebrate a sense of individuality. So much about being creative is reinvention and today I am feeling a new spark of creativity that is so exciting. Reflecting on my life so far I see that it is all connected and taking risks brings rewards. Sometimes I am successful, sometimes I am not and that is ok. But most important it is finding joy on a daily basis. My work today speaks to that, being playful, taking risks, being adventurous and trusting yourself.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
It definitely would involve an adventure out of the city. Exploring and surfing the coast line, hiking in the mountains, camping in the desert, visiting towns and places that are new to me. Eating at local restaurants, supporting small shops and artists. I am a big fan of a road trip, heading north up the coast and camping on secret beaches, east into the deserts and one of my all time favorites south into Baja to surf. Getting out into the world, camping and exploring never disappoints. It is a wonderful way to reset, and connect to the world. It gives perspective and always brings me inspiration and joy.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Definitely my mom and my grandmother. Both incredible artists, athletes, gardeners, cooks and adventurers who always fostered a great sense of humor in every situation. Two talented women who always taught me to follow my creativity no matter how difficult it was sometimes. Spending time with my grandmother was pure joy for me when I was a kid, she was way ahead of her time in the sense of how independent she was as a women, physically and emotionally. My mom has always been my biggest advocate and no matter what she has always supported every artistic endeavor I have chosen. To this day, my mother’s athleticism and ability to make beautiful things inspires me. They are both integral to who I am today for my creativity, love of nature, and sense of adventure.