We had the good fortune of connecting with Christie Hayden and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christie, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
My work life balance is distilled in the saying, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Within the arts and so many other entertainment-type disciplines, your life bleeds over into your work and your work bleeds over into your life. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve made so many amazing friends working in art. These friends are whip smart, and they challenge me to be better, do more, and think differently. My work has brought me so much; I don’t want to limit it to just being a small portion of my life.
What should our readers know about your business?
The beginning of OOF Books, in 2017, was pretty smooth sailing. We did art exhibitions and sold books at book fairs at a caliber that I didn’t even know was considered good at the time—it just was. It wasn’t until about a year into have the store and the exhibition space that I realized things could change. I needed to be prudent. I learned my lesson at a good time, and OOF moved into MOCA. I’m still a bit blown away that that happened. I’m not blown away because I don’t think I deserved it—I worked really hard—I just respected MOCA so much and was so thankful for the opportunity that I had there. When COVID hit and I had to vacate that space, I really went back to my roots in a way that I hadn’t in years. I’m opening a new space in downtown right now, and I feel like it’s been really good to revisit what it is that I want out of having OOF and its very core ethos. The new space is going to have exhibitions again (which we did not at MOCA), and I’m excited to really focus in on getting the best rare books and local press—books with Walter Benjamin’s aura.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
It’s tough to find places to go right now, but I’ve always loved Edendale as a standby bar. I’ve been going there weekly for the last ten years for tater tots and aperol spritz. There are several art galleries that are currently exhibiting work by appointment. Kordansky Gallery is a great standby. My favorite newer gallery is de boer gallery. OOF will be collaborating with de boer in the near future. Aside from those thing, just go hiking and then find a pool to sit by. Los Angeles is great for that, and 2020 is a wash anyway.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d have to choose my amazing friends: Haley, Andres, Maureen, Elana, Jared, Emma, Athena, Poppy, Jonathan, Kalli, Sam H., Marisa, Kate, Alex, Sam E., Jordan, and so many more. My friends are my patient sounding boards for everything that I do. Nothing that I’ve ever made or accomplished would have been nearly as polished, nor would it have meant anything, without them.
Images courtesy of OOF Books.