We had the good fortune of connecting with Gabriella Perez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gabriella, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Work life balance is actually something I had to really work on. For the first few months as a new freelancer, I just delve into my work – 24/7. I would stay up late (like really late) doing work and answering emails, and wake up the next day and do the same. I was completely burnt out. It came to the point where I was so mentally drained that I wasn’t even able to work productively. When the holidays came around, I told myself enough is enough. I wanted to enjoy the time with family without worrying about work, and I made a promise to myself that I would start prioritizing my health and wellbeing and focus on building structure.
That’s really the key to work life balance – structure. Especially for freelancers! We can set our own hours and can work whenever we want, but that’s also the downside. I didn’t have structure when I began freelancing and paid the price. Now the good ol’ 9 to 5 schedule isn’t looking so bad anymore!
I now have 3 rules to help me achieve balance (and sanity):
1. I don’t work past 6.
2. No work on the weekends.
3. I spend 30 minutes a day doing something for myself.
By following these 3 rules, I now feel less stressed, more productive, and so much happier!
I believe work life balance doesn’t have to be complicated. In my case, its simply setting limits, respecting them, and doing something for myself that will make me feel good!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The greatest challenge to pursuing a creative career for me was to acknowledge that I am good at what I do. Overcoming thoughts like “I can’t call myself an artist if I didn’t go to art school” or “I’m not as creative as that person” was not easy, and it’s still not easy! I think the first step to overcoming this, though, is to simply acknowledge that you also have the power to create beautiful things and that it really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.
Personally for me, I struggled with feeling inadequate and just normal. Not really extraordinary in anything. It wasn’t until quarantine, where I was physically separated from distractions that I was able to really explore myself again. I used to love to draw and paint when I was younger, and it made me really sad thinking about all the opportunities to create that I missed out on because I was too afraid of what people would say. I didn’t want to live like that anymore, and so I created an Instagram account based solely on skincare and photography (which I now know I have a knack for). Creating this space for myself was integral to my success. I now had a place where I could create freely and not be afraid of what people would say. And one of the best parts about creating an online space is the community that follows. I met so many amazing creators who not only showed me support, but acknowledged me as a creator as well. I finally felt like the restraints I put on myself were gone, and I was ready to take off!
The key takeaway here for me was to stop obsessing over what society considers an “artist” to be, and to instead be my own artist! Whether that’s through painting or photography (or both!), I never want to stop exploring myself and always want to encourage myself to keep creating! I hope that my story resonates with those who feel inadequate or that they “have no talent”. I just want to let you know that that is absolutely not true. You know yourself better than anyone, so don’t you dare let anyone tell you that you aren’t good enough. You have the power to prove them wrong!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
M – coffee at FlowerBoy Project in Venice and explore Abbot Kinney T – Head to Malibu for some sun and shopping
W – Go to Universal Studios!
Th – Go to Manhattan Beach for acai bowls and some more sun
F – Play pool at Mo’s in Marina Del Rey and then head to The Lincoln on Lincoln Ave.
Sa – Head down to Main Street Santa Monica and bar hop (wouldn’t miss Jameson’s Pub!)
Su – chill at home and order pho and boba
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Stefanie Walmsley, the Founder of Prim Botanicals, definitely deserves a shoutout when it comes to my success! I wouldn’t be working with the amazing women founders I work with today without her! She encouraged me to set rates for my photography, meet with other founders who needed help, and to frankly recognize my talent! Safe to say, I don’t think I’d be freelancing today if it wasn’t for her support and motivation! Stefanie, if you’re reading this, thank you so much for everything! You already know how grateful I am to you, but a reminder never hurts 🙂