We had the good fortune of connecting with Hope Littwin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Hope, what’s one piece of conventional advice that you disagree with?
All of it. I disagree with all ready made answers. We need to come back to our quiet inner knowing and follow our intuition. Business is just you providing a service for others and that is such a beautiful, nuanced dance. Only you know what you have to offer, what you feel the world needs and what the people you serve are yearning for. You have a whole lifetime of experiences and revelations and wisdom, why would you give all that up for someone else’s ‘one size fits all’ answer for your work in this world? I see a lot of value in conversation and dialogue with other creators in order to gain more clarity on your purpose and methods of creating and sharing your work with the world, I have learned so much from deep conversations with other creators who have asked me difficult questions and held me accountable to my intentions…. but conventional advice? Hard pass.
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.
I was raised in the theater, acting and singing in plays and musicals and as an apprentice ballerina with New Century Ballet Company before I picked up guitar and began writing songs. From songs, I moved to arranging music for acapella groups, composing and engineering electronic music, and composing music for chamber ensembles and orchestras. I studied dance from the time I was four years old, performing in various ballets and musicals before beginning my Musical Theater training at New World School of the Arts. After high school, I went on to tour the country with my own singer songwriter work before landing in Chicago to study Music Composition and Classical voice at Chicago College of Music (BM 2013). I then ran an experimental Music Theater ensemble for 3 years and from that experience, realizing that the world of performance was headed toward screens and technology, went back to school to receive my masters in Music Composition for the Screen from Columbia College Chicago, (essentially a music technology degree) before I headed to NYU to study with new music vocal shero/composer, Joan La Barbara and immerse myself in the New York City scene. All along I have been apprenticing in recording studios and over the quarantine built my own music production studio, Sanctuary Studios, a woman owned Music Production Studio that specializes in creating virtual courses and communities for artists to learn the songwriting and music production skills they need to tell their story authentically and excellently. I begin my PhD in music composition at Princeton University this fall where I will be working on large scale collaborative works that infuse my love of songwriting, orchestral and choral works, dance and music tech. What has been challenging? All of it. What has been miraculous? All of it. Theres no way I could have ever crafted the journey I have taken through my life as an artist. I was able to identify sheros throughout my journey (Bjork, Joni Mitchell, Kate Bush – to name a few) as artistic lighthouses of sorts but my specific set of skills and questions were so unique that I ultimately had to create a job that did really exist for myself to truly bloom and offer all that I had to give. My brand is really one of self discovery, of asking better questions, of healing…. My tag line for Sanctuary studios is “Tell Your Story” and thats what I am searching to do authentically and excellently as an artist, and what I am teaching other artists to do as well.
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?
I don’t currently live in LA. but I wrote my masters thesis at Stamp Proper Foods Cafe in Los Feliz, taking hike breaks up in Griffith Park and yoga breaks over at Yoga Vibe. I will always have a special place in my heart for that area.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My guitar teacher Scott Emmons who introduced me to Joni Mitchell, *cue lifelong obsession with songwriting
all photos taken by Matthew Gregory Hollis