We had the good fortune of connecting with Molly Haas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Molly, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
My work/life balance has gotten pretty blurred this past year in the best way. In large part because I’ve started to trust myself more, listening intuitively for cues instead of concrete schedules or check boxes.
When the pandemic hit California, I kind of watched this natural flow happen for myself. Similar to intuitive eating where you let yourself have something with maybe a ton of sugar and stop when your body tells you to stop and learn to trust that your body will give you that cue if you listen, I found that I have a natural tendency to want to create and participate in society as well as this tendency to pull away sometimes and be lazy. And I think because of all this space during the lockdowns, I noticed that they really both reliably came and went. So it’s become less scary when I don’t feel much interest in productivity, and I’m learning how much those quieter moments feed the super productive ones and vice versa.
It sounds so obvious but for me, this year, it’s been a huge shift. I try to follow whatever is genuinely pulling me each day, both within my work and outside of it. Maybe one moment I feel excited by the idea of meeting new clients and will send out fifty emails, and another it feels more exciting to open a nice bottle of wine and call a friend to come over. They’re part of the same cycle, both have an importance, and I feel lucky so far it’s worked in the ways I need it to.
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.
My work has kind of always been about noticing. I’m mostly interested in moments that might normally go unnoticed, that are subtle but rich. I don’t feel a need to make a big mark or a lot of noise, and while I have so much respect for people who do, I feel a natural pull to celebrate the softer stuff in this lifetime. And that’s undoubtedly a challenge for so many reasons but it’s also the most gratifying for me to explore.
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 will always love Topanga Canyon the most, so I’d make sure to take them to Cafe Mimosa for Patrice’s baked goods, maybe I’d send them upstairs for a facial with Sally at Siena Skincare, get smoothies on the patio of Topanga Living… I’d take them west to Malibu for Lily’s fish tacos and a picnic nestled in Leo Carrillo cliffs. It would be a little romantic!!
We would probably spend the rest of the time on the east side, mostly eating and walking and gallery-hopping. I’d make sure to get Chainsaw’s passionfruit-lime icebox pie for dessert one night from Karla’s window (your order gets carefully lowered down to you in a basket!), and I will be spending whatever evenings I can at 1642 talking to Liz and listening to live music as long as they’re there offering those things.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I can think of a handful names I should say here, but Tarrah Krajnak is one I don’t think I’ve thanked enough. She’s an LA-based photographer and educator, and I was lucky to have her as my art advisor in undergrad. She took my work relatively seriously when I was more focused on dying fabric and making paper than taking pictures, and she pushed me to dive deep instead of wavering so much. She also gave me the most practical advice on art-making post-school or institution, how much of an accomplishment it can be to pay your bills with a retail job while making art in the in-between moments.
Also, I can’t not mention my aunt, Norah Edelstein, who is an incredible life coach, who has showered me with tools since I called several years ago drained and broke and so confused by trying to navigate my career. She’s a good person to contact if you’re feeling confused about anything.