We had the good fortune of connecting with Nathalie M Gispan and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Nathalie, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
As a small business owner and single Mom, the concept of balance is extremely pertinent to me. Balancing my professional and personal life can be challenging, but I also find it thrilling. I have gone through many changes recently, and perhaps even more so given this pandemic. With that said, being pushed out of my comfort zone propels the artist in me to create and nudges me towards doing some of my best work. I thrive when challenged and I’d have to say finding balance has changed exponentially for me in the recent months.

Balance used to be based around work, home and personal life mainly. Now balance is more about navigating being newly single and parenting and working in a world that looks very different from the one it was just over a year ago. Throw in the mix the fact that my children are essentially home schooling while I try to work, and you can probably see how “balance” isn’t so balanced these days. But that is the beauty of life. Sometimes the lack of balance or struggle to find it can be inspiring as well. The key for me is to ensure that I can continue to create while being the best Mom I can be. Ensuring they are ok as we all navigate this roller coaster of a year together, helps me focus. Love and my creative outlets keep me grounded and that is where my balance so to speak comes in.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I think life and art and creativity are a never-ending school of sorts. I am that person who never stops learning and growing. This is part of why I love my craft. I am confident in my abilities and I have worked really hard to get to where I am today professionally. Part of my success is my commitment to learning with every project, and I feel this is what sets me apart. With each subsequent job I develop my craft further and each unique design experience teaches me and prepares me for my next one. Every one of them is an opportunity for growth. I pride myself on being able to work with different budgets, client personalities, developers, etc. I immerse myself in my work by trying to envision what their vision is, rather than imposing my set of ideas. I am a client-oriented designer, and it is most important for me to deliver a result they are happy with. That is not to say I don’t take risks, but my end goal is to always approach what is being asked of me with passion and authenticity to my craft. I’d say the biggest challenge I have faced along the way would be having to hit pause on my professional life when I became a Mother. My career is an outlet I need in order to feel fulfilled but my children are my everything. At the time it was scary to hit pause and focus on raising them until they were able to attend preschool. I was fearful that my career would suffer as I took the time to focus on raising them. In hindsight, I have zero regrets about that time in my life, as it actually contributed to my art and creative process. The vulnerability I felt becoming a mother added a component to my work later in life I otherwise would never have had. I also gained precious time with them that I will never get back as they grow much too fast. They have taught me patience and so much of what I have learned and continue to learn from my 3 children I now apply to my art. Even becoming newly single (a rude awakening at first), has now propelled me and taught me valuable lessons that actually help me in my creative process. Bottom line is life lessons, changes, unexpected curveballs are endless and inevitable. They aren’t always easy, but I welcome them now, and try to seek inspiration for my work within them.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
So many aspects of the city in which I have spent most of my life fuel my soul. A week here is not nearly enough to explore all its nuances. But if I had to create an itinerary of sorts, to show a friend or perhaps a new acquaintance around Los Angeles, I do have a few things in mind. Don’t worry, we will not be hiking…forgive me but it is simply not my thing despite some incredible hikes all around LA. On my list are museums, delicious food, and the ocean of course.

Museum closures are a huge loss for this Los Angelino. Aside from the obvious personal inspiration, I can’t wait to take a friend to The Broad again-a Contemporary favorite in Downtown LA. From there we would head to Grand Central Market, to eat ourselves silly and shop for gourmet goodies at this outdoor landmark, buzzing with history and energy.

The next few days would definitely include a beach stop, a guided meditation and a relaxing massage. At some point we would end up Cruising down Pacific Coast Highway, occasionally pulling over to take in the views, and then on to lunch, or rather “pick up a picnic” at Gjusta in Venice. Baked goods, fresh juices, farm to table salads, Gjusta is like a deli Disneyland for adults. Then we’d jump on the 405 North to head towards the Ghetty Center. Several hours exploring the Ghetty, an outdoor picnic while taking in some of the most stunning views in LA is a dream in my book.

From the Ghetty, we are homebound towards the San Fernando Valley where I have lived since, I was a little girl. I would take Mulholland Highway and enjoy the scenic canyon drive on the way there. We are headed to DEN meditation in Studio City to clear our minds and breathe a bit. As the day comes to a close, sushi dinner & a glass of wine at Katsuya to wrap up. Last day on our itinerary would be spent lounging at my home, as it is my sacred space. Perhaps a midday visit to Burke Williams for a little massage and R & R, and I am a happy girl!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?

Without a doubt my personal accomplishments and professional growth and success, would not be possible without the support of my family. In recent times more so then ever, I have been faced with challenges that have caused a great deal of doubt within me. During this my parents, close family and children pushed me more than ever to find within myself the motivation to keep at it. To keep creating, to keep working, to keep growing and to strive towards my goals despite hardships that at times seemed unmanageable. Their belief in my abilities made me see my strength in a different light. As I was wavering, they helped me rise again and for that I am grateful and stronger.

Website: www.NathalieMDesigns.com

Instagram: @NathalieMDesigns

Facebook: Nathalie M Designs

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