We had the good fortune of connecting with Nia Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Nia, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I used to go really hard and take on a lot of the world’s problems. But that was sustainable then and it certainly isn’t now. These days, I spend a lot of time listening to what my body needs, and that’s usually sleep or water. It’s incredible how taking a nap every day or so can really improve your outlook on life. The important thing about work life balance is setting boundaries. So “no one can talk to me about work before 10 am and after 5 pm” or “hey, I’m gonna go take 30 minutes to an hour to decompress.” It’s a little easier now with the quarantine to just shut down when you need a break, but it’s definitely something I plan on continuing once everything starts to open back up.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have a really long way to go, but I’m always excited about the opportunity to try and learn new skills. In my work as an organizer, I hear so many stories that inspire my work and designs. I’m not sure where this work is going to lead me, or what the future of my career will look like, but I like the freedom of learning and failing and testing things. It’s what keeps the process interesting.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Obviously, we’d spend an entire day in DTLA, but mostly over by USC. USC Village is such a safe haven for me so we’d probably kill some time there, pick up picnic ingredients and eat at the Rose Garden. We have to go to the museums if they’re open. End the whole day with a visit to Alamo Drafthouse and see literally any movie, because that theater is such a great experience. We’d also have to do a grand museum tour period, so the Broad, the Bradbury Building, LACMA. Get lunch at the Farmer’s Market in the Grove and get a black and white cookie from Canter’s (since we’re there).

Gotta do something touristy and cheesy like the observatory, but unironically, because the observatory is incredibly interesting. Then we’d hit any random vegan/vegetarian restaurant we can find, if not Doomies.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
@thread.core on Instagram Bree is a total sweetheart and they’re talented as hell. They’re a textile artist and their skills are so on point.

Website: https://sites.google.com/view/nasmitharch/home

Instagram: @__smithsonia__

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/–niasmith–

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.