We had the good fortune of connecting with Suzy Mae and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Suzy, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I desire freedom. Creativity represents freedom. The ability to make something new with my hands or my mind. The power to create a vision that others can tap into and experience. Sharing what I feel is clearest when I voice it through a creative expression. The idea of inspiration leading to reception resulting in new streams of thought is intoxicating. When I was young, I aspired to become an artist, or a sculptor, or a filmmaker. I wanted the ability to make my vision come to life. I had limited control as a kid, and art was the place where I could imagine and create secret ways of living my life. Alternate universes. Complete control. Art in action. Today, my creative endeavors include thinking quietly and putting words to paper. I enjoy planning and strategizing a pathway to success. I enjoy the rush of a completed painting, the satisfaction of a team effort coming to life, and the dedication to craft and growth. I’m a painter, a writer, a thinker and a filmmaker. I don’t limit myself, because creativity, to me, is freedom. A pass to happiness. An opportunity.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My creativity and belief in the power of intuition combine in my online shop, the modern metaphysical marketplace, Neon Altar. Neon Altar is a destination for modern magical tools you can use to develop your intuition and uncover your personal truths. My collection includes crystals, tarot decks, handmade incense burnables, candles, and more. I source my goods from indie makers and ethical suppliers, seeking products from queer folks and people of color. My biracial, bisexual life experience factors into that decision. I believe it’s important to support those who are often overlooked or diminished. We are experiencing a social revolution in the United States, and in my own way, I am supporting progressive change. Neon Altar is not the only effort I make to improve the world. I work in advertising, and while it’s counterintuitive to say marketing is a benefit to society, my role as a strategist, paired with my identity and beliefs, helps me guide world-class brands and businesses to the evolving ideals that Americans increasingly want. I sleep at night knowing I do my best to produce messages for society that are aware, intelligent, and inspiring, and I’m proud of the conversations I’ve had and the work I continue to produce.
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 love Los Angeles. It’s a high-energy, global city where you can connect to nature while staying metropolitan, meeting people and evolving, eating deliciously and seeing world class art. Los Angeles is one of the most fascinating cities on Earth. I love that in my decade of living here, I’ve never gotten bored. LA is so expansive and diverse. You could never leave your neighborhood and simply watch it morph around you. My favorite places to visit in the city are museums! Each of them is a unique experience, and Los Angeles museums are so tapped into creative culture. One can always catch a vibrant and stunning show that shocks you into a new way of existing. Some of my favorite spaces, pre-COVID, are places to drink and eat. I’m a Taurus. I love delicious food in an epic setting. Bar Franca, the Frolic Room, Pace, Manuela, Rappahannock, and La Sirenita are bars and restaurants I wish to survive this pandemic. So too, for queer dance nights DIVORCE and Gayasstrology. I’m super sad a few of my favorites have already bitten the dust. In this time of lockdown, a perfect day includes hiking with my girlfriend at Griffith or Elysian, getting my Sweet Baby Jo from Dinosaur Coffee, grabbing an art or witchcraft book from Skylight, then chilling in the grass at Vista Hermosa park before heading home to pour a glass of wine, light a candle and write, then watch a documentary before cuddling up with my pets and lady. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to shout out a beloved therapist of mine, Janice. I met her when my life felt out of control. Nothing was working for me. I was running headlong into personal blocks, trying to force my way out, banging my head against the wall, gaining nothing but brain injuries. At my first session with Janice, I felt heard and calm. She listened deeply. She let me cry out what I felt as a solo young woman who’d just moved to Los Angeles after a heartbreak, then a devastating failure of my first business. Over a decade, Janice helped me grow and challenge myself. She believed in me, and her faith helped me develop some of my own. She cared for me in a generous and supportive way, teaching effective behaviors and beliefs that would enable me to grow self-confidence. If there’s a person who doesn’t need therapy, I haven’t met them yet! Everyone deserves a therapist who enables them to grow and develop emotional and mental strength. I thank Janice for that.