We had the good fortune of connecting with Yael Nov and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Yael, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Work life balance can be challenging especially with working a full-time job in addition to my freelance and fine art practice (and personal life!). This year (though extremely difficult in countless ways), has given me the opportunity to reprioritize and refresh my perspective when approaching the notion of balance. Covid has forced many of us to slow down and reflect on what is most immediate and most important and I am grateful that I have had good health and a support system that has allowed me to experience this silver lining. In the past, I would say yes to every opportunity, gig, favor, or exhibition in order to grow and build my career. I spread myself way too thin. These past months of “slowing down” has helped me learn to say yes only to the projects that I feel will contribute in a meaningful way and help me reconnect with the people that I want to be working with. During quarantine, I was fortunate enough to take an online course with an artist and educator that I really admire, Rafael Soldi. This workshop was incredibly eye opening for me to see new ways in which I can focus my energy on work that is both satisfying and will support the life I want for myself and my family. As creatives, we are so used to the constant hustle, but it is so important to find the best ways to focus our energy and time. Holding on to this balance is something that I will continuously be working on.
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 am a visual artist and photographer based in Los Angeles. Photography is an incredible tool that has fascinated me from a young age. Not only is photography a way in which to share our stories, but it is a beautiful way to connect to others. There is a certain level of vulnerability one has to have in order to have their image captured and as a photographer, it is a wonderful means to forge meaningful connections with others. After studying photography and art history at the University of Washington, I moved to Los Angeles to pursue my MFA. Throughout my education, I have been lucky enough to connect with a lot of amazing artists and collaborators that have helped expand the scope of my work. In addition to my own freelance and fine art practice, I teach photography to students of all ages to share my own excitement about the medium with others!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Sadly due to covid, I have not been to a lot of my favorite places for some time but these are some of my go-to spots. To see art- Hauser & Wirth, ICA LA, Various Small Fires. To eat- Little Doms, Cassells Hamburgers, and for Israeli food that makes you feel like you’re in Tel Aviv- Ta-eem Grill. Coffee- I’m from Seattle, so my favorite will always be Cafe Vita which thankfully has a location in Silverlake. Beach- Point Dume in Malibu Shopping- OK the Store & Mohawk General Store. I am very into making my own floral arrangements, so a trip to the DTLA Flower Market is also on my list!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to give a shoutout to Rafael Soldi. Rafael is an incredibly talented artist based in Seattle. I truly admire his thoughtful freelance and fine art photography practice. In addition to being a talented artist, he is also a wonderful teacher. Now that most courses have shifted to the virtual classroom, it is an amazing opportunity to learn from educators in other parts of the country or world!
all images: Yael Nov