We had the good fortune of connecting with Patricia Vargas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Patricia, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Finding the sweet spot for balancing work and non-work activities is a constant work in progress. Though over my decade of being self-employed, I think that I have made some significant strides. In the beginning, I would work from the moment I got out of bed until I went to sleep around 11 pm. I was working 16-hour days, which was definitely not sustainable. But during those early days, I was so excited to be working for myself that I didn’t even care about my long hours. However, as I got older, got married, and started finding a rhythm with my business, I realized that working that 16hours a day was unnecessary. I gave myself a time audit and noticed that I was filling my days doing “busy work” and not enough time doing the things that would move my business forward. I started focusing on the main objectives for my business and broke them down by quarter and month. Then I created a set schedule on my Google calendar for Monday-Friday, leaving my weekends open for fun activities. I block out time in the morning to workout, meditate, and journal. Then I set aside 4 hours to do creative work, like working on a collection or commissions. Then it’s lunch and tidy up the house for an hour, and after that, I set aside another 3-hours to do business admin work, such as emails, writing marketing content, or website updates. Once five rolls around, I’m free to continue working if I want to or call it a day and relax. Even though I try my best to keep to my schedule, it’s equally important for me to pay attention to my energy levels, as I suffer from chronic migraines. If there are days that I feel tired or uncreative, I give myself permission to take a half-day or an entire day off. As long as I meet my main objectives by the end of the week, I know that I’ll be on track. And knowing that gives me peace of mind to enjoy my days off.
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’m a visual artist and I’ve been working under my brand name Parima Studio since 2013. I primarily work with the digital medium and specialize in large scale abstract art prints, as well as custom artwork. My art focuses on the themes of joy and curiosity through the use of color, space, and technology. Though my medium is digital, I aim to create pieces that mimic the natural textures and effects of real-life paint. Upon first looking at my work, most don’t realize that my art is created digitally until I point it out, or they read more about my process. I am deeply inspired by maximalist interior design, nature, and worldly travels. I’m always looking for elements that transport us to somewhere delightful and truly divine. I aim to infuse my work with that sense of wonder and hope to contribute to the atmosphere of the room. I started out with just a few items in my Etsy shop, and now my art has expanded to various avenues and industries. I love creating custom pieces for both private homes, commercial, and hospitality projects. The creative challenge of translating the essence of my client’s idea and making it come to life is truly satisfying. It helps me discover new techniques and push the boundaries of digital painting. Most recently, I’ve completed a 12x8ft custom print for Alt Summit that was used as a stage backdrop. Over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to collaborate with brands like Anthropologie and sell my art through retailers such as West Elm, Pottery Barn, and High Fashion Home. Additionally, I’ve also had my art included in commercials, including one for Samsung, various series for network tv and streaming services, and a featured film. All of these opportunities have been equally amazing. So I’d have to say that I’m most proud of the overall reach my art has achieved. It still feels surreal to me to see my art in all of these different spaces and industries. It goes far beyond what my younger self could have ever imagined. It has taught me that there’s no one way to be an independent working artist. You don’t only have to sell via galleries or art fairs. You don’t only have to sell through an online shop. There are so many niches that you can work your way into and that’s really exciting.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My friends tend to be more low-key, like myself, so we’d spend our trip doing relaxing things. I would take them to the Huntington Gardens to casually stroll through the various themed gardens and catch-up on each other’s lives, or see the new exhibits at the Broad Museum. We would then have dinner at the Stinking Rose in Beverly Hills, which serves garlic everything, or at The Cliff’s Edge, which is like dining in a giant treehouse.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Oh gosh, this list could be incredibly long! There are so many people, programs, resources, and books that have helped me develop new habits and mindsets. But first and foremost, the amount of love, patience, and encouragement that my husband has provided me is something that I’m forever grateful for. Knowing that I have his support is a great comfort, especially during difficult times. I also feel lucky that my sister also runs her own business, Arianna Belle, in the home decor sector. We are constantly bouncing ideas off each other, and troubleshooting the woes of business together. It’s nice to have someone close to me that I can confide in and knows what I’m going through. Then, of course, there are my parents, who I’m close to, and have fully supported their daughters taking a non-traditional career path. As far as programs and books that have had a significant impact on my life are: -Marie Forleo’s B-School. I took it in 2015, and that year I doubled my revenue. The number of resources in her course are bountiful. -Susan Cain’s book “Quiet” helped me see that my introverted-ness is an asset and not a weakness or hindrance. -Warren Berger’s “A More Beautiful Question” is one of my favorite books of all time and has made me think about questions and problem-solving in a new way. -Emily Jefford’s Making Art Work is a beautiful course for working artists in all stages of their careers. I joined after deciding to pivot the direction of my business, and it helped me regain clarity.
I’m my own photographer.