I caught a cab to Bushwick, Brooklyn. A place I had never, ever been to before. It was Sunday afternoon. There was street graffiti on the surrounding brick walls and an outdoor bar across the road that had music blasting from its boom box. I walked to the address that I had been given and very soon I found myself in 'The Lighthouse'. The affectionate name given to a light, air filled two story apartment, fitted with a spiral staircase and a black board with the words 'PVNCL the process' written on it. Standing at the door was Grace Taylor, curator and editor of Provencial Magazine. There was an immediate contrast to the street outside. Grace warmly invited me into her home and poured me a cup of tea. We sat and chatted about all things Provencial, France and New York and our shared love of Nashville and beautiful magazines.
Grace is unfathomably lovely. She is the epitome of a driven, passionate, 22 year old creative entrepreneur. Her creative talent is the driving force behind Provencial, a magazine inspired by a trip Grace took to France last summer. The magazine aims to capture simplicity, creativity and a balanced lifestyle along with process and the beauty of slowing down - exactly the way Grace found life to be among the lavender and sunflower fields of Provence.
After our afternoon tea together we took a walk to the subway. There, among the graffiti covered walls and background noise of the surrounding Bushwick streets, something a bit surreal happened. Grace invited me to become a contributor to Provencial Magazine. My little heart was racing. How would you be? How could this be? I was going to become a part of the beautiful direction and inspired filled pages of Provencial Magazine. Eeek. Grace has oodles of vision. The magazine does too. So you can imagine how I felt knowing that I would play a small part towards its incredibly inspiring story... I was thrilled.
Currently Provencial is an online platform, however the magazine has plans to go to print and have Volume One out by November with the help of their current kickstarter campaign. Read on and enjoy the interview, and at the end, if you like everything that you have been introduced to, I urge you to jump on over to the kickstarter site and pre-order yourself a copy of Volume One. It is going to be something wonderful. Grace, her passion, talent and sweet, sweet self, is a testament to that.
What Projects are you currently working on?
Right now I'm working on printing Volume One of Provencial Magazine. It's a big job. As editor I have to be in contact with all my wonderful writers and photographers, organizing everything and making sure it all fits together. I'm also working with designers to design the magazine's layout, which is so much fun, but takes time! We've launched a kickstarter to fund the print, and I'm keeping close watch and updating our wonderful readers.
Where do you draw your creative inspiration from?
My creative inspiration comes from both big and small places. As big as the southern region of France and as small as a cup of black coffee. It comes from the things and people that calm me down. It comes from family and friends and seeing them come alive. It comes from my curious nature, my need to discover and discuss things. It mostly comes from the world's mere beauty, its vastness and the fact that I can never run out of stories to tell.
Why an Editor?
Editing allows me to use my eye for excellence to curate on all levels, content that I connect with and believe my readers will connect with as well. I'm passionate about writing and photography, but my desire for creativity goes beyond what I can do alone. That's why I became an editor, to pull others in and create a larger forum to inspire our readers together. It's important to be able to organize everything and keep in contact with everyone. Someone has to be the glue.
Do you listen to music while you work? If so, would you be so kind to share some of your favourite artists?
I do listen to music while I work! Some of my favorites at the moment are Johnnyswim, James Vincent McMorrow, City and Colour and The Oh Hello's. However, I have a soft spot in my heart for Taylor Swift and John Mayer (separately of course).
Do you have a morning ritual?
I love mornings. They are quiet, cool and calm, which is ideal for me most of the time. I wake up and head straight the kitchen where I turn on my electric kettle, grind some beans and get ready to press some coffee. That's number one. I'll check my planner, see what today looks like, sometimes read for 15 minutes, whether it's the novel I'm into right now or my Bible. Then when my coffee is done, I really like to just sit quietly in my big blue velvet chair and drink a cup in silence (the car honks and construction sometimes want to be a part of it too).
What's your idea of a perfect Friday night?
My perfect Friday night is making a lovely dinner at home with my friends, talking and laughing until about 11 (which is late for me), then going to sleep content and awaiting a lovely two days off. I sometimes wonder if I'm missing anything by being a complete homebody and having the body clock of an 80 year old at 22. But then I realize that I still feel quite young, wild and free just the way I am, so I stopped worrying.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
At the moment, if I could travel anywhere in the world, it would be Iceland. I want to dive into the Blue Lagoon and see the fog roll over the green hills. It seems like such an inspiring place, and I'm hoping to include it in a future travel issue of Provencial :)
Best piece of advice you've ever given or been given?
The best advice I've ever been given is that when you have an idea, when you come up with something great, just DO. Do something, and deal with things as they come. It's that simple. That's how people do it.
What's for dinner?
Dinner is my lightest meal of the day, believe it or not. I'll usually have some grilled asparagus wrapped in prosciutto, a salad with goat cheese, dried cranberries and almonds with Balsamic glaze, or cereal. Just depends on the day.
The best part about being a creative?
The best part about being a creative is that you can truly feel like you can do anything you set your mind to. You think you can do anything, which isn't always true, of course, but it's the internal mindset of a creative that propels us forward.
The worst part?
The worst part is we can get so immersed in our visions and our worlds, that sometimes we can forget the little responsibilities. It's all a balancing act, life, and creatives especially need to make sure they're paying attention and stay grounded.
Day or night?
Old or new?
Most new (with a little nostalgia thrown in)
City or Country?
I could never choose. I grew up near the country, rode horses, love nature, but have lived in NYC for years now. They are so different and incomparable and I love them both.
Coffee or Tea?
Coffee, absolutely. Coffee always and forever.
What do you enjoy most about living in Brooklyn, NY?
What I enjoy most about this city is knowing that anything I could ever want, think or imagine, exists in this city. And if it doesn't, there's someone here to help me make it reality. The food, coffee and endless exploring possibilities aren't bad either.
Thoughts for the future?
The future is always unknown, and a lot bigger than anything we could imagine. Let's keep it that way.