Monday, May 4, 2015

Badass Biz: 2 Artists. 2 Homes. 2 Cats. One Job. Husband + Wife Creative Team

As I adjust to the up-and-downs of working with others on my new creative venture (Pro: hell yes, I finally don't kill myself doing it all Con: taming inner creative control freak perfectionist) I'm attracted to stories of couple creative business teams. It's not for everyone, but as creators continue to seek more enriching and fulfilling employment, it's getting more common.

Amanda of Little Lady in the City works as a freelance video editor with her husband Will. It allows them to be location independent, they have a home on a mountain top in West Virginia and a Mid Century Modern ranch in Arizona. Today Amanda's sharing some details on the spaces she's remodeling and her thoughts on creative collaborations.

1. Can you tell us about yourself, Amanda?

Hi, I'm Amanda and I currently split my time between a small town in West Virginia and a big city in Arizona, where I do freelance video work with my darling sir, Will. Twice a year we pack up our computers and our two cats and drive from West Virginia to Arizona then back again.

The Arizona Home + Peeks Around the West Virginia Home

2. You are your guy Will have are freelance video editors, do you run the business together?

We do run the business together, which has been really fun. 

3. Did you guys go to school to be formally trained as video editors or did you train yourselves?

Will went to Loyal Marymount University in LA for film making and I went to Arizona State University for photography. After college Will got very into the visual effects aspects of video work and started to teach himself different effect programs like After Effects and Cinema 4D. During the recession I was having a hard time finding work so Will started teaching me editing and vfx work to help the business that was growing and we have been working together ever since.

4. That is so awesome, I love you guys were resourceful and turned the negative into a positive for a joint-business. What kind of videos do you edit / clients do you usually have?

We have done a wide range of work from doing effects for youtubers to effects for TV shows and commercials. 

5. What are the pros/cons of working with your husband?

We've been very lucky that we work so well together, I think the only con is sometimes we don't agree on an idea for a script or video style and you can just get so frustrated that your S/O just doesn't see how good your idea is, haha. But usually that only lasts for a little bit and then the best idea wins.

6. You guys split your time between Arizona and West Virginia in two amazing spaces. Tell us a bit about your West Virginia home.

Our WV place is very much a work in progress. It started as a project with Will's parents. They are general contracts by trade, who wanted to build a unique house that's different than what they usually get to build for other people. 

7. What's your Arizona home like?
Our AZ house is just a little place near my dad's that we got for a steal, mainly because it hadn't been updated since it was built in the 60's haha. So we have been slowly working on that as well.

8. A genuine unchanged 1960s house sounds like The Dream to me! You're building your West Virginia house and renovating your Arizona ranch; so inspiring! What are the biggest challenges with your West Virginia building?

The biggest challenge with our WV house is how far away from a big city it is, in fact we have to cross state lines into VA to get to a town with a Home Dept, haha. 

9. How about with your Arizona renovating?

The biggest challenge with the AZ renovating is just getting the time to work on it. We had about 3 weeks where we didn't have much work so we were over there every day and made it so close to being done enough to move in. Then, BAM, we got hit with almost too much work to handle, haha. But, I cannot complain too much as these jobs will allow us to fix up the house a little more than we initially expected.

10. With all that renovating and video editing creativity taking up your time, it's easy to see you're a couple that loves to be challenged and stay busy. What other creative challenges/projects do you occupy time with?

I really love making little crafts for around the house and for the cats, hehe. And Will loves to draw, and has a little collection of illustrated stories of our little family. Well, mostly out two cats, and it's called Investigatos.

11. Investigatos is perfection! I, too, am a crazy cat person! I photograph nearly every cat I see; that crazy. You have a wanderlust that I relate with completely. Any general traveling tips or traveling on a budget tips to share?

Definitely spend the time to research hotels so you can find the best price! And if you know you are going to be staying at couple different places on your trip look to see if they have a rewards program so you start to rack up some free nights. 

12. How about your top indie business tips?

Networking! In our little business it's all about who you know. More than that, however, It's important to make things that you think are fun in your free time, especially if they aren't for anyone else. Somehow it's those tiny things that make you stand out more than a business card.

13. Which one: dinosaurs or robots, there can be only one!

Oh goodness this is so hard! I guess I will have to go with dinosaurs, but I still love you too robots, haha.

You can read more of Amanda and Will's adventures over at Little Lady in the City
" target="_blank">Little Lady in the City. Thanks for sharing all of this with us!

Does anyone else work with their significant other and/or friends or family? How's that working for you? Is it something you'd like to do if you don't, or do you enjoy the "space" away for a bit?
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  1. Wow these guys are cool as! I love their creative philosophy and I lol'ed at the cat holding pic.

    1. They are! I love that they draw, renovate, edit videos; perfect team!

  2. It sounds like a dream life! I know it's not perfect but wow, it looks like a great way to live! As to your comment on my photographing people in Puerto Rico, I think no one noticed as it looked as if I am looking at my phone, not taking photos. Many were probably cruise ship tourists also.

    1. That's what I figured, but I was just curious :) Thanks for answering for me. I walk around my grandparent's and aunt's neighborhoods and take pictures of the inspiring houses and gardens and it always freaks people out! haha

  3. What a charming home,
    love the bazooka cat,
    and hopping over to Amanda's blog right now :-)

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