Community & collaboration are mega pillars in our brand. Working with other artists gives a fresh perspective and embodies the idea of community over competition. We firmly believe that creativity is not a competition and the more we can work together, lift each other up, utilize our platforms to cross promote, and share similar goals of sustainability of ourselves, each other and our planet, the better off we will all be.
In our second elevated exposure collab, we feature Indianapolis based musician Shea Farmer.
Shea released her first album “Odessa” March 18, 2022. When Shea contacted me, she was seeking to create merchandise that was as intentional as her album Odessa. The album was named this because it is the shade of pink that she painted her bathroom while writing the album. When I google searched Odessa, I was shocked to see that it was almost an exact match to the pink in our strawberry milk dye. After popping my AirPods in to get a sneak listen of her album, I was sitting at the dinner table and within the first few seconds a tear rolled down my face. The emotion in her lyrics and the melodic tone of Shea’s voice was reminiscent of so many of my favorite bands over the years and it felt like a perfect fit. Since then I was able to see Shea and her band perform live with my stepdaughter who is an aspiring musician, and after the show Shea invited Toren to come hang out at their recording studio, Naptime Recordings. To celebrate the launch of the the album release and merchandise we had a listening party at Lux & Ivy. It’s been such a sweet experience getting to know Shea and being able to show support for this talented local musician. Connecting with artists like Shea, through kismet scenarios is a huge reason collaborations are such a big part of this brand.
Where are you originally from & where do you currently reside/work?
Originally from the southwest suburbs of Chicago & currently live in Indianapolis
What does a typical work day look like for you?
Morning: without fail, I am woken up by my 3.5 yr old at 7:15am. After getting him settled, I head to my creative catch all room for some “me time” where I do yoga; followed by: catching up on my youtube vlog OG’s while drinking an iced latte with honey & cinnamon, and eating honey butter toast. This time for me is extremely routined, and sets my brain up to be mentally & emotionally available to create in the afternoon. Something about this morning combination gets me feeling very zen and ready to be present for the day.
Mid-morning/early afternoon: full mom mode – setting down my phone and playing, lunching, settling big emotions, coloring, going to the park, etc.
Afternoon : somewhere in here is my creative time. This part of my day is intentionally unstructured. I typically let myself gravitate towards whatever is speaking to me that day. Maybe I am going through something personally and really need to journal – which typically turns into me sitting at the piano trying to find a melody. Sometimes, I will just sit down at the piano and mess around until I find a melody and then I'll start coming up with a concept and song structure. There are even a lot of days that I need to be inspired by something outside of music, like fashion, and I’ll challenge myself to create outfits for something I don’t wear much, or try to recreate a pinterest look. I try to make this time less about an end product and more about constantly reminding myself what it feels like to be in a creative flow. Basically, a time to give into whatever my brain has been yelling at me all morning, and fully explore it.
What is your earliest memory of channeling your creative flow?
My earliest memory of a creative flow is definitely organizing and rearranging my room. As a kid, my favorite part of Christmas was bringing all of my new toys up to my hot pink painted room and finding a place where all of my new things would live. To this day, a good “spring cleaning” is still one of my fastest ways to get into a flow state. I love being able to make a visually immediate change to a space that brings it back to life.
Can you explain the moment where you decided to take the risk on your ideas?
I had come off of a 10 year songwriting hiatus before Odessa came out, because I didn’t feel like the risk was worth the possibility of failure. For most of the writing process, and overall creation of Odessa, I felt very safe. I was writing alone during my kiddo’s nap, recording in my basement with the person I love most in this world, and giving myself lots of time to reach whatever the end goal was going to be. The real feeling of risk came weeks before it was set to come out to the rest of the world. That’s when the possibility of failure became real. In all honesty, I tried my best to stay level headed those few weeks leading up to the release, but those last moments are so critical for marketing and administration that I had a hard time slowing down. It took a huge toll on my body and mind, and I was pretty out of commission the week or two after Odessa came out. However, on the actual release day, I felt a huge exhale. I wrote my first non-Odessa tune after a few months of not being able to slow down enough to get into a creative flow. Now a few weeks out, I could not be happier with the result of all the hard work that went into making it. I hope to learn how to cross that finish line next time with a bit more grace and finesse, but it was completely worth the risk.
What inspires your creativity?
Never underestimate the power of a meal/phone call with good friends or other creatives. There are so many things that I can personally cling onto for inspiration (fashion, organization, nature), but I find that quality conversation and discussion really brings me outside of myself and opens up all of these new pathways in my brain that I hadn’t been actively accessing before.
Has your relationship to art/work shifted over the last couple years? How so?
Something has unlocked in the last 3 years for me. If I really think about it, I think it was the perfectly disruptive combination of becoming a mom, knowingly closing the chapter on my 20’s, a pretty massive spiritual shift, and living through the wild time that was this global pandemic. I felt an urgency to create like I hadn’t in a decade, and also a freedom to make mistakes and fuck up like I had never allowed of myself before. I taught myself, overtime, how to allow space for creativity without any expectations of a result. Most importantly, I think I stopped running from a lot of things, and learned how to sit with myself and listen. I really like how (almost) 30 year old Shea creates.
What inspired your album Odessa?
So many things. Odessa was really the final step of this really odd series of events which included becoming a mom, a global pandemic, moving home to the midwest from NC, and losing my grandma. There were enough things happening that I couldn’t NOT write, even after a 10 year hiatus from songwriting.
I will say that at the center of this album, is the love I have for my grandma. Especially in the last 10 years or so, I found such a safe space with her. She truly would have rooted for me, and all her other grandkids, no matter what. I could just tell that she was so proud of who had become, and talking to her always made me feel like I was doing exactly what I was supposed to do. In a lot of ways, that’s what I wanted Odessa to be to other people: a safe space that reminds them of how far they’ve come, and I think I did that.
What are you watching/reading/listening to right now?
Watching: Space Force Season 2 and Life & Beth for some comedy, Inventing Anna and The Dropout to get the mind going, and my go-to Youtube vloggers to remind me that the mundane is really beautiful.
Reading: Codependent No More by Melody Beattie, People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry, and any recent interviews of my favorite artists
Listening: Gracie Abrams’ album: This is What it Feels Like, Maisie Peters’ album: You Signed up For This, Alix Page Audiotree (Live Session), Kathleen Edwards album: Total Freedom, & Paul Simon’s album: Graceland (always).
Any advice you’d like to share for those wanting to follow their own creative path?
Black out the noise. Get quiet. Listen to what you have to say, and be okay with whatever comes out. Go all in on it. Learn to notice when your inner antagonist is talking, and gently turn down the volume without judgment that you let it creep in again. Cheer for others who have chosen creativity, and learn from them. Rinse, and repeat.