If you’re addicted to New York Times best-selling author Tahereh Mafi‘s Instagram feed, then you already know: She and her bestie, LA photographer Tana Gandhi, have started an amazing new blog together. We Still Write in Cursive features fashion, recipes, DIY tips and some of the most gorgeous photography on the scene. Today, they’re here to talk making time to follow your dreams, being creative and how rad it is to work with your bestie.
I love the phrase “chase a new daydream” from your About section. Can you tell us a little about how you cooked up this particular dream?
Tahereh: We became friends in college, but didn’t really cement our relationship until we studied abroad in Barcelona. Far from home, we learned to stick together, tackling new adventures every day. Those experiences became the foundation for our friendship today. We love to explore worlds beyond our own comfort zones and we’re motivated by a need to not only capture beauty, but to create it as well. It felt right to build a bridge between our individual daydreams.
Tana: It’s always been a running conversation of ours on how much we both love so many aspects of photography, fashion, blogging and social media. Last year, when we were at a coffee shop, we started asking ourselves, Wouldn’t it be awesome if we did a shoot like this? So it feels like this daydream was slowly forming over some time. As cliché as it sounds, we scribbled down our first ideas on a paper napkin!
I follow both your personal feeds on Instagram, and they’re both AMAZING. Tana, I know you’re a professional photographer. Do you have any tips for someone looking to spiff up their own, or their brand’s Insta feeds?
Tana: What makes Instagram so great is more than just how much creative content is available; it’s also the community. It’s a space that encourages constant experimentation. It’s good to always try new things: new compositions, new colors, new ways to show the same things that inspire you every day. Challenge yourself to take it a step further and find a quirky or cool way to take photos. And interact online a lot! I love when brands respond to comments and heavily engage with their audience.
You’re both clearly social media goddesses and We Still Write in Cursive’s Tumblr is superb. I get super excited whenever it’s in my feed. What do you like about that particularly platform, for this brand?
Tahereh: I love Tumblr for a myriad of reasons, but perhaps most especially for its streamlined delivery of easily-shareable images and information. Large quantities of data/videos/images can go viral on Tumblr in mere minutes, making it a great place to find and share interesting new media.
Tana: I love scrolling through images on Tumblr because of its simple and minimal interface. It highlights the content and makes it very easy to share.
At Brit + Co, there’s a mantra and a hashtag we use, #iamcreative. Obviously, you guys are too! What advice would you give to those who are, but are having a hard time making time for their craft, whether it’s writing, photography, baking or DIY?
Tahereh: The creation of art is always preceded by the creation of time. Creating time is often the most difficult DIY you’ll ever encounter, and yet, it might be the most essential part of your happiness. There’s no one way to make time for art, because everyone is fighting a different battle. But it’s important to recognize that, for some people, being creative is a necessary part of their mental wellbeing. Allow yourself the luxury of personal happiness.
Tana: Going off what Tahereh said, giving yourself time to work on your craft is so therapeutic and so essential in ways that can’t be substituted by anything else. I didn’t learn this until very recently, when I noticed that I had considerably better days when I was doing something creative (taking photos, drawing, painting) than days where I was only working on the computer. That meant finding pockets of time that allow space to create. It can be very early in the morning, during lunch breaks at work or late in the night.
If there was one fashion trend you could keep alive FOREVER, what would it be?
Tahereh: Bold colors.
Tana: Fancy sweatpants seem so perfect for casual LA days and that’s something I don’t want to see disappear!
Obviously, We Still Write in Cursive is very new. What are you guys most excited for in the future? Any big projects you can tease for us?
Tahereh: We can’t talk about the things we’re most excited for just yet, because we’re still finalizing details, but we’re looking forward to some really fun collaborations with other artists in both the book and the photography world. We’ll be merging a lot of our interests this year. :)
Tana: We are definitely very excited for more styled shoots. What we’re planning for 2015 will require a lot more planning, prep work and set design!