Writer and creative director Leigh Patterson’s distinctive sensibility has created campaigns for clients ranging from J. Hannah Jewelry and COS, to The Line Hotel. Leigh is the founder and director of Lucca Studio, a “studio for words, images and ideas,” and author of the soon-to-be-released online interview series turned book, Moon Lists, which to be released by Penguin Random House. Her curiosity and ability to frame ideas visually, as well as her obvious love for what is simple and true quietly remind me that there is no such thing as the mundane, if you pay attention. “I just work. I am grateful to have the flexibility and freedom my job and life allow — so I show up every damn day, both for others and for my own growth and vulnerability.”
How would you describe what you do?
I work as an editorial/creative director alongside brands, designers, and many other interesting people to help create meaningful and elegant narratives that articulate a creative vision. On my own I run a project called The Moon Lists where I use deceptively simple questions as prompts to unlock deeper thinking and unexpected meaning — this is expressed both as an online interview series and a forthcoming analog workbook, coming out from Penguin Random House in June 2019!
How do you deal with the continual ebb and flow of “success” as a creative person?
I am inspired by the rule-breaking times we live in and that there no longer is a “right” way to be successful. I have worked hard to both make my own work while gaining legitimate experience in jobs where my only role is to learn and support a vision that isn’t wholly my own. I am always trying to see through a lens of humility, kindness, and a lack of ego… and find that when I do so I feel more in control of my perceived success.
What is your daily routine? Your weekend routine?
I tend to think most clearly in the morning so I like to preserve that time for working on my own — no meetings or calls before noon. Other routine things are: a walk immediately after I wake up + time to meditate and stretch + I eat the same breakfast basically every day and have for years! I have no weekend routine :)
How do you motivate yourself to actually get things done and/or maintain some level of productivity?
I feel very lucky that I love my job and feel excited to tackle new projects. Like anyone I have lulls and days where I feel depleted… there are also just times of day where I am unproductive and low energy. I do my best to recognize these patterns and not sit around feeling defeated; I do something to mix it up and change my frame of mind. Go for a walk, go to the coffee shop, call a friend, do a headstand.
How do you manage the stress/anxiety that’s inevitable with putting yourself out there?
I just work. I am grateful to have the flexibility and freedom my job and life allow — so I show up every damn day, both for others and for my own growth and vulnerability.
How do you know when it’s time to rest?
I’m bad at this. I will work and run nonstop until I am wiped out. Instead I book a lot of travel that forces me to regularly pull the plug. My friends and husband also keep me in check.
How do you manage the internet/social media?
Lol you tell me!
What’s your big dream? Do you have one? How do you set goals/set yourself up to achieve?
I have a quote tacked to my wall in my studio, an excerpt from Anne Morrow Lindberg’s journal:
“Simplicity of living, as much as possible, to retain a true awareness of life. A balance of physical, intellectual, spiritual life. Work without pressure. Space for significance and beauty. Time for solitude and sharing. Closeness to nature to strengthen understanding and faith in the intermittency of life: life of the spirit, creative life and the life of human relationships. A few shells.”