We had the good fortune of connecting with Becca Reitz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Becca, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
I finally came to the realization that balance simply feels like two feet are in two places at all times. Sometimes they’re in a work zone and sometimes they are on walk midday to enjoy the sunshine. I’ve realized that at this time, i.e. 2020 – traditional ways of working have been broken in order to maintain happiness. From freelancers to employees at the Patagonia’s/Apple’s of the world – working from 9-5 doesn’t necessarily behoove anyone. Often I find myself working really early mornings, and sometimes late in the evenings, but I also remember I took a midday walk to chat with a friend and soak up some sunshine, or to run a quick errand, or to read a couple of minutes of a book. In doing so, I can find freedom from a bogged down brain, knowing that releasing stress and “living life” only leads to heightened productivity when it’s time to be focused. Shifting the way I think about what work looks like makes “balance” feel achievable. Granted, I know I am lucky to do what I do and privileged with a flexible schedule, but by implementing little nuggets of happiness throughout the day, I can work at my most productive times (mornings) and break when I’m unproductive (the hell that is 2-4PM haha). At the end of the day, it all feels like a blur of goodness.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Any artist is going to say it wasn’t easy – but also it wasn’t the “starving artist” vibe everyone made it out to be. I think a combination of hard work, business wits, and the ability to define what fuels the flow of creativity is the intersection where you can feel happy and mellow in your work. I specialize in illustration and graphic design now. I’ve always been a designer but a couple of years ago I started to illustrate purely for fun. The illustrations people now hire me to create were initially created as a vehicle to post captions/thoughts on Instagram. So initially my artwork was secondary in priority while the stories/captions/thoughts/musings were the priority to share. Spirituality, astrology, bending consciousness were all things I was interested in and the work followed suit. The continual challenge I find myself running into is an imposter syndrome vibe. When I say that, it’s less so that my artwork itself isn’t good enough, and moreso I see people posting constantly, sending out email newsletters, updating processes and workflows, while also selling products online and in stores, the scroll continues – and I can physically feel my head spin. It’s a spiral where I’m seeing each piece individually instead of the full picture. It’s in those moments sometimes I feel more of that sense of “struggle” but I constantly have to remind myself we’re not all superhumans, and just because certain things aren’t shown on the surface (ie social media/a website/etc) doesn’t mean it’s not happening. All things happen as they are supposed to, and “stay in your lane” is a constant mental reminder I keep stored for those moments.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I lived in Vail for a couple of years before moving to Denver, so I like to split up time. My studio is in RiNo – so I love bringing people over there to see the various murals / shops / breweries / restaurants. But, tons of other places have my heart. We’d probably pop into Crema Coffee at some point because it’s my favorite – with a stopover to ReRoot & La Lovely Vintage for some shopping, a beer at Don’s if we want to feel like we’re in college or Sputnik (to get a corn dog, duh!!), Angelo’s for some oysters, maybe a pit stop to Postino’s for wine, Nurture to restore health in our body, and grabbing a Dear You at Ratio. I think I just like to drink beverages after reading this^ I also love getting into the mountains. Hikes in Holy Cross Wilderness allows us to enjoy a nice mountain-view-filled car ride with a long hike in the sunshine (weather sun or snow) – and a top of the hike beer and pile of Goldfish (not sure how I ended up on the Goldfish during a hike obsession but hey), and then stopping either in Vail or Breckenridge to bop around some of my favorite spots in those towns. And obviously, not within the confines of 2020 life –– but Red Rocks for a show is a must. Always.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Honestly – I have to say. my boyfriend, Adam Vicarel, which feels like a lame answer (sorry if you’re reading this)! I actually met him as he gave a talk about breaking free into full-time freelance. We started dating shortly after –– and in that period of time, he provided me with confidence to fling myself off the ledge into the ultimate freedom of my time and decisions as a full-time freelancer. While I had been contracting on the side for years, he guided me in those first couple of months on my own, the ones where you’re just a flailing wobbly baby deer learning 12829748 different lessons. He’s encouraged me to manage my time in a way that works for me and forget it if other people it’s strange. Work hard when it’s time to work hard, savor moments where you are soaking up life, learn new things with patience and naivete and enjoy them, take each project as a new challenge and enjoy the process as cheesy as it sounds.
personal photo: Shel Francis Creative @shelfranciscreative nurture mural image: @missmeg_mac