If you’re just joining in, for the month of January we were inspired to change up our content for the month to focus on women who we find inspiring and can tell us about their journey of “becoming” based on our Book Club book of the month by Michelle Obama. You can read the rest of the interviews here. Stay tuned for many more!
Stylist and interior designer, Meta Coleman, is a dear friend of mine and Jasper’s self-appointed godmother (Mormons don’t really do godmothers, but at the same time…we totally do…ha!). We met 6 years ago when I first moved to Utah and we’ve been inseparable ever since teaching workshops on cruises, working on books, planning parties. Meta is completely OBSESSED with interiors. It’s her job and she’s mighty good at it for that reason. She lives and breathes it. She is one that stays true to who she is no matter if it’s in style or not. She aims for authenticity over trite and for this reason, her style is unique yet timeless. She’s always trying to push boundaries too so that she and her clients don’t stay static and look like every other Pinterest house. As a friend and colleague, she pushes me to be better at what I do. I received a number of requests to feature her and I’m so glad. She’s one of a kind!
Read the full full interview below!
Becoming: Interview with Meta Coleman
What do you consider yourself? Example: Artist, designer, illustrator, maker, business person etc.?
I consider myself an artist. I feel kind of pretentious saying that because what I do (Interior Design) is not necessarily considered art, but I think I look at it differently and my approach is different. I am telling a story of each homeowner and I want to capture the essence of who they are with everything I design.
Who helped you “become” who you are?
I would say there are a lot of people, but the first person who came to mind is my husband, Nicholas Coleman. He is an artist, an oil painter. He has always been supportive of me and there isn’t anything he doesn’t think I can’t do, even when I lack that confidence myself. He also gives me constructive criticism when I ask for it, even if it’s not what I really want to hear. He’s honest with me but loves me without conditions.
Do you feel like you’ve arrived at what you set out to do?
Heavens no! I feel I’m just beginning and there is so much I still want to do and so much still to learn. I think life would be really predictable and boring if we ever felt we arrived, right?
What’s your dream job? Are you living it?
Do you like collaborating with other people or working on your own?
I love collaborating with others. I feel like collaborating elevates everything we do. My clients inspire me and challenge me and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What are you most proud of in your career?
I am most proud of or happy when a homeowner, years later, tells me how much they still love the space that I designed for them.
How did your childhood influence what you have become?
I was a very creative and imaginative child. I was always in my own world either drawing or pretending in some way. My mother took me to a lot of museums, classical concerts, and international cinema. She was laying the foundation for me to thoroughly enjoy all the arts.
Did you feel pressured in any way to pursue a certain career path?
No, I didn’t. I always knew I wanted to do something creatively. It just took a while to discover exactly what that was.
How did you get started in your field doing what you do?
I started when we built our home 13 years ago. I had no idea I would enjoy picking out every single detail for our home. It wasn’t till years later when a dear friend told me I needed to do something with interiors and show people what I was doing that I started to do think I could do what I do for others. I had no idea I had a talent for it. I really thought that I was pretty average.
What did you study? Did you go to school specifically for what you do?
I got a BFA in photography. I do still have some photography clients and I love to photograph my kids. I am really grateful for the skills I learned in photography because it has helped me in my work, and has helped me to see Interiors in a different way.
What’s your workspace like?
What’s a piece of advice that you’ve carried with you and who is it from?
This is a piece of advice I read in a book or magazine from the Interior Designer Kelly Hoppen. I’m not sure if I got it perfectly, but she said something like this “If something doesn’t work out, I don’t give it any more time and I move on”. We all have times when things don’t work out the way we wanted them to, but It’s not worth it to waste time and energy worrying about it or try to force it. Move on to the next thing and learn from it.
Another piece of advice that I love is from the author Neil Gaiman, “There are three things you have to be in order to succeed in the creative world. 1. You have to be good. 2. You have to be easy to work with. 3. You have to be on time. In my experience, you really only have to have 2 out of the 3.” Ha!
What piece of advice would you give to someone starting out in a creative field?
Work hard to be skilled at what you do and while you are hard at work you will find your voice, what sets you apart from the others. Good things come to hard workers.
What does your dream retirement look like?
I hope to never retire. I hope I will always be making and creating till the day I die. But I wouldn’t mind doing it in some beautiful home off the coast of Spain or in a cottage in France?!?
What artists/designers/creatives do you look up to? Both historical or present
Josef Frank is an obvious one. I use a lot of his designs in my work. I love how timeless and fun his designs are. Estrid Ericson, she was such trailblazer and visionary. Ilse Crawford, she knows how to get to the heart of design and make it meaningful. Iris Apfel, she embraces who she is and commits 100 percent. She is such a fascinating woman having done just about everything and is still going at 97.
Who is your work intended for? Example: you, your readers, someone who you hope is watching…
My clients. Interiors is a service based field and it suits me. I’m a people pleaser, ha!
What’s inspiring you lately?
My clients are inspiring to me. I love the challenge of getting to know someone and interpreting who they are in the colors, texture, furniture, everything that makes a home.
I recently went on a trip to Mexico with some girlfriends. We got to tour the awe-inspiring spaces designed by architect Luis Barragan. I was blown away with the way he used textures, colors and natural light to create drama and