Elena Gatti

by Nisha Btesh June 29, 2020

Elena Gatti

My routine has changed a ton since CoronaVirus. Usually before hitting my 9-5, I rush to get out the door and catch the 7:44 train. Now I get to really indulge in a self care morning ritual that may be worth sharing!

7 am: I snooze my alarm once...or twice...

7:30 am: I am officially out of bed by 7:30. The first thing I do is lace up my running shoes and go to the trails with my dogs. I listen to my favorite Spotify playlist (wyoming vibes by elena gatti ;)) and run. I will either do interval training or run for 2-3 miles. I used to be so competitive with myself while running to the point I felt I always had to beat my previous mile time, but now I don’t even look at my watch tracking my pace and heart rate. I really focus on nature, the trees, the air and how quiet everything is in the morning. Even though I tend to be extroverted, I love my alone time. 

8 am: I follow up my run with resistance band workouts. I love building and maintaining muscle, so this is a good alternative for me while I can't use the gym to lift.

8:30 am: I shower and take my time, but not too long because I hate wasting water. I’ll even sometimes wash my running clothes in the shower with me so I can skip a load of laundry. One of my favorite parts of my self care shower routine is using my DPHue Vinegar Hair Rinse. 

My favorite skincare products at the moment are Glossier super bounce serum and SPF. I also love the Frank Body face system. I am very international with my skin care. I think it helps me to feel in control and calm before I start my day. 

9 am: My favorite part of the day has to be preparing my coffee.... I use my favorite cashew/coconut milk creamer and enjoy maybe 3 cups…. I love super creamy but UNSWEETENED coffee. I hate sugar, I don’t know why.

9:30 am: I carefully check out any work emails, deadlines, and status of my projects. I like to write down what I have to do each day on a piece of scrap paper (I am the most organized unorganized human ever) and then I usually lose that piece of paper an hour later. 

10 am: By 10 I pour through my personal phone. I respond to emails, fill out orders, engage with other artists on instagram and get a good morning text from my boyfriend around this time :). 

10:30 am: If it is a weekday, usually by this time I am on a project for my 9-5 (I work as a Art Director/strategist for a PR agency in Chicago). I really love my job. I studied Advertising in college and it has been my dream to be an Art Director one day. I love talking with clients, working with a team, problem solving and being presented with challenges. Also ideating, creating and helping direct campaigns is incredible...I am so thankful to have a 9-5 that I really love.

11:30 am: Since I have a 9-5 outside of my art and personal brand, I usually will work on my brand during lunch, before or after work and on weekends.

Tell us about how you became the woman you are today. Where did you grow up? What moments in life have influenced your character most? 

I was born and raised in Chicago. I love my city, it has the perfect mix of action and quiet for me. Chicago taught me alot - how to be street smart, creative, and kind to strangers. One specific moment that really shaped me was standing up to a bully for the first time when I was 8 years old. I was always known as the nice, quiet girl so I think this was a big thing for me. I finally felt more than just the nice girl...

 Tell us about the exact moment or period in time when you realized you were born to create.

I would say my parents knew before I did that I was born to create. I started to draw when I was 4 years old. They told me I was obsessed with it, but when they noticed I sometimes relied on it as a way to communicate more so than with words, they were a little concerned. When I was 7, I found out I had dyslexia which was reassuring to me because it gave me answers as to why speaking, writing and sometimes thinking was difficult for me. I think this moment really pushed me to create even more. I already knew I loved it, but this gave me a reason to believe I was meant to create. 

A lot of women believe they need formal training in order to succeed as a Female Artist. What’s your take? Did you have formal education or are you self taught?

Hell no. You definitely do not need formal training to succeed as a Female Artist. Even though I took AP art in high school and studied advertising and art & design in college, it did not teach me a lot about what I love to create. I would say my AP art class did give me confidence and technical skills that I think are super helpful to have in your back pocket, but I think you can learn these skills on your own too. All in all, I don’t think you need formal training, just go on YouTube if you are looking to amp up your technical skills. I think why I never really followed through with formal training is I love to problem solve and figure out things for myself. When I mess up and start again, I learn the most. I think the most helpful advice I can give regarding this is find a community or fellow artist that inspires you and just talk to her. Send her a DM or start a group on instagram. Don’t be afraid to ask for tips from those you admire. And remember, there is no wrong way to create. 

Let's talk about vulnerability. What role has being vulnerable played in your work, success or failures?

I think being open with myself and others has helped me establish a sense of community and comradery. I realized when people are so closed up, never share anything to help others succeed or connect to others, it creates a competitive space.. I HATE that. So I really try to respond to all my DMs, share tips and tricks and engage with others honestly. I think vulnerability is the first step in helping other women lift each other up. Open up, share a story of failure or success with someone, help out a fellow artist who asks for tips. There is SO MUCH I don’t know, and I am comfortable sharing that-I love learning from other people. 

How do you define your creative gig? Full-time career or side hustle? Explain why you’ve chosen one over the other.

I think so many creators can relate to my current creative situation. My creative gig is a side hustle...for now. In a few years I really hope to make my creative gig a full-time opportunity. I want to expand more into fashion and even skin care/makeup. I think art has a place in everyone’s life from putting on makeup, to deciding what clothes to wear. In regards to my job, I adore advertising/PR and being an art director/designer. I have dreamed of this job since I was a freshman in high school so I am definitely going to work my a** off in this industry for many years. As for the future, I don’t want to plan too far ahead, I want it to be a surprise and just enjoy the ride. 

What is the message you're sending into the universe with your work? Why do you feel so strongly about this message?

My message is exposing imperfect. Nothing I do is perfect and for so long, I hated that. I always tried to aim for realistic or perfection...but now I just create to evoke a feeling and that helped me to fall back in love with art. I really believe everyone is an artist. I want to motivate people to just create because it brings such a deep, unexplainable joy. Creating allows you to explore the world, meet new people, wake up feeling excited to pick up where you left off or start something new. I really think creating anything is such a gift that we all have...I want to inspire people to try it without fear of being perfect. 
 

How do you stay motivated? 

My mindset is simple: everyday is a gift. Since I had this mindset flip, I literally jump out of bed with a smile (crazy right?)  

What tools, apps, websites, blogs, books, or podcasts help you the most when it comes to financials?

I love Squarespace personally, I think it is so intuitive, organized and clean. Honestly, I don’t have any books about managing expenses or read articles or listen to podcasts (I probably should)...Naturally I am a very frugal spender. I keep track of my expenses and alot a specific amount of money for paid instagram ads, new supplies etc. I try to reuse things I have and set realistic standards. I do have an excel document that I update daily with expenses. This helps me a ton. 
 

What do you know for sure?

There is so much to look forward to tomorrow. 

Give us three of your favorite/ most inspiring things right now. It could be a book, a food, a destination, a song, a person, etc.

The song Cobalt by J Solomon, Vintage Jazz posters, Peter Max. 

What's the best advice you've ever been given?

Every day is a fresh start. 

It’s karaoke night and you're up. What song do you sing?

Glamorous.

Finish this sentence. I never leave home without my…

AQUAPHOR!!

    If you had to give a 30 min. speech without preparing to an audience of 1,000 what would it be on?

    Finding happiness when you are at a low, OR motivation.



    Nisha Btesh
    Nisha Btesh

    Author



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