Friday Five: Teresa Grasseschi

Designer profile Q+A:
Teresa Grasseschi

We are featuring the lovely Teresa Grasseschi, one half of Seattle, WA print studio Pilgrim Paper Co.


1. Daily rituals?
Tea! Kelly and I always make treat tea before work (essentially 2 parts honey to 1 part tea)- which as our studios are currently on opposite sides of town always makes my heart happy knowing neighborhoods away she is probably doing the same thing. 

I clean up my studio every morning. I am a night owl so I usually work late and then leave the studio in a mess when I am too tired and need sleep. Cleaning it in the morning clears my head. 

I have also started to stop mid-day (or whenever I am feeling stuck) to do a little work out routine, either outside or in the other room, some yoga or squats etc. It is about as nerdy as it sounds but it also never fails to help me shake the cobwebs and come back with a refreshed point of view. 

2. Best creative (or business) advice?

Getting to know yourself is focusing on your work. 

I didn't realize until this year how holistic being a working creative is. In my mid-twenties I just pushed myself to extremes in my attempt to carve myself a stable, established life as creative. Big shock to no one, that isn't a sustainable or helpful plan in the long run. I've slowed down a little and become more present in parts of my process I used to rush through. I have gotten quicker at taking breaks when I am stuck or burnt out and try spend more time looking at the world around me instead of zoning out in the small moments of my day. For me my current Achilles heel is Instagram. I have begun to notice that spending too much time on it is the opposite of helpful. I have a tendency to overthink so consuming too much content can throw me off or leave me feeling behind or less than- neither of which are helpful mental spaces to make work out of. So I am starting to limit my insta time. I try not to look at it when I am in the middle of flushing out an idea and take the moments where I find myself comparing my life/work to others as a signal I need to cool my jets and get off the internet. I am always validated and strengthened in hearing other creatives be vulnerable about what they are working on so in the vain of paying it forward listen up nameless creative reading this interview - You heard right! Instagram anxiety is a real thing! I too fall prey to it- but don't you go and get stuck and defined by it. Eyes on your own paper!! (The truest of phrases I stole from plant-based ice cream queen Kari Brunson - thank you friend).

3. Current inspiration sources? 
Narrative has been my jam lately. Whatever project I am working on I know if I start a narrative for it I will find my work in there somewhere. I have also recently started to consult reference books I make for myself. When I was in Tokyo last month I went to the Ghibli museum. I walked through the section of the museum dedicated to recreating Hayao Miyazaki's studio a ridiculous number of times. The guards thought my constant loop was hilarious. He is obsessive about fact gathering before starting a project which really validated me and sparked me to come home and get a little bit more nutty in my own reference library. What was once a small folder of images on my computer has become a physical book organized by item type (the jokes on you now Ghibli museum guards).

4. Favorite podcasts?

I don't often listen to podcasts - that is much more Kelly's jam. She always suggests podcasts to me which I write down and then promptly forget to ever look them up. Keep trying Kells! It will stick one day. 

I usually work to music or listen to a show on tv. My favorite music to work to right now is classical (a new development for me - if anyone has classical suggestions send them my way!) my current classical jam is Reverie L 68: Reverie by Debussy. When I get tired of whatever Spotify's Debussy radio has on I turn to Frank Sinatra. 

My most current tv kick has been anything made in the 90s or earlier. I feel no shame in saying I listened to You've Got Mail and Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century last night while working. 

The crazy smoke haze of Seattle has made me crave background noise that feels unassuming and burdenless.

5. How does your city influence your work?

I am one of those rare birds who was born and raised in Seattle so I think it is pretty safe to say this city has had a profound influence on me and my work. I could not however, quickly and concisely tell you where that influence starts and ends. For that I would need a good therapy session and a deep stack of paper. Upon reflection I can say that on a base level environment is a big spark in color direction for me. I spent the month of July traveling. When I was in LA all I wanted to draw was in white with shades of yellows, pinks and oranges. When I was in Tokyo all I wanted to draw was in shades of tan, grey and baby blues.