HOW THIS VISUAL ARTIST PLANS HER DAY BY HIEU COW
When you begin each day looking at your boss in the mirror, you know that every decision has to be made by you. Every responsibility is optional, but not without consequence. Every outcome is determined by how hard you work. If you haven’t guessed it by now, I am my own boss and I feel very lucky and grateful for it.
Of course, working for myself isn’t always a walk in the park. It’s a lot of planning, organizing and strategizing how my time is spent. Occasionally, I’ll throw my hands up and admit defeat — then take a nap and let future Hieu worry about it. But, hey, we can’t all be perfect. And as Marilyn Monroe once said, “Imperfection is beauty.”
I start every morning the night before with a to-do list for the following day. I put stars next to anything that must be finished before the day’s end. And I give myself weekends to unwind and relax. You’re about to take a look at what typically happens in my daily life as a visual artist and content creator. To tell you the truth, I feel a bit lost and uncertain about the future, similar to anyone else my age. But I’m constantly trying to figure out what works best for me and I’m proud of where I am at 25.
The first major thing on my to-do list is to get ready for the day. This involves hair and makeup and adding any little details to my look that make me feel happier. A dear friend once told me, “Look good, feel good, do good,” and I’ve always lived my life by that ever since. Not in a vain sense but it’s all about starting your day off right. It’s something you can control by taking some extra time in the morning. I love the idea that humans can be walking pieces of art, so I happily choose to paint my canvas.
Being a full-time influencer, I always set aside time to browse Instagram, post and engage. It’s definitely a huge source of inspiration for me as well. Instagram is so visually driven that artists from all over are constantly pushing themselves to create amazing content. I’m so glad that social media gives us a soapbox to share anything with anyone in the world. Maybe Instagram is so popular because it gives a more in-depth look at the uniqueness and variety of humans on Earth through their accounts. A picture is worth a thousand words, right?
Whenever there is good lighting and extra time on hand, I seize the opportunity to take a selfie! I’m so guilty of taking a bunch of pictures before deciding on that “perfect” shot. A lot of my selfies never make it on the ‘gram, but I always keep only one photo per selfie session. It’s a simple memory of how I look on that day. All photos of yourself are like a time capsule and it’s so easy to add a selfie in every now and then to see how you change over the years. And because I change my hair color so much, it’s extra interesting for me.
I am a sucker for cute restaurants or cafes. I will scour the ends of Yelp and Google for the best places to go. It gets me out of the house, which is important as a freelancer because I can easily slip into life as a hermit and develop a case of cabin fever. So, I go as often as I can and for a multitude of reasons. Whether it be for changing up my environment, catching up with friends, working on my laptop, etc. I really appreciate finding spaces that tailor to the fine details — where you can tell that someone put thought into coordination by putting a thing here versus there. It creates a unique ambience and I find that ambience has a very significant effect on moods.
A quick break is always nice. I can rest easy knowing that I have all my essentials with me. I usually try to keep it simple and not carry too many items. If you look inside my bag, there is a phone with a wallet case attached, keys, sunglasses and lipstick. It’s really just for style as most days I keep everything in my pockets (including myblu™ vape, which is so sleek and well-designed). Every day is a different day, I only know my schedule up to a week or two in advance and activities always come up last minute. Which raises the age-old question, should I say yes or no? Yes, if I am free. Because life is meant to be lived by doing things and you never know what can happen at any moment of any day.
I always try to meet up with photographers or friends to take photos about an hour before golden hour — the time of day with the best lighting. The extra hour is to account for any delays in meeting, getting a lay of the land, roughly planning what we’re going to shoot and just chatting. I love shooting outdoors, natural lighting is the best after all, and it gives me an excuse to run around town and explore. Some of my best photo locations are stumbled upon from strolling around and having one of those “hey, that spot over there looks cool!” moments.
Is that who I think it is? The world is smaller than you think. It’s always nice to talk to people, familiar faces or new friends and you can learn something from everyone — directly or indirectly. Due to the nature of my work, I’m always meeting new people and driving all over Los Angeles in my little blue car to get to shoot locations, fashion or beauty events, meetings, lunches, etc. The notorious L.A. traffic means I spend a lot of time behind the wheel or hawk-eyeing possible parking spaces…part of the daily grind.