089: Intersection: Sarah Wright, Photographer

Updated: Jan 31


In the previous episode, we met Lillian Chan who shared her creative work for children and adults alike, her non-linear creative process and the deep appreciation she feels when she experiences moments of solitude to create. She also discussed how great it feels to have complete creative control over a project and today’s guest agrees.


Allow me to officially introduce you to today’s guest: Sarah Wright.


Sarah Wright (she/her) is a photographer, copywriter, and website designer based in Toronto, Canada. Sarah doesn't sweat the small stuff, unless it's a photo shoot and then you'll find her carefully rotating the wine glass millimetre by millimetre. After living abroad for most of her young adult life, Sarah moved to Toronto to complete a post-graduate diploma in Public Relations and Communications. And like all the great communicators of her time, she decided to go to Coachella instead of completing an unpaid internship at a fancy PR agency. It was one of those unexpected turns that is how she accidentally ended up in an office adjacent to a Food and Wine magazine and talked her way into an editorial position. Since then, Sarah has been the voice of several brands, the Editor-in-Chief of two print publications, and consistently the most fun person at the party. Sarah still doesn't know how she feels about speaking in the third person, but she is never afraid to try anything at least twice.


In our conversation, Sarah and I discuss the name of her business (Yes and Studio) that also encapsulates her creative philosophy, the power of constraint in breeding creativity and her proclamation of the deep love she feels for Post-it Notes.


Key Ideas Discussed:

  • Photographer, copy writer, web designer

  • Working in hospitality, travelled lots and found herself working in a space beside a company she'd ideally like to worth

  • She was always in hospitality and she would use that money to fund her creative endeavours

  • There's a lot of seductiveness in running your business as a creative but there are lots of 'hidden costs'

  • Spreadsheets aren't sexy for the creative brain, but she's trying to navigate this world of 'hidden costs of being creative'

  • Name of 'Yes And' studio originates from classical improv technique - creating something from nothing; joyful

  • Each of these streams requires a different headspace and a different energy - photography, copywriting, web design - she's 'allergic to sameness'

  • Originally much more editorial focused and she was in a snow mobile accident and had a bad concussion that made writing more difficult, which was something that had always come easily to her; she couldn't focus on the details but she still had stories she wanted to tell; high level concepts

  • There's a lot of fear in creativity about scarcity and the fear that you'll never have a creative idea again but her concussion taught her creativity never really goes away but it changes shapes and forms

  • Slowing down and knowing where the breaks are good for creativity

  • She loves Post-It Notes

  • She can 'turn her personality down but not off' so it seeps through into her work

  • She loves creating a reality where it's her rules and a lot of sense of humour comes from asking people to suspend their belief and come on a journey with her

  • Creating something out of nothing (coping mechanism for technical knowledge, budget, formal training)

  • Constraint allows her to create more

  • Being able to salvage a situation - sometimes there is no path, but you just need make a path out

  • There's no challenge sometimes with lots of budget

  • Photographers also now have to be videographers - there's lots of behind the scenes footage on IG now, which makes it more accessible, but also a lot of it is highly staged/curated

  • Sarah's behind the scenes is much more about how to deal with her emotions as she works through an idea

  • She knows she's on the right path with a project if it either makes her laugh or she has to phone a friend about it

  • When she does her own weird thing, people resonate with it

  • Micromanagement is one of the worst things for creatives

  • Inspiration is timely and situational - taking inspiration and motivation from others who are doing less than her

  • A lot of her work comes from taking something familiar and taking a left turn with it

  • There's sometimes a fear of sharing work because of fear that someone else will steal it, but if you do something really unique or reimagine something familiar and do it differently, it's difficult to copy that

  • Remixing is natural - photographers are often very precious with this

  • What's the narrative behind the work? What's the story? Why are we drinking? What are the little details that she can add to make this more interesting?

  • Caffeine, collaboration and more space is in the future - helping people connect with their weird and wild selves; scaling business - sculpture or large scale work


Among many insights gained, Sarah Wright reminds us about her desire to balance different parts of her creative practice. In the next episode we meet Sarah Dennis, a paper cut artist who shares fellow Sarah’s feelings about balancing different creative callings.


Stay tuned…


secondary podcast episode art that contains the text ‘Episode 089 Intersection: Sarah Wright, Photographer’ on a blue background and half of a yellow paper boat.

A photo of toonies and loonies set into green jello on a white pedestal.

A triple-decker tuna and cheese sandwich, however someone forgot to open the cans of tuna stacked within.

Toy construction vehicles moving dirt in the midst of a meal on top of a dining room table.

A delicious-looking drink covered in a mountain of toasted whipped cream, surrounded by matches.

a digital illustration that depicts Sarah Wright’s point of intersection between ‘creative control’ and ‘balance’. There are two overlapping circles connecting these themes and a straight line connecting her to the place where these circles meet. When connected with the 16 other artists these circles form a map.

The complete map of the colourful, intersecting circles that represent the 17 artists and their connections to one another.

About Our Guest:

A full-length photo of Sarah looking very official wearing a royal blue blazer typing on a retro computer, looking over her shoulder into the camera.

Sarah Wright (she/her) is a photographer, copywriter, and website designer based in Toronto, Canada. Sarah doesn't sweat the small stuff, unless it's a photo shoot and then you'll find her carefully rotating the wine glass millimetre by millimetre. After living abroad for most of her young adult life, Sarah moved to Toronto to complete a post-graduate diploma in Public Relations and Communications. And like all the great communicators of her time, she decided to go to Coachella instead of completing an unpaid internship at a fancy PR agency. It was one of those unexpected turns that is how she accidentally ended up in an office adjacent to a Food and Wine magazine and talked her way into an editorial position. Since then, Sarah has been the voice of several brands, the Editor-in-Chief of two print publications, and consistently the most fun person at the party. Sarah still doesn't know how she feels about speaking in the third person, but she is never afraid to try anything at least twice.


www.yes-and.studio

https://www.instagram.com/yaaaaastudio/



Music (public domain via Free Music Archive): Chad Crouch - Rainbow


Talk Paper Scissors Theme Music: Retro Quirky Upbeat Funk by Lewis Sound Production via Audio Jungle


Boat Origami Photo: Boat Origami Photo byAlex on Unsplash


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