Maria-Thérèse Sommar runs the blog and business afiori. She is a photographer and creative spirit from Harnosand, Sweden and lives a pretty magical life. I would like to show the documentation that Maria-Thérèse shared with us in August of 2009 and the end with a follow-up interview we recently did. Here goes!
I wake up and then I snooze for about an hour. I can't really think or speak before I have my breakfast. Black coffee, a sandwich, some fruit.
The first few hours I tend to do practical stuff but sometimes I start to create things right away. Today I cut a lot of paper and started to make new mixed paper books. Then a coffee break, then finished the books. I eat lunch late, or dinner early depending how you look at it. Anything vegetarian / vegan, for instance pasta with tomato / olive sauce and halloumi.
I go for a walk, buy groceries and mail packages. I like to go for walks and listen to music, if I want to be alone, or I go for a walk around town if I don't mind being around people. On this particular walk I listened to Björk, Josh Groban, Lily Allen, Karin Bengtsdotter Olsson and Janis Joplin. I met a lot of dogs.
I take photographs of new items for my shop afiori.etsy.com and then I keep working on my photography, writing or whatever else my inspiration tells me to do. I work according to my inspiration because I feel it's really the only way and I get more things done if I don't try to force myself.
Today I pondered my next project while eating chocolate ice cream. Then I did a photo shoot with a theatre / masquerade theme. (My model won't work unless you give her chocolate.)
At night (summer nights are freakishly light where I live, in Härnösand, Sweden) I upload and edit photos for my Etsy shop and start to create listings, which takes too much time, if you ask me. Then I update my blog, see what's happening on the internet and continue to work on whatever I've been doing during the day. I also like to watch a good film.
Before I go to bed I renew listings in my shop, have tea, write and read a bit. Around 1 a.m. I start to think about going to bed and if I'm lucky I fall asleep within an hour or so.
Now for a follow-up in 2013. Maria-Thérèse answered a few questions about how her days have changed or stayed the same since she last did this post.
Hi! How fun to be at A Beautiful Party again!
When you last interviewed me back in 2009, I had only run my business for a few months and was very busy creating art and selling it via my online shops and then through exibitions. I published my first poetry book and exhibited my art a lot. Since then, I have worked much more as a hired photographer, writer and translator. I've shot a lot of weddings, parties and events and regularly write articles and take photos for a business website. I also do translation work for a literary agency now and then and I've taught a couple of photography courses. I'm still entirely self-employed.
So, my business has become a much wider representation of what I can do. I get to meet a lot of people now and the work is very varied. It's great that more people know about me and I like working as a hired photographer / writer, but sometimes I have too little time or focus to work on my own art. While it's wonderful when I'm busy working, it is sometimes necessary to have less to do so that I find my own ideas again and can prepare for the future, since my own work has to be the core of my business. Recently I've been working on a few series of photographs just for me and I also went to Rome for a week and wrote new poetry. I'm not making a lot of notebooks to sell at the moment, but I always keep a travel journal so I made one for myself before I left and I love working with actual paper. Oh, and I've changed my last name, from Andersson to Sommar [summer] which was my grandmother's maiden name.
Still eating chocolate ice cream, listening to a lot of the same music but also finding new inspiration such as Emilie Autumn's music and poetry which I just stumbled upon a couple of weeks ago and find brilliant.
I live in the same place but my studio is now part of my livingroom and I turned my former studio into a bedroom to get better sleeping habits (didn't work). I finally have a huge computer screen and better equipment which makes work easier. Falling asleep and waking up even later, I'm afraid, making that cup of morning coffee equally important. Other than that, I think my routine is very similar, except I meet more people now, have become more outgoing in general and tend to sit in a café for a while in the afternoon before I really start to work.