2/8/2017

Interview x Jessica Comingore

Jessica Comingore x Ashley Neese

I am over the moon to share the first interview of the year with Jessica Comingore, graphic designer and author of The Elysian Edit. I first came across Jessica’s work ages ago in Kinfolk and immediately hired her to style a photo shoot for my website. I was instantly drawn to her fresh, yet classic and minimal aesthetic and the moment we met in person I knew we would continue working together in the years to come.

Jessica is one of those incredible spirits that brings intention and beauty into every aspect of her life. Since our photo shoot nearly four years ago, I have had the pleasure of getting to know her on hikes through Griffith Park where we have long discussions about everything from setting boundaries, to running your own business, to deepening our meditative practices. Jessica is one of those rare women who is easy to be around. I am constantly inspired and refreshed by her willingness to be honest and share about what is really going on and her dedication to doing the deep work of growing up.

Our interview has been a long time coming and I’m so honored Jessica took the time to open up about how she takes care of herself, what it’s like to live with her partner, and how she navigates fear and insecurity. I love Jessica’s holistic and grounded approach to life and I am thrilled for you to get to know her.

Jessica Comingore x Ashley Neese

Jessica Comingore x Ashley Neese

You are all about bringing your best self forward as often as possible. What practices do you have in place that support this way of life?
I’m a firm believer that you have to be good to yourself in order to be good to those around you, and self care plays a large role in that for me. I know that I need to honor my mind and body by setting aside the time each day to meditate, exercise, cook for myself, and get a good night’s rest. On the day’s that I don’t, I find that things don’t flow quite as easily (and I’m probably not as pleasant to be around).

What motivates you to take care of yourself?
I spent nearly half of my life suffering from digestive health issues, and it wasn’t until about two years ago that I hit a breaking point and decided to seriously address it. While it continues to be a process, the changes that I’ve experienced have made me value and appreciate my health in a completely new way. The thought of going back to how I used to feel motivates me to give my body the attention it deserves.

Jessica Comingore x Ashley Neese

Jessica Comingore x Ashley Neese

Nature is very important to you. How do you make time to nourish that connection when you’re busy?
If I’m not able to get out for a hike, I make a point to at least take a short walk around my neighborhood. While it doesn’t have quite the same effects, I find that just breathing in fresh air does wonders for my mental state. It’s easiest for me to squeeze in first thing in the morning, so if I know I have a busy day ahead, I’ll just throw on my shoes after I wake up and head out the door.

Do you have a morning or evening ritual? If so, tell us about it.
I like to start each morning with meditation, followed by a cup of hot water mixed with ground turmeric, fennel and fresh ginger (great for your gut!). Before bed, I’ll brew a cup of ginger licorice tea with honey and lemon, and dab a bit of lavender oil on my temples and neck. The scent makes falling asleep extra pleasant.

Jessica Comingore x Ashley Neese

Jessica Comingore x Ashley Neese

Jessica Comingore x Ashley Neese

You moved in with your partner last year, congrats! Will you share some of the joys and challenges of living with the one you love?
Thanks! It’s been a wonderful experience in many ways, but the highlight is getting to wake up next to my best friend every morning. I lived by myself for many years before we met and moved in together, and always operated in a very independent mindset, so the feeling of sharing a home with someone that is present and supportive through every aspect of life is indescribable. It may sound like a given, but I’ve never experienced such a strong and loving partnership before. As for the challenges, we both work from home, so it’s been a learning curve to set boundaries between work and life, and respect when each other is in the zone, even if we’re only a few feet away.

Best advice you have ever taken.
Live your life with internal alignment, not exterior expectation.

Something about you that will surprise us.
I’m the youngest of three sisters and spent most of my childhood trying to make my family laugh by putting on performances, adopting silly voices, and following them around with a video camera to create my own version of a sitcom. A lot of that goofiness is still in tact, and I’ll usually spend an entire day speaking in jingles, or dancing around our house.

Jessica Comingore x Ashley Neese

Three books on your nightstand.
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, Moment by Satsuki Shibuya, and Heroes of the Frontier by Dave Eggers.

Top five albums of 2016.
Ape in Pink Marble by Devendra Banhart, My Woman by Angel Olsen, Are You Serious by Andrew Bird, Private Energy by Helado Negro, and Lemonade by Beyoncé.

Jessica Comingore x Ashley Neese

Jessica Comingore x Ashley Neese

Describe the last time you were afraid and how you grew through the experience.
I experience some level of fear every day just by virtue of being self-employed. Whether it be sending out a proposal to a prospective client, presenting a first round of designs to an existing one, or simply setting professional boundaries, I always feel a little afraid. I try to keep in mind the worst case scenario when anything is making me anxious, and that perspective usually helps me move forward with ease.

Share your biggest insecurity and how you’re shifting it.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t struggle with insecurities around body image and self worth. We’re so trained as women to place value on those things early and often, and I think it’s a universal challenge to reverse that thinking. It’s a daily dialogue to remind myself of all of the things I have to be grateful for, as opposed to focusing on what I’m lacking. Even a simple, “you are enough” helps to shift my mindset.

Do you have any suggestions for women starting their own creative business?
Work hard, but not so hard that you neglect everything else in your life. If your goal is to be in it for the long haul, it’s important to establish a healthy balance from the get-go. I would also say to avoid the barrage of social media as much as possible. It’s easy to fall down a comparison trap when you’re starting out, but if you’re connected to your why, and creating from a place of authenticity, everything else will follow.

Jessica Comingore x Ashley Neese

Jessica Comingore x Ashley Neese Comingore Studio photographed by Laure Joliet for Urban Outfitters

Words to love by.
You can’t be loved by someone else until you learn to love yourself.

What are you most grateful for?
To be surrounded by a partner, friends and family who are genuine, thoughtful and supportive, and inspire me to be the same.

 

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Photo Credits: Laure Joliet & Rainbeau Photo

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