10 Questions With Alexandra Machover
Alexandra Machover is doing it all. If you’ve taken a look at her blog, Spur of the Moments, you’ll find just a little bit of everything. We sat down with Alexandra to talk about creativity and everything that comes with it.
Mad Girl’s Collective: You’re a creator of many mediums. You’re a video producer, blogger, and art director. Where does your creativity stem from?
Alexandra Machover: Oh my goodness. My creativity has always been a part of my body, mind, and soul. It’s something I have no control over, in the sense that my desire to create will never cease to exist, and if I get complacent, I go a little stir crazy.
I’ve been creating ever since I was a baby; it all started with art. My mom tells this hilarious story where she set me up in the backyard with a few tempura paint colors, two paint brushes, an easel, and a large sketchbook. I was 4 years old. She left me outside for thirty minutes to paint whatever I wanted. When she came back, I had a perfect rendering of my pet bunny rabbit. I even mixed paints together to make new colors. It’s actually insane. She framed it, and it’s still in our house. I’ll ask my parents to send a photo of it.
Anyway, as an adult, creativity drives my life, and I fulfill my need to be creative in many ways. I’ll start with my full time job. I feel super fortunate that I’ve landed a creative job as a video producer, and it’s a really long story as to how I got into this industry after graduating with a fine arts degree from UW Madison. Creativity at my job comes in the form of coming up with original concepts for digital shows for HGTV, Travel Channel, and Discovery. I have a lot of creative control over my projects, which is the best and makes me love my job. I used to direct and art direct short form content at my company and at POPSUGAR, which was just as creatively stimulating, but more on the visual side (see the work on my website - www.alexandramachover.com). I want to continue art directing videos on the side because, although I love that my job is now creative in a different way (concepts, rather than art direction), I still feel the need to make videos that are pure ART.
If I’m not feeling creatively fulfilled enough at work, which happens occasionally, I turn to Instagram, blogging, and art. Waking up early before work to shoot a few looks with my friend Amanda, or shooting on a sunny weekend day will make me feel inspired. Shooting, modeling, art directing, editing those photos, and planning them out continues to give me that rush.
I even get creative with my Instagram stories. I sometimes run closet sales to resell my gently-used clothing. It’s creative and business-y all in one and truly fulfills me. I also just started a vintage clothing company called Dreamy (@shopdreamygoods) which I’m launching soon. It’s all vintage that I’ve sourced! I’m insane… I know.
I also still paint; I’m actually working on a piece that will be sold in an auction in San Francisco.
Long story short, I NEED TO BE CREATING. ALWAYS. If it’s not coming to me automatically (e.g. with work assignments or Instagram sponsored post assignments), I will go out of my way to find something to create. If I don’t, I’ll lose my mind.
Do you have a particular medium you prefer?
I can’t choose one because I go through phases with each. Some weeks, I need a break from shooting and caring so much about my Instagram. Some weeks, I want to be focusing on selling clothing. Some weeks, work is absolutely insane with creative, so I have to be fully mentally immersed in it. My ideas don’t come to me while I’m at my desk. I have to be thinking about work 24/7 for actually good ideas to pop into my head. I now understand why people go on work study trips; it really makes a difference to immerse yourself into the world in order to get inspiration and ideas. When I’m going through this, I don’t have the mental capacity to be creative on the side. It all comes in waves, which is why I love my life.
What do you do when you feel uninspired?
Omg this happens way too often (mostly in the winter). One thing I do is I put in the effort to travel. Visiting a new city really helps invigorate me and put the world into perspective. I love meeting new people, experiencing new cultures and climates.
If I can’t travel right away, I tap into one of my mediums that I feel like I’ve been neglecting. Being productive makes me feel more inspired and better about myself. It’s sometimes hard to force myself to do it, but once I start doing something creative, I get my groove back. This could be as simple as recording an Instagram Story about how to make a smoothie bowl. Content creating really helps me feel like I have a purpose in this world. I don’t care if that sounds silly!
You primarily work in food/travel/fashion, and you’ve developed a really strong style. How did you curate that look? Did you ever experiment with different aesthetics?
My style is ever-changing. Right now, I’m really into neutrals, whites and monochrome looks and am trying to wear mostly vintage. I actually just did a huge closet sale on my IG, because I want to minimize my closet and turn it into just vintage jeans, shorts, vintage t-shirts, silky tops, and flowy dresses. It takes a lot of experimentation (and re-organizing my closet) to make my look unique and cohesive.
There was a time where I didn’t really understand my style. I was wearing a lot of basic (not in a bad way) brands like Madewell and Zara. I felt like a cookie cutter blogger. Now, I put in the effort to go thrifting and have unique pieces that mean so much to me.
What are your current favorite social media trends? What are some trends you wish would die?
Not sure if this is a trend, but I’m into the no-filter look. I’m sick of seeing highly edited photos on Instagram. I’d rather see pores, pimples, love handles and fat rolls than a perfect face or body.
Have you ever met someone you admired, and they weren’t what you expected?
The only people I admire are people I personally know. I don’t think it’s possible to actually know someone from the internet, Instagram, or magazine. I just won’t feel any sort of a deep connection to a person until I’ve met them IRL.
How can women better support women?
Don’t body shame each other. Don’t talk negatively about each other. Be honest with one-another. Tell your girlfriends the truth, but say it in a productive way. Genuinely support each other. If someone does you a favor, make sure you do one back. I believe in paying it forward and supporting each others’ projects without personal gain. Just be a generous person, and it’ll come back to you.
Where is your favorite place in New York? Least favorite place?
Bushwick, my apartment, and Sea Wolf. If I could stay in a 4 block radius from my apartment, I would. I go to Sea Wolf like once a week to eat oysters. It’s so chill I love it.
Least favorite; Manhattan. Too many people, too commercialized, too busy. I don’t feel the creative drive in Manhattan like I used to. There. I said it!
What advice would you give to someone moving to New York?
Live in Brooklyn. Find a job and make good money, even if you hate that job. Pursue your creative passions on the side. Put them on social media. You’ll eventually get hired for that creative thing you love. Make a community of friends. Don’t network; just be yourself, and put yourself into new, unfamiliar situations.
Who are some creators, artists, or female entrepreneurs we should be following right now? Who would you like to see us interview next?
Amanda! @eastcoastfox. She’s one of my best friends and such a wonderful person. Her photos are incredible.
Jen Ceballos @endlesslyloveclub I love her photos so much
Rosalia @rosalia.vt - Obsessed with her music and look.
Nina - @ninamariedanielle. She’s fucking hilarious, and I love her.