Name: Gabrielle Antonette
Current city of dwelling: Los Angeles, CA
Name of Current Project: Weekend Babes
Website we can find you on: www.weekend-babes.com
"I was the only person for miles as I experienced the incredible man-made wonder, and honestly, it was a little bit scary. But I did it, and it was beautiful...."
Gabrielle has been a dear friend of mine for over 10 years. From the moment I met her she exuded such a sweet feminine nature, a keen eye for color and patterns, and the most imaginative spirit for adventure. Life with Gabby always made for a colorful experience of the world, where endless creative endeavors awaited, and the day always ended with an adorably sweet treat. We once had an ice cream treat that I am pretty sure was rightly named, mountain of ice cream. One thing was always true and constant about our adventures, Gabby was always documenting them with a camera. Gabby has a way of bringing her dreams and creative imagination to life in a single photo. Over the years of adventuring with her, we even developed a name for her photo taking magic, which we lovingly termed, "Gabby candid". Since Gabrielle moved to LA, Chicago has been a little less colorful, but it's been such a joy to watch her evolve and create from across the states.
I interviewed Gabby about her latest creative endeavor - Weekend Babes.
Tell us about your project and why you are doing it:
"Weekend Babes is a blog/site devoted to all the things I love about weekends, mostly covering places in and around LA, and occasionally showcasing farther away destinations. It all started when my pal Carrie and I were going to a wedding in Colorado and decided to drive. We made it a four-day weekend, but still, it was a lot of ground to cover in a short period of time. We got to see a pretty good chunk of the west, and it was shockingly scenic 100% of the time. That road trip showed us that our most adored moments happened over the weekends, and for us, to cherish and remember those moments meant taking photos and writing down the details. That was years ago now, and WB has evolved to include guest posts by artists, Instagram, etc. I still do it because it gives me an excuse to do more of the things I love most: travel, take excessive photos, and collaborate with lovely artists"
Can you share with us any major influences that contributed to your creative work and the passion behind it?
"This is a pretty broad source of inspiration, because it includes work by endless different artists, but I’ve been a bit obsessed with Nowness (www.nowness.com) lately. It’s basically a curated video channel online featuring short films and music videos that are varied, unique, and sometimes mind-blowing."
What other creative work do you have your hands in that you are excited about?
"I’m working on my video skills, actually. It must not be a coincidence that I’ve been watching a lot of shorts. I have been interested in photography since high school, but video is newer for me. The potential is exciting. It’s difficult knowing that I’ll have to make a lot of bad videos before anything of quality turns up (I’m under the impression that this is how it works), but I’d like to have fun with it and try anyway. A short Carrie and I made a couple years ago, Being Polite, was collecting virtual dust on Vimeo, and I was recently approached by these ladies who orchestrate a female filmmakers night in Cambridge, UK (www.facebook.com/ReelWomen/). They had somehow found our short and featured it at one of their events. Now I sometimes refer to myself as a filmmaker, in jest."
Your current project does not provide an income for you, so tell us about how you balance your project and personal creative work with an additional career:
"Managing my time is the tough part, but I couldn’t imagine doing my day job without a creative outlet. I’m a social worker and psychotherapist, so I spend a lot of time thinking about everything that’s wrong with the world (i.e. loss, trauma, poverty, homelessness, prejudice, etc.). The best strategy I’ve come up with to stay happy and helpful is to enjoy my time off to the fullest while balancing a variety of interests."
How are things different than you may have initially envisioned when you first began pursuing this project?
"I never had big expectations for this project, but of course I thought there was a tiiiny chance that I’d become the next Anthony Bourdain or something. Managing the fact that very little fame or money has come from all the work I’ve put in thus far is a bummer, but why think of it in those terms?"
I know you do a lot of the work for your project lone, so what keeps you going, motivated, or just inspired to continue?
"The pride I feel when I look at Weekend Babes, knowing that I created much of it on my own, keeps me motivated. I appreciate working alone because of the depth of personal growth that comes with facing challenges independently. The friends I travel with bring so much joy to the project/my life, but I like to travel alone sometimes, too, to keep things real. One of the most rewarding trips to date was a solo road trip to Double Negative, a land art piece in the middle of nowhere in Nevada. I drove for hours, and then walked for hours, unsure if I would ever make it to my intended destination. I was the only person for miles as I experienced the incredible man-made wonder, and honestly, it was a little bit scary. But I did it, and it was beautiful.
Any advice or encouragement you could offer to other women who are considering going after their own passion project?
"Sometimes I just want to stop. I love that feeling of having absolutely nothing to do, and unfortunately, being a person with multiple side-projects means that feeling is hard to achieve. I have to make sure I allow myself many days during which I don’t think about Weekend Babes at all. The site isn’t updated as often as I would like, but this is the most I can give right now. I have limits, just like everyone else, and I have to accept that. Know and honor both your strengths and limits. Dream big, and at the same time, know what small steps you can realistically take to turn your dreams into your reality. I guess this can all be captured in a single concept: patience."
Check out and support Weekend Babes: www.weekend-babes.com
FEATURE CURATED BY: KATIE SIMKINS