How to Embrace Your Creative Energy with Designer Star Grieve

Star Grieve is a Freelance Designer and Consultant. Most recently, she was the Textile Design Director for JCPenney’s Men’s Division.

Here is what Star had to say when we asked her about embracing your creative energy:

GenHERation®: How can you determine if you would like working in a creative field?

Star Grieve: One thing is to do your research. Go online and type “fashion careers” to see what comes up. Do your research and get a grasp on what aspect speaks to you. Is it fashion, merchandising, etc.? Secondly, most people love to be asked about themselves and what they do, so ask questions. If someone mentions they are working on a creative project ask how they got started. Also, while it’s important to have formal internships, don’t be afraid to shadow a professional for three hours. Shadowing is a low-stakes way to figure out what you like and dislike. 

GenHERation®: What is the most important skill you utilize on a daily basis?

Grieve: For me, it’s all about relationships. Everything I do in my life revolves around my relationships. You need strong foundations with people no matter what industry you are in.

GenHERation®: What is a new skill you have had to develop this past year?

Grieve: Learning how to communicate over Zoom because you can’t read body language as easily. Also, for me, written communication. Sometimes getting on a Zoom call or phone call would interrupt my team’s workflow, so I had to concisely write what I needed in emails. This way my team had the information and could use it when they were ready, but I did not disrupt their creative flow. 

GenHERation®: How can you harness your creative energy?

Grieve: First, be in constant pursuit of inspiration. Push yourself to think and experience in new ways. It is important that you are consistently stretching your creative “muscles.” The easy thing to do is look at direct sources for inspiration. For example, if you are a painter you may look at other painters. If you are in fashion you should look at other fashion designers. However, I encourage people to push beyond the obvious, look at what is happening in nature, in the home, in the tech industry, and in the wider world. There are endless sources of inspiration and stimulation available to you, if you simply seek them out. Second, actively listen and take good notes. Listen to podcasts, TED talks, those around you, and your inner most self. It is important to surround yourself with different ideas, perspectives, and ways of problem-solving, and to keep record of such things. Doing this allows you to have a designated place to pull from when you are in need of a spark for your creativity. There is magic in the exploration, the discovering, and the rediscovering.

GenHERation®: How did you find a mentor in the creative space?

Grieve: Mentorship is so important and there are different kinds. There is the very formal mentorship where you ask someone at the workplace who has a career path you want if they will be your mentor. Then you formalize expectations and set up times to meet. I always say, “You don’t get what you don’t ask for,” so you have to ask people for what you need. There’s also informal mentorship. I had a boss who was never formally my mentor, but I studied her behavior and leadership, and modeled my own behavior after it.

GenHERation®: What should your resume look like if you are a creative?

Grieve: No matter the type of job you are applying for, your resume should be error free, grammatically correct, and clearly laid-out. A flawless resume is the best opportunity to secure an interview. In addition to this, my advice is to create a resume that best represents your authentic self. If using strategic pops of color or a slightly more stylized font feels right, then you should do that. However, if it feels forced, that may not be the right choice for you. It is important that your resume highlights both your skills and personality in a professional manner. You want to be remembered for all the right reasons.

GenHERation®: What is your genius?

Grieve: For me, I feel very fortunate that at a very young age I tapped into exactly who I was. I have been able to live my truth and be my authentic self. I know that what I’m giving people on a daily basis is me and that it’s real. 

Star Grieve is a Freelance Designer and Consultant. Most recently, she was the Textile Design Director for JCPenney’s Men’s Division. After graduating from Kent State University with a BA in Fine Arts and earning a Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Award, Star began to pursue her career in Fashion. While living in Nashville, she was a Wardrobe Stylist for country music stars as well as an Assistant Professor and Co-Chair of the Fashion Design and Merchandising Department at O’More College of Design. Next, while in Minneapolis, Star worked for Target as a Textile Designer. She worked as a Senior Textile Designer in Los Angeles before landing in Dallas at JCPenney. Outside of work, Star is involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters, the North Texas Food Bank, Café Momentum, and Dallas Pets Alive. A belief that Star lives by and uses to empower others is the idea that “you don’t get what you don’t ask for.”

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