Local Creative's Co-founders: Jenna Saraco & Nicole Steriovski
Through our experiences we’ve come across many inspiring individuals that continually push us to grow, learn and most importantly evolve creatively in the midst of a constantly changing media landscape. On occasions these individuals have often greeted us warmly as the Local Creatives. It’s become evident that Local Creative has much significance not only to us, but also to our community, as we are all local creatives working toward goals of wellness, happiness, success and purpose. Through our images and words we share the stories of those who move us in ways that embody a fulfilled, intentional lifestyle, filled with beauty and curiosity. We thought it was only fitting to share our story as Local Creatives with you.
Through our growth as a lifestyle collective, we have been able to use this platform to showcase our creative talents and skills beyond just a website. The formation of Local Creative Studio as a boutique agency was a natural step for us as we create all the content here ourselves. Through The Studio we guide brands small and large in sourcing creative solutions deeply rooted in community, collaboration and storytelling.
At our core, we are content creators who provide visual and written language to compliment a brand’s presence digitally and in print. Jenna comes from a design background at Parsons, with extensive photography and studio experience. Her love for home, style and design quickly rose to the surface throughout the years while experimenting with Local Creative. She found herself comfortable taking on roles of art direction, and styling in addition to her photography and design for the collective. Jenna’s immaculate eye for the nuanced, and dedication to detail is meticulous. She brings creativity and solutions without end to any project we touch. There is always an organized and thoughtful way around any task when Jenna is at helm.
Read Jenna's q+a below:
Who are some of your favorite media creators, photographers and artists?
Contemporaries like Celia Rowlson-Hall, Lotta Nieminen, Roanne Adams are incredibly motivating and aspire me to continue to work towards building something of my own everyday. Over the years I’ve also found inspiration through photographers and artists like Nikki Lee, Annette Messager, William Eggleston, Nicholas Nixon, Bresson, Sophie Calle, Matisse, Picasso’s sculptures, Richard Serra..the list can go on and on, each artist’s message affecting my visual language in a different way.
What’s your mantra?
Less is more.
What captivates your attention?
I find myself entranced by the littlest things. I would consider myself an observant person, finding beauty and pleasure in the details of what most might consider mundane. Whether its a flutter of a leaf and it’s shadow, or how someones hair falls perfectly over their face. I love finding those moments as they are happening. I think that’s what drew me into photography. Being able to catch those specific moments I love.
Separating work life from personal life can be difficult, have you set any rules for yourself?
This is one of my biggest challenges. I constantly struggle to strike a balance between my personal life and my work life. But being an owner of your own business makes this a very fine line to walk. It’s incredibly hard to turn off, especially when you live and work in the same space (and your space is a studio apartment!!) For me, food and nutrition play a very important role in setting these boundaries, and allowing myself turn off. Cooking is my de-stressor, I love it, it’s my meditation after a long day, or a necessary lunch break to step away from the computer screen.
What objects have been most significant to you lately?
I’ve always considered myself a collector. Whether it’s visual imagery, memories, or physical objects I love the idea of holding onto things. (I think they also call this hoarding, but oh well!) I can find significance in most things I own, and love them all for it. Some that hold the most significance for me are my old journals, and agendas. I love keeping list, and records, I love the paper, and bound books. They are amazing little time capsules from years past, and fun to reference to see what I was reading, or artwork I was into, or adventures I was taking. I have journals dating back 10 years now, and they act as a reminder of projects I’ve wanted to create, goals I’ve wanted to achieve, and inspiration for new projects and new adventures.
Nicole fundamentally identifies as a writer and storyteller. From these roles she has expanded her experience to creative direction, production, video editing and styling since founding Local Creative. Nicole is highly imaginative and could be considered the dreamer of the duo. Brainstorming is her favorite part of the process, and while conceptualizing projects might be a strong suit she is lucky to have Jenna help ground them. A sort of kismet, yin-yang dynamic bonds the two. With a strong love for the moving image, Nicole is buzzing with possibilities to experiment with short form video through the collective.
Read Nicole's q+a below:
What does beauty mean to you? What captivates your attention?
Beauty is a feeling to me. It’s something that registers instinctively and as a gut reflex. Beauty appears in moments and makes time feel like it’s moving slow. It’s up to us to be able to recognize these flashes of beauty and interpret them how we will. To me beauty is born from the genuine and moments that follow. Honesty captivates my attention. Honesty in oneself, in movements, in being and understanding. The ease and comfort that comes from sincerity that is refreshing.
In what ways have you become the women you've always wanted to be, in what ways are you still improving?
I think I’ll always be improving on the women I want to be. It seems unsettling to think I could already be her and feel content. I’m always learning new things about myself and those around me. Some ways I am still improving is by studying qualities I admire in others, new adapting to newly acquiring skills and considering how to be kinder and gentler to myself and those around me all at the same time. Some days I wake up and can’t believe I’ve made it this far. I live in New York City, have co-founded a business rooted in supporting female creatives and my own endeavors. It’s very empowering and dreamlike at the same time. I think this is who I’ve always wanted to be and what I’ve always wanted and didn’t even know it until it happened. I’m proud of being fearless when it comes to taking risk but I’m also working on balancing my passion with logic. I think I still have a long way in being comfortable in my own skin and the women I’ve always wanted to be but it feels like I might be onto a good start.
A low-brow essential: A high-brow essential:
Twizzlers, Linen Sheets
What are some cultural touchstones you consider a part of who you are today — i.e.: what films, books, artists, places, etc., have been most influential in shaping you?
Being from an immigrant family who choose the Midwest as their home has definitely shaped who I am. From my voice, work ethic and family values to my perspective on the world, my family’s Mediterranean and Eastern European influence has hugely influenced my being.
I am also greatly influenced by French new wave cinema. I love Eric Rohmer and Jean Luc- Godard films. I also love his muse Anna Karina. Her mix of ultra feminine and often melancholy demeanor is something I relate to. I love the detail, beauty and grandeur that is Fellini films and old Hollywood style glamour in general. One of my favorite films of recent is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind because it made me feel a way I haven’t felt in years and something I’ve yet to understand at the same time. For books I love Anais Nin for her unapologetic yet gentle stream of conscious writing style. Her words are strong and steady without ever losing their softness and curiosity. How a Person Should Be by Sheila Heiti is a great contemporary read and interesting look into modern female friendships and how people interact with one another. I've always had in strong interest in learning about people in general which is what makes the idea of storytelling so appealing.
What are some of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned?
Don’t oversell yourself – It’s okay to be selfish – Boundaries are healthy