Debbie Millman has an ongoing project at PRINT titled “What Matters.” This is an effort to understand the interior life of artists, designers, and creative thinkers. This facet of the project is a request of each invited respondent to answer ten identical questions and submit a nonprofessional photograph.
Chloe Gordon is a writer and Social Media Manager for PRINT and The Dieline. She loves being in a career that allows her to discover creativity and share her findings with others.
What is the thing you like doing most in the world?
I love eating long meals with my family and friends. I could sit and chat and laugh over a big meal forever. So much so that I, along with my friends, used to constantly be kicked out of my college’s dining hall, because we frequently stayed until they were closing the doors for the night.
What is the first memory you have of being creative?
I spent my elementary school years living in Dothan, Alabama. If you’re unfamiliar, Dothan is the Peanut Capital of the World, and home to the wildly beloved Peanut Festival. Each year, the elementary school students throughout the city competed in a poster competition, one winner was selected from each grade, and each winner had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ride in a firetruck in the annual Peanut Festival Parade.
I fondly remember my dad taking me to the craft store, letting me pick out stickers, markers, poster board, and anything else I could find to create my poster. I think this memory stands out so much because of the pure magical bliss I felt while wandering around the craft store, feeling inspired, and running home to create this peanut-inspired poster. The inspiration must’ve shown through in the poster I made, because I had the amazing opportunity to ride on the winner’s firetruck. It was the first, and probably last, time I will ever be a part of a Peanut Festival Parade, and it was truly an out-of-body experience, especially as a second grader.
What is your biggest regret?
I’m a big believer in the butterfly effect, and that everything happens for a reason. But if I do start to go down a path of thinking regretfully, I remind myself that every tiny, minuscule, little thing that placed me where I am are the exact reasons that I am where I am, and it’s exactly where I should be.
How have you gotten over heartbreak?
What makes you cry?
I cry whenever I’m embarrassed or mad, which is both embarrassing and maddening.
How long does the pride and joy of accomplishing something last for you?
In the moment, I’m on to the next thing, so not very long. But when I look back at the younger versions of myself, I can find so many reasons to be proud of her. So maybe it lasts forever, and also not at all?
Do you believe in an afterlife, and if so, what does that look like to you?
I’ve seen enough episodes on Netflix of Life After Death with Tyler Henry, so yes I believe in an afterlife. But while I spend almost all waking hours of this current life planning for my future, and wanting to know what the future looks like, I have no expectations for what my afterlife will look like. And you know what? I’m absolutely fine with not knowing.
What do you hate most about yourself?
While this might sound conceited, I hate nothing about myself. I’m definitely not perfect, but I try to exist with kindness and empathy for others, and think it’s just as important to hold this kindness and empathy for myself.
What do you love most about yourself?
My ability to never meet a stranger. I love meeting new people and learning new things, and finding connections with people. Everyone has something special to share, or something beautiful to offer, and I love discovering these things from new people.
What is your absolute favorite meal?
My dad is a wonderful cook, but also loves to create these massive spreads for dinner, which can lead to a lot of leftovers. Growing up, he’d make a “smorgasbord” of all the leftovers when the fridge got too full. So basically, it’s a leftover buffet, but my dad has this amazing gift of combining leftovers in the most delicious possible way. And from questions number one and this one, you now know how I feel about a long, delicious, leftover-filled meal.