Once in a while we will post an interview with someone about their tools, workflows, and mental frameworks that they use to produce their creative work. By looking at what tools someone uses and how they use them can give us an idea into how we can create better.
I’ve been friends with Alexa for a while now. We used to take English Literature classes during our Pre-University days. She went on to study in Melbourne, Australia, taking a degree in Applied Economics and Finance.
Alexa has the travel bug. She loves to get around, discovering new places, understanding culture, and exploring local cuisine. She created an online culture magazine, LycheeMag, around those interests. It has a sizeable following on multiple platforms (namely Facebook and Instagram). I recently got in touch with her to find out about her best practices and workflows.
What does your setup (where you do most of your creative work) look like?
It’s usually in the comfort of my own home, where I can pump up music in the background and just type away.
What tools do you use to work on your website?
Basic stuff really. For photos I use a Sony RX100 III, iPhone 5 (hey it still works!) and VSCO for minimal Instagram editing. For the website I use a Dell Vostro laptop and Google Chrome as a browser- so Windows 10 for me.
If you had access to near-unlimited funds, how would your setup look like?
A coffee machine, good lighting, more space, and background and props I can play with for creative shoots.
How do you organize your tasks? From LycheeMag to daily work life?
It’s an organized mess with most things. I can start out with a schedule, but will most likely wreck things up in an orderly fashion along the way thanks to a last minute change or inspiration.
How do you keep coming up with new content ideas for your site?
I’m always seeking inspiration online and through my surroundings, whether it’s reading articles from sites I follow on Facebook, stalking pretty things on Instagram and Instastories, or the city’s hustle and bustle. The internet of things really opens up your horizons from Malaysia and beyond.
Can you briefly tell me what goes into the making of a post, from idea to hitting “publish”?
Sure! It starts out with a topic and determining the message or point of view I intend to convey to the reader. This relates to what form the piece will take place as – an interview? A photo log?
Depending on the nature of the piece, it’ll then go through the being thick-skinned-and-reaching-out-to-people-to-interview/writing phase, lots of editing and proofreading before I hit publish.
That said, if I come across something worth writing while out and about – an impromptu interview might happen too.
What is your motivation for starting LycheeMag?
I’ve always wanted an outlet for writing, and when I moved back to Malaysia after studying abroad, I noticed a lack of good local independent English magazines/websites.
In digital form it was mostly lifestyle bloggers or food review sites, and in print there were the usual local dailies and foreign publications. So I thought of putting out a local grown creative publication.
Are there any sites that inspired you to take the direction LycheeMag is heading?
How do you promote the site and grow your email subscribers?
I somehow gain more traction from Facebook and Instagram, and I usually promote the site via social media. It really has a wide outreach.
Do you plan out your travel articles, then go travel; or do you just wing it and see what you end up with?
I’m not a very OCD traveller, so my own travel articles are very much a product of wingïng it while soaking up every moment.
What does creativity mean to you?
Creativity for me is the ability to create or even express something out of anything. Right now, I express my creativity and ideas in text and photography, and who knows what more in the future.
Does your passion for travelling and writing have a positive effect on your current career?
Honestly I don’t travel much, it’s more of the writing thing haha. I would say having a creative outlet besides work has made me a more well rounded person, and has enabled me to see things at work with different perspectives. All in all a confidence booster as well.
Would you do LycheeMag full time?
Given the unlimited funds and time, heck yeah!
What do people never ask you that you wish they did?
I don’t know…. if I would like some funding for LycheeMag I guess? Haha!
Get in touch with Alexa T on Facebook, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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