Why the name People I've Loved?
Introducing FRĒDA Woman: Carissa Potter
CAN YOU START BY TELLING US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF? YOUR BACKGROUND, WHAT YOU DO, AND WHAT HAS LED YOU TO WHAT YOU ARE DOING NOW?
I am a person who is interested in what it means to be alive in this time and place. I think that personally I find human relationships infinitely interesting. Communication is so hard, and asking how we can feel closer and understand each other is a never ending question. I studied art and gender studies. But I got fired from a job and needed to eat so I started making greeting cards that I hoped would help people have complex conversations and ultimately feel better. Boundaries are hard for me. I cannot tell where my fine art practice starts and the business begins. I am incredibly lucky to get to work on things that are genuinely interesting and potentially thought provoking. I think what I am trying to say is that I understand that boundaries are important for the understanding and transmission of information, but they do seem to be a human construct. That being human is complex, messy, and doesn't always make sense; however that is where I find meaning.
WHERE DID THE NAME ‘PEOPLE I’VE LOVED’ COME FROM? WHAT DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO TAKE AWAY FROM YOUR DESIGNS/PRODUCTS?
I have always been drawn to the mingling of romance and tragedy. There is a balance I feel like the name People I’ve Loved that reflects a certain joy but the tense is past. Like a celebrated connection that is gone. Like life can be savory and sweet and also sour all in the same bite. I am also taking comfort in accepting the fact that life is impermanent.. I am a victim of wanting certainty. And letting go is a struggle of mine, but ultimately healing.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT AT PEOPLE I’VE LOVED?
I mean, The Everyday? That wonderful people come to hang out at my house and make things that we come up with together? I mean, how lucky am I? I think right now, I am so proud to get to spend time working with such gentle honest different people - having a sustainable income that I don't have to worry about feeding my family. Having the flexibility to take care of my daughter.
I had a moment last night while putting M to bed where she grabbed my hand and held it so tight. PIL makes it possible for me to be in the moment. To really appreciate her. The people at PIL make those moments possible. I am really proud of us. All of us.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR RECENT COLLABORATION WITH FREDA! WHAT ARE THE PRODUCTS? WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THEM?
I mean, the shoes. I think they are so comfortable and nice and I honestly love wearing them. I feel special in them. And I like that.
HOW HAVE WOMEN INSPIRED YOU IN LIFE OR YOUR CAREER?
I grew up in a household of strong women. A place where I honestly felt like my experience had the same value as everyone else. I took it for granted. I mean, it was all I knew. The first person that comes to mind or situation that really hit me that this was not the case for other women was listening to Hilary Clinton’s speech accepting her loss. Whatever your feelings are about her, she is an inspiration to me in the sense that I wanted to believe that a woman could hold the “highest” office. That they could do anything that men could do. I remember crying in my car listening to her speak and fearing the future.
I have been really inspired by Audre Lorde, Robyn. We were talking the other day about music that got us through high school - and I listened to Tori Amos and Ani Difranco. I also would have to say I am having a Judy Chicago moment. And Yoko Ono.
WHAT’S SOMETHING YOU’RE LEARNING ABOUT YOURSELF NOW?
Being comfortable with what I believe is right. Having different views and still loving people. I really value openness and trying to understand other points of view, but also the idea of believing what I believe is true as valid is hard.
WHAT’S YOUR MANTRA?
This is a horrible mantra - but here goes: “I just don’t know anymore.”
WHEN YOU’RE NOT WORKING, HOW DO YOU LIKE TO SPEND YOUR TIME?
I really like to pick weeds. I like to be around people. To get to really listen to people is really enjoyable to me. I like to cuddle with M. I like to look into Josh’s eyes. I like to call my mom and sister. I like to close my eyes and stare into the sun and think about what color I see.
WHO’S YOUR FAVORITE ARTIST?
At the moment, I am not sure I have one. I am embarrassed to say that I am into figurative work. I find comfort in the narrative. Like life is so complicated, I just enjoy being in other spaces. Finding myself in these comforting moments. I am into kids books. Because we have to read like so many during the day. Beatrice Alemagna’s work is stunning. Kenesa Sneed’s work is a current fav. Maira Kalman. Sonia Delawanay.
The book of Delights by Ross Gay and just read this really amazing article “Who Is the Bad Art Friend.”
Ted Lasso. SNL. I wish I could tell you something more interesting than that. I also recently revisited Science vs podcast and am into it.