Stephen talks about being confused for a supermodel, his love for traveling to Rejkjavik and why a free-flowing sense of time makes him happy.
Stephen West, also known as Westknits, is a knit designer from Tulsa, OK, currently living in Amsterdam.
What makes Stephen happy? LIFE. EVERYTHING. But he breaks it down for us a bit by focusing on the one key element that makes him happy: having the luxury of lots and lots of time to work.
â€œI love being like a cat.â€
He doesnâ€™t have a typical day but, when possible, it starts by sleeping in and getting up to knit while eating breakfast at a cafÃ©. Because cooking does not make him happy, he tends to eat out a lot. And it doesnâ€™t hurt that his local Thai place, who sees him often, thinks Stephenâ€™s a supermodel because of the amazing outfits he wears every time he goes in.
Heâ€™s not always in quiet mode. Whenever he has a photoshoot, he brings out the loud, eccentric performer, who pre-plans all the necessary steps just enough to have time to improvise throughout the day.
Sidenote. Another thing that makes Stephen happy? Shopping. Particularly for yarn and clothes by Walter Van Beirendonck, who he admires for his ability to create bright, fun, risky clothing.
Getting back to time. Stephenâ€™s respect for his own perspective on time has helped him to understand he prefers to be inspired and passionate about what heâ€™s doing versus having a deadline. In fact, the collections heâ€™s rushed to complete are often something heâ€™s not proud of years later. The collections he is most proud of are generally those heâ€™s spent more time on. This reminds him that itâ€™s definitely good not to rush all the time.
How is he able to complete all of his amazing work without structure and too many deadlines? He doesnâ€™t ever save the good stuff for last. If there is a color he wants to work with that he loves, he makes sure to use it in a project immediately. The excitement this creates encourages him to see the project through and finish.He actually loves just doing something and not knowing what itâ€™s going to be in the end. For Stephen, itâ€™s sometimes important not knowing what is going to come next.
â€œI think I could do a 9 â€“ 5. I think I would hate it though.â€
There is no separation between personal and work time for Stephen. It all blends. He hangs out with people who knit. And if the friends heâ€™s with donâ€™t knit? They know he does and so he knits while hanging with them. Knitting is truly just a part of who he is at all times.
His favorite time is 2:30 pm â€“ 3 pm. At this time, heâ€™s waking up after hours of battling sleepy eyes and gets a rush of adrenaline, becoming full of ideas. Itâ€™s a magical period of time for Stephen until heâ€™s ready for another nap right around 6 pm.
Is there a time he looks forward to? Generally the opposite of what heâ€™s doing. For example, heâ€™s thinking and excited about traveling to Ireland next month. When heâ€™s traveling, heâ€™s thinking about being home.
For Stephen, happiness is color. Particularly highlighter yellow. Heâ€™s happiest when heâ€™s with his spirit animal friends, Kylie and Steve. His happy place is Reykjavik, Iceland.
Check out Stephenâ€™s latest collection: Bundled in Brioche, which makes him really happy. For EXTRA visual amazing creativeness, check out his Instagram and Facebook. You can get his amazing yarns and patterns at stephenandpenelope.com.
Links / Read / See / Hear
Jason Zappolo for editing and mixing this episode; follow Jason on instagram.
Orly Margulis for social media support; follow Orly on linkedIn.
RocÃo CastaÃ±eda for ongoing support; follow RocÃo on instagram.