Lovely Linda Kessler Shapiro.
Since publishing Get Up, there have been some podcasts and IG lives, but also blog interviews with the mentor memos. Mentors who have done some pretty amazing things in our world, who answered the question :
What would you say to your teenage self?
Just like this. Liz Waisberg’s (@lizwaisberg) interview was not a one-hit-wonder. I’ve got over 60 mentors and I hope that I can interview them all. Right here.
But let’s talk about today’s spotlight on one of our mentors.
Meet Linda Kessler Shapiro (@by_linny). I like to call her Lovely Linda. A woman who adores all things sports along with an extra shot of healthy competition. Never refuses a chance to windsurf, or watch the classic The Princess Bride. Spending time with family and friends, biking, throwing around a football and baking are all on Linda’s official “after a long day” activities list that will end with her favourite dish: Pasta 101. A pasta dish with lots of garlic, fresh tomatoes, basil, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese.
Yes, my mouth is watering, too.
Now, I can’t be rude and just dive into her quote and ask her what she meant. You gotta learn all about the woman behind those wise words. At least I do.
Here we go! My questions are in bold. Linda’s are in quotes.
Who is Linda Kessler Shapiro?
“I’m a creative problem solver, in all aspects of my life. I have had a successful and rewarding career in the advertising and AdTech world; fortunate to have spent decades creating and leading top-performing teams and working with Fortune 500 companies. I am defined by my hard work, curiosity, creativity, and passion. Passion to continually learn, improve and challenge the status quo.
I am a proud Mom to Justin (21) and Jamie (18); they are my greatest pride and joy. They, along with my incredible and loving husband, Stephen, are my biggest fans. How lucky am I?”
How did you get into Ceramics?
“In search of some ‘me time’ and activities to unwind, I took my very first pottery lesson just over three years ago. Working in the AdTech world (working for the likes of Apple and Disney), I led a very demanding and stressful life and needed a hobby to relax and slow me down. Ceramics was not as easy as I thought; there was a very steep learning curve. It was an invaluable lesson and reminder for me. Trying something completely new was challenging; I had to work hard to succeed and push through the uncomfortable. It was a humbling experience but I did persevere. I fell in love with the process and eventually the results.
My art is a mix of work on the wheel and hand-building with slabs. I love to create beautiful pieces that are also functional. An increasingly large part of my work is commissioned. I enjoy collaborating with others to create that perfect piece or collection. I am honoured to have clients that are creating collections of my work.”
Ok Linda, let’s talk about the lessons.
“The most rewarding lesson that I have learned from being both a Sales/Marketing Professional and a Ceramicist is to continually push yourself out of your comfort zone, that is where the growth and learnings are. The uncomfortable moments lead you to the most rewarding ones. Take a deep breath, be confident and do it!”
Time to unpack your quote:
Care more. Everything and everyone matters.
“I often hear ‘I don’t care’ in response to all sorts of questions. I believe that you should care about everything and everyone in your life. Your opinions, words, and actions matter. Stay engaged and keep your eyes open, literally and figuratively, because you don’t know where life’s hidden treasures lie. Sometimes they are obvious but the most valuable ones are not. Care about what you say and do, and make your mark on everything and everyone around you. Whether it’s a faint imprint or a deep one, it is still a mark and has significance.
Each and every mark you make is creating your own unique artwork of life ~ all the zig-zagging and ups and downs are exquisite so continue to make your mark on everything and everyone. Care more.”
Whenever I cross paths with someone who is brave enough to go through a struggle to learn a new task, my heart begins to sing. Extra points for following one’s intuition and being grateful for one’s family and friends. Do you see why I need to call Linda Kessler Shapiro Lovely Linda? Wouldn’t you?
All are welcome to view samples of Linda’s work on her newly launched website ArtbyLinny.com (new work is added every week or so), follow her Instagram @by_linny, or reach out by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.