I’m Curious to Know—Gabriela Knutson
As a way to expand this space for continual growth and contribute to the experience of individuals living in inspiration, I'm excited to start a new series, I'm Curious to Know.
I’ve always loved reading other people’s stories of growth and creativity, so by showcasing creative people who have followed their curiosity to more enjoyable pursuits, I want to also help you discover the joy in pursuing your own curiosity in life.
As a premier, I’d like to introduce you to Gabriela Knutson, an awesome maker of books, short stories, wood things, paper things, and film.
What was the ONE thing that called you to pursue this creative venture, and where, if physically, did you feel this calling?
It is difficult to define my venture because it encompasses many creative things: woodwork, writing, making paper lamps, etc. Originally, Paper Shade Lamps was my only venture and the one thing that called me to pursue it was the need to create full time. My job was not fulfilling my creative needs and doing it on the side was not enough.
Is there a connection of this curiosity to your childhood, or is this something you discovered later in life? Please describe.
This creative curiosity definitely dates back to my childhood. As far as I can remember, I've always been aware of the world around me and I liked (and like) to observe people, things, nature. I was intrigued by knowing how things worked, not like an engineer, but more like a scientist. I was very curious and asked pretty weird questions. I liked telling stories and making things from whatever materials I could find. It would give me peace.
What was your greatest fear in pursuing this new adventure, and do you feel you've overcome that fear?
My greatest fear was financial stability, but I also feared failure. My fear of failing was so intense; I became obsessed with liability issues: What if my lamp was not well wired? What if the paper shade burst into flames and burned down a house? What about lawsuits? TAXES!! I have not fully overcome my fear, but I've been taking business classes and talking to people who opened their own creative businesses and it seems less daunting. Learning more about business, taxes, legal issues, etc. has helped quell my fears significantly.
What is your ULTIMATE vivid vision for your venture—or your life—if you dare to share it with us?
Because I was so curious about so many things, I haven't been able to specialize in one thing. Although I focused on photography in high school, I went to film school. I also love making sculptures and now I am starting to teach myself woodworking. I have been writing most of my life as well, even painting, so it's been difficult to really focus on one thing. However, I think at this time it is all coming together, in a sense. I suppose my ultimate vision for my venture is to be able to combine writing, with a dash of sculpture, a cup of wood and sprinkle of film.
What is one thing you would advise others who are interested in pursuing their curiosity to new ventures?
My advice would be to learn as much as possible about business, but to not let it deter you from reaching for your dreams. One of the things that is so important is confidence. There will be lows, but just believe that what you do makes a difference, but most importantly, that it makes you happy.
What brings you the greatest joy during difficult moments?
If I am having a difficult moment, I look at my beautiful family and know how lucky I am. It is cheesy, but it's true. Without them I would not have the confidence or strength to do it.
Thank you, Gabriela, for sharing so much with us. Knowing what others have gone through in this path to fulfilling their dreams gives us a breath of hope in our pursuit.
Now, I ask you, what is one take-away from Gabriela’s story? Do you, like her, have a handful of curiosities you’d like to pursue? Please, let me know in the comments below—I’m curious to know!
With much love and gratitude,
*All photos provided by Gabriela Knutson.