We had the good fortune of connecting with Briana Kranz Corcoran and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Briana, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
As my career has progressed over the years, it’s become quite clear to me that it’s important to create boundaries – knowing when to say “no,” as well as to choose more joyful and creatively rewarding work makes a huge impact not only in how I spend my time creating but in my enjoyment of it as well. While taking less but higher quality work might not always be financially the most ideal, it has proven to be the best way for me to balance life and work while maintaining inspiration and motivation. And as many may have learned in the past few months, standing by strong set hours for work is vital as well in keeping freelance work and regular life separated – not answering e-mails or working on the weekends (unless preferred) as well as shutting off communication after a certain point during the day. Balance is a concept that is absolutely always evolving for me, especially as my family grows. It’s important to be realistic about tasks and goals in terms of time but also in terms of not draining creative motivation.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My career is never what I expected to be, which really is something that I love about it – the “unknown” of what the future holds has worked well for me over the years and has kept my work evolving and adapting. Staying open-minded, especially in times like these, and pushing through the struggle results in a clearer outcome. In college I was told that the field I wanted to enter was “dead” and I did not feel supported as I tried to create my portfolio leaving the school – I believe that the lack of support from the director of the department actually really lit a fire under me to push and pursue an illustrative direction that, at the time, wasn’t popular. Finding my path has been confusing to say the least – creating my own trail and figuring out a lot as I went were very valuable but difficult lessons. The most important lesson thus far though has been to release work that feels good to you – that speaks to you. It’s obvious to others (consciously or subconsciously) when you heart isn’t in your creative work and it’s much more rewarding when you are happy with the outcome of the project or piece.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
In LA I’d love to take a friend to Little Tokyo to eat, wander – even visit the Japanese American museum. Being of mixed race, my Japanese heritage is something I have always connected with and I owe a lot of my creative roots to my Japanese grandmother, Hiroko. Echo Park is fun for coffee, a picnic and some people watching on a beautiful day. Also love Eataly!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I wouldn’t be where I am without the support and friendship of my creative friends, whether in the same specific field or not – being able to hear of other creatives’ experiences both similar and different as well as receive some incredible support and perspective has been an invaluable tool for me over the years, especially as we have all aged and evolved in our work.