We had the good fortune of connecting with Lindsay White and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lindsay, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I originally set out to combat the growing sense of isolation, competition, and despair that permeates our social media-addicted culture. With Lady Brain Collective, I hoped to replace those negative aspects of everyday life with a community where local womxn and nonbinary creatives could feel comfortable leaning on each other, learning from each other, and showing up for each other in physical spaces. In turn, I hope to showcase their amazing work to the community at large and help foster a more tangible sense of the reciprocal relationship between creators and their communities. When we truly recognize and compensate these artists for the value they bring to those around them, everyone benefits. The pandemic has thrown quite a wrench in the manifestation of this vision since much of our efforts are built around the idea of gathering in physical locations, and since so many of our members have limited creative capacities right now, having been forced to prioritize their time and resources toward their essential survival needs. But I am hanging onto hope that in time, we can continue to safely build upon what we started while also digging into the goal of holding ourselves and our communities accountable to not only protect those made vulnerable by racism, gender bias, sexualism, classism, ableism, and more – but to do our part to dismantle these systems altogether and work toward building something better in their place. Creatives historically play a significant role in propelling progressive movements, and strong, compassionate, vocal womxn, particularly BIPOC and queer, are largely the backbone of any evolution toward equitable, inclusive, safe spaces. I really hope our members can draw inspiration and strength from those who came before us and rise to meet this moment so that we leave the world much better than we found it for future generations.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a writer and a musician/songwriter. I’ve always had an easier time putting my thoughts, feelings, and observations into writing and lyrics. I’m grateful for that skill because I struggle quite a bit with mental health issues, so it’s not always easy for me to communicate effectively in social or spoken settings. I’ve been working toward a creative career for the past fifteen years. Though I’ve yet to reach a place anywhere near financial stability (feel free to help me do this by visiting www.patreon.com/lindsaywhitemusic), I have music and writing to thank for keeping me alive through some pretty challenging moments in life, like coming out as a lesbian to conservative family members, helping support a partner with mental illness through hospitalizations, struggling with anxiety and disordered eating, and losing my estranged mother to brain cancer. Everyone has a grief backpack stuffed with painful moments and memories, and music has always helped lighten that load for me. The really fulfilling part comes with hopefully helping other people articulate and unpack their own grief and trauma. I’ve learned over the years that you don’t have to play the industry game or be a household name to make a positive impact with your art. As long as you keep showing up authentically and putting out work that is a genuine expression of your feelings and ideas, you will absolutely make a difference in people’s lives. I’ve also learned that the practice of setting and working toward goals, while helpful, is nowhere near as important as the practice of being mindful and in the moment. Life is so short – you can blink and miss it if you have too much tunnel vision. Rest and respite are acts of resistance in a culture that shames you for not being “enough.” You were born enough and you deserve to revel and rejoice in your enoughness.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This is a toughie to answer in the middle of a pandemic because my ass is staying home as much as possible these days. Plus, I’m always broke so I try not to spend money. Good news is, San Diego is like living in a postcard, and there is plenty to do for cheap or free. I think I miss coffee shops more than people at this point, so I’d definitely recommend hitting up a cafe – Dia Del, Cafe Madeleine, Lestat’s, Moniker – basically anywhere there is caffeine in a cup, I’ll go there and drink as much of it as I can afford. I would also recommend visiting Balboa Park. Lots of pretty sites to see, good people-watching, cool art and architecture everywhere. One of my favorite places to go is Sail Bay. It has all the beauty of the beach without as many tourists and just feels a little bit more quiet and relaxing to me than going to the ocean proper. My wife and I also love to go running and roller skating by the basketball courts in Crown Point/Mission Bay. Another great spot for a picnic with killer views of San Diego is Kate Sessions Park. If you’ve got splurge money, Cinepolis is a fun date night. If you’re into thrifting, AMVETS and Buffalo Exchange are my go-to’s. If you’re into tacos, I like Salud, Tacos El Gordo, and El Zarape. Hillcrest farmers markets on Sundays are fun. Whatever you do, please wear a mask and social distance.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to shout out to Karina Frost Moreno and Jenn Frost Moreno. Two of the biggest hearts I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with and learning from. I am constantly in awe of their passion for and commitment to social justice and community building.
Black and White photo = Sharisse Coulter Elevator photo = Sydney Prather Please also include image descriptions: Photo 1: Black and white stylized photo of Lindsay White in foreground, wearing heart-shaped sunglasses, hoop earrings, and black tank top that reads “You Are Enough.” She is playing guitar and singing into a microphone at Lady Brain Fest 2019. Steve Nichols, wearing sunglasses and Tshirt, stands in background playing guitar. Photo 2: Photo of Lindsay White, wearing green shirt, white dress with black polka dots, and black military boots. She sits on a green, gray and blue striped elevator floor. Behind her left shoulder is the metal elevator panel/buttons, and behind her right shoulder is an accent wall featuring a cityscape in shades of green.