Meet four Bay Area women who bring imagination into our daily lives with their art, designs, craft, and games.
Ana Teresa Fernandez, artist
Ferndanez is a Mexican artist whose work focuses on issues of gender, race and class.
Where do you get your inspiration?
My mother, a stoic, strong, and fiercely independent woman with a huge heart, has consistently been an inspiration. Also, encountering people or hearing stories with political and social injustices, such as the disappeared students in Ayala, Mexico, or the immigrants crossing the coast of West Africa to Europe who face so much adversity and unparalleled struggles, creates a need in me to echo and share their stories visually. I am also very much inspired by the ocean, where I spend a lot of time.
What is your favorite work so far?
I think Erasing the Border was one of the most challenging and rewarding to create, because I almost got arrested by the Tijuana police while on a 15-foot ladder wearing heels and a dress.
What does creativity and innovation mean to you?
Creativity is the many ways and possibilities in which you can see someone (including yourself) or something. Creativity asks us to first see and meet different parts of ourselves. It is an inner exploration as well as an external one.
What do you do in your spare time?
I love to surf. I truly value spending time with friends and colleagues, talking, sharing meals, and stories. And I also dance Tango a lot.
Anna Lecat, Les Lunes founder and CEO
Lunes is the multi-lingual, determined CEO of Les Lunes, a clothing and lingerie company based in San Francisco and Paris seeking to balance feminine elegance with funtionality.
Where do you get inspiration?
I draw inspiration from my busy active lifestyle, and my powerful and charismatic businesswoman friends and customers. We were frustrated by our fashion choices; we work hard and deserve both comfort and elegance from our garments. I wanted to create that feeling you get when you put on an outfit that makes you feel sexy and confident, while at the same time being comfortable and versatile.
What's your favorite piece in the Les Lunes collection?
The ruched skirt is flattering on everyone. I feel sexy, soft, and strong every time I put it on. Plus, it transitions nicely from business meeting to dinner party.
What's your definition of innovation?
In Les Lunes, it means designing an outfit that will be a beloved companion in your wardrobe for many years. Creating excellence, longevity, and usefulness is what I am passionate about.
I love hiking and biking in the surrounding woods of my Mill Valley home. I dance tango every chance I get, and most importantly, I have adventures with my husband, two boys, and friends. // leslunes.com
J. Sassaman, Autodesk’s Pier 9 workshop manager and creative projects manager
Autodesk's Pier 9 provides a space for artists and craftspeople to create their work and be part of a larger community.
What inspires you?
Any piece that is done with strong conviction or honed craft can really push me to think in new ways. From an intimate podcast like "Here’s the Thing" to Beyonce’s "Flawless" video, from a hand-carved spoon to the Market Street Prototyping Festival—I love work that tells a story.
What design are you most proud of?
I made a set of ceramic bowls that we use in the kitchen every single day. I am not a great potter, but these bowls represent a loose, experimental, and simple exploration into a new medium. I was learning and discovering as I made each bowl. I wasn’t hung up on perfection, or prestige, or client desires.
What do creativity and innovation mean to you?
I’m not convinced there’s any difference between these two, besides the fact that creativity is more whimsical and offbeat, and innovation gets applied to business and industry. They both work by combining familiar things in unexpected ways, whether that’s at a molecular level in material science or by using bold color in architecture. Creativity requires risk, which is exciting and sometimes fails. It’s a thrilling gamble that is won through dogged effort, unending attempts, and a joy that celebrates both the ups and downs of the creative process.
What do you do for fun?
This past year I started swimming in the ocean a couple times a week, no wetsuit, with an eclectic group of SF old timers, oddballs, and ocean lovers. It's a blast. I now take a lot of hot showers, as well. You can also catch me riding around town on my sky blue, 1978 Vespa, with my girlfriend, hunting down delicious foods. But there’s nothing I’d rather do than sit down to a long dinner and tell stories with friends.
Somer Loen, games artist at Pocket Gems
Loen is an animator, 3D artist and illustrator, making her one of the few women in game design.
Where do you find inspiration?
A lot of my inspiration comes from the music industry, album covers, and posters. I'm a big fan of work from the 1960s, so I try to work in some psychedelic aspect when it's appropriate.
What's been your greatest project so far?
My favorite project at Pocket Gems is the recent expansion on my game, Secret Passages. I revised the user interface and took the design into a more magic and mystical direction. I'm also leading the art direction on a new mini game. It's exciting to helm the look and feel for a project with very few visual constraints.
What do creativity and innovation mean to you?
It's about pushing the boundaries of self-expression and letting your curiosity and imagination run wild. Be ambitious in what you imagine, and create something new. Letting go of the inner critic and going your own way leads to amazing work.
When you're not working, you...?
I'm the President of the SF Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW), so I volunteer quite a bit. The group campaigns for intersectional equality. Quite a mouthful, but basically it's about changing policies and culture to benefit all.