Shaina Mote

Shaina Mote is a Los Angeles clothing designer. Since launching her eponymous label in 2012, her collections center around versatile and timeless staples for women.
website / instagram

01    CHANGE: A change you enacted with intention, or one that came from the outside.

Honoring and prioritizing time to allow creativity the space to appear, evolve, and grow. I am learning how to set better boundaries around what I want to see more of in my life by clearing more space for it to evolve. I heard an interview with Brian Eno where he says that he sets aside 2-3 hours each morning as pure space for creativity. Even if nothing comes through, it is a practice in making space for that part of him to be expressed — I like that.

02    SIMPLE NOURISHMENT: What simply satisfied you? Maybe it was a ten-minute phone call with a friend. Maybe it was a perfectly timed bath. Maybe it was a sandwich.

As cliche as it might sound, simple nourishment for me has meant getting into my body — so, running or hot yoga in my case. I used to balk at the idea of an intense exercise style (and to be honest I never exercised until three years ago) but I am finding while I am currently living in NYC in a small apartment, it is giving me such a great release of stress and tension to *really* wear myself out. Such a clearer headspace and mood after, always.

03    NEW TO YOU: What did you do for the first time, as a beginner or simply with a new sense of openness?

So many things are new to me right now. More than any other year perhaps? I have just turned 30 so that is *very* new. I think this marker on the path has me reexamining where I want to go and what I want to achieve.
One particular thing that is new is my growing interest in expanding my knowledge into drought tolerant, edible, medicinal and permaculture leaning landscape design. I love the idea of a collision of nature, sustainability, composition, color, and natural medicine/ organic food. I come from a family of arborists as my families trade, so it's interesting to see my natural tendencies leaning into something that is a part of my blood line. I never thought that would happen!

04    ABUNDANCE: What was plentiful?

Around my birthday I tend to feel the abundance of laughter, friends, family, good food and a lot of love in general.

05    LOSS: What was lost, what are you mourning? Maybe it is minor. Maybe it was more of a simplification than a “loss.”

Every passing year reminds me of the loss of my mother, who passed suddenly when I was 18. Grief is non-linear and unpredictable. Why I feel it more this month, though it has now been over 10 years, I am not sure, but some years or months happen this way.

06    MYSTERY: Describe a mystery from the last month. What happened that you can’t explain?

The freak hailstorm that just occurred in Rome days after we left. We were there enjoying 70 degree weather and then two days later a hailstorm came through that hailed knee-deep ice that locked the city up. No cars could drive, everything covered in ice.

07    FRONT BURNER LIST: What was read, watched, seen, listened to? Any colors, tastes, sensorial details that stand out?

This last month the sounds ands smells of NYC are at the top of the sensory list. The smell of the sidewalks after a long rain, the clean, crisp smell of the plants in the park nearby, the sound of the four old Chinese grandmas making tea and chatting at 6am next door, the sound of the Chinese stringed instrument, Erhu, and loud singing in Mandarin in the park. Potent smell of peking duck as I walk home. The scent in my apartment of incense and lilies. The colors grey and black of the streets and shadows in the city. The taste of matcha green tea. The feel of my legs after walking for miles in the city.

I just bought She, by Robert A. Johnson but haven’t started it yet. The book is based around Jungian psychology around feminine myth. I finished this month Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. I have been on a kick around empowered feminine energy!

I was on the on the Met Museum Archive online for days which is endlessly inspiring.

At Bridget Donahue Gallery I saw the work of Martine Syms, Susan Cianciolo and Sonya Sombreuil as well as a couple artists solo shows at galleries in Chelsea — Fausto Melotti (amazing!) and Joan Mitchell.

I also saw the leaves turn on a trip up to Vermont.

Listened to:
These two songs stick out: Ann Peebles- I Can’t Stand the Rain and Nina Simone - Baltimore

These podcasts/ lectures stick out: On Being by Krista Tippert, Lectures by Buckmeister Fuller, Audio Dharma (dharma talks and meditation prompts)

08    PROPORTION: A specific moment that reminded you of the scale of the universe, that you are part of a greater whole. An outdoor shower in the mountains. A particular drive at night. Reading a certain quotation at the right time.

Standing beside ruins in Ancient Rome is a good way to feel the proportion of where you stand in the unfurling of human history and creation. Both encouraging and also very humbling.


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Ancient Roman Ruins: Colosseum

Ancient Roman Ruins: Colosseum

A woman plays the Erhu

A woman plays the Erhu

Glacial Lily (False Hellebore) by Imogen Cunningham

Glacial Lily (False Hellebore) by Imogen Cunningham

Joan Mitchell at Chaim and Read Gallery, NYC

Joan Mitchell at Chaim and Read Gallery, NYC