Here at Chrome City, we pride ourselves in having ultra-creative and inspiring homies throughout the Chicago area. Each week, the Chrome Chronicle (our news outlet) will share a little bit about these incredible people and why we are excited to feature them as our #ChromeHomie.
Let us introduce our Homie, Jessie
Jessie Sardina of Modern Luxury
Q: Explain your job position.
A: I'm the Associate Editor of Modern Luxury Interiors Chicago and Modern Luxury Brides Chicago. I work hand-in-hand with Andrea Mills, the Editor-in-Chief of both publications, to create and edit content about the interior design and wedding industry. I know—such different worlds! I honestly never thought I'd be working with this kind of content, but over the last year, I've found both topics to be wildly inspiring. Plus, it's never boring. One day it's all about cakes and flowers, the next it's onto wallpaper and chaise lounges!
Q: What is your creative process?
A: I try my hardest to read everything I can get my hands on—I think my friends and family could justly describe me as a magazine hoarder. I also have a folder on my desktop where I save other writers' articles or interesting story ideas and comb through that whenever I'm feeling a little "meh." I also draw heavily from my colleagues, who are some of the most talented individuals I've encountered. We have a great collaborative work culture where we're always sharing things we've wrote and asking for suggestions. I've found this openness and collaboration to be really helpful in my creative process. I think it's easy for writers to get anxiety—especially when you're working on deadline and producing a ton of content—and having a sharp person to pass your work onto and say "ohmygod help me, I can't even look at this any more" really makes that stress a lot easier to bear. Oh, and also. Coffee. Like, tons of coffee.
Q: What inspires and motivates you?
A: This is going to sound like the cheesiest thing, but you really cannot beat finally feeling the weight of a physical magazine in your hands after you've poured everything you have into it for months. I think I'm always chasing that gratification. It truly is the best, and I don't think it will ever get old.
Q: What is your favorite part about living in Chicago?
A: Chicago has this energy that I think is especially palpable when you come from a sleepy little town. When you walk down the street, you can feel this collective hunger for success—whatever that success may be. I feel so lucky to be in a place where on any single subway ride I could be sitting next to a scholar or a musician or a painter or a writer. I've had so many inspiring conversations with people on the sidewalk, or in line for coffee. Chicago has this sort of humble yet tenacious energy—everyone is busting their ass to do something amazing, but they're never too busy to say good morning in the elevator. I love that about this city.
Q: What has most influenced your career?
A: I'm not just saying this because this might end up in front of him, but my boss David Zivan has been a huge force in my career. Long, serendipitous story short, David was my magazine editing professor in college. Luckily his class was at noon and not 9am, so I was almost always punctual and engaged. Some of my all-time favorite pieces of magazine writing that I still look back on today were reading assignments in David's class ("Beautiful Girls" by Susan Orlean; Jeanne Marie's profile of Jimmy Fallon in GQ). A few semesters later, I started an internship with CS Magazine. I had heard talk of a new Editor in Chief, and was amazed when I ran into, who else, but David in the elevator at the Modern Luxury offices. Throughout my internship, he gave me the opportunity to write bigger stories than an intern should probably write, and took time to sit down with me and take a red pen to my work when I missed the mark. After 7 months as an intern, I was somehow able to snag the job of Assistant Editor, and David has continued to be a mentor, an ally and a friend, which I guess is more than you can ask for in a boss.
Thanks for being a Chrome Homie, Jessie!