A bright spot on the open web
Meet Courtney Quinn, the web creator behind Color Me Courtney, a bright spot on the web where she shares her positive outlook on life.
“I see my blog as my own little corner on the internet where my community can always find joy, whimsy, fun, love and strength,” Courtney says. “My main goal is to promote self-confidence, celebrate inclusivity and embrace all the special quirks that make you unique–all through my love and affinity for color.”
That’s a mission we can definitely get behind, especially in these, um … maybe not always so bright and colorful times.
We reached out to Courtney to learn more about her story and to see how she manages the Web Creator life. Read on if you need a dash of sunshine and color to brighten your day. And stay tuned for our exclusive IRL interview with Courtney, coming soon to YouTube!
What does your average day look like?
That’s the thing about this job, there is no average day because every day is so different depending on the time of year, my content series, current events in the world, etc. People assume that web creators just create beautiful images and videos with witty captions and call it a day. For me, that’s just the tip of the iceberg, because 80 percent of my work is things that people may not see: storyboarding, calls with brand partners, content strategy, emails, backend website developing, editing and engaging with my community.
What inspires you on a day-to-day basis and gets your creative energy flowing?
Color Me Courtney at its core is a true reflection of me and my (many) interests–fashion, lifestyle, food, culture, entertainment, etc.– so I don’t have trouble with “turning it on” or finding creative energy. Oftentimes my problem as a creative is actually the opposite, and the challenge is really to be more focused on reining things in and making sure all of the ideas get executed.
To get into the flow, I try to separate my days into buckets so I can be the most productive. I’ll do one day a week that’s all meetings and phone calls and another where I’m binge watching a show in my pajamas while I’m answering emails and editing and planning content. Then the next day I’ll get photoshoot-ready and dedicate all my time shooting content. Of course, this doesn’t always go according to plan. There can always be interruptions like a timely cultural moment, an urgent email or just being present for my online community. But it does help to plan my day and create some semblance of a structure.
To get into the flow, I try to separate my days into buckets so I can be the most productive.
What’s the best part of your job?
I love the creativity, the freedom to express myself and working with my favorite brands, but the best part of my job is my amazing community and the ability to connect with others. There are so many conversations about the negative aspects of the web, but I love to shine the light on how it can positively bring so many people from diverse backgrounds together. That’s what my community is! It means so much when someone tells me how my post has brightened their day or gave them confidence to wear an outfit, or just let them know that they weren’t alone!
Sometimes though, people can forget that there is a real-life human being on the other side of the screen and that you’re not always omnipresent. At a normal 9-5 you either have off-days, take vacations or leave your work at the office when you go home. However, in this industry it’s a little tough to take a week vacation or even clock out for the day because there are always alerts and people are constantly reaching out. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but you definitely have to set aside time for yourself because it can be overwhelming if you don’t “turn it off.”
A healthy dose of stop-motion sunshine from Courtney’s Instagram.
What’s the mission behind Color Me Courtney?
Color Me Courtney and my online shop, Color Me Magic, is a vibrant fashion, lifestyle and culture media company that is designed to empower others to "Dress Outside the Lines," promote self-confidence, celebrate inclusivity and embrace all the special quirks that make you unique. It’s been great to create a safe space to express my unique thoughts and interests and encourage my community to come together to share theirs as well.
What is something that inspires and motivates you every day about the web, or in general?
The most inspiring thing is to see how many people your content, conversations and general presence can have on others, whether they are other creators or moms just entering a new career. That relationship is reciprocal in that there are so many times where my community also inspires and motivates me.
The other inspiring thing is that my online presence isn’t stagnant, but rather grows with me. I’ve been fortunate that it grows in terms of followers and readership, but more importantly it's grown as my interests, hobbies and career have evolved, and that’s amazing to me. Because of this, I’m constantly thinking of new concepts and the process of being able to take them from idea to execution and seeing everything come to life is inspiring and motivating.
There are so many conversations about the negative aspects of the web, but I love to shine a light on how it can positively bring so many people from diverse backgrounds together.
What tools do you use to make your stuff?
I used to be exclusive to Dropbox, but I just switched to Google Drive so now I operate completely on Drive. I use Adobe Suite (Lightroom mostly) for editing but I do it almost exclusively on my phone. I edit video in Final Cut or Premiere depending on the project and I use VLLO and Splice for on-phone editing.
And finally … what advice would you give someone trying to make it in your industry?
Find the thing that makes you special, different and unique. Then celebrate it and build a brand around it. The number one mistake that I see when people are starting out is they try to be everything to everybody instead of starting with the things they are most passionate about and building a community and business around that. Too many people try to conform to the trends of the moment and get lost in the shuffle, or they fall for the trap of comparing themselves to others, and that’s 100 percent a losing game.