Women Before 10am // Inspiring Modern Women – Hilary C.

February 17, 2015

In this series we are speaking to inspiring modern women and having them share their morning rituals and secrets with us. Take a peek into the mornings of Hilary, a designer based in Boulder, CO, and see how she creates balance between work and play with the help of the great outdoors.

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Tell us about yourself. 


I work as a graphic designer and illustrator, primarily in the field of web design. Outside of work, I do figure drawing weekly, screen print occasionally, and contribute photography to a free online resource library. I love living in Boulder, CO, since there are so many beautiful places to unwind outdoors. I also like to travel, especially when surfboards, snowboards or bikes are involved.


What time do you wake up in the morning?


I despise alarms, but I get up naturally around 6:30am. Lately, I’ll pour a bowl of cereal or oatmeal and write three pages stream-of-consciousness style in a journal. The rest of my morning until about 8:30am is reserved for keeping up with design blogs, seeking inspiration for current projects, and sketching. Working from home sometimes, I love that my morning commute can be a super short one from the bedroom to the office. But I’ve got to force myself not to check emails until 8:30am; otherwise I get sucked in and start my official workday early.


What’s your coffee drink of choice?


I am a coffee lightweight, so I add a hefty amount of almond milk each morning. And I’ve got to regulate my intake, or else I get jittery and can’t hold a pencil (or Wacom stylus) steady! But on days when I throw caution to the wind, I’ll indulge in a “Spruce Juice” from Spruce Confections in Boulder, which is a delicious, cold-brewed coffee.

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What’s been a favorite or coveted place of yours to enjoy a cup of coffee?


The best place to enjoy a cup is on the first morning of a vacation, when you have all that free time stretched out in front of you, maybe on an empty beach with cold sand and warm air – that sounds ideal. A close second would be in the summertime while people-watching at an outdoor table on Pearl Street in Boulder or South Broadway in Denver.


What’s the last thing that inspired you?


Oh, wow…there is so much! One of the most recent things that inspired me a great deal was a Goya exhibit at the Boston MFA, which I saw in December. I loved seeing his skillful (if somewhat stuffy) court paintings alongside his more emotive etchings.


What’s a favorite morning beauty, food, or get moving tip you may have? 


In the last year or so I switched to a standing desk at work, which has made me less worried about becoming a hunchbacked old lady. And, for personal safety, it’s important to set a limit on the amount of internet browsing I do daily – it’s no substitute for living real life!

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How do you relax/take time for yourself daily?


For me, mountain biking, running, or hiking are the best ways to clear my head. When I’m exercising, my brain is too busy making my body move to worry about anything else. That frees up the subconscious parts of my brain so they can clear out any junk floating around up there.


What does your ideal day of rest look like?


To be truly restful, I think you need to be able to set obligations completely aside. If some portion of your brain is busy keeping track of your to-do list, you can’t fully unwind. For me, an ideal rest day would involve tiring myself out completely with a long mountain bike ride in the wilderness, followed by a wine-and-cheese picnic in Chautauqua Park, topped off by a star gazing session. And, for good measure, there would be lots of puppies and a fat slice of chocolate cake.