Interview with Theresa Dowling, Editorial Director, FX Magazine

In an open and frank interview, Theresa Dowling, Editorial Director at FX magazine, talks about how the pandemic has impacted her and interior design publishing.

She focuses upon the importance of personal contact for her work and creativity:

The pandemic has been ruthless in the way that it’s affected people and businesses in the interior design industry. Companies have been slammed against the wall.

The pandemic suddenly brought it all home with a bang. Overnight, people were expected to work from home. That’s not easy – we need the buzz of other people. I’m someone that needs to be really busy.

I’ve always worked from home, but I missed the excitement of meeting people face to face. That’s why I love my job. Isolation is a dangerous thing – I think it absolutely slaughters creativity and lateral thinking.

There’s been altogether a lack of stimulus; landscapes, buildings, streets, galleries, activity, bars, excitement and inspiration. Everywhere that brings together the liveliness of living and anything that inspires you. Without these, everything becomes more sterile, more routine. It’s been the antithesis of a creative explosion.

At the same time, the pandemic has highlighted the importance of freelancers:

The value of freelancers has become much clearer in a world where everybody’s working from home.

The freelancers we use on FX have always been judged by what they deliver. But since working from home, it’s easier to compare everyone this way – by what they contribute.

Freelancers need to be treated with more respect. To receive better pay and staff entitlements. So that everyone is assessed equally, based upon their contribution.

People don’t have to be sitting at their desk by nine o’clock, eating their breakfast. Things can be produced without visibility in the office. And in some ways more successfully. Efficiency has got better. It’s just been harder.

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