January 21, 2015
The GOOD Life: Sarah Diouf
It is often said that early adulthood is the pinnacle of one's life. It is a time to deeply indulge yourself in as many experiences as you possibly can, while you still have the freedom to do so. It is a time to look, to taste, to feel, and to inhale. A time to try, and to fail - and to try again. A time to wonder. And to wander - to get so lost that in the process of finding your way back home, you find yourself. As we continue to lay the groundwork for our futures and design the mappings of our careers, we must continually ask ourselves: is this my idea of the good life?
Sarah Diouf, Editor-in-Chief of Paris-based GHUBAR Magazine, is a woman I have looked up to for many years. Her passion for her brand, her work ethic, and her exquisite taste are endless sources of inspiration, and continue to lend to her success. Finding one's balance in life is a daunting and tiresome task for many. Sarah, however, realized that finding your balance is a process - one that she completely surrendered herself to, and allowed to manifest in her work. She is the personification of the attitude that anyone, at any stage of life, should possess.
What is your definition of a “good life”? Do you feel as if that is what you are living?
I think the definition depends on your drive and expectations.
But I believe as long as I have the people that I love and the realest people around me, a roof above my head, some food, a work that I enjoy, and a little money to enjoy some extras - life is good, no? I mean, what else do you need?
How important do you feel it is for people to follow their passions, even if doing so doesn't seem like a “secure” life choice?
If you wake up every morning not loving your work or your life, find a way to change your situation, because it's like committing suicide. It will make you bitter. And this is how some end up hating on their friend's success and happiness, because they don't have the guts to go fight for their own.
Nothing comes easily. Security is a choice. True happiness is another.
Before I started finding my balance (because it's a long process), there were times where I didn't have a single euro for days at the end of the month. I put all I had into renting a studio to shoot. But hey, I wasn't even thinking about that, I just couldn't imagine not being able to do what I want. But thank God I managed to find a way to make a little money and afford doing what I like, when I want, with no pressure, because I think my parents were very scared (laughs). I always had a hard time working for other people if there was no purpose in the end. I would go work for a big company if I knew that after a certain time I will have that amount of money to launch this project, not just to be sure to have a check at the end of the month.
But I would never despise people who make this choice because we need them. The world can't only be filled with outcasts otherwise it wouldn't work.
Which aspect of your work makes you the happiest? Which aspect do you enjoy the least?
The happiest - I'd say the creative aspect. The whole process of researching, which happens mostly naturally; I visit a place, it touches me, or I meet someone and I am inspired and then BOOM : let's make an issue around that.
What I hate the most, is the whole legal paperwork side - you have to contract every-single-thing to protect yourself. Crazy. But that's the game.
What would you say has been the most important lesson that you have learned as a magazine Editor-in-Chief?
To read EVERYTHING, because culture isn't an option. And to make the effort to represent my publication. People will forget about a "not so great issue" but they will remember how you express yourself, how you carry your project, and how you present.
Where do you see yourself and your magazine in the next 5-10 years?
Enjoying life somewhere In Africa - I would maybe have more than one by then, who knows?
Is there anything you know now that you wish you knew a few years ago that could have helped you along your life path?
Sh*t happens. (laughs)
If you could give someone a quote to live by, what would it be?
We will always be more than yesterday, and less than tomorrow (tattooed in Hindi on my shoulder).