She left her corporate career without a parachute or back-up plan and embarked on a journey to follow her passion to create. Get to know the incredible force behind Modern Emulsions, Magda Assaf: a contemporary abstract artist that hasn’t taken a single art class or day of formal training — this woman is completely self taught and the inspiration she provides reaches far beyond her art.
ACE: What are you up to? ( Your current hustle )
Magda: I am a contemporary abstract artist, creating custom artwork for modern homes, under the name Modern Emulsions.
ACE: Why is this important to you? ( Where did this passion come from? )
Magda: My passion lies within entrepreneurship. I love the freedom of creating my own schedule, creating work that I love, and the excitement of creating my own business. I didn’t know this was a passion until I left my corporate finance job of 10 years, and stumbled onto this amazing journey.
ACE: What was your dream job growing up? How do you think this has influenced who you are today?
Magda: I always wanted to be a make-up artist, specializing in special FX makeup as a kid. I think my desire for make-up artistry never left me, but due to my very demanding analytical job, I never had the capacity to delve into anything creative. However, each time Halloween would roll around, my desire to test out my skills would come flooding in. It was my only outlet for years.
I was brought up to believe that creative fields were a “hobby”, not a “real job”, and so I never explored the possibilities, but clearly it must have haunted by mind, because now I create art every day, and could never imagine myself going back to an analytical desk job.
ACE: If you could describe yourself in only three words, what would they be?
Magda: Honest, ambitious, confident.
ACE: Who’s your biggest inspiration and why?
Magda: Richard Branson – the joy he exudes is inspirational. Yes, he’s wildly successful, but more than anything, I am drawn to people who have a beautiful energy to them. A big dreamer, a great leader, and you can see the joy and passion that he has each time he speaks.
ACE: What does the term “Boss Babe” mean to you?
Magda: A confident entrepreneur who is part of an amazing collective of like-minded women – sharing, inspiring, and leading with grace.
ACE: How do you empower other women?
Magda: I love meeting with women both in a group setting, as well as over a coffee and being enthusiastic with any knowledge I may have. Sometimes we just need human connection, and other times it may be going over business strategies and formulating plans of action. Either way, I love connecting with like-minded women, as we have so much in common.
ACE: What is the best advice you’ve ever received from another woman?
Magda: It may seem obvious, but right when I began my business I was told by a seasoned artist that the most important thing in business was to be responsive. Reply to emails, calls, events, etc.. It seemed silly at the time, but I began noticing other businesses failing to reply to potential customers, and started realizing how unique it actually was to receive a reply right away, or weirder yet, to have someone pick up the phone when it rang. I have valued this advice tremendously since.
ACE: Can you share the biggest lesson you’ve learned from a failure?
Magda: Perseverance is my biggest lesson. It seems that failure in one way or another is ongoing and inevitable. Not landing a client, missed opportunities, not being accepted into a gallery, paintings not going according to plan…many failures. Regularly. Pushing through the tough days is essential for a small business. Once you push through a few times, you begin to see a pattern where after each bout of hardship, something magical and wonderful is around the corner.
ACE: When you are feeling overwhelmed, what do you do to find peace?
Magda: I am obsessed with reading fiction books. I adore epic fantasy novels, getting lost in a magical land really pulls me out of my head. If you could add the sounds of nature and birds chirping with that, I am in heaven. Really slowing down the brain is great at gaining clarity, it is my form of meditation (and also calling a friend for a quick laugh never hurts!).
ACE: What legacy do you hope to be remembered for?
Magda: I’m still trying to figure this out. I hope that I can be remembered for being bold enough to leave a corporate career without a parachute, and start something from scratch. Something I had no experience or expertise in. Living boldly without regret is important, and I hope it inspires someone at some moment.
ACE: Where can we find out more about you so we can continue to support you?
Stay connected with Magda: @modernemulsions