Sally Tabart on creativity and A Room of One’s Own

We could not be more thrilled to have Ladies of Leisure editor and self-confessed feminist killjoy, Sally Tabart, running a LOL workshop for our A Room of One’s Own Masterclass. We spoke with Sally about what participants can expect from her Dream Zine workshop, her experience expanding LOL to an international audience, and her advice for young women working in creative industries.

Can you give us a rundown of the kind of work that LOL does? What is your role within the zine?
LOL started off as a printed publication to document and share the creative works of our friends. Now we think of LOL more like a community—we hold workshops, collaborate on films, produce photoshoots, commission editorial, sell merchandise, talk about feelings and take care of business. I guess my official title of LOL is editor, which means that I manage the editorial content and direction of our print editions. But given we are such a small and close team, we all tend to have eyes across everything!
LOL has been a part of the Emerging Writers’ Festival community for a number of years. What do you think festivals such as EWF offer new writers and creatives? 
In my opinion, EWF is one of the most important programs for emerging creatives and writers in Melbourne, maybe Australia, MAYBE THE WORLD! To have the opportunity to learn from and interact with such amazing leaders in our community alongside other people with shared interests is so, so important to developing creatives. I think anyone who has a creative spirit will always be in learning. I love how programs like EWF are so supportive, inclusive, practical and inspiring for anyone with the desire to be involved.
This year, you’re running a LOL workshop for our women in writing masterclass, A Room of One’s Own. What can participants expect from your Dream Zine workshop?
I’m so excited and kind of nervous to be running this workshop. At LOL we love to get down and dirty making things together. Participants can expect a hands-on, practical session in generating their own content, finding confidence in their own unique voice and learning how to get the most out of collaboration. The cool part about Dream Zine is that everyone will walk away with a network of new contacts, a copy of the work we create together and some other fun LOL goodies!
You’ve been working on expanding LOL to an international audience, how have you been finding this experience?
Expanding LOL to an international audience has been a slow process for an important reason. I moved to New York just over a year ago, so it made perfect sense for LOL to grow too. I didn’t expect to feel so lost and alone, and to be honest it made working on a publication about inspiration and empowerment really difficult. I feel like I let our team down a little, but Savannah (LOL’s creative director) has been really understanding, and we’ve turned our insecurities about expanding into fuel for content. We have had some very exciting meetings and opportunities come up—we are so lucky to have such a supportive Australian audience, and people over here are totally responding to that. We have big dreams for edition III, which we’re working on now!
You work across the fashion, film and editing industries, how does your creative practice differ between these three industries? Or, how is it similar?
That’s a really interesting question, and something I’ve been thinking a lot about. I’ve come to realise that while fashion, film and editorial all have their own practical differences/industry lingo that needs to be learned; ultimately I apply the same set of skills to everything I do. I just want to produce honest, meaningful content, and I think that the greatest similarity between the ways I work in these industries is drive, passion and an ability to help communicate conceptual ideas into creative realities.
Do you have any advice for fellow young women working (/aspiring to work) in creative industries? 
I wish that I’d known earlier that you don’t have to be one thing. I used to feel really insecure about not fitting into one specific artistic category, but now I love that I never know what I’m going to be doing next week. On the flipside to that, you also don’t have to do everything on your own! Collaboration with your creative soul mates can be joyful and satisfying. Make things and be excited by them. Don’t make things and be okay with it. Stay overtime and then take time off. Dance and swim. Hang out with your friends and talk about life. Live a lot and know that everything you do is taking you closer to the place you’re supposed to be.
Sally Tabart is the editor at Melbourne based publication, Ladies of Leisure (LOL). After spending three years working as a freelance writer and in production at motion content studio Certain Kind of Light, she picked up and moved to New York where she has been living in Brooklyn for the past year. There, she works across the fashion, film and editorial industries – but mostly she has just been growing up. Sally is currently working on expanding LOL to an international audience, figuring out how to keep all her houseplants alive and being the feminist killjoy in every room.
There are still tickets to A Room Of One’s Own! Get yourself down the The Wheeler Centre tomorrow for a day dedicated to women in literature, featuring discussion, professional development, and all kinds of fodder for creative inspiration.