behind the genius: cori maass
Fluf friends, I’m so excited to introduce you to Cori Maas! When we first met in Atlanta, I was so impressed not only by Cori’s personal style but also her bubbly personality. She expresses herself well, from her art to her wardrobe. Later, we became friends in LA and I found in her a kindred creative, wandering soul who seems to enjoy boomeranging from coast to coast as much as I do. Cori has always struck me as someone who is not afraid to take risks in her life, art, and style, a quality that she mentions in this interview that she admires. And I can attest to the fact that she supports and encourages her friends to be risk takers in their own ways as well. As she says so well here, “Style is a form of taking care of yourself and showing up as yourself.” In the sweetest possible way, she carries an air of “this is who I am and I’m not going to let anyone tell me not to be this way,” and that’s something I think we could all use a little more of.
Tell us about you!
I am an artist! I live in Los Angeles and also spend a significant amount of time in Atlanta. They both feel like home to me and I have family-like friends and a vibrant life in both cities now. I love creating anything and everything, I didn’t think I was an artist for most of my life but the practice of seeing and putting my work into the world has changed my life and made me feel very fulfilled. Outside of art, I love running, being in the sun, writing, and spending time with people that I love.
What are your career goals + dreams for the future?
I love that I get to do art full time. I would love to keep collaborating with inspiring brands and keep working on bigger projects that are beyond my own vision. I am hoping to do an art show by the end of the year and release a collection of works. Also, I originally started in design and love that design impacts life. I would love to work on more design-based projects that allow art and function to collide (hotels, restaurants, community spaces, brands etc.). I love exploring different mediums and want to work on things that influence people on a personal level whether that is design, writing, art, or photography or creating calming spaces.
What are you excited about lately (listening to / watching / working on / daydreaming about)?
I am really excited to be working with some brand projects that I have coming up (you’ll have to follow along to see what those are!). I am also excited to spend some time in Atlanta and be involved with my community there.
On a personal level, I am excited to train for a full marathon this year. Am currently watching the new season of Handmaid's Tale and The Office for the millionth time.
Who do you admire?
I admire people who are pushing through fear and living courageously. Whether that is putting their work out, being prepared to face rejection, getting outside their comfort zone both physically and mentally or having the courage to speak hard truths. I also admire people who remain kind, open-hearted, and boundaried in this world where it is so easy to be the opposite.
What does style mean to you?
Style is a form of taking care of yourself and showing up as yourself. Style has been important to me to allow me to push through fear of judgement and comparison and ask myself what I want to wear versus what is the norm. I love being able to express myself in a way that makes me feel most myself.
What’s your favorite go to look lately?
I have been going between flowy dresses for summer with usually boots or reeboks/converse and a good pair of tailored jeans, boots, and a shirt or blouse. I have been describing my look lately as western-chic lol.
What does self care mean to you?
Self care for me goes beyond the typical face-mask, bath, nap trend. I think self care is choosing to surround yourself with people who love, support, and encourage you. I love to say yes and love to be everyone’s friend, but I have to remember that I need time to process my life and have time to create and reflect on my own. Having uncomfortable conversations if necessary and choosing to respect my own needs is something that I have been making a priority in my life. I make it a habit to run every day, call or reach out to people who are grounding for me, and feed myself food that will nurture my overall health. I don’t think that being habitually selfish is the highest form of self care, but I think giving yourself the love and grace that you would give or want from others is the essence of the value of self care.
What does sustainability mean to you?
Sustainability is setting yourself and others up for long-term health and life. On an environmental level, it is choosing to create systems and make choices that allow the world to continue to function long-term. Even on a business level, creating systems and values that are sustainable create the building blocks for success and actually being able to enjoy the highs without constant fear of loss.
All photography by Kate Dearman