How difficult has it been as a woman in the film industry?
It can be frustrating at times. You get judged a lot by both men and women, but you have to have your eye on the bigger picture and just keep at it. I wrote “A Moment of Doubt” because times got really tough and frustrating. Sometimes you really wonder if anyone will ever open a door for you then you realize you’ve got to put those big girl pants on yourself and create a door for yourself to go through. I always remember to do it in kindness, though, even if you’re going to meet people that aren’t kind.
(Excerpt from Penumbra)
What inspired you to write a book on poetry?
I always knew, since I was 13, that I was going to write a book one day but I never knew what story or what subject. As I got older, no book I ever read was something that I felt I wanted to take on as a writer. I love books and read every genre, so I gave up on the thought of one day writing a book. Two years ago I came across an art book and knew instantaneously that art books are my future projects. Poetry was something that came natural to me and I had a whole bunch since I was a kid so I made up my mind that my first book was a going to be a poetry art book. It didn’t come easy, as everything that someone tries for the first time is difficult. It had it’s setbacks, but when I finished it, it was the most amazing feeling. I’m working on my second one.
What is the story behind the name, and what does it mean?
I’m so glad you asked. Penumbra means ‘the part of a shadow where the light source is only partially blocked.’ I chose this word because throughout my life as an artist, which is what the poetry book is about, I always felt a hint of light come through my darkness.
“There are a lot of times when you will feel tempted to look at someone else’s life and compare, but don’t do it! Your life is especially designed for you and no one else.”
What challenges have you faced building your brand?
That’s a big question! There are so many ideas I’ve tried throughout the years. Some are still on YouTube, embarrassingly enough. Recently, I watched an interview with Oprah saying when she first started out everyone kept asking “What’s your brand?” and she kept saying she didn’t want to be a brand, she’s just doing what she loves. I feel the same—I believe if you think too much, you take the genuity away, and that’s usually the brand.
What piece of advice do you offer to aspiring women entrepreneurs?
Look to yourself and where you want to go. There are a lot of times when you will feel tempted to look at someone else’s life and compare, but don’t do it! Your life is especially designed for you and no one else.
Share your favorite quote.
I live by quotes! One of my favorites is “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that’s all.” — Oscar Wilde
For more info on Gilda and her book, visit gildagraham.com.