Annette Lanzarotta + Hera Collective
Annette has been producing large-scale public, art, and cultural events in Los Angeles for 6 years. She founded Hera Collective to create a space for women to meet each other, collaborate, and showcase their art and talent. She is a lover of spreadsheets, cooking, Lil Kim, and gathering people together (in that order).
Why do you do what you do?
I have always been surrounded by brilliant, hard-working, electric women and admired them for their strength and talents. I wanted to create a space where we could take a pause from gossiping and talking about relationships and share the work we were doing with each other. I wanted to create a platform for all of these creative women to show off – as women, we’ve all had moments where others try to quiet us down and put out our light, I wanted to make space where we could be fucking LOUD and BRIGHT! I love nothing more than a celebration and wanted to take time to celebrate others for their contributions.
What is the best compliment you've ever received?
Two different gynecologists have told me I have a textbook cervix. Two!
Where do you thrive?
Growing up, I slept on a couch in a living room until I was 16 and never really had a space to make my own. I always longed for something that felt like home so I spent lots of time at friend’s houses, eating their food and sleeping over for days at a time. My boyfriend and I bought a house 2 years ago and the fact that it’s my home is never lost on me for a second. I spend hours and hours in my kitchen cooking for us, I man the grill for big BBQ’s with friends, I came up with the idea for Hera and built my website from home. I love every piece of furniture, every book, and every memory made in my house with every dang fiber of my being.
I am taking real estate courses online right now and the teen me is freeeeaking out that I can study on my own bed, in my very own room.
What's one bad habit you can't seem to shake?
I am and will forever be addicted to gummy candy. I always say all my teeth are sweet (my two root canals can confirm). Ironically enough, my favorite gummy candies are shaped like rows of teeth! They will be the only teeth I have left at this rate…
What's the best idea you've heard recently?
More advice than ideas, but I wanted to pick two quotes from friends and Hera Collective members that I find very helpful:
“Forget about everyone else who is "already doing it" because no one is you and no one can create exactly what you will create”
– Shiloh Schneider, ceramicist, Stardust Ceramix
“Tell the mansplainers at Home Depot to fuck off, thx!”
– Molly Ryan, wood worker, Ninoshea
What's the biggest lesson you've learned this past year?
My best friend who is a social worker always says this simple phrase to me when I’m losing my shit: Compare and despair. It seems like such an obvious statement but it’s one of the hardest behaviors to curb. There’s always someone better, prettier, funnier, more successful…there’s always more to want. This year I have become more cognizant of how comparing myself to others holds me back and makes me afraid to be vulnerable. I’ve made it a point to be the main character of my story and to be more kind to myself. As the angel, goddess Ru Paul says, “If you can't love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?”