#WFH Diaries: Adrianne McCurrach of Unicorns & Unicorns

Even as parts of the world begin to open up amid the pandemic, most folks are still working from home. We're continuing to check in with people in the creative industry to see how they've faring. Below, we chat with Adrianne McCurrach, EP and managing partner at creative collective studio Unicorns & Unicorns.

Give us a one-line bio of yourself.

I am a wildly curious, easily distracted mom and co-studio owner who cares about humans, and has a hard time with routine. 

Where are you living right now, and who's with you?

Hunkered down in Los Angeles with my partner, my two kids (shared custody rotating every week), and loads of pets.

What's your work situation like at the moment, and how is it evolving?

Work is redefining itself on the daily, and really shining a light on the way our culture does and does not support parenting/families. I struggled really hard at first to keep doing the same amount of work I was doing when the kids were in school, and I turned into a giant a-hole. The stress was unreal. The self-imposed pressure to focus (arguably more) attention on the business now in crisis hit up against the need to be present for my kids and family and maintain a level of consistency for them. It really brought up a lot—I decided I had to integrate the work that needed to be done for the kids into my daily work routine. And I had to see the "work" that was done in the home space as valuable in the same way as the work I do in the business space.

Describe your socializing strategy.

I have video-conferenced way more with old friends. I have reached out to connect for no other reason than just to say hi—something I would not have done before. It's actually pretty interesting in a good way. We did go rogue for a beat and had some friends over to hang outside for a socially distanced soiree. It was great.

How are you dealing with childcare?

It's really hard, actually. Harder when I am trying to manage too many things at once. I really did have to shift my approach to consider homeschool as part of my "work." I decided to just accept that part of my day was dedicated to my kiddos, and no, I actually couldn't take calls when homework was scheduled, or Zoom classwork. Also, I am a partner at Unicorns so I have a bit more latitude to make these calls. I'm mindful of the folks who can't make these decisions as easily. This experience has definitely reignited the passion I have around parental support and the lack of it in America, in general. 

What are you reading?

I am reading about saving seeds. Seriously. Also, reading TONS on organizational development and dragging my partners through varying tests to see how we can hone our functioning. They love me.

What are you watching?

Watching Normal People, Mrs. America, Run, lots of late-night shows … I am actually pretty over the news. I am tired of expending energy trying to piece together "science" bits to come up with a theory that makes sense to me. Politics right now around this pandemic is pretty embarrassing—it grosses me out. 

What are you listening to?

Not much. Enjoying the quiet. Enjoying a bit less input. 

How are you staying fit?

HA. Well, now, see that's a whole other thing. I am not. 

Have you taken up a hobby?

We got chickens. So we have been learning a lot about that. We also have bees, and we're getting another hive. We're novice beekeepers, and this time at home has made it easier to watch them, and also get stung by them. 

Any tips for getting necessities?

Yah, no. I have mild anxiety every time I go out to the store. I hate lines, too, so I prefer to drive around to find a store that has no line. Then I worry that no lines means they are not taking safety as seriously. Then I watch people handle all the things and go through this implosion of total freakout before I decide I have probably already gotten it and I am fine so I just need to be cool—but still keep some of the freakout, just to be safe. 

An awkward moment since all this started.

My kids say mostly whatever comes to their minds, so I have really had to lean into my chill. I actually encourage it—harder to learn how to speak your truth than to tone it down, maybe?

Best work email you got since all this started.

The one that said we were approved for a loan for payroll. PHEW. 

An aha! moment since all this started.

You know … so many things have started blooming in my brain. Definitely social justice issues: economic, racial, family, medical. These things are all playing out in a very real way that feels closer to home than anything prior to this. Our social fabric is weak—speaking generally and as a white woman. Seeing the shift to helping out neighbors has been so refreshing and uplifting. I have stayed in my community and gotten to know and see neighbors more. I have also realized that the Earth is going to do whatever it takes to slow us down. 

What's your theory on how this is going to play out?

We're going to feel pressure to go back to the way it "was," and there will be a need for leaders to help usher in a new normal. We're going to be very glad to send our sweet children back to school—with far greater appreciation for our teachers. 

See the full #WFH Diaries series here.

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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