It seems the world has a love-hate relationship with social media influencers. On one hand, the business seems to heighten our generations’ narcissistic tendencies and myopic obsession with our phones, on the other hand, no one is story-telling as well as the top influencers when it comes to fashion and travel.

Tessa Barton, whose 1.3 million followers (us included) know her as @Tezza, has the kind of aspirational aesthetic you want to just fall into. Like our favorite women’s print magazines from a bygone era, Tessa creates images that inspire our imagination and propel our weekend plans.

We asked Barton, who has turned her addictive aesthetic into smart businesses including a wildly popular and community-driven photo-editing app and irresistible Collage Kits, to share a bit about ‘life balance’ amidst the constant creative production and public scrutiny of being an “influencer”. Here’s Tezza in response to our Balance Sheet feature…

Name: Tessa Barton

Projects currently: The Tezza App (We’re at 13M downloads!), By Tezza Collage Kits — the Dream Kit and City Kit are my favorites, and our new capsule of sweatshirts and joggers.

go-to Stress-busting ritual: Writing down all  of the things that are stressing me out. It takes the power away from the thoughts and they become just words.

Best piece of advice ever received on balance: When you start taking care of yourself you start to feel better, you start to look better, work better, attract better… it all starts within you.

portraits of tessa barton tezza

Where do you find sanctuary: In the sun.

Biggest inspirations: It always goes back to music for me. It inspires everything I do, my art, my photography, the things I design, the way I feel the way I move. Editor’s note: Tessa started an incredible program in children’s hospitals with music in mind. We love that. 

When I feel overwhelmed I…  Plug my guitar in and play music.

Daily necessity for sanity: Cold brew with a splash of oat milk.

Uniform lately: Dad jeans with a vintage t, chunky sandals and a rad pair of sunnies.

Best tactic for staying calm under fire: Remembering at the end of day the sun will set and rise again. 

Fave way to refuel and replenish energy: Get a big canvas and paint. Turn music on and dance around my living room. 

tessa barton collages

Monthly must for self-care: To go to a place I’ve never been, it fuels my art.

Mantra for slowing down: You give life to what you give energy to.

My favorite way to take a break is to… Cruise PCH in my 1982 convertible and listen to Led Zeppelin.

Things that always bring me back to center: 60’s French music, candle light, cooking dinner, old James Bond.

Circumstances under which you turn off your phone: Front row at a concert singing my heart out. 

How do you find rest in a chaotic schedule: Always taking time to watch the sunset.

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