Watercolor painting of Anne Simone by Carrie Hilgert, The Starry Cauldron

Hi there, friend! I'm Anne Simone.

she/her

Mental Health & ADHD Awareness Advocate

Illustration of a brain with 3 tiny lightning bolts pointing toward it.

After a lifetime of battling chronic pain, depression, and anxiety, I was finally diagnosed with ADHD as an adult. Now I consider ADHD my superpower!

Dog Mom to a rescued foxhound

Illustrated American Foxhound face

My partner adopted a gangly "beagle" puppy shortly after we met. That Not-Beagle grew up to become a 60lb American Foxhound and the furry love of my life. Because we're a loyal Star Wars household, we named her after a beloved princess and general: Leia.

"wanderlusty" Tattoo Collector

Illustrated hand bearing a fern tattoo

Travel is life-changing. Tattoos are body-changing. So what better globetrotting souvenir than a tattoo? I've been inked 11 times (so far) by artists in France, Sweden, Scotland, the Czech Republic, and the United States.

They asked me, "What's your dream job?"

And I said, "I already have it."

I've dream-jobbed my way through life, in fact.

(Not that every job was easy or even fun. That's not my definition of a "dream job.")

But on every new path, I've met someone phenomenal. Through every open door, I've discovered something impossible. And after every dive, I've bobbed, witchy and gleeful, back to the surface of the water.

Here are 6 milestones that made me the human I am today:

#1: Stripping Wires at a Concert Hall

My first "job" was more of an unofficial internship at an obscenely gorgeous concert hall.

The production manager terrified me. Her name was, delightfully, Simone.

On day one, she put a wire stripper in my skinny teenager hands and told me to rewire a series of spotlights that weighed more than me (and, let's be honest, cost more than my life was worth at that time.)

So I did it.

#2: Wrangling Lambs in a Photo Studio

For $5 per hour, I was hired to arrange high-school senior photographs in leather folios. The boys wore polo shirts and plaid button-downs. The girls wore sundresses and cardigans. Some parents paid extra to have their kids' braces retouched out of the photos.

But the best part of the job was in late winter, when the photographer would borrow baby animals from a local farmer and use them as live props for children's Easter portraits. I was assigned to scoop the lamb's legs off the ground and lay the fluffy friend on its side so a four-year-old could sit nearby and shriek while Mom sang shrilly and bartered candy for a smile.

PETA would've had a field day.

#3: Interviewing Patrick Demarchelier

This wasn't a job. It was an assignment when I was in portfolio school living on hot dogs and canned biscuits and 25-cent Dr. Peppers out of the vending machine.

Each group had to select a famous photographer and present the artist's work to the class.

Never satisfied with just doing the damn assignment, I reached out to Mr. Demarchelier's assistant, who invited my team to interview the fashion master himself in his NYC studio. I was nominated to conduct the interview while my two teammates filmed and directed.

I remember that he smelled of cigarettes. His French accent sent butterflies into the hollow of my rib cage. And when I asked why he occasionally appeared, wrapped like a mummy, in some of his fashion photographs, he said, "Because sometimes the clothes are boring."

#4: Kicking Frat Boys out of a Bar

"Everyone should wait tables at least once in their life," they say. I'll take it a step further and say: "Everyone should work at a local pub and deal with drunk coeds at least once in their life."

I poured shots for local actors, served burgers to the Archbishop, got asked out by a traveling puppeteer, and, one evening, kicked four frat guys out after one of them tried to pay with a condom wrapped in cash. Not my kind of humor, Chad. 

"But we still have a pitcher of beer to finish!" one of them whined.

I took it off the table.

"Not anymore," I said.

They left.

#5: Telling Stories of Lives Well-Lived

I never meant to photograph weddings, but there I was, with my medium format film camera trying to paparazzi my way through ring bearer meltdowns and zipper malfunctions and first dances and that time someone's grandma fell down a flight of stairs at the reception. (She was okay.)

At one particularly formal affair, the bride's mom poured wine into an old prescription bottle so her daughter could have a pre-ceremony drink in the teetotaling church.

A month after the wedding, that carpe diem mama died. She'd had cancer—and hadn't told a soul. The photographs I made of her were some of the last ever taken: surrounded by family and friends, sharing sips of wine from a medicine bottle with her daughter, and dancing with all the joy her bones could muster.

#6: Delivering Dream Jobs, One Blog at a Time

It was a fortuitous series of connections that landed me a role as a content writer. I'd been blogging about photography and art and business for a hot minute, so the segue into creating educational content for other photographers felt natural.

The best part? Teaching creative, hungry people to take charge of their own lives. "You don't have to follow the traditional path," I told them. "You don't have to work a corporate job," I insisted. "You can put beauty back into the world and earn a living."

Some 350 article an 1,000 social media posts later, and I'm here. Helping folks discover their dreams jobs and dive into their futures—wondrous, wise, and at least a little bit witchy. 

think we'd work well together?

Let's connect.

Illustrated portrait by The Starry Cauldron

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