We checked in with Arianna Davis, Senior Director of Editorial & Strategy at Oprah Daily, the online destination for what was formerly the printed O, The Oprah Magazine. Since January 2021, the magazine is now published exclusively in digital form. Davis oversees all editorial and strategy for the magazine's website, as well as its video and social media platforms.
She is also the author of the new book, What Would Frida Do?: A Guide to Living Boldly (2020) -- a contemporary guide to life, love, and happiness inspired by the extraordinary artist Frida Kahlo.
What Would Frida Do? explores the feminist icon's signature style, outspoken politics, and adventurousness in love and art, even in the face of pain and heartbreak.
Nina Garcia, editor-in-chief of Elle, called it, "A modern take on a woman who was modern beyond her time," and said, "Arianna Davis's book paints a colorful picture of the strength, courage, and love that uplifted Frida Kahlo through her many tragedies. This comprehensive look into Frida's life leads me to think that we could all learn a lesson or two from Frida."
You can purchase What Would Frida Do? from the independent Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza: https://www.bhny.com/book/9781541646322.
What are you most looking forward to this year?
In my personal life in 2021, I'm looking forward to hopefully traveling again. I have an insatiable case of wanderlust, and I'm hoping that the world opens up again so I can hop on a plane without the anxiety of a pandemic. Or at the very least, I hope I can go out to dinner in New York again without shivering in the cold :)
What is your biggest hope for America in 2021?
With new leadership in the White House, I hope that we can remember that our differences do not need to divide us.
What's the most important thing we can learn from the pandemic?
To never take our health for granted. And that sometimes, slowing down is necessary.
What activity are you most looking forward to enjoying after pandemic restrictions are lifted?
Did I mention I love to travel? :) Also, I cannot wait for the day I can attend a concert again. I'm a big music lover, so being in the crowd and dancing and singing my heart out to one of my favorite artists' music (Beyoncé preferred) is an experience I miss dearly.
Is there anything on earth that you find unexpectedly beautiful?
A perfectly ripe avocado. It's a rare thing, and sometimes from the outside you just can't tell how the inside is going to turn out. But when you slice one open and it's a brilliant shade of bright green...oh, man.
What new social or technological development excites you the most?
I'm very intrigued by the app Clubhouse, a new voice/audio-only social media network. I'm already seeing so many really interesting rooms about everything from writing inspiration to beauty tips. It's a refreshing change from the visual-heavy social media apps like Instagram and TikTok.
What did you most enjoy about writing What Would Frida Do?
To do my due diligence and also for some creative inspiration, I traveled solo to Mexico City for a week to do research, wander around Frida's neighborhood of Coyoacán, and soak up Frida's essence. It was one of the most creatively invigorating experiences I've ever had, and provided some time away from my day job as digital director for O and my normal life so that I could focus 100 percent on the writing process. The introduction to the book and many of my favorite passages throughout were written while there.
Frida Kahlo's Blue House in Coyoacán
What idea, subject or field are you most looking forward to exploring in 2021?
I'm looking forward to working on my next book, which I'm hoping will be a work of fiction—my first genre love. Stay tuned!