May 2017 – AJ of the Month

Written by: Kelli Gustafson

As you know, life happens, things get busy, and deadlines get pushed. We know it’s the last day of May but the point is that we made it for this month’s AJ of the month! We’re not sorry for being human, but we are sorry for making you wait to meet this amazingly talented woman:

Who: Fanny Lau
Nickname(s): Fan, Fan-Fan, Fanster
Hometown: Vancouver, BC
3 things she can’t live without: iPod, notebook, pen

The same message that would take me three hours to craft — writing, deleting, re-writing — Fanny is somehow able to whip up in only minutes (and in less than 140 characters at that!). And she also does so with wit, charm and integrity. A master of saying more by saying less, this Vancouverite turns nearly anything she touches into pure, creative genius.

Lucky for us, she’s on our AJ team! Content creator and Instagram whiz, Fanny finds a way to continually come up with innovative and unique ideas to share with the AJ community. Interested in learning more about what makes Fanny one-of-a-kind? …Us too!

Read some of Fanny’s answers below, while we attempt to unravel what it is that keeps the inspiration alive and well, fueling the passion beneath her pen.

Average Jil: If you had to give an elevator pitch about who you are, what would you say?

Fanny Lau: Fanny is a millennial who likes to poke fun of the things that millennials are into (but she also not-so-secretly likes). For example, she is an advocate for avocado toast. She has been an aspiring writer since the age of six, when she used to write nonsensical stories about imaginary dragons that lived at her desk in school. She values quality over quantity and greatly appreciates people she can talk to for hours on end.

AJ: So with avocado toast in one hand, and a pen in the other, what is it that gives you that inspiration to write? What keeps you going?

FL: I have been in love with writing and storytelling since I was in elementary school, and was fortunate to have teachers who fueled and supported me with this passion. It started off with creative writing time where I would make up silly stories on a weekly basis. We ended up having a school newspaper when I was in grade three and I decided I wanted to be a journalist — which fizzled out after a visit to a newsroom in Grade 11 when I realized it wasn’t the environment for me.
What really inspires me is the connection that you can make with the reader, and if there is an interview subject, the conversation you have. You can really get to know someone through a few great questions and sincerity.

“Be less afraid of the unknown and don’t worry about taking chances. You’ll get to where you need to be.”

AJ: Another passion we know you have is for music, how did that begin?

FL: My first concert ever was when I was thirteen years old and it was an all-ages show for the band Wave at the Commodore Ballroom, which is hands-down my favourite venue in Vancouver. That was the first taste of live music that I had, and I was obsessed with the energy and excitement in the room. That was also when I started writing CD reviews for a Vancouver high school newspaper and an online publication, which was fun, but I was craving more and wanted to challenge myself.
My friend Jessica was on the same boat at the time, and together we decided to start our own music blog – We didn’t think it would be easy, and it wasn’t. Our focus was always about the passion we had for music; it kept us grounded and patient. It took us six months of cold e-mailing to get our first interview, and it was with my favourite Canadian band, The Midway State.

AJ: Who are some of your favourite musicians?

FL: My music tastes are all over the place and some of my favourite artists include The Zolas, Katy Perry, JPNSGRLS. …I’ll leave it at that because I could actually go on all day! My favourite year of shows was likely 2014, where I went to the only musical festivals I’ve ever been to (and they also no longer exist): Keloha, Pemberton, and Squamish.

Vancouver The Scripts
Where’s Waldo, er, Fanny? Try to spot her in the crowd at The Script’s concert
(Clue: she lined up very early).

AJ: Can you tell us a bit about your career path?

FL: Social media is the name of the game. I gained a lot of knowledge and experience building from the ground up, but I think more importantly, all of the part-time jobs I had (from amusement parks to hockey arenas to retail) really attributed to my growth as a person. It also goes back to my lifelong love of storytelling, and I really love being able to tell a good story, whether it is about an artist or a brand.

AJ: So now that we know your not-so-secret love for avocado toast, what’s another thing most people probably don’t know about you?

FL: Well, when I was in Grade 3 I decided I wanted to join the softball team. I remember I even woke up early for the tryouts! But when I got to the field, I took a quick peek around to look for my friend Amber. When I didn’t see her, I just went home. I was never really that great at sports, but I’ve always wondered if that would have changed the course of my writing career.

AJ: [Laughing] Well, you could always write about sports!

FL: That’s very true!

AJ: Who is someone you consider to be your biggest idol? Who would you go to for advice?

FL: When I was growing up, Much Music was always my dream job. I look up to Nardwuar and George Stroumboulopoulos for their style of interviewing and the way they make connections. I’ve had the opportunity to let George know how much he’s inspired me, and I’m waiting to bump into Nardwuar (putting in out there to the universe!) because I’d love to let him know, too.
Also one of my closest friends, Annabelle. We met when I was in high school but we didn’t go to the same school. She helps me keep it real with her honesty, and I appreciate it. I also met some really great people during my time at my last job at Rogers Arena who I’ve grown up in my 20’s with that I have amazing support from.

AJ: What has been one of the biggest challenges you’ve had to face, and how did you get through it?

FL: My grandma passed away four years ago, about a week before my university graduation ceremony. It was a really hard time for my family, as she had been obviously a big part of our lives and the person that connected our extended families. I felt really conflicted about attending my graduation ceremony, as I didn’t think it felt right to celebrate during this time. I ended up going and held in the tears as best as I could, and I had this tough moment sitting in my seat when the clouds above me parted and a ray of sunshine hit my face. Sometimes I don’t know what I believe in, but it was comforting.

AJ: We are glad to hear you still went to your ceremony. It’s always tough to lose someone you love, but we’re sure your grandma would have still wanted you to celebrate that major achievement in your life.

Fanny Lau
Some of Fanny’s lovely friends with her on graduation day.

AJ: Okay, now for the best question of all: If you could give 15-year-old Fanny any advice, what would you tell her?

FL: Trust Miss Frizzle: “Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!” — be less afraid of the unknown and don’t worry about taking chances. You’ll get to where you need to be.

When Fanny takes a break from writing, she expresses her creativity behind the camera. Get inspired alongside her on Instagram and visit!

Who do you want to see as the next AJ of the Month?

Do you know someone you would like to see featured as an AJ of the Month? Let us know!