Tell us about your creative path so far and any milestones that you have?
I have been working as a freelance Stylist and Creative Consultant for 8 years now. Before then I was a Fashion Buyer in fashion retail for 10 years. I decided that I wanted to work for myself and wanted a job that was more creative.
What are other creative art forms that you enjoy?
I have been dancing since I was a toddler and still love dancing now it is my favourite art form. I also attend dance performances whenever I can. I love taking photographs and making collages.
Tell us about one piece of work you are not proud of, and what did you learn from it?
Last year I organised a test shoot with a photographer to capture some new Christmas images for my portfolio. Some of the images came out beautifully, whilst others were slightly off the mark and therefore sadly haven’t been able to use them. What I’ve learned is that you need a lot of props to make a wide Christmas shot feel Christmassy! And also that practice makes perfect and I’ll need to have another go. It doesn’t matter how much experience you have, there’s always something you need to work on.
What is your best self- care technique?
I use a therapist once a month without fail. I think it is the best tool for self-care when you work for yourself. There’s a non-judgemental window in my diary dedicated to discussing my concerns and my accomplishments. I also do regular exercise (yoga, pilates, and dance) and write a to-do list at the beginning of every week so I know what’s around the corner and don’t get taken by surprise.
What are some platforms that creative’s and freelancers should be using right now and why?
I’ve only recently discovered the Dots. Which is a LinkedIn for creatives. As an interface, it works so much better for us than LinkedIn. It allows you to post images/films of your work and tag others who collaborated on it. That way you can see that your connections are meaningful.
If you were on a desert island and could only take one piece of creative material to help you with your work what would you take and why?
I would take a pen (specifically uni-ball eye in black) and plain white paper (absolutely no lines). I know this is strictly speaking two pieces, but I can’t live without pen and paper. I use it to jot down ideas, sketch, process my thoughts, and of course to do some simple maths, keeping track of how many pineapples I have left and calculate how many coconuts it will take to make a raft.
How do you seek out opportunities?
All creatives will know that there is no one answer to this. Especially as there’s no one answer to what it is that we do. And it’s by far the hardest part of my work. Reaching out to new potential clients through existing connections is always my preferred option. Of course, you can’t purely rely on this. When contacting new people I try to meet up in person or if this isn’t possible, I try to get a pitch or some useful insights in front of them to give them a reason to get back in touch with me.
What does support mean to you?
Support is having people around me who believe in me even when I don’t, is having honest conversations with people within my industry who understand what I’m experiencing and support is the unexpected offer of a cup of tea.
What are two useful pieces of advice that you have received from people about your career?
- Don’t compare your beginning to somebody else’s middle.
- You do you. Don’t try to mimic what someone else does, they’ll always do it better. And no-one else can do what you do as well as you do.
What are the next steps with your work that you are looking to take?
I am looking to build the consultancy side of my business. This has started really well. I offer brands and agencies creative ideas for engaging events, branding direction, and marketing strategies.
Could you share with us some support materials that you have found useful during this period?
I have drawn on learnings from books that I’ve read in the past.
Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert
Daring Greatly – Brene Brown