On Developing Creatively

I’ve been sorting files around on my office computer lately and spent some time looking through the albums from our early photoshoots, sadly a lot of the photos from our first 2 years have been lost to several computer upgrades since. There’s something humbling about looking back at my early styling work, despite the cringing and nostalgia it’s worth keeping these files around to remind myself where I started.

I don’t think I really began developing as a stylist/art director until about 2009-2010. Before that everything was fairly loose and casual, I wasn’t pushing or experimenting- mostly just trying to make sure we had clear photos of our clothes in wearable outfits.


The photo above is one of the very first times I ever attempted to do makeup for a shoot! I wish I had some close ups (I’ll keep looking through files and update this if I find any). It was quite terrible. Aside from the weird out of focus feel of the photo above (and that it takes place on the roof of a parking garage…..huh) you can kind of see my blotchy unblended makeup job (sorry models, thank you for your patience with me!). Also the dress on the left became our Mourning Glory jsk which I am sure you can tell.

Now handling the makeup for our shoots feels very natural and gives me a chance to experiment and play. I’ve grown to really enjoy it and I am always challenging myself to try new styles and develop this skill. I don’t have any professional training as a makeup artist, heck I didn’t even start wearing makeup myself til I was 19. When I began I bought a few books and built a basic kit and practiced on myself and patient models.


This is one of my first ever shoots with CheshireCat who is now essentially the face of our label and one of my favorite people. This makeup job is not good, why did I not blend the pink into her hairline instead of just slopping it over there? Loving the hair styling though, I will never stop heaping random stuff and scraps on top of our models’ heads. Never stop heaping!!!


It’s also interesting to see what themes I keep returning to. I love anything medical- bring on the eyepatches and bandages! Wrapping models up like broken mummies is definitely a recurring theme in my styling work (and my personal wardrobe). It really is time I did another unsettling guro’ themed shoot I think!

This is not to say any of my early work is embarrassing, I have been doing this a long time and my eye and skill improves with every attempt. I may cringe a bit at my early efforts but they are what brought me here and I am grateful for the experience and for everyone who has helped me practice. I am looking forward to pushing myself further this year!!!!


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