Music is something that I don't write about as much as I should because it's something that's always been important in my life - I think it is for many of us. There are whole periods of time that I can attribute to a particular album. When time passes and I play Andy Bull's debut record We're Too Young I will think about the person I was and where I was going this year. I play it all the time. Get lost in it. Love it. I hope you do too. (Click on his website to hear a few tunes - one of which is one of my faves: Small Town Girl).
Which five words best describe you? Born on September the 5th. What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? The first job I ever took was scrubbing dishes in the kitchen of a local restaurant. It's been a few years, but I know that I'm moving up in the world, because now I scrub dishes in a much fancier restaurant. What's your proudest career achievement? Recently I put out my first album, and I've had people from all corners of the world, from all kinds of countries, write to me and tell me how much it means to them. That makes me really proud. But actually, I think my proudest career achievement has been the professional relationships I have had with the people with whom I work. They take work and care, and I'm proud of the journey those relationships have taken. What's been your best decision? In terms of music, the best decision I've made is to keep on doing it. People often say, "Oh, yeah, music, good on you, give it a try." And I say: "What do you mean, give it a try?". I once heard a dancer say that he was given a choice in life; "dance or die". What he meant, in a roundabout way, was that for him a life without dance was not a life at all. He was dance; dance was him. If he were not free to dance, he would feel like a shadow, not a full person. I feel the same way about making music. So my best decision is made for me already in a way. Who inspires you? Musically? I guess recently I've been quite inspired by the people I see while I work. Sometimes I watch people while I'm serving food, and it's quite good to observe. It's entertaining watching people interact in social situations. You get a sense of social dynamics, anxiety, class, money, attraction, power, all of that kind of thing. That can make for good songwriting fodder. Sometimes after a shift working for the chef I'll emerge from the kitchen covered in grease and looking bedraggled, and I'll walk through a gaggle of beautiful women dressed to the nines, smelling like expensive perfume and drinking champagne. It's very jarring; those things that might fill you with status anxiety or awkwardness; I find that sort of thing great for writing songs. Of course, the person who breaks your heart is usually the individual responsible for most of your creative output. The trick is to just keep going for people who are completely selfish, immature, aloof, none-committal or volatile. That way you'll never run out of songs. What are you passionate about? My earliest passion was drawing. Then it became acting. Then writing. Then music. You know, all those really solid, profitable, pursuits. What's the best lesson you've learnt? There are no shortcuts when it comes to learning lessons. And also that at no point do the lessons stop coming. And some of those are very painful ones to have to learn! Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? The first ape who stood upright. Can you imagine that? That ape is responsible for a whole lot. If you told her/him, she'd probably crawl back into the swamp just to avoid the sense of responsibility. What dream do you still want to fulfil? Do I only get the one? Because there's a fair backlog. Apparently they take much longer to achieve than one might initially consider. I guess I'd like to make a cent; preferably without having to compromise any more than the usual required set of personal standards/morals/relationships. What are you reading? I just finished reading The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster. Really loved it. While reading it, you get a sense that your role, the author's role, and that of the main character, is all being blurred. It felt kind of mind expanding. You really have to hand yourself over to the writer and just trust that he's taking good care of you; which he is luckily, because Auster is a master craftsman, and is very respectful of the reader. The respect is returned, Mister Auster.
One of the other exhibitions I visited this weekend was at Blender Gallery, also in Sydney's Paddington. On display were the photographs of London photographer Janette Beckman. The work is mainly from early in her career when she captured the rising music stars of the late 70s and early 80s. Although stars is probably the wrong word because the portraits capture a raw quality that seems to be lost today. Yep, I think it's fair to say that Janette managed to capture the innocence of youth - quite an achievement given it was an era of punk and hip hop. If you want to check out the exhibition, hurry because it's only on until the end of October.
Which five words best describe you? Curious, arty, friendly, visual, little crazy. What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? Painting the eyes on the baby Jesus nativity dolls for my school friend's mum who made wooden toys - I was 13 and I bought my first 'trendy' bright orange shetland wool sweater with my wages. Since then I went to art school in London and became a photographer, lived in London and New York. What’s your proudest achievement? Managing to make a living from doing what I love - taking photographs of people from punks, mods, rock 'n' roll and hip hop bands to boxers, politicians and sport people and capturing them as they really are. And most of them said they actually enjoyed the experience. What’s been your best decision? Follow your heart. What was the starting point for this exhibition? A photograph I took of two mod twins in London in 1977. I was teaching photography in a college and saw them hanging out in the yard at lunchtime - they were to me the epitome of style and attitude - and a photo I took of Siouxee Sioux at the Roundhouse in London. Who inspires you? Painters from Frances Bacon to Matisse - photographers from Irving Penn to William Klein - and watching people on the street, in the subway, everywhere. What are you passionate about? Friends, family, photography, art, nature. What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? Do what you love, treat people with respect. Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Prince, President Obama, Aretha Franklin, Grace Coddington, Picasso and many many more. What dream do you still want to fulfil? To document the next music and street style movement. What are you reading? Ross MacDonald The Barbarous Coast
I know Olivia Sparks through her styling work on real living. She's based in Melbourne and has worked on many of our food shoots down there - producing beautiful results. Now, she's changing direction slightly - but still keeping creative. I think she's one to watch.
Which five words best describe you? Compassionate, dedicated, visionary, imaginative, fastidious. What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? I was assistant to the director of Melbourne School of Fashion then worked in a city law firm, and on the side began a small jewellery business. Then I studied Bachelor of Marketing and followed it up with a Diploma of Interior Design and Decoration. Always an entrepreneur at heart, I explored the creative industry for the next few years. In the past year I've established my own consultancy. Finally I have found a career that makes sense to me, and all my skills and interests. My profession is so diverse, and exciting. I love the fact that any given day, I never quite know what enquiry will next land in my inbox, and what environment, circle of people, and professional challenges lay ahead. What's your proudest achievement? A family girl at heart, taking over the reigns of family life after my mother died nine years ago. I have two younger sisters and it has been an exceptional journey. On the work front, consulting to some of Melbourne’s biggest companies very early in my career. What's been your best decision? To look inside and see what makes me tick. To look closely at what my skills, interests, strengths and weaknesses are, and tailor a career that works and inspires accordingly. To stick with it, even when times get tough, and believe in yourself. Who inspires you? Aside from the obvious role models within family and friends, one very special lady, who first introduced me to the wonderful world of styling was Helen Redmond, from Vogue Living magazine. My first work experience placement was with Helen, and she could not have been more welcoming, informative, and interested in my direction. She helped create my dream, and gave me some wings to fly. Seeing her in full swing with Vogue Living, after 20 years of involvement was most inspiring. She was passionate and respected. A very driven lady, she still had time to facilitate ‘lil old me’, a complete stranger. She gave me a gift. I will always appreciate and never forget.
What are you passionate about? Bringing light to life. This is my tag line, and it has so many interpretations. Life can be tough and challenging at times, but my one true passion is creating sanctuaries for people to retreat to (interiors), creating stylish visual beauty and elegance to encourage people to feel their best (fashion), enhancing the importance of meal-time with loved ones, and good food for good nutrition (food), and generally inspiring people to lead fun-filled and fruitful lifestyles.
What's the best lesson you've learnt? Sleep on all decisions, before you leap!! And as my dear nan says… decency, honesty and integrity will go a long way. Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Author, metaphysical lecturer & teacher - Louise L. Hay. What dream do you still want to fulfil? I would love to create a forum one day, for people of all ages and backgrounds, to help motivate and inspire them to achieve their personal goals and live their wildest dreams!! What are you reading?Female Entrepreneurs by Leiza Clark - good for business! Empowering Women: Every Woman’s Guide to Successful Living by Louise L. Hay - good for inspiration and motivation! Home, Living Life Beautifully by Sandra Kaminski - for the homely gal who likes gorgeous things!!
I had a weekend of gallery hopping - it was fantastic to see so many new up-and-coming artists and so many busy galleries! One of the exhibitions was the work of Leonardo Cremonese at the Iain Dawson Gallery in Paddington. I went on the recommendation of real living style director Jason Grant, who went to the opening night and said the artist was definitely one to watch. I agree. Leonardo, who was born in Brazil but moved to Australia with his family more than 20 years ago, was awarded a four-year scholarship in 2000 with the Tim Olsen Gallery to study Historical Oil Painting Techniques and Drawing Practice with the artist Charlie Sheard.
Which five words best describe you? Happy, sad, loyal, driven, slightly demented. What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? Breakfast cook (I got very good at omelettes). I’ve always managed to avoid jobs that tied me down so I could pursue my passion for painting, surfing and living. I currently split my time between painting and teaching surfing. What’s your proudest career achievement? I’ve created some paintings that I’m particularly happy with – a few are in my current show at Iain Dawson Gallery in Paddington, Sydney, and a couple more will be shown at Tin Sheds Gallery this November. What’s been your best decision? To study proper painting techniques with my mentor and fellow artist, Charlie Sheard. What was the starting point for this exhibition? I’d been striving to disassociate myself from material things for a while when I became interested in the Dionysian religion of Ancient Greece. According to their beliefs, we all embody a life/creative force which, when exited intensely, can overflow into a frenzy of erotic madness called mainomenosDionysos (mad Dionysos). This was my focus. Who inspires you? The Brazilian musician CaetanoVeloso, Titian, Boccacio, Roberto Freire (a Brazilian writer and anarchist), and Casanova who was someone who alternated between success and big mistakes, but always lived his life to the full and never held back. What are you passionate about? Painting. What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? How to stall for the barrel. Translation: slowing your board down so you can get in the curl of a wave. Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I’ve been lucky to meet her already. My wife, Libby. What dream do you still want to fulfil? There are so many but one would be meeting a shaman and hopefully learning a few things from him/her so that I could bring painting closer to where it started off tens of thousands years ago. What are you reading? An anthology of 20th century Brazilian poetry and The New Yorker magazine which drives me nuts but is strangely addictive.
Marina Oliphant is a humble woman who can talk a lot... which is kind of unusual for the photographers that I've come across (except, perhaps, Mr Nick Scott, who tells jokes entire shoots!) But Marina is just an enthusiastic person. She's passionate about her work and still has a starry-eyed gaze for her profession even though she's been shooting for many years. And her work speaks for itself.
Which five words best describe you? Pedantic, Caring, Laughing, Dancing, Chatterbox.
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? Features and magazines photographer for The Age newspaper. I did a week’s work experience towards the end of uni, and they offered me a full-time job a few months later. I was elated and yet terrified. Working for The Age and The Sydney Morning Heraldhas been a wonderful experience for me. I started there at 21, and almost 10 years later am still a weekly contributor, after going freelance in December last year. Working for a newspaper is hugely challenging. It presents a steep learning curve and is very rewarding. You really have to learn on your feet, as there are no second-chances with tight deadlines. The sheer breadth of assignments is fabulous and unique too. I could go from shooting a fashion spread, to a Hollywood celebrity, to an asylum seeker or human rights campaigner in the one week. I have been able to meet and photograph some amazing people in my career.
What’s your proudest achievement? Going freelance last year. I had considered it for a long time, but it was certainly daunting, particularly during the height of the GFC. I am still learning every day about running my own business, but haven’t regretted my decision for a second. I’m thoroughly enjoying mixing my editorial assignments with advertising shoots.
What’s been your best decision? To study photography at RMIT after high school. My school, Wanganui Park Secondary in Shepparton, Victoria, has a wonderful, Australia-renowned photography department, thanks to their brilliant and passionate teacher, Mr Kerry Short. I studied photography there from year 7, but had only really considered it a hobby, and not a realistic career option. I decided I’d apply for RMIT out of curiosity, as I had heard it was hard to get into. Fortunately I was accepted. I have never regretted making my favourite hobby my career. I still often have moments on a shoot where I think, “I can’t believe I’m getting paid to do this”.
Who inspires you? At The Age, I was inspired every day by my fellow staff photographers. I wasn’t a news shooter, but worked alongside the press photographers and would see their images on the computer screens next to mine. Press photography is such a different art form to commercial or magazine photography, with so many different constraints and variables. The press shooters, particularly people like Jason South, Wayne Taylor, Simon O’Dwyer and so many others, have this innate ability to compose an image in an interesting way, often within a few seconds. Fellow Age features and magazines photographers have also taught me so much, namely former staffer Julian Kingma, whose work is always hauntingly beautiful, and my partner, Robert Banks, whose technical knowledge and ability to shoot just about anything with flair is remarkable. I love the work of several Australian commercial photographers: Con Poulos and William Meppem for food. Chris Colls and Justin Cooper for fashion. Most recently, I’ve been inspired by the work of obscenely young fashion photographers Nirrimi Hakanson and Matt Caplin.
What are you passionate about? Completing every assignment to the absolute best of my ability. I’m a staunch perfectionist, which I think is vital for a photographer. I get such a thrill on shoots when I know I’m producing a beautiful image, which is why fashion and food are my favourite subjects. I love the freedom that editorial fashion shoots bring, in that you’re not having to take into account the way the model wants to be portrayed, as you are with portraiture subjects, but instead you’re able to create a fantasy. You can have absolute control over the lighting and general feel of a shoot, and really create a story. I also get such a buzz from collaborating with talented people. I have been fortunate to have worked with wonderful stylists and make up artists. Food stylist Caroline Velik and I have worked together on pretty much a weekly basis for the last few years, and we’re incredibly in tune. She has created countless breathtaking scenes for me to capture. I’ve also worked with amazing fashion and lifestyle stylists, my favourites including Sophie Hexter, Michelle Cammiade, Leesa O’Reilly and the late, unparalleled Lisa Chivers.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? I still have much to learn! Oh, and get everything in writing!
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Hmmm, lots of people! I’m still on a high after Obama’s win, so I’d have to list him first. There are several writers I’d like to meet because they’ve brought me so much joy. Lily Brett, Margaret Atwood, Irvine Welsh, Tim Winton and many more. I’d also love to meet Seth MacFarlane, the creator of Family Guy, and comedian Ricky Gervais. Chris Lilly would definitely be on my list if I hadn’t already had the pleasure of photographing him twice for The Age. A true genius.
What dream do you still want to fulfill? I would love to live and work overseas for at least a year, to really be able to immerse myself in another country.
What are you reading? I have about five books in the go at the moment, and about 20 others that I’m supposed to get through before my next book club. At the moment I’m reading A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon; This is How by M.J. Hyland, and I just finished Helen Garner’s The Spare Room.
Beci Orpin cannot surprise me. She's always up to something new. And while I still often get the initial flush of, "wow, she did that!", such as when I learnt recently that Beci did the artwork for my current fave album by Whitley, at the same time, I'm never surprised by which corner she turns. Beci has designed women's fashion (the retired Princess Tina line), children's fashion - Tiny Mammoth - she now does homewares and squeezes art exhibitions and album covers in between along with a million other projects. Check out the Christmas issue of real living for some of her cool new cushions.
Which five words best describe you? Aware, enthusiastic, happy, diligent, impatient. What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? My student job (started when I was 15) was working in a bookshop that sold foriegn language books. I hated it at first, but I ended up working there for 10 years and loving it. I would say it also influenced my work - I spent my weekends surrounded by amazing images I maybe otherwise would not have seen... when I went on to study design I always referenced other cultures and I think my awareness and willingness to look for inspiration in unusual places made the difference in my work. What’s your proudest achievement? Having my 2 sons - Tyke and Ari. What’s been your best decision? Buying our house - was completely above what we thought our budget was but somehow we made it work and it was worth it. Now I feel like we never have to move. Also, to finish my women's clothing line Princess Tina when I did (last year) - it was a big part of our business but it was the right time for me mentally to stop it. Who inspires you? My husband/business partner Raph, my kids, my friend's Shauna and Lawrence, the barista(s) at Seven Seeds cafe, who make the best coffee. What are you passionate about? My work, my family, my kids' future, planting more trees, equality, learning things the proper way, colour, digging at flea markets, natural birth, baking the best brownies and making the best ice-cream. What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? Be true to yourself. Be kind. Be honest. Have no regrets. Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Raph's papa who passed away before I had the chance to meet him. What dream do you still want to fulfil?To have an email-free weekend, design and build a holiday house by the beach and illustrate a children's book. What are you reading?Design as art by Bruno Munari and Nobody told me there'd be days like these by Amanda Maxwell.
It's always lovely to hear stories of Daily Imprint inspiring people. This morning I heard from Aura Lifestyle's Tracie Ellis, who has recently started her own blog Tracie Ellis Design, after being featured on this one. The original interview is here.
Some people are unforgettable. Jacqui Lewis is one of them. I've corresponded with her many times for projects related to real living. But it was when I finally got to sit down and have lunch with Jacqui that I knew she was an exceptional person. You cannot leave an encounter without feeling invigorated and full of resolve. And she's completely on the ball and talks my language. For all these reasons I think she's fabulous, PLUS she's the brains behind Jacqui Lewis Communications, Distillate and Pony Rider, her just-released homewares range.
Which five words best describe you? Creative, inspired, driven, happy, intense. What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? Interior designer (after years of waitressing, that is). Interior design led me into furniture and graphic design, which got me interested in exhibiting my work. I curated an event called My Name Is House in Annandale, and managed the opening night, event partners and media with no experience, which almost killed me (physically, financially and emotionally), but it made me realise I loved it. I then focused on communications, and eventually took the leap in starting my own agency JLC where we do PR, branding, graphic design and more, basically anything that my clients need to communicate what they do, they're services, their profiles... then to promote what we do and for personal interest, I started editing and publishing my online chronicle Distillate and my most recent and proudest side project is Pony Rider, a homewares line I have just launched with my great friend Kelly Searl. What’s your proudest achievement? Living through the last year. Managing my communications agency, launching Distillate (Jan) and publishing all year, launching Pony Rider this Oct, and running our house with my husband and our three year old has really made me question whether I have any common sense. Or simply any sanity. What’s been your best decision? Work wise, taking the plunge into PR with no experience, but just a really solid feeling that I could do it and do it well. Personally, marrying my husband Haydn. Who inspires you? So many people, but generally people I know and hang out with, as opposed to big international stars. Kelly, who I have Pony Rider with is amazing, my dad, Greg Doyle, an incredible chef who has Pier restaurant in Sydney is so driven with an amazing vision and he can cook better than anyone I know, many of my talented friends who are so inspiring, driven and creative, the editors and stylists at a lot of the magazines I constantly work with, Lee Mathews - one of my clients, the million bloggers who post on their fabulous work - particularly the great photographers, my daughter who forces me to live in the now and notice the tiny things in life, my brave and beautiful friend Poppy Kural who is a brilliant sewer - the list is kind of huge and goes on and on. What are you passionate about? Cooking and eating. I read cookbooks in bed like some mad woman as if they're novels, I'm addicted to food magazines and I swap recipes with friends constantly. It's pretty exciting stuff at our place as our tomatoes are just growing and we're about to get three chickens. I cook every night pretty much at the moment, and eating is one of my biggest pleasures. I just got my first food processor and literally sat it in the kitchen and gazed at it! What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? Trust your instincts and always take the risk. Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? David Sedaris, but not just meet, I would want to hang out for a day - I think he's hilarious and you can't have more fun than laughing. What dream do you still want to fulfil? More traveling. Since having Marley, and having to pretend like we're grown up, and we got a mortgage etc, there has been limited traveling. Both of us owning our own businesses doesn't help getting away much either! We have a long list of places to go. What are you reading? I always have a few on the go, right now its Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden Companion, Alain De Botton's Status Anxiety, Sarah Napthali's Buddhism for Mothers With Lingering Questions, and I should sheepishly admit that I just polished off all the Twilight series in 5 nights.
I came across the work of Caroline Colom Vasquez's brand Paloma's Nest - there's also an etsy shop - via Nathalie from Imprintables on a photo shoot (she's going to be featured in an upcoming issue of real living). I loved it instantly. I thought you might too. (Oh, and Caroline lives in Austin, Texas, which seems the place to live if you're a creative, artsy type. Definitely going on my list of places to visit.)
Which five words best describe you? Witty, innovative, patient, observant, determined. What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? My first "real" job was at age 15, working in a small boutique/gallery in my hometown of Mystic, Connecticut. It was there that I discovered a world of handcrafted art and design, surrounded by the most splendid of items, special packaging, and creatives. By working in such a supportive environment throughout my teen years, I learned to see the potential in creating a product and a business from my art. The entrepreneurial seed was planted, and now, years later, it has come to fruition. What’s been your best decision? To not over-plan. Have a dream and the intention to make it come true; but take risks, educate yourself, put your best ideas out there, and take the leap. So many great ideas are never realized because someone thought they "couldn't." Who inspires you? Paloma's Nest is active in contributing to other entrepreneurs all over the globe through Kiva.org. To see people make a decision and commitment to bettering themselves and their situation is very inspiring, and is something I am so proud to be a part of. What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? Being your own boss is the most difficult job one can have. It can take every inch and ounce of your soul to do what you love, but it is worth every bit of it. Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Martha Stewart. I'd love to "talk shop" with her. What dream do you still want to fulfil?I dream that my designs will become heirlooms, that the pieces I create for my clients will be passed on to generations. I hope that by creating pieces that hold such personal meaning, our brand and my designs will be able to experience longevity. I'd love to live to see this generation of brides and clients pass on their Paloma's Nest pieces to their daughters and sons. What are you reading? Ummmm....this goes back to the question about "what I've learned." My days are so full with business and family life that I rarely have a moment to pick up a good book! If I did, it would most likely be a large heavy art book, or an old favorite like The Prophet by Gibran; both sources of great inspiration for me.
If you have ever wondered if hard work pays off then keep reading. Margarita Georgiadis is perhaps the most determined person I have ever come across. She has dedicated herself to the pursuit of becoming a professional artist in a way that is truly admirable. And now she is enjoying the fruits of her labour - becoming a finalist in The Archibald Prize and exhibiting regularly at the Rex Livingston Gallery in Sydney (her latest exhibition is on until October 25) and the Edwina Corlette Gallery in Brisbane.
Which five words best describe you? Obsessive. Tenacious. Dedicated. Curious. Playful. What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? My first ever job was as a hairdresser's assistant when I was 15. The only creativity I experienced from that job was after hours when I would steal as many different colours of hair dye to experiment with at home, a different shade for my mohawk every week. Since then, I enrolled myself into art school at the age of 16 and studied full time for six years, the final two at the University of Sydney for a BA in Fine Art. I also studied commercial printmaking and business studies. While still a student, I rented a small studio in Sydney CBD and worked on my own projects and began to exhibit my work. To earn money, I used to nude model for professional artists, designers, photographers, art institutions and often for my own drawing class at art school when the booked model failed to show up! On weekends I would work two jobs at The Royal North Shore Hospital from 6am - 10pm, as a catering maid and a cleaner in accident and emergency; I learned a lot about the fragility of life there. I never had time in between studying and working for a social life - good training in retrospect for an artist, as I am very comfortable working in solitude for long periods of time. After my studies, I worked part-time in advertising, commercial real estate and PR as a receptionist, and I would paint in my studio from 6pm to 3am on commissions and for solo shows. In my late twenties I launched into being a full-time professional artist. I have never looked back, but am very grateful for the path I took, the lessons I learned along the way have been more than character building. I still cut my own hair, very short, but no longer dye it. What’s your proudest achievement? Being selected as a finalist for the Archibald Prize, which lead me to meet the man who is now my husband. What’s been your best decision? To buy the ramshackle cinema in which my husband and I live and work, on the Southern Tablelands of NSW. What was the starting point for this exhibition? Italo Calvino's book, Invisible Cities. Who inspires you? Authors: Italo Calvino, Ben Okri and Paolo Zellini. Artists: Axel Geis, Michael Borremans and Lucian Freud. Music: Satie. What are you passionate about? Universal enlightenment. What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? Selflessness. Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? The artist, Louise Bourgeois. What dream do you still want to fulfil? To create all the paintings I've yet to produce that bring me closer to truth. What are you reading? T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets - I am always reading this book.
Thirty million is a large number. That's how many readers of Better Homes and Gardens in the USA get to see Annette Joseph's work regularly. And that's not to mention the other styling jobs she produces for other magazines and television programs. It's no wonder that she believes in being calm when working under pressure. I like her view on this - and how she got her start...
Which five words best describe you? Organized, creative, energetic, perfectionist, positive. What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? My first job was as a window dresser in New York. I then met a very talented photographer who hired me and saw in me the photo stylist and producer I am today. I had no idea what a photo stylist was, but working in his studio exclusively taught me all the tools of my trade. I have been a freelance producer/stylist ever since. I work for national and local magazines and TV as well. I work for many national shelter magazine's like Better Homes and Gardens Magazine - they have 30 million readers - so my work is enjoyed by many people. I also style and prop food photo shoots for magazines and cookbooks. Cooking is my passion and I am working on my own cookbook right now. I am hoping it will be published by next Christmas. I am also pitching a show to Foodnetwork in the U.S. based on my book. So my path has lead me to working on my own book, and beyond. What’s your proudest achievement? My greatest achievement would have to be my 2 children: they are smart and accomplished. But as far as my design profession, I think that designing/styling our flat in an old monastery in Italy would be my proudest achievement. It was daunting doing such a large project from so far away. What’s been your best decision? My best decision would be to marry my husband; professionally probably accepting the position with the photographer - it drastically altered my career path. Learning to cook at the Culinary Institute of America would probably be up there as well. It lead my to my love of cooking and entertaining. Who inspires you? Martha Stewart is an inspiration: she was one of the pioneers in introducing a quality lifestyle to the mass market. I think a well lived life with family, friends surrounded by beauty, is the key to happiness. I aspire to show people how to live better and elevate their lifestyle by sharing my design, and cooking and entertainment ideas. What are you passionate about? FOOD and entertaining, and home design. I live for great food, entertaining friends, and beauty everyday. What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? Probably the best lesson is to keep it simple and never let them see you sweat. I have a high pressure job, and I like to always try to find the simplest path, and keep everything calm. Everyone thinks better with a calm mind. Solving design and styling challenges seems effortless when you approach the solution with collected demeanor. Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I actually got to meet the person I most wanted to meet, Julia Child, another groundbreaking woman. I gushed over her like a school girl - I think she thought I was nuts! But it was a highlight experience for me. But if I had to pick another person, I would probably like to meet Pablo Picasso, he seemed like he would be a fun date and interesting to spend time with. What dream do you still want to fulfil? I want to restore an old farm house in Italy, and start a cooking school there, with courses in art and sculpture as well. What are you reading? Born Round: The secret history of a full-time eater by Frank Bruni. Rustic Fruit Desserts by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson - my fave cookbook right now, I cook a new recipe from the book every Sunday, for Sunday Supper.