Phoebe McEvoy has always had a passion for design - she just wasn't sure which path she would go down. For seven years she went the way of graphic design. But she had always loved magazines, and was intrigued with styling so decided to become an assistant, something she recommends every aspiring stylist to do. Today Phoebe is the market editor for Inside Out magazine, and fits in the occasional freelance job in too, such as the shoot for Donna Hay magazine, pictured third from the bottom. You can follow her styling adventures here.
Which five words best describe you? Tenacious, loyal, positive, caring, spontaneous.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I got my Bachelor of Design at UNSW’s College of Fine Arts. Despite always having a love of art and textiles when I began I had no idea which design field was the right one for me, the course was great as it was broad and exposed me to all sorts of disciplines. After graduating I worked as a graphic designer in small studios where I learnt a lot, both from the people I worked with and through trial and error. I had always dreamed about being part of a magazine one day so after seven years in the design world I started assisting a small group of stylists (Glen Proebstel, Claire Delmar and Lara Hutton) whose work I had always admired. I have been fortunate in having great mentors who were all generous with their time and willing to share their knowledge. Assisting was an amazing learning experience and something that every aspiring stylist should do. It means lots of packing, unpacking, painting, dealing with shops and suppliers, pick ups and returns but that is all still part of my job now. Soon I started doing my own shoots - the timing was perfect as there was a baby boom in the styling world creating a fantastic opportunity for me to join the Inside Out team where I am now the Market Editor. I also freelance for other magazines and on other jobs.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Be open to new ideas, trust your gut feel, have a plan, remember the brief, and always have a plan B - sometimes they can surprise you and be better that the original!
What’s your proudest career achievement? Working for magazines I have long admired, like Inside Out and Donna Hay. I’d like to think that there are lots more achievements yet to come. I am constantly challenged in my job and that is the way you grow, from each challenge I learn more and so my work gets better and I am proud of that.
What’s been your best decision? Taking a leap of faith by leaving the design industry for the styling world.
Who inspires you? I’m always discovering new sources of inspiration in unexpected places but there are a few people who top my list: Faye Toogood, Ilse Crawford, Martyn Thompson, Ditte Isager, small creatives doing what they love everyday, and my Mum: Victoria Alexander. Her career path has been one of her making not always choosing, her vision has always been strong and that is something that inspires me. And my husband, Ben, with his discipline and focus.
What are you passionate about? Family and friends, being true to yourself, learning, travelling, collaboration, seeing the beauty in the everyday.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? My maternal grandparents, they are part of my history and who I am, they both passed away when I was young so I never got the chance to know them.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? To start a business of my own, I think there is nothing scarier and thrilling at the same time as being your own boss. To style for international magazines. My dream to start a family is soon to be a reality!
What are you reading? Currently it’s a lot of baby-related books! I’m always reading blogs, local and international mags, (Elle Decor Italia and Elle Decoration UK are favorites) and emails! Looking around, on the coffee table now is The new artisans by Oliver Dupon, A perfectly kept house is the sign of a misspent life by Mary Randolph Carter and Interiors by Martyn Thompson.