I’m not immune to the green eyed monster called jealousy. When I first started styling, I would often find myself comparing my work to others, criticizing myself, telling myself I wasn’t as good as so and so, and feeling less-than because I didn’t have as many interesting props or styling details that seemed to make their photos. But soon after, I had a lightbulb moment, and quickly came to understand a few things that completely changed my mindset and gave me more confidence and joy as an art director.
1. You are not (fill in the blank with someone you admire). You are not where they are on their journey. You have different styles. Different budgets. Different connections. Whatever the reason, embrace where you are now and be happy with the progress you are making.
2. Yes, part of your job as a stylist is to curate a beautiful collection of props, but you can’t expect this to be completed overnight. Sourcing these items - especially if you wait to choose only the ones that truly speak to your heart, your style, and your clients - takes time. Find pieces that tell a story, and it will mean so much more. Pace yourself, and you’ll find those magical pieces when you least expect it.
3. On that same note, not every prop needs to be truly one-of-a-kind. Just think about your favorite style icons. What do you notice? They take one or two designer pieces, and pair it with less expensive items in the rest of their outfit. Sure, I love hunting for those unique, vintage, or handmade pieces, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find me roaming the Hearth and Hand aisle at Target every now and then! While the majority of your collection should be unique, don’t be afraid to go generic every once in awhile (whether for budgets sake, or because something caught your eye).
If you’re just starting out, find peace at the stage you’re in. If you find yourself feeling like you need more in order to be successful, stick to your budget, use what you have, and get creative. Eventually, you will get there!
What tips would you give someone just starting their creative business?