How did you discover your creativity?
It began at a young age. I wanted to make 'art'. In school it was my favorite subject. When I had to choose a career, my parents were convinced you couldn't really get too far with just 'art' and I had to choose a more practical form of it, so I came up with Graphic Design. After graduating and working as a graphic designer, I realized I didn't like it - it still felt too much like a 9-5 office job and I did not entirely get the creative freedom I was looking for. What I did like was trend research & forecasting and then found out about a post graduate course that focusses on styling (this is in Holland where I'm from). After graduating as the only one doing 'fashion styling' I soon became fashion editor for a Dutch magazine. From there it was only onward and upward, and after moving to the bay area I really focussed on mostly advertising. I am back to making art in various forms and am always crafting something.
Name the biggest challenge you have had in your career to date. How did you solve it?
When I first got started here I signed with an agency. They where a tremendous help in starting my career and connecting me with clients. However, as the recession approached, I noticed that the paychecks where not coming in anymore. I somehow found out that clients did pay their invoices, meaning the agency was holding back the money. I couldn't just quit because that would mean saying goodbye to my money (there was never a real contract signed). I felt co-dependant and that was a horrible feeling. I started taking jobs outside the agency to try to bring down the balance they owed to me. It worked and I eventually left them. In the end, we did get our money. But as the agency folded, they burned so many artist. It was a hard time, but the year after I left their roster I had the most successful year ever recorded on my books.
What was your first “Big Break” in your profession?
After moving to the US, I signed with an agency as soon as I obtained my green card. I had been testing with this photographer and he had a big gig he booked me on. It involved 8 days of shooting, 80+ talent, switching scenarios with different ethnic groups each with their own specific dress codes. It was a lot but after that one I felt like I could conquer anything.
What's in your backpack/handbag/tote right now?
I actually don't carry a bag. As I am always on the fly, I can't have it weigh me down. All I carry is a credit card, ID and phone.
Do you have any advice for someone starting out in your creative profession?
Always say YES. Dream really big. Work really hard. Oh, and no bragging.
What are some of your favorite places/books/blogs/websites for inspiration?
I get my inspiration mostly from friends. So many of them are all so unique in their own way, live a certain lifestyle, do a certain craft, are into things that fascinate me. I learn so much from them. I do not read any fashion magazines and don't look at any fashion blogs.
What would be your DREAM ASSIGNMENT?
I already kinda did my dream assignment. I got invited to work on the Adobe CS6 campaign where we created 20-some images that each represented a software program, so basically giving each software package a 'face'. Interestingly enough, a lot of it was actually shot in camera. They gave us complete creative freedom and we just created and made art together.
Who are the people that have been instrumental in your success as a creative professional?
My old boss Serveas Spiekerman who gave me the freedom and push to explore my styling career while still working as a graphic designer at his studio in Amsterdam. My dear friend Renu Kashyap, who started styling around the same time and who has since created a magical life & career for herself in Ibiza. My husband Justin who is my backbone, business partner and voice of reason with incredible intuition. And all the art buyers, producers, agents and photographers who believed in my creativity and my capabilities.
What would be your last supper?
It would be exactly like the dinner at my birthday camp-out two years ago. #gypsywhipit
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