Tag Archives: the inspirations

The Inspirations: Austin Kleon – Steal Like An Artist

I was introduced to the work of Austin Kleon by a reader who emailed me a link to his latest book, Steal Like an Artist, after attending my School of Rock workshop. She thought I’d like it (thanks Emily!) and she was right. I bought it straight away and devoured the whole thing in one sitting.

Austin uses drawings and simple analogies to share his vision of what makes an artist… theft. Sounds controversial huh? Well it’s not… it’s awesome… and hugely enlightening. I’d enourage you all to go out and read it right now.

I wanted to know more so I decided to interview the man himself… enjoy!

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The Inspirations: Lisa Devlin

Gareth & I joke that we should change the name of The Green Room to The Lisa Devlin Room in honour of her services to guest posts! I’m always so thrilled when Lisa offers her insight into something as she’s just like me with her advice – to the point, honest and practical.

With 20 years as a professional photographer under her photography ninja belt, Lisa has got to be the perfect candidate for an Inspirations interview right? She runs the phenomenally successful Photography Farm, sells PhotoShop actions, shoots weddings all over the country… oh and she’s the 2011 British Journal of Photography Wedding Photographer of the Year. NIIIICE!

You’re no stranger to The Green Room, but just in case anyone has been living under a rock for the last 6 months, can you introduce yourself?

I am Lisa Devlin from Devlin Photos a UK based photographer mostly shooting weddings. I don’t remember ever not owning a camera of some sort… My Dad was a keen photographer and over the years bought me all sorts of cameras including a disc camera with tiny negatives in a wheel to a polaroid that spat out instant stickers. I have just always been completely fascinated by the process of taking photographs. For my 18th my parents bought me my first SLR which was a Minolta because it had the best review in Which Magazine. It was a great camera, the kit lens had a macro switch and I loved getting to grips with it.

I ended up as a music industry photographer for around ten years, working freelance for record companies and magazines. I travelled a lot and got to photograph lots of celebs from Eric Clapton to East 17. The first wedding I shot was for my agent in 2000 and though I was initially reluctant to do it, I totally and utterly fell in love with the whole shebang and set up my wedding photography business.

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The Inspirations: Made You Look Photography

Where on Earth do I begin introducing the made you look girls?

These vivacious, ridiculous talented, infectious and crazily-generous women really do make my heart sing. After chatting to them online for years, I was exceptionally honoured to be able to shoot with them when I was in New York earlier this year. They flew all the way from California to do it and gosh… I owe them so much. They really did make me feel beautiful.

If you’re not inspired after seeing these girls’ images and reading about their incredible journey… well there may be no hope for you. Christina, Alie & Marielle rock my frickin’ world. I love them more than life itself and I really hope we get to hang out again one day…

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The Inspirations: Fur Coat No Knickers

Photography Credit: Joanna Brown Photography

Yesterday Gareth told me that I use too! many! exclamation! marks! He said it’s like laughing at your own jokes (well… hell, I think I’m a hoot!) So he’s probably not going to enjoy reading this intro because a gazillion exclamation marks are definitely required to convey to you just how much I love the girls I’m interviewing today (!!!!!!!)

Laura & Emma run the amazing Fur Coat No Knickers, a vintage wedding dress shop in the heart of London. But this isn’t any old vintage shop, oh no, the girls pride themselves in their attention to detail and attentiveness to all their brides. They’re well known for how they ‘pimp’ each of their gowns to make it perfect for the individual girl. Whether it’s shortening, nipping, tucking, letting in, letting out or it’s adding petticoats, giant bows, straps or applique details… no detail is left out when making sure each and every one of their brides leaves with the wedding dress of their dreams.

I could wax lyrical all day long about how wonderful these two women are. They really care about each and every girl they work with, which is why I feature so many of their brides on my blog – because wearing one of their dresses makes brides automatically awesome, happy and gorgeous!

Their Kingley Court shop is my absolute favoruite place in London. If I’m ever in the area I’ll pop in and say hi… and not just because they always offer me bubbly and I get to swoon over all the latest vintage frocks! These girls are wonderful, wonderful people. They’re always there for me when I have a ‘omg I’ve fallen in love with this vintage dress but it’s too small!’ crisis, and they’re always the first to make me feel beautiful when I need it, “We think this dress is perfect for you. Yes, you have to try it on!” A well fitting glamorous vintage dress will do that to a person!

I only wish I’d known about them before I got married!

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The Inspirations: Elbie Van Eeden

Elbie on the Wonderland set

Elbie has no concept of what is real, and what is make-believe”, wrote photographer Kirsty Mitchell in 2009. “She lives in la-la-land, and likes to spend her money on gardening wire and lipsticks. She spends her days ruining people’s hair because she is constantly emailing me about fairies and monsters, and leaves broken make up all over the place. She will stain your carpets with blue face paint and glue, and says ‘happiness’ a lot, and gets very excited about sparkly stuff.”

So apart from the ruining people’s hair bit, this couldn’t be more spot on about my friend Elbie. After stalking her work online for months, I finally plucked up the courage to email her to ask if she’d be available to work with me on a shoot. Luckily she agreed and we’ve been the best of friends ever since. Elbie is my go to girl for anything hair and make up related. With every shoot I do, Elbie is the first MUA I want to book. And after disastrous (and erm… expensive) hair dying results from Toni & Guy, Elbie has become my hair care saviour – regularly emailing me the next stage in my ‘lets-get-Kat’s-hair-healthy-again’ regime.

She’s a gem. She’s exceptionally talented at what she does. As someone who has built her business from the ground up, she’s the perfect person to interview today. Inspirational? Oh yes she is!

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The Inspirations: Ruth Crilly of A Model Recommends

Ruth Crilly was always a model I was aware of. With her trademark teeth and her ridiculously luscious blonde hair, I’d seen and admired her on billboards and in magazines for a long time. I’d even watched her early foray into modelling on the Channel 4 series This Model life (which, if you’re in the UK you can see watch on 4OD). So you can imagine my surprise when, at a cover shoot for Wedding Magazine last year, I walked in to see Ruth getting made up! I’m not going to lie, I was slightly intimidated to meet her but I need not have been. She’s a truly LOVELY person as well (gaah don’t you just hate that!?) Ruth had started her beauty blog, A Model Recommends, the year before so we spent most of the day gossiping about modeling, blogging and beauty products! I’ve been a fan of her blog ever since and have lost literally hours watching her video blogs (and erm…spent rather a lot of money on her product recommendations).

So this week I thought I’d revisit that chat so share with you all today. Ruth is not only inspiring for wannabe models out there, but for anyone who wants to start a blog. Brains and beauty? Yeah not jealous at all …

Hey Ruth! So, tell us about yourself. Who are you and what do is it that you do?

Hello! I’m Ruth Crilly and I am an international fashion model and a writer. Though I should really put the writer part first as that’s now my main career. Doesn’t sound as exciting though, does it? I got signed to a model agency when I was in my second year at law school (2001) and then modelled full-time for almost ten years until I set up www.amodelrecommends.com in 2010. Now I juggle the two jobs, but they work very well together. In fact, I couldn’t really maintain A Model Recommends without being a model, so both jobs are necessary!

How did you first get into modelling?

I dropped a polaroid of myself into a Topshop “Model Comp” box in Birmingham when I was on my lunch break (extended lunch break, which was usual when I was at uni, and used to last from approximately 11.30am until 4pm). I didn’t get contacted for about six months by which time I had forgotten all about it, but when I was asked by Models1 to come and see them I jumped at the chance. I wasn’t particularly “feeling” my law degree and the promise of a more glamorous lifestyle (see below for a bit of myth-busting on that one!) was too much to turn down.

I can imagine being a model is one of the hardest and most competitive fields to get into. Do you have any advice for anyone who’d like to become a model?

Yes: be realistic at all times. Think forward to when your career will end and have something planned out – most girls will NOT make it to superstardom, unfortunately, and the shelf-life for models is getting shorter and shorter. This sounds really pessimistic, but it’s SO true, and there’s nothing more soul-destroying than being left waiting for the phone to ring! Make sure you have some qualifications behind you – I left uni, but I carried on with my education and did a humanities diploma, then a literature degree, now I’m doing a Masters degree. If academia isn’t your thing, try some practical qualifications that are relevant to your modelling career – nutrition, beauty or fitness perhaps.

What are the biggest preconceptions about the fashion/modelling industry?

That models are stupid. It drives me absolutely BONKERS. Whenever I hear that tagline “beauty AND brains!” it makes me want to poke my eyes out with a fork – it is one of the most condescending and pointless statements. That it’s such a surprise for a woman to be both attractive AND clever? Whoo – don’t get me started, I’ll be here all day!

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