My friend Ingrid told me about German stylist Maria Grossmann who lives in Hamburg and who works mainly in Europe. Her website is so cool. Seriously. Check it out and make sure when you do that you drag the arrow around the screen to explore all that is there. Maria began her career as a photographer but realized that she was more interested in creating a scene to photograph than the actual art of photography itself so she switched careers and began her path as an interiors and food stylist. I find this quite common with creative types — we tend to embark on one thing but ultimately land on another. Why is this? Thoughts?
Perhaps it’s just how the creative mind works — seeing no boundaries, the thrill of exploration, the excitement of “what if”… I personally experienced this myself. I started off studying interior design and ending up writing for magazines, websites and this blog along with my current book. I realized that designing from start to finish with clients wasn’t for me as I had thought. I’d much rather do consulting work — walk into someone’s home and tell them how the space could work differently, how to organize it better, colors that they may want to add, and ideas for furniture and accessories. I then like to leave them with a POA – plan of action – and point them to all of the resources needed to get the work done and then leave and that’s that. Not that I didn’t like seeing a project through to completion but I think my idea of design and what decorating and design mean to me personally have evolved with this blog and I’ve come to realize that I’m an “editor” which applies to all things. I can edit anything – words, wardrobes, bookshelves, rooms, you name it. And I’m quite good at it. But what I don’t enjoy is starting with a blank slate where I am asked to do something entirely for someone else. I don’t enjoy working 100% for people — I enjoy working with people. The only exception to this is to create my own work. I do enjoy starting at zero and building something up on my own. But with others I like to show them how to do things better but not how to do things entirely. I like to show others how to fish, not give them the fish. “Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime”.
And so as I evolve personally and professionally speaking, I can relate to Maria with her decision to switch paths. I also think it’s great that she did because her body of work testifies to her magnificent talent. Of course it’s good to note that having the photography experience no doubt makes Maria a skilled stylist. I think this is evident in her work. I believe that this is true in many, many cases and so if you fear a career change perhaps look at this perspective: you can no doubt apply many of the skills acquired in your current profession in your new one. Even professions that appear on the surface to not relate at all. I never thought my past life would be even remotely linked to my current career but daily I find more and more links to my former career. No doubt Maria does too. I’m willing to bet you do as well.
I feel so proud to highlight some strong leaders in Germany when it comes to interior photography and styling. I’ll share a German photography today as well. I often thought all of these talented creative types lived only in select cities and countries — at least it seems this way when we flip through magazines and books. Almost as though you must live in Paris to be hip or in London to be stylish. But this is absolutely not the case. There is a lot of untapped talent in this world. Or in the case of Maria, not untapped just not widely known due to mostly language differences. Who would really know about her in America when her work is primarily featured in publications abroad — especially in German ones? This is why I try to show little blips of what’s happening in Germany and everywhere else in the world as I find people who interest me or as they find me and write in. I like to be a global scout and have my eye all over the world without feeling limited to specific culture or country.
This is the beauty of blogging with the world as my demographic so to speak. I want to reach out to English speaking people who live everywhere — Americans, Swedish, Germans, Japanese — and show the things that make this global art and design community so enriching and lovely — like a patchwork quilt. I also love to escape through my work, as you love to escape through blog reading, and so part of my intent lies in my interest to explore without jet lag and lost luggage. With a blog you can go everywhere!
So back to my earlier question as I got carried off a bit… why do you think it is that creative types seem to jump around more often when it comes to work? Do you? What drives this?
(images: maria grossmann)