Prop Stylist Barb Fritz (+ Thoughts on Freelance Life)

April 19, 2010

I first heard about Barb Fritz during the Domino days but recently a dear reader reminded me to look at her portfolio again and so I did…  Barb’s portfolio is definitely beautiful to behold. I am inspired by her work but equally by her background as she has spent two decades producing photography and has worn many hats along the way — creative director, food editor, food stylist, and prop stylist in many different outlets from magazines to books, catalogs, advertising… even television! I am inspired by this because lots of times people pass (sometimes harsh) judgment on those who are creative, like we can’t get our “act together” because our focus is not on one thing but on many. This always irks me.

Prop Stylist Barb Fritz (+ Thoughts on Freelance Life)

I find it unfair and to hopefully present an alternate viewpoint I like to point them to accomplished people like Barb who has made this life of multiple-hat-wearing a successful one. Not all artists are starving. Not all creative minds are wandering without clue. And not all who are working from home strange, geeky, against the man, or unable to cope with a 9-5 job. There are so many misconceptions about the freelancer out there, those with a free spirit are so often cast as flighty and unable to make decisions and it’s simply not true of us all. The truth is that some of us like to experiment and have the circumstances (or made them) to support these experiments. Some experiments bomb — it’s true — but if passion, talent and consistency are in the recipe then most of the time experiments can turn into careers — or at the very least, temporary paths that lead to something greater. And then there are some who just don’t grow up knowing what we want to do exactly. Scientist. School teacher. Doctor. Vet. At one time I wanted to be the type who did know because kids who knew back in school seemed to be the most loved by the teacher and certainly the focused kids got further in life more quickly than the “artist types”. I always admired those who knew exactly what they wanted to do in life – like my uncle who became a surgeon. I find it most interesting though that once you finish school and enter the workforce, you start to understand how life really works and that there is really no universal right way, there is only the right way according to individual definition and that definition is, or at least should be, defined by Y-O-U.

Prop Stylist Barb Fritz (+ Thoughts on Freelance Life)

Deb says in her bio that she has styled for Domino magazine but also for Gourmet magazine. She has done some catalog work for Crate and Barrel, ads for Eggo and Godiva (hope she got to eat some of it while on the set!), and cookbooks for Bobby Flay, TV shows for Martha and signs for Target. In addition to her work as a prop stylist wearing many hats working in many different areas, Barb enjoys her garden at home in Pennsylvania.

Prop Stylist Barb Fritz (+ Thoughts on Freelance Life)

I have come to the conclusion when it comes to career that in the end, it’s okay to experiment within your field and even to dip your toe outside of that field to see what other options exist for you. But I’ve come to learn from my own personal experience that once you find your calling, you usually don’t have an interest in experimenting outside of that particular field. For instance, you may become a painter but you also may want to experiment with other mediums (it’s all art, your creative expression). And you may want to write about your art or podcast about it or teach a class or write a book about it. So someone may judge you for wearing many hats but you are still staying within your field and that is why it works. But if you became a painter, and then decided to be a classical pianist, or a car mechanic, analyst, or sky dive instructor — well that’s a bit more difficult to do and is why changing careers many times may not work if they aren’t somehow, someway, linked to your life’s passion.

Make sense? Thoughts?

And please visit Barb’s portfolio while thinking over what I write here…

(images: barb fritz)


  • Reply Julie April 19, 2010 at 9:29 am

    Thanks for the daily read, love the blog!
    .-= Julie´s last blog ..Beerlala Lifestyle: Violeta live here! =-.

  • Reply Jenn April 19, 2010 at 9:56 am

    I totally agree! Great post. I too, do many things within my field and find it important especially in today’s economy, to do more than one thing. Also, by dipping into each section within my field, I’ve learned way more along the way than if I was just staying in one of those sections. I’m a photographer first, but I also write about photography and camera equipment, teach workshops, and test equipment for a photographic company. A lot to balance yes, but it keeps me on top of things and keeps me from never being bored or out of work!

  • Reply Lori April 19, 2010 at 9:57 am

    It absolutely makes sense and I think all artist types have been through the evolution. Myself, I began as a graphic artist, then portrait artist (which I still do when requested from time to time), jewelry artist, and now I’m combining jewelry with one-of-a-kind purses from reclaimed materials. I am passionate about each stop on the road. It’s the life of an artist. Loving what I do and not being afraid to explore – that’s what it’s all about. Oh and success, that helps, too. :)
    .-= Lori´s last blog ..monday’s recipe: chicken fajitas =-.

  • Reply Brigitte April 19, 2010 at 9:59 am

    More and more, I am longing to strike out on my own. The idea of this type of variety at work appeals to me.

    I was working through Style Statement, and one of the questions in the book is, “What do you want to revolutionize?” Without a second thought (and not knowing beforehand what I would write), I put down “the American dream.” I’d like to get to a place that the American dream is more personal, which is a theme I see again and again on Decor8.
    .-= Brigitte´s last blog ..Second to None: Do It Your Own D*mn Self =-.

  • Reply Lisa April 19, 2010 at 10:01 am

    I have a few hats hanging in my studio right now :-).
    .-= Lisa ´s last blog ..Singer Slant-O-Matic =-.

  • Reply Bernadette April 19, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Hi Holly,

    I have always known what I wanted to do with my life. But about 10 years ago, I realized I wanted to create something with my hands. It’s never too late to pursue one’s passions…

  • Reply juliette April 19, 2010 at 10:10 am

    oh, I totally agree about how one thing can lead to another, and how wearing different hats in the same field is really staying in the same field! I’m still working in two different fields, but it’s fun.

    Tomorrow I start a short-term assignment that gets me back to my youth work roots and, because I decided to give this one project a shot (and told people about it), today I got a lead to get even more involved within this field leading small group classes – even in English! This is something I’ve enjoyed in my editing work,: teaching a small group at the university and working on academic projects. It’s nice to see how things overlap. Even though it’s technically all in 2 different fields, I’m doing a lot of the same thing, just with different topics!
    .-= juliette´s last blog ..Roadtrip 2010: dream Helsinki =-.

  • Reply Iva April 19, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Beautiful photos, thanks for sharing, I am off to check her website:)

    As for the subject, well you just stepped on my toe:)) I have been painting and drawing and taking art lessons at the uni for over 5 years. One of my teachers even took me under his wing and I went working on spot for the summer. On the other hand, I study architecture and this is actually how I found out I can draw. I am soon getting my degree and at the same time I study interior design (it is just how the program is over here). About a couple of years ago I discovered my passion for photography and I’ve been very interested in styling as well. In fact your flickr group has a lot to do with this last one:)

    Quite a few things, huh?:) I have decided to at least try all of these things before I make up my mind although I think they are somehow connected and each of these can help me with the other. It’s a bit confusing sometimes though, I must admit :)

    p.s. There is a wonderful, wonderful video by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love who talks about the difficulties creative spirits have. It is a truly inspiring video, i absolutely love it. Here’s a link if you want to check it out: http://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius.html
    .-= Iva´s last blog ..Recipe =-.

  • Reply Shanon April 19, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Isn’t it funny how some people think it’s acceptable to pass judgment on other people’s career decisions? How does that accomplish anything, other than make them feel more secure about their own decisions being “the right way” to go about life? And if we all lived the exact same way where would that get us? Everyone is on earth to find their own path and live the most fulfilling life they can– one that makes THEM happy.

    I think when we have some type of gut reaction to another person’s path, I think we need to look at ourselves and what’s going on with us that caused that reaction. It’s always more about the person doing the judging then the person being judged.

    (Can you tell I had a moment of this over the weekend? It bugged me for awhile after I replayed it in my head. But then I thought, “who cares if they don’t get what I’m doing. It’s their problem, not mine.” It doesn’t affect my own happiness with my choices. I’m happier and more focused then I’ve ever been. Once again, you are so timely Holly!)
    .-= Shanon´s last blog ..{Sunday} =-.

  • Reply Amie McCracken April 19, 2010 at 10:18 am

    I needed this today. Thank you.

    And I agree, as long as it follows your passion it’s part of your career.
    .-= Amie McCracken´s last blog ..Out of Ideas =-.

  • Reply Teresa April 19, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Hi Holly :-)

    Really enjoy reading your blog! Such wonderful daily posts of inspiration!

    Totally agree with you about most creative folks wearing many hats. Nothing wrong with that. It makes life more interesting, but it can also be a bit more frantic. Helps to take mini breaks every once in awhile and re-charge the batteries. ;-)

    I came upon a great book a couple years ago by Barbara J. Winter called “Making a Living Without a Job: Winning Ways for Creating Work That You Love”. It’s for those of us who want to be our own boss doing what we love.

    It’s not just for creative types, but I think it has some great ideas for those of us who are artistic & creative who have lots of interests and want to find a way to fit them all into our lives.

    p.s. Just so you know…I don’t know the author or sell her books or anything like that. Just thought I’d mention a book that might help others to find their bliss. :-)

  • Reply small sweet steps April 19, 2010 at 11:20 am

    I have worn several hats in my career but they are mainly art related. I have spent time as a tabletop designer, doll maker, fabric designer, stationery designer, graphic designer, photographer, and painter. I have taken on administrative tasks at my jobs but they are things I have to do. I enjoy the diversity in my creative life, it is never boring.
    .-= small sweet steps´s last blog ..Listening =-.

  • Reply Ana April 19, 2010 at 11:21 am

    I loved your post!
    And in fact, it touched me deep inside!
    I was one of the kids who had noooo idea what it wanted to be, and then, when time came up I’ve decided to do what I did best: I am a physicst!
    I love my work, it is frustrating (as I imagine any work might be, and in research, a common place in fact) but also rewarding and fascinating and it gave me the chance to travel around and meet lots of different people.!
    The thing is, that now, I feel another part of me growing stronger and stronger. Is not the first time, but when I first though about trying to conceal interior design and my research, I had to travel for my PhD and I though it was better to just keep in my field.
    But now, I feel like I already experimented all I could experiment in my field and would like to move out in another field.
    And that is hard!
    I am creative, and I have a good eye… but I, right now, am one of those creative minds wondering without a clue.
    Well, that’s a bit harsh… I do have some clues and some plans… and getting to meet already successful creative minds through the blogsphere helps a lot.
    But I guess in the end… when someone wants something, some kind of focus is key, in order to, even when experimenting around, achieve the main desired goal.!
    Think I spoke too much, hope you won’t mind ;-)
    And if you have any tips, I will very much welcome them!

    .-= Ana´s last blog ..Lovely Etsy of the day! =-.

  • Reply monica from hola!design April 19, 2010 at 11:23 am

    Very true, I still feel like I’m looking for my right career. I went to design school and I want to be a web designer, food photographer, furniture designer,etc. In the meantime, I’m exploring all these wonderful possibilities.
    Great article.
    .-= monica from hola!design´s last blog ..Jackie Rueda Photography =-.

  • Reply jessica April 19, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Thanks Holly, This is a wonderful post!
    I think, often times, people don’t understand how the creative mind works. If one doesn’t push or challenge oneself many times you risk losing your creative energy. More than likely if you work in a creative field you have made a decision to ignore people’s judgments, and continue to make your on path. I have also made a point to surround myself with creative people who support my creative endeavors and I, theirs, even if they are not always successful.

  • Reply Pretty My Drink April 19, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    This article is very inspiring, thank you for posting.
    .-= Pretty My Drink´s last blog ..Hand Painted Wine Glasses- Cherry Blossoms =-.

  • Reply Lisa April 19, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    I definitely can understand what you’re talking about. Being an interior designer and photographer by trade, some of my friends tease me saying I have too many interests. Being a jack of all [creative] trades isn’t a bad thing and will make an artist more marketable, in my opinion. I think having inspiration come from many different mediums makes an artist more well-rounded. (Not to say that focusing is bad! Focused artists can become a lot more skilled in their area of expertise than someone who deviates from time to time.)

    I love Barb Fritz’s work and am glad to see such a diversified artist featured. It’s always good to be reminded that I’m not the only one who has five million interests haha.
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..Flickr Inspirations: Purple =-.

  • Reply Brooke H April 19, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Beautiful portfolio shots!
    .-= Brooke H´s last blog ..New to my shop: Marie Antoinettes =-.

  • Reply Nuit April 19, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    oh yes…. beautifully spoken Holly, couldnt agree more =D
    .-= Nuit´s last blog ..Oh Spring! =-.

  • Reply sharon April 19, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    I agree – well said! If you look at my blog you will see this is so true for me. My creativity goes in many directions but all within a network that fits together well. I think this is why it is so important for parents to help find and support their children’s natural passions and talents early on. I know too many people who seem lost, jumping from one random area to another, amassing unused schooling along the way. From the time I was a little girl I have been drawing. painting, sewing, crafting, photographing, reading and being active to get out int he world and seek inspiration. All these blend into and enhance each other and keep me from ever getting bored!

  • Reply Barbara Finwall April 19, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    I’ve been a freelancer for about forty years. Started out as an art director in L.A. advertising agencies, then freelanced as an art director and designer. I’ve worked on many big accounts and lots of little ones. I usually had to do my own photo styling although sometimes hired a food stylist, since this is so specialized. But my last job required heavy duty food styling and no budget for a stylist so after all these years I’ve learned food styling. The photographer had also not done food before. We both learned together and I must admit we got pretty good at it. My sister and I started a craft book publishing and kit manufacturing company about 30 years ago. This became pretty successful and we sold to all the major chains. I’ve had to learn so many things through these years that were outside the realm of art. It’s all been fun, hard and satisfying. I always knew I wanted to be an artist from a very young age. I didn’t know what kind of artist. So I think I’ve done it all. Now in semi retirement I’m finally getting serious about fine art and am starting to have some success at that. My sister and I are still doing craft, decorating and (even recipe) books for other companies and are having fun with Etsy. Yes freelancing can be very rewarding and you can make a good living at it if you’re serious about it. It’s been a great life!
    .-= Barbara Finwall´s last blog ..3 Fabric Pieces – floral, flower dots, bright spots =-.

  • Reply Ludmila {CreamyLife.com} April 19, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Love every single image you posted, Holly! Very nice post, as usually!
    .-= Ludmila {CreamyLife.com}´s last blog ..Color+Inspiration: Blue =-.

  • Reply Frau Mayer April 19, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    All is so true…
    but who’s Deb?
    .-= Frau Mayer´s last blog ..Wallpaper decisions =-.

  • Reply Cheryl April 19, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    I really enjoyed your article and the beautiful photographs today. I cannot tell you how many people that are my friends/acquaintances, that cannot get a grip on what it is I actually do or what I could even possibly be doing all day since I from work from my home studio. There are some that think I sit around at home and do nothing all day. If they only knew how busy I am some days and up half of the nights. I’ve tried on various occasions to explain that some days I might be working on a painting, while the next it might be some kind of event invitations or a designing a logo. It’s always different and that’s what I love about it too. I suppose some people will never understand the artist types. It just gets annoying after awhile. I guess that’s something that will become much easier for me to get a grip on before they do. Maybe I should start working on that.
    .-= Cheryl´s last blog ..a really nice surprise… =-.

  • Reply Tammy Moore April 19, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    Bless you for writing this. Hopefully people will see that being an artist or doing creative things isn’t hopeless. :)

    I was one of those kids that knew EXACTLY what I was going to be: a dancer. Period. From age 4 on that’s all I did. Thus, I slacked off in school (I was going to get a dance scholarship), didn’t do any other activities (I was always dancing), etc. Then a car wreck and messed up back made dancing further impossible. I was stuck. I had no sense of self!

    Luckily I found my way out of that and I found what I love. My passions are still creative, and I still like dancing at clubs and events, but now I know I’m a well-rounded person creatively and professionally. I wear lots of creative hats: writer, scrapbooker, stamper, teacher, collage artist, etc. and can’t imagine my days without all of them! :)

    That’s also why we haven’t let our daughter get into just one hobby/sport. Regardless of what you end up doing I think every child should have time to just BE.
    .-= Tammy Moore´s last blog ..An idea to ponder =-.

  • Reply Barbara Finwall April 19, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    I posted a comment (above) and realized it linked to my etsy shop which doesn’t have particularly good photos . I’m used to having a professional to do my photos for me so haven’t really learned that yet. I really should do better styling for etsy, though. I’m going to get right on that. Thanks, Holly, for making me notice this. You’re always so inspiring.
    Here’s our real website; http://www.banardesigns.com and my blog: http://banardesigns.blogspot.com
    .-= Barbara Finwall´s last blog ..3 Fabric Pieces – floral, flower dots, bright spots =-.

  • Reply Lucia April 19, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    I feel so related to your post, I have moved from a IT career to become a photographer … I´m enjoying every minute of it but was so hard to face all the preconceptions (also mine). I still feel that my ex colleagues think I´m a little bit crazy but what can I do? I think we need to follow our dreams, whatever people around us think. Ok, being responsible of course, we have our responsibilities but there is not only one way to full fill them (being a doctor, engineer, accountant).

  • Reply Stef@hauteapplepie April 19, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Great post! As I sit here every day with my new son and now lack of job, all I think about doing is freelancing and this helped brighten up my spirits about it. I’ve always known that I want to write and use my creativity. So many outlets, so little time? I don’t think so! Thanks for brightening up my Monday!

  • Reply Lou April 19, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    Great article. I have so many hats at the moment, a freelance surface pattern designer, screen printer and luggage design consultant. I love the fact I have variety in my day and I enjoy designing luggage which I hated when I did it full time.

  • Reply Deborah Wall April 19, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    Who cares what others think of the decisions we make for ourselves. In the words of Katherine Hepburn – ‘If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun.’ Love your blog it brings inspiration into my day. Thanks
    .-= Deborah Wall´s last blog ..If you’ve never experienced the joy of accomplishing more than you can imagine, plant a garden. ~ Robert Brault =-.

  • Reply Renee April 19, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    i really enjoyed this post. it makes complete sense to me and makes me feel better about what i’m doing. i currently have 2 projects i’m working on in addition to my full day position as a fashion agent and blogger and it’s reassuring to know that i’m not crazy and that it’s ok to wear a few different hats. afterall isn’t that what life’s all about? trying new things?
    .-= Renee´s last blog ..Interior Styling Group Challenges =-.

  • Reply Susanne April 19, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    Hi Holly,

    if you still look for a photographer – check out Roland Krieg – he does excellent work


    Cheers Susanne
    .-= Susanne´s last blog ..market tote Italy =-.

  • Reply Beth April 19, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    When people ask me what I do for a living I always feel like answering “Everything!” I hate being put in a box. I think most creative types find that they are good at a number of things. The bulk of my work is graphic design, but I also do photography, styling, and a number of other things. I’m always a wife and mother first though! :)
    .-= Beth´s last blog ..Ikea Hack – Modern Outdoor Rocker =-.

  • Reply Erin April 19, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    I wanted to chime in on this post because I am a graphic designer who is now studying to become an elementary school teacher. (I was recently accepted into grad school.) I still LOVE art & graphic design but I am hoping to use my talents in the classroom. I think creative people can even step outside the field of art and bring their talents into other careers that might not originally seem connected to one another…

    Thanks for this post!

  • Reply Jessa April 19, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    This is a beautiful post, it put my unconscious thoughts into words and into a place where they are shared and all can give feedback. I am 26 and have spent the last 6.5 years moving around, working different jobs, attending colleges one semester at a time (I got bored each time), attaining my professional aesthetician license, and trying to find ONE man to love (there are so many!). I too, am fascinated by those who are clear in their life’s direction–and now that I am getting older I am seeing how much I have learned about myself and whats important to me from the contrast of wearing/trying on so many different hats. There are so many things I want to do, and I’ve come to see this past year they are ALL linked to design, especially around home design. It’s obvious now, but I always felt silly admitting my passions as things I would spend time and money studying or pursuing. Now I feel it is crucial to my creative self! I decided to take a year off from trying to “make it” and just take odd jobs and enjoy every single day and meditate daily. What I found was that my mind was CONSTANTLY renovating or re-arranging whatever space I found myself in; when I started paying attention to the drama in my creative eye it looked like Mary Poppins was in the room and nothing was gonna stay the same!
    So now I am enrolling in online classes for Interior Design, not for a career, but because it’s what I do for fun, even when I’m not trying to, I still do it. I love love love design, design history, architecture, creating beautiful spaces, fashion and it’s influence on home decor and spaces, etc. And now I feel confident in this heartfelt choice NOT because it hasn’t been on my mind all this time, but BECAUSE trying out so many different paths has lead me to see this is the one I am most rewarded by inside. I am not so envious of those who are so so so sure anymore–there is a massive adventure awaiting every creative person if they follow their Bliss!! I can’t wait to see how following this bliss leads to other goals, like minded creative passionate people, and ideas!
    If you made it this far on my little post, thanks for listening! I wish you success!

  • Reply guadalupe April 19, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    I allways check out your blog but never live a note, but today i lovde this post because i feel just the same.
    after Been mum i change my life and work, i allways love to create things with my hands, and i say why not? now i hace little pillow business in argentina whre im form and is growing day to day

  • Reply Amanda Joy April 19, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Such great thoughts! I love seeing great examples of people doing what they love and doing it well (like Barb). Having just branched out on my own creative path, I’m wrestling with all the issues you brought up. What exactly is it that I do……well, I’m not sure but I’m excited to find out!

  • Reply Becka @Studio222 Photography April 19, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    Great advice. And I love her images! Styling is something I’m working to get better at myself. And as a photographer I feel like I wear a lot of hats so hearing her speak on that was refreshing. :)

  • Reply Amelia April 19, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    Thanks for the article. I find a lot of inspiration and solace in your beautiful blog. It makes up for the hours I spend trying to fit into a non creative dental workplace. My coworkers talk about creativity like its a contagious disease. I admire that that many of them have known what they have wanted to do since they were 7 and that they will always be recognized the world over for their importance because they can put doctor in front of their name. I am on a less traditional path it seems. For me, one creative endeavor inspires another and right now that path is interior design>photography>product styling. I also dapple in jewelry making and paper cutting. I look forward to a time when I can lose that “dental office safety net” and fly on my own.

  • Reply nicole blum April 19, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    I find that piecing one’s life together- wearing many hats- can be a little crazy making, but extremely fulfilling, and certainly feeds creative drive. I started out as a school teacher, which is totally new every day, but then got into craft development and styling for Family Fun Magazine after my second baby was 3. For that freelance gig, I am constantly creating, constantly brainstorming new ideas, and often taking it to finish and styling for beauty. My parallel life involves clothing design, sewing, and now a new studio where I will get back to my love of teaching and offer sewing and crafting classes for children through adults. Now I am delighted to say that I have been offered a book contract for a large project based sewing book. Sometimes this train feels fast, but I work from home and I see my family all the time and the variety is so very inspiring. As long as I can keep one step ahead of the men in white coats, I consider this life very cohesive despite the hat collection.
    .-= nicole blum´s last blog ..spring flower table runner =-.

  • Reply shirley April 20, 2010 at 12:45 am

    well that’s a bit more difficult to do and is why changing careers many times may not work if they aren’t somehow, someway, linked to your life’s passion. I really agree.

  • Reply Kim Gray April 20, 2010 at 12:49 am

    As A stylist myself I loved reading this. That’s what I love about styling, each day is different to the last. There is never time to get board of your job as you can venture in so many directions. Barbs Portfolio is stunning! Thanks for sharing!
    .-= Kim Gray´s last blog ..Clutch ‘n swing =-.

  • Reply diana strinati baur April 20, 2010 at 12:51 am


    To find a creative center, we have to peel back some layers, like an onion. Eventually, authenticity emerges. The push-back from the outside world can be disruptive, depressing, can even lead the more sensitive creatives to stop trying. This is when the “onion” has to develop a thick skin. To tune out the negative energy and continue to fight for growth.

    It’s not easy to be free. It takes discipline (just look back to the conversation about on-line addiction we had last week). In order to survive, we have to produce good things, things people want to see, feel, be surrounded with, whether it’s an ambience, a piece of art or music, at the same time being true to our own aesthetic.

    To stay on top, stay inspir-ING and not just inspired, it takes inner strength. No one can just be creative without going through change. Creativity and change lead to growth and new creativity and new inner strength.

    To learn how to trust ourselves. Be true to our own aesthetic. To be flexible but in the end to know what works. To not waste time spinning our wheels, but to focus on the things that inspire and bring us forward.

    It’s not all so easy. But it’s an interesting way to live.
    .-= diana strinati baur´s last blog ..Monday Morning Conversation with the Painter =-.

  • Reply Chrysrt April 20, 2010 at 2:18 am

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on that matter. It helps putting words on the big chaos of thoughts and feelings we sometimes experience deep inside.

  • Reply caro April 20, 2010 at 4:39 am

    Thank you so much for this post. Your thought brighten up my day and maybe make me a little bit more courageous in my considerations to become a freelancer one day. And the beautiful pics from Barb did the rest. Have a nice day, my dear.
    .-= caro´s last blog ..can you hear the spring? =-.

  • Reply mau April 20, 2010 at 5:15 am

    thank you so much for this post. i grew up wanting to do every job under the sun, graduated in classical languages (i.e. dead languages) and have worked in retail for the past 10 yrs. yesterday i decided to take a break to decide what i really want to do. my problem is that i have NO CLUE as to what i am good at/want to do. i’m very confused at the moment and your post has reminded me that ultimately it has to be my choice and nobody else’s.
    .-= mau´s last blog ..Taking five =-.

  • Reply paperinstyle April 20, 2010 at 6:37 am

    Such an inspiring article. I couldn’t agree more with the last piece of advice about passion!

  • Reply Verity April 20, 2010 at 6:52 am

    I am so glad you wrote this! I think that perception that being a ‘creative’ is not a serious job means a lot of people either don’t pursue or take a long time to getting to what is really their passion. I know that is true for me.

    I aso think that the ability to wear many hats is actually becoming an essential thing today! I find that so exciting. I know that it is always the ideas, the new projects and the figuring it all out that gets me energized. I love that I am required to learn new things all the time. It keeps life challenging, interesting and fulfilling.

  • Reply chantel April 20, 2010 at 6:58 am

    I’ve been stalking decor8 for awhile now. When I read this post it really stirred me up – in a good way! I’ve been a freelance Illustrator for 8 years, but studied Graphic design for 6 years all up, thinking that was going to be my career path. I had always loved to draw but was told I couldn’t make a living out of it. I forced myself to believe I was going to do design. My parent’s were pretty stunned when I decided to turn my back on a proper career to be a freelance Illustrator. I always felt I had to prove I could ‘make it’ as a freelancer to prove to everyone I made the right decision. It seemed people only thought I ‘made it’ after I received high profile commissions. I’ve never disrespected anyone about their career choice, so I’m always confused as to why my profession or the way I work causes so much comment.
    Has anyone else felt like they had to do something extraordinary work wise to prove to your friends and family that what you do as a profession is a ‘proper’ job?

  • Reply Bernay April 20, 2010 at 7:37 am

    Thank you Holly for expressing what so many of us have felt! I’ve traveled through life ‘creatively’ and been viewed at different times as unfocussed, drifting, a tryer and even worse a ‘chancer’ as others seem to have felt threatened by my choices to risk take, try new skills and experiment. At times I admit my own sense of self has been lessened under the pressure of feeling that I have to conform! But one thing I will say is that everything I’ve ever done has led me to this point, and all the skills I’ve learned are invaluable for what I enjoy doing now working with colour!

  • Reply Ana April 20, 2010 at 8:08 am

    I don’t know if people read other people comment, but I do, and I would like to comment on Chantel.
    Luckly for me, in my family I didn’t have to explain to anyone my decisions, they supported my decision to work with physics and they support if I decide to change the path.
    But I do understand what you are saying, as for the rest of my family it took a long time for them to realize what I was doing. And I know how this is for lots of people who do research or decide to get a PhD, in whatever the field.
    Is not only the creative/artist types that have to explain themselves. If you don’t have a career name like doctor, dentist, banker… things are harder…
    If you have a fellowship, people take a while to understand that you are indeed working! Is not just longer time in school.

    I think a important point in this post goes for outside freelance and creative minders, but can be apply to everyone: what you do with your life, what you choose for your career is your choice and I think you can say you MADE IT once it makes you HAPPY!

    Was I able to explain myself?! Do you agree?

    And, since I am eating up your time already (sorry) I will also comment on mau answer. I no exactly how it feels to feel like you have no clue. But again, as you said, in the end is up to you, to each one of us, to decide what is better for ourselves, independent of what others might think.

    .-= Ana´s last blog ..Lovely Etsy of the day! =-.

  • Reply jenn April 20, 2010 at 8:37 am

    i couldn’t agree more. i’ve had so many different types of jobs in my past, and learned something new at each and everyone of them! all of those experiences have made me a better person with experience that i never would have gained had i just settled on a career right out of college. i’m a firm believer in just living your life for awhile and seeing where it may take you. it makes for a fun ride and you may just end up falling in love with a career you never even intended on…
    .-= jenn´s last blog ..yippy skippy! =-.

  • Reply winter April 20, 2010 at 8:58 am

    And for those of us on the other side- not the creatives:) We love you for the free spriited, I hear so many art friends say this to me, ow it hurts- to me it sounds like th badge of courage.

  • Reply Dolly April 20, 2010 at 11:03 am

    hey holly!

    awesome post because it soo rings true to many of us, and in this linear, logical world that we live in, aren’t we all the ‘outcasts’ for not getting our act together? I’m currently reading Daniel H. Pink’s A Whole New Mind which explains how right-brainers/creative types (:D) will rule the future,, but have not finished it to come to a conclusion, so this is like a bits and pieces comment? Heh heh!

  • Reply Traveling Mama April 21, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    This post strikes a very deep cord for me. My husband and I were told by some “friends” that we were fools for changing and moving to Denmark, but we believe in pursuing our dreams and not letting others convince us to stand still. It’s hard to swallow when others criticize us as we try new things, particularly if they are people we respect and care about. But life is too short to sell ourselves short of our full potential. Why should we live in fear and mediocrity to satisfy the ego of other people?
    .-= Traveling Mama´s last blog ..on {bikes} =-.

  • Reply Elizabeth April 21, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    This is a great post. Thank you. Really.
    .-= Elizabeth´s last blog ..Human Trafficking =-.

  • Reply Katinka April 22, 2010 at 2:05 am

    Great post – again :-)
    It is so FUNNY. I was a bit behind getting all your posts read, and thought I’d just stop by very very quickly, and clicked in on this post. Ha ha. Not so easy to quickly skim through, not to mention DIGEST quickly. This post has it all. So thanks.

    My thoughts are: I agree. Totally. I was a lawyer then became a mother of four, and found myself unable to combine a law career with motherhood. Then became a Mompreneur, selling antiques and vintage from a webshop aswell as from a showroom at our farm house from 1858. It works. Not because I can use my lawcareer experience much, but because I do what I LOVE doing and am passionate about.
    You mention that one choice sometimes leads to other paths – and this is very true.
    About being judged: The thing is that the people who judge you might have difficulties defining what you do when you are the artistic type, and have lots of paths leading your way to your career. E.G. They know exactly what a teacher or a plumber does, but a stylist who sells antiques AND does photo work – what is that all about? And when people don’t understand, they can’t mirror themselves THUS they judge you (put you down).
    I never really get the negative vibes – I find that a lot of the people I meet envy me in a good way. Maybe because of the good old line “You teach people how to treat you” :-)
    Gotta go, this was supposed to be QUICK! LOL. But I have to get my act together and list som furniture in my webshop before I take my girls riding. Both are part of my present career! Mompreneurship. And I LOVE IT!
    See ya!
    .-= Katinka´s last blog ..Kanin med hat =-.

  • Reply lauren January 26, 2011 at 4:36 am

    I just stumbled across this post, and I think it must have been in the cards. I really needed this today. Thank you : )

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