Sunday, May 24, 2009

Student Success Story: Daunea Foster, Atlanta

by Daunea Foster
I enrolled in the Fashion Styling 101 course under the instruction of Kim Maxwell and it was by far the best decision I could have made in my career as a stylist. I am a freelance fashion stylist in Atlanta, Georgia and like any profession I knew that I needed to learn the ABC’s of being successful in this industry. Taking Kim’s course not only taught me the basics, it exceeded my expectations and taught me the essentials, the in’s & out’s, what I need to make it, and how to make sound decisions!I feel so much more confident on how to pursue my dreams and that’s more than what any book could’ve taught me.

Kim Maxwell has also been a mentor during and after the course ended which is to be commended. Through her mentorship and referrals, I have been booked to style a music video for 2 artists here in Atlanta. That was a success and through that music video, I gained an ongoing client! I have also been booked to style for models in the area. One of the greatest opportunities was being hired as a head assistant stylist for STYLESbyMAXX. I had the chance to assist in styling an event titled “Memoirs of a Fashionista” in honor of Kim Maxwell, which was also a huge success! The doors continue to open, and more projects begin to come to me which I am truly grateful for. I give KUDOS to Susan Cox & Photo Styling Workshops for offering this course, and a HUGE thank you to Kim Maxwell for being such a wonderful, resourceful, and kind instructor! This course has provided me with the tools to birth my vision.
Photo above: Hip-Hop Artist Young Que

Monday, May 18, 2009

Confessions of a Catalog Whore

It’s like this. My aunt Susan, besides being one of my favorite people on earth, is a photo stylist. And she has ruined me. Well, not ruined, exactly, that is not quite the right word – altered maybe. She’s taken one of my long secret passions and twisted it, tweaked it into an equally compelling, but completely lopsided passion. In both cases, the passion involves catalogs…

But I’m getting ahead of my own story. Let me start at the beginning.Long ago, before the internet, before one click-online-anything-goes-shopping, I used to hoard catalogs – and I mean hoard. Not just Sears, or the J.C. Penney Christmas book, but just about anything I could have sent to my mailbox for free. Seeds, tools, farm equipment, hand-dyed fabrics and my very favorite book of items to buy – greeting cards.I loved the photographs of all that stuff – but mostly I loved the convenience. The idea that someday, pending money, I would be able to anonymously order anything from a John Deere tractor to a seashell-lined photo frame and have it sent to my home. Voila. No need to change my pajamas – just like that.

Needless to say, the advent of the internet made pajama shopping an ordinary event, (so much for my special secret of shopping in the dark.) But at about the same time that the internet pushed its way into my bedroom, my auntie began her career as a photo stylist, and because I have always been an avid admirer of her art (which was and is extremely avant garde and anything but “catalogish”) I began to question her about what I perceived as a muting of her creative instinct, asking how she could go from the canvas to the retail market without losing something.

As my aunt began to patiently describe her craft, the genius behind each catalog page, a new vision began to develop before me. Susan talked about the real art of the catalog, about her unique style of setting up a page, about how it excited her to fold dress shirts just right, so that they became three-dimensional with inanimate arms almost reaching for the potential buyer. And then it happened. I began to realize that there was a SOMEONE, an ARTIST, behind every page of every catalog I had ever lusted over. So BANG – I was ruined, or rather, altered.I truthfully can no longer look at any retail ad – internet, catalog, newspaper or magazine without thinking about the person behind the page. And the result?? Everything is just that much more beautiful. And not from the point of view of “I need to buy that.” No, it is not that at all. It is a pure form of art. Ecstasy art.

I no longer just look at the items in a catalog, I look at the pages, and not just look, I linger over them. Yes, I hoard them.I have seen advertised one art exhibit displaying catalog pages from the 1940’s and 50’s. I am certain there are or will be many more art exhibits showcasing many more decades. The retail ad has become one of my favorite genres, thanks to my auntie – and I will always wonder about those anonymous artists behind each page.So there you have it - catalog whore becomes art collector. Who knew?
by Janice Katz, M.D.
Image above from Janice's NEW favorite catalog Cambria Cove

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Truly International Classes

They always say that the best thing about the World Wide Web is that you can reach people around the world as easily as around the corner. That was certainly true in the March 24 session of Everyday Food Styling. The students were from:
Nova Scotia, Canada
Almaty, Kazakhstan
Shanghai, China
Kobe-shi, Hyogo-ku, Japan
Erwinna, PA
New York, NY

What's more, I was working on my laptop in Indonesia and then Hong Kong, processing their registrations!

Everyday Food Styling is our 4-week food styling techniques class enhanced with videos on Vimeo. These are accessible only to current students and demonstrate the special techniques that food stylists use "everyday" on the job. The instructor Lisa Golden Schroeder emails the students a written PDF lesson each work and access to the videos so that they can learn at their pace. There is a Class Gallery where the students can upload their assignments and receive feedback from Lisa on their work. They also benefit from viewing the work and comments of other students in the class.

One interesting aspect of this class especially was the search for products stylists use, like Kitchen Bouquet, for darkening sauces and meat. Lisa helped by encouraging the search for comparable products available at the local marketplace. Generally we offer a telephone conference call near the end of our courses for asking questions and sharing information but this class couldn't find a convenient time for all of them!Other international students who have participated our styling classes have hailed from Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Venezuela, Nigeria, Finland, Phillipines, and Spain.

The coursework is only provided in English but we have been considering a translation into Spanish. If this interests you - or if you are a Spanish-speaking styist who could help with student comments please let us know!
(Photo above, Green Salad from Anthony Francis Antao)