Oh so Inspired
I intended to write an amazing post about the IMATS in Sydney.. That's what I told everyone anyway. Don't worry, I am going to write something about it. But following my last post, writing purely about my experience there felt somewhat hollow. In my last blog post I talked about how I hoped I would inspire people. If I inspire just one of you to do something you're proud of, or something that challenges you, I'm a happy lady. But today I'm going to tell you about what inspires me, as an artist, a friend, a daughter and a lover of all things wild and wonderful in nature and in others. Because one of the most common questions I get from my incredible clients is; "How do you come up with all of these creative ideas all of the time?"
If you are creative also, you would know the feeling that you are nothing without your inspiration. I've been putting a lot of pressure on myself to top that last blog post. I do that a lot.. Oh hey anxiety! I put a lot of my heart felt self into it. It took me a trip to Matarangi, one of my favourite places in the world, being surrounded by nature, in a familiar place with loads of good memories, dogs, the beach and the ocean to finally come up with something I would be happy to put out there to all of you. In other words, I was finally inspired.
I work from home and I often find myself with cabin fever and in a rut. I have trouble separating work and home life and get bored of my surroundings. That rut is a big reminder that I need to get out, experience things, see people, meet people, see new things or reconnect with family, nature, perhaps even be alone and take a big breath to feel inspired all over again.
Here's just a few things that inspired and grounded me this weekend;
So as I sit here in Matarangi with my red wine, very happy and exhausted dogs at my side, in a stunning place, listening to some good old tunes that remind me of growing up with my music loving parents. Keeping in my mind that it was the anniversary of my fathers passing a few days ago (it would have been 30 years). I can finally open up to you all about where I get my creative inspiration.
1. I think I have already established that I get a lot out of my surroundings. People I love, friends, pets, nature, music and art. If it's fitting, some of these might be elaborated on later in this post.
2. Instagram is powerful thing people! I have learnt this in just a few short years. I put quite a lot of time and effort in to it which has really paid off.. it found me most of you guys! But it's also a hub of talent. I can get lost in nail and makeup accounts forever. Mostly nails - I'm not going to lie. It seems more real to me, less ring lighting, less "perfect" skin and just over all raw talent.
Some of my favourites accounts, just to name a few are;
3. Other amazing kiwi business women! As a female business savvy kiwi girl myself, nothing is more inspiring then surrounding myself with like-minded passionate women. We are so lucky to live in an era where we can constantly be in touch with people and groups to bounce ideas off of each and support one another. There are so many wonderful ladies I would love to tell you about, but the ones that have made a impact on me and my business over the last 3 years are;
Caitlin Drader - Caitlin McMahon Photography
The beautiful face that was behind the lens creating my incredible campaign images for my website. We have worked together on numerous occasions and have become great friends. She's about as dog crazy as me too, always a bonus.
Kendra Alexandra of the amazing Fashion + Travel Blog appropriately named blog Stolen Inspiration
Kendra was actually the first to help me with my Instagram account. To help create a cohesive flow and make it over all more visually pleasing. We actually worked together with Caitlin, shooting online content for Glassons. But I think we all flourished a lot more as artists since meeting each other.
Tanya Barlow - Hello Tanya
Tanya has been my fellow nail artist rock. It can be a competitive industry, but since the beginning we have supported each other, recommended each other and confided in one another when the nail times get tough. Not to mention the fact that this is one amazingly, talented, animated and beautiful girl. Check out her work!
Megan Hutchinson - She Said Yes
Megan writes a blog for Wedding Planning advice and created a wonderful wedding planning book called 'little white book', that I actually sell in my studio! Megan has a contagious kind of happiness. I laugh almost everytime I watch her Insta stories, more often then not because she's laughing at herself. Love it! Megan has such a wealth of knowledge when it comes to social media and targeting audiences. She's also such a big supporter of kiwi women with small businesses.
Lastly (but trust me, there are so many more!!) My girl Gracie Taylor
Gracie has pretty much been the face, or should I say 'nails' of my business for the last 3 years. Not only does she have amazing nails of course, but this sassy gal is super stylish, fun, talented, hot, and still so young! (well, compared to me..) That's mainly the thing that blows my mind the most about Gracie, how much she has achieved in just a few years. From small town Cambridge, killing it with her horse riding, to radio host, journalist, editor, style icon and girl about town. Not to mention the girls brow game.. Wow! All of this and Gracie is still one of the loveliest people I know.
4. Create your dream work space. I cannot help but feel inspired in a work space that I feel proud of. One that is stylish, minimal & fun. This, I feel I can work on at the moment... I'm just not feeling flash about my space and I been thinking seriously about updating it. I love interior design and take pride in my home, as much as I can afford to at least. So my work space needs to reflect my personality, suit my business aesthetic and be inviting. None of us have an excuse now with Kmart and The Warehouse upping their game so much recently. It's affordable to have a classy space. So now it's time for me to take my own advice and freshen up my studio space.
5. Continue to learn and up-skill. The nail trends change so rapidly now that is crucial to stay current, follow trends and adapt to the ever changing fashion industry. Makeup, on the other hand is where I lack inspiration. I'm not inspired by makeup blogs and posed #makeupoftheday photos. I feel like a hypocrite, as I post #motd photos too.. but I can't speak for anyone else - you might like them. I gain inspiration from doing, practicing, playing and touching. Watching demo's in the flesh and getting to try them straight after. I think that's why I was involved with Fashion Week for so many years.
Now this is where the IMATS comes in.. I recently attended the IMATS (Internation Makeup Artist Trade Show) in Sydney. This ticked all the boxes for me! I could watch demos, touch and play with new products, buy those new products! See new things in the flesh and hear the stories behind the some of the worlds best makeup artists. AND it was in Sydney... AND it was with one of my best friends Samantha Fernandes of The Magic Brush. Sam actually deserves to be up in number 3, but she gets her paragraph here. Sam and I happen to great friends and have been for the good part of a decade now. We're lucky to share a passion in makeup.. However, we have different specialities. I'm in beauty, Sam is a face, body and SPFX artist. What better business trip / fun overseas getaway together, right?
The IMATS consisted of 2 full days at the Royal Hall of Industries in Sydney. It's also held in Toronto, Vancouver, New York, London and LA. Emmy Award-winning makeup artist and Makeup Artist Magazine publisher Michael Key held the first IMATS in LA in 1997. It has been running successfully since, as the worlds largest celebration of the makeup industry. Sounds good, right?! It was good, so good in fact that Sam and I decided to celebrate a good day of Makeup shopping, makeup demo's by Melissa Sassine and Chad Atkinson and talks by Senior MAC Pro Artists, Carol Mackie, Nicole Thompson and New Zealand's own Weta Workshop. Turns out we celebrated a little too hard and missed day 2 of the event all together. But hey, the night was great! We made some awesome new memories and actually got to enjoy a whole day in bed watching episodes, that for 2 busy business owners, was a dream. I also got to play with my new purchases.. it wasn't a bad haul;
Yeh, so any makeup-loving female would say I was fairly restrained. But for a girl that already has more than her fair share of makeup, as you can imagine... This was splurging for me. My very first move as I walked into the IMATS doors was a rookie one. I made the mistake of being drawn to the MAC counter, with the biggest line you've ever seen. But I just couldn't resist the 9s palletes I'm so in love with at the moment and $10 lipstick bins, yup. $10! What a sucker. But my 2 favourite purchases were with out a doubt, LipSense lipsticks and the selection of Model Rock Lashes that I bought for my kit - Check them out, amazing.
Keep an eye out of the makeup look I put up on my Instagram using my favourite products purchased at the IMATS.
Sorry If you came here to read specifically about the IMATS, this blog really took off in a whole different direction. Besides that point, I hope it gave you a small insight into where I draw my ideas from. I wouldn't have a business without my creativity. If you didn't already check out all the Instagram pages and people that are my influencers in this post, I urge you to go and get ridiculously lost in their incredible photographic content. It will be impossible to walk away today uninspired. Enjoy.