Jessica Hanson, interior stylist & Style Editor for Inside Out Magazine. She’s gold. Innovative, sharp and super creative. We jumped at her for an interview cause we thought you’d want to know more about what she does. And I think you do, here’s what she’s about…
QUICK CHAT WITH JESSICA HANSON…
How did you fall into styling as a career?
Before studying at The Design Centre Enmore, I had no idea what a stylist was! But during the course (Adv. Diploma Interior Decoration + Design), we were introduced to interior styling and, becoming more and more interested in this subject, I started assisting a magazine interior stylist one day a week on my day off. I loved it and I was determined that this was what I was going to do. After finishing the course, I emailed lots of interior magazines, and top stylists for further assistance work, and continued to assist for the next few months.
Then one afternoon while I was helping pack up props for a stylist for a shoot the next day, I received a call to meet with the Editor at Australian House & Garden magazine. The meeting went well, and they offered me a temporary styling position on the spot, covering for their in-house stylist while she went on her honeymoon for a couple of weeks. I was completely thrown in the deep end, having to produce and style one of their ‘shopping’ features. Two weeks later, the stylist came back from holiday, and I was asked to stay on for a few more weeks. Those few weeks turned into staying on indefinitely, and I gradually worked my way up to the Senior Stylist position during a period of over five and a half years!
At about that time, I was approached by another interiors magazine for a maternity cover styling role and I jumped at the chance. The role was a step down, but I was excited for the change and very happy to accept the job. Luckily for me, the stylist I was covering decided not to come back on staff, and I was asked to stay on. And soon after, I was promoted to a higher role. A few years on, I am still enjoying styling for Inside Out magazine part time, and currently reside as their Style Editor.
I always think of my start into the styling world a very very very lucky one! But more than anything, the TIMING was right!
Has styling always been something you were good at or is it more something you loved and made a conscious decision to become good at?
I always knew I would do something creative, and hands on. Looking back at the start, I don’t think my styling was very good at all! You can really see the difference in the standard of my work, as I’ve learnt and experienced more over the years. I literally shudder at some of my earlier work! So yes, I guess I was determined and continue to be, as I’m always looking to evolve and develop my styling skills.
Do you have kids?
No I don’t, but you’d think so with the amount of times people have commented on ‘my daughter’ or ‘my son’ having seen photos of my little niece and baby nephew on instagram. I’m completely obessed – they are utterly gorgeous (albeit biased!) We babysit them once a week and it’s a complete joy to be able to spend time with them on a regular basis, and watch them grow up so quickly!
Are there things you have to do differently when styling kids spaces?
Essentially no, all the elements are the same. You still have to consider a theme or concept, a palette, materials.. When styling kids spaces for photography, we like our spaces to look fun and friendly so ensure the sets are lit with fresh, natural light, not dark and moody like you might do with other shoots.
Can you tell us a bit about your creative process when styling for a job?
I am given a brief, often which includes a general theme, such as ‘office and stationary’ or ‘Christmas wrapping’ or ‘Kids accessories’. I then start with a mood board or visual reference and pull out key colours that become the overall scheme. I’ll also consider the overall style. Next is selecting all the product that ties in with the colour scheme and overall style of the mood board. I’ll then develop composition ideas through sketching – I often like to have the whole story of a shoot sketched out as I imagine it to be laid out by the Art department later on. Then, it’s bringing these sketches to life on-set! Of course this is the funnest part, and it’s so rewarding to see it all come together after so much planning in the lead up!
Can you show us some behind the scenes photographs?
Can we see some images of your favourite styling jobs?