For the second interview on my blog, I'm interviewing the fantastic Sophie Benson! Sophie is a stylist and a writer, with a fantastic sense of colour and shape. She's also a really funny writer, and you can see more of her work on her website (and be sure to check out her blog too!).
So, what do you do?
I'm a freelance writer and stylist (and an occasional lecturer).
Best thing about your job?
There are a few! Firstly, being creative everyday is obviously fairly fantastic but I also love the freedom being freelance gives me. Although I work a Monday to Friday schedule wherever possible, I feel completely in charge of my own life AND I can wear a blanket at my desk.
Worst thing about your job?
Being undervalued and being asked to do things for free.
What are your weapons of choice?
My laptop is completely essential, as is my suitcase and floral granny trolley. In fact, I went through a phase of using my trolley so much, someone asked if it was just my every day handbag. Also my steamer, clips, garment bags, and, perhaps most importantly, my kettle for green tea on the reg.
If you could clarify one misconception about what you do, what would it be?
I think some people assume I just float around, doing whatever I fancy, picking out nice dresses and writing a few words here and there. This really isn't the case. Firstly, styling is genuinely manual work when it comes to lugging cases, bags, rails and kit around. Secondly, I have multiple deadlines every week and it takes a lot of discipline and scheduling to mean that I always hit every single one.
Favourite piece of your own work.
That's a really tough choice as I'm very critical of my own work. In terms of shoots, I particularly like a collaged menswear editorial I shot with Lucie Crewdson for Indie (above and below images). As for writing work, I got the idea in my head for 'If Men Received the Same Fashion Advice as Women' at 2 in the morning and typed the whole thing out on my phone whilst trying not to wake my boyfriend up. That remains a favourite.
When did you realise this was the job for you?
I've never been particularly happy in standard working environments, so being freelance has always been quite an obvious choice. I don't think there was a particular moment as it's taken a good few years for everything to fall into place but I'm very happy with the current balance.
Do you have any advice for someone who wants to be a stylist?
Be prepared to work hard and invest quite a significant amount of money in your career when you're starting out. Students are often shocked when I tell them they might just have to hop on a 3am Megabus to the other side of the country to pick up garments but that's the reality. I've done my fair share of 10 hour round trip coach journeys!
What do you do in your spare time?
I love to crochet and lift weights at the gym. But not at the same time.