By Catherine Ho
Artisella has always been supportive of local designers, artists and talents. We participate in their empowerment by providing opportunities to push boundaries in their creative worlds.
Recently we had our first photoshoot for the upcoming launch of our new website, where we worked with a team of amazing women - Emily Neil, Ashley Galang and Katrina Myhal. We want to share their stories with you and this is what they have to say:
Emily Neil - Photographer
Emily began her photography journey in 2011, with a street style blog that she started with a friend. In 2015, she got a job as a designer at Village Juicery and did their photography as well. This is where she began to really appreciate photography and acknowledge its impact as a powerful tool for telling stories. She believes in letting the images speak for themselves - she relies on natural lighting and documentary style photography. Ever fluid in her style and tastes, Emily seamlessly adapts to situations to help bring her clients' creative visions to life.
Who influences you the most? Are there any photographers you look up to?
"These days there are so many talented photographers that I’m constantly stumbling upon who’s work inspires me. I think I first became interested in photography in the early days of Kinfolk when Nathan Williams had a blog. Since then I’ve kept an eye on the work of some of the photographers at Kinfolk like Carissa Gallo. For this photoshoot, we specifically took a lot of inspiration from the photography of Intent Journal, which is also a great place to read about sustainable brands."
What was your vision for the shoot and how did you prepare for it?
"A big challenge sustainable clothing and accessory brands face is the stereotype that sustainable brands are less stylish, which is not true. I am constantly trying to break this stereotype with my work. For this photoshoot, I wanted to create a minimalist and clean look that was both natural and sophisticated. To incorporate elements of nature with a modern and clean look, I wanted to pair natural light and shadows from trees with natural textural surfaces like abstract backgrounds. To visualize this, I started by collecting imagery from other photoshoots and brands that had the look and feel I was hoping to convey. From there Sheryl and I collaborated to refine the vision and find a location that would fit our needs."
Ashley Galang - Stylist
Ashley began her exploration in styling when she enrolled into a fashion styling course at George Brown. Through the program, she was able to network and gain more experience in the fashion industry. While volunteering and completing the program simultaneously, she worked on her portfolio and ventured out to connect with various designers. Through assisting and working on photoshoots, she learned a lot about the industry and encountered many opportunities that brought her to where she is today. As a stylist, she loves to incorporate runways trends into street style elements. One thing she always keeps in mind, is to keep things simple.
Who are your inspirations? Who are your style icons?
"Growing up, I loved reading magazines like Teen Vogue, and Seventeen and going through the ads. However, I didn’t really understand fashion trends until I started watching runway shows on Fashion Television with Jeanne Beker. I draw my inspiration from various platforms such as, music, television, and social media. Music videos from Aaliyah, Janet Jackson, Beyoncé and Rihanna are references I look for inspiration. And some others would be Ashley and Mary Kate Olsen and Karl Lagerfeld who has a able to formulate a distinct style which I aspire to have as well."
How did you prepare for the shoot?
"When Sheryl got me on board, the first thing I had in mind was to convey looks that were relatable to a range of age groups. You can wear accessories that are eco-conscious and sustainable but also pieces that are timeless. Collaborating on creating the inspiration helped guide my understanding of the aesthetic and visual for the shoot. I received the pieces in advance and Sheryl explained the stories behind the brands, which helped me convey the vision during the shoot."
Katrina Myhal - Model
Katrina’s blog @the.lost.earring started in 2016. Her interest in handmade jewelry began in her childhood when she attended art shows with her mom. She always gravitated towards the jewelry at those shows, and from there she realized her passion and love for handmade artisan jewelry. From this, she created her blog to share and direct people to how she found these contemporary pieces.
What are you hoping to achieve with your blog?
"I started this blog to share a look book/ directory of where I found the jewelry I’ve collected. I am hoping to make a career out of this; to be a jewelry influencer. I want my blog to evolve to be a trusted advisory of refined and contemporary jewelry. I am hoping to continue to share my love for jewelry while showcasing current and upcoming trends."
How did you meet Sheryl/ stumble upon Artisella?
"I actually met Sheryl through another blogger that I work with Claudia Erban, @urban.meets.erban. She really wanted to introduce me to Sheryl, so I went to Artisella pop-up shop at the Eaton Centre. After seeing what Artisella stood for and offered, I became a fan and featured one of Artisella's piece in my blog. Sheryl is great to work with; I really enjoyed working and having the opportunity to collaborate with her."
Artisella is not just a brand, but a community. We are forming connections with local talents through the support and collaboration we offer. Community not only empowers the individual, but it ignites and influences change towards our vision of sustainable fashion.