Creative Director, Food & Design Consultant and Writer
If you have multiple jobs and/or skills, which one do you wish you could do more often?
Creative Directing photo shoots...I love deciding how to set the table and then playing with the food.
How did you decide food styling over wardrobe or set dressing?
My styling jobs are just as much (if not more) about the table top dressing as it is about the food - I’ve always loved how creative one can be in the kitchen, but the thrill is really in the hunt in finding unique textiles, dishware and surfaces to set up the scene - I think those details are just as important than what food is on the plate. Because of this, I’ve had the recently had the opportunity to style jewelry, lifestyle and large scale events -- all which I’d love to do more of.
Give us a specific example of how you do your job like a BOSS.
Organization is key. Sometimes I’m simultaneously working on 7 project components with 2 or 3 different clients so being able to respond with all the details and knowing everythings place at a moment’s notice really keeps everyone happy. Basically I’m a professional plate spinner without ever letting that dishware drop!
What is frustrating you right now? What is making your job/business/project hard to move forward?
Email etiquette. Why is it so hard for some people to respond to an email within 24 hours, but can text you with a screen full of emojis in 5 minutes?
What are you putting off right now, but you know you have to get to, but you haven’t had the time?
I haven’t updated my professional portfolio in far too long... I would love to take a moment to focus on some personal work, maybe even have the chance to update the design on my own website! (www.dinexdesign.com)
If you could hire someone for $20/hour, what would you have them do to make your day easier?
It would be amazing to have an assistant to help with grocery shopping and prop runs pre/post projects...but in all honestly it would be really great to have social media and press assistance. Can someone just take on all that promotional work for me and be my personal headhunter/hypeman?
If you could talk to an expert to gain more insight on something, what would it be about?
I think we’re always looking to get to the next level. Sometimes we need someone else to take a good look at our business and help us navigate the year ahead with a five year goal in mind.
What are all the tools (digital or physical) you use on a regular basis?
Every day’s task is different, but usually always involves working in Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom) and taking photos (either iphone shooting from the hip fpr inspiration or setting up more professionally with the Canon DSLR). Pen & Paper are also always a part of my day because there’s nothing more satisfying than writing things down and then crossing them off.
What are you working on right now?
I recently wrapped a bunch of styling and recipe development for HGTV and now have taken on a few re-branding jobs with 3 different websites launching for some lovely people in the food industry.
What kind of opportunities/projects are you looking for right now?
All the above: creative consulting in the lifestyle, design and food industries.
What is creative consulting? What does this entail?
It’s a mixed bag of services depending on the client’s needs - anything from branding (logos, websites, color palettes, product development) to copy writings, or even just helping create a vision for a photo shoot or event through mood boards and styling.
How are you looking for these opportunities/projects right now?
Word of mouth, networking at events and getting connected through references
Describe your ideal client/job/collaboration. Even if it doesn’t actually exist!
Basically I need to figure out a way to work in Melbourne for part of the year. I’ve been very lucky to have traveled there for work on and off for the past 10 years, but I’d like it to be with more frequency...and an apartment.
Describe a client/job/partner you would rather not have. What are your deal breakers?
This probably sounds obvious, but I’m over the yellers and the drama makers. I spent many years working in Entertainment Advertising which changed the way I do business and who I do business with as a consultant - I like to get the job done correctly, efficiently and have a good time doing it...and always with a smile.
What is your rate, retainer, or salary range? If it depends on the project, give us some examples of projects and the cost.
It really does depend on the project. Most often it’s a set retainer rate which scales on the amount of hats you’re wearing and deliverables needed.
How should someone approach you about working with you?
I love a personalized letter from someone who actually pays attention to details (like spelling your name correctly or adding a little personalized introduction). There’s nothing worse than a linkedin invite with no message - I want to know why you’d like to connect and how you found me - if that involves a few emojis or calling me out on something I posted on instagram yesterday, I suppose I’m okay with that too. The more info you put out there, the more I understand your personal needs and if we’ll be a good fit on the project.
This member profile was originally published on December 2014.