This Stylist Session is to introduce you to Melbourne's, Jessica Viscarde. Jessica describes herself as wearing many hats, and after a bit of research I can definitely confirm this is not an understatement - In addition to being an Interior Designer, Stylist and overall creative she also has a degree in Industrial Design and qualifications in both Interior and Graphic Design! (I need a rest just thinking about it!)
After many years in the creative industry and winning the major graduate award from the Design Institute of Australia, Jessica Viscarde decided to launch Eclectic Creative.
It is a design studio based in Melbourne that works with a range of incredible creatives and contributors, offering assistance with Interior Design and Decoration, Photography and Styling and content creation for social and editorial purposes. Jessica wasn't interested in the often pretentious nature of the design industry and prides herself on providing a personal, friendly and approachable service.
Jess is also the creator of the popular #pocketofmyhome hashtag on Instagram where anyone can share images of their home for her to repost. These are everyday people sharing their unique, interesting and personal spaces with the world!
I asked Jess a few of my must-know questions and managed to get a few photos of her in action to share with you all.
For more check out:
When did you know you wanted to become a stylist?
I’ve always been a creative soul, drawing, rearranging my bedroom, making and crafting things as a child, studying art in high school, but my first memory for recognising that I had a good ‘eye’ for colour and accessorising was when my Grade 4 teacher (I was living overseas in Brunei) said I was going do something that incorporated colour and pattern as a career, as I was so good at putting my colour-coordinated outfits together. So Funny! Being a stylist involves having a very good eye for detail and instantly knowing what is and isn’t working. With each job and design brief you get better and better at honing those skills, and really listening to your gut. I always knew the creative path was for me (I am a Pisces after all) as it is something that comes very natural to me, and I think the hardest part, with me, is recognising that this doesn’t come naturally to everyone and realising I have a unique skill. After working as a graphic designer and working with 2 dimensional projects, I knew I wanted to pursue spatial design as I need to see, touch and visualise a space, stepping in to a space and working from the ground up.
How long have you been in the industry and what was your first job?
I am a qualified Interior Designer and have been working in this specific area for 2 years, but in my previous life studied Industrial design and Graphic Design, so have been in the industry just over 10 years. My first job out of university was at IKEA working as a Graphic Production assistant during the new store build, which at the time, was the biggest IKEA store in the southern hempishere! My first interior job was working alongside Amanda at The Urban Stylist who I continue to work with. Amanda is a wonderful mentor, and now friend of mine, whom I am eternally grateful for giving me a chance and an opportunity. Working closely together we have styled hundreds of properties and it is so encouraging to know I have helped grow her business and start my own!
What was the biggest surprise/struggle you encountered starting out in the industry?
Being told that I had “too much experience”…. or not enough. I don’t think one can ever have enough experience and the main reason I launched Eclectic Creative was for this reason. It is extremely difficult for new talent but you have to be inventive, hard working and always seize new opportunities, I started from scratch, and in a brand new city, knowing one person, and on the more challenging days I need to remember this. I think, if the passion and drive is there, you really can do anything. There are days when I am wondering what on earth am I doing, but then there are days I know I am on the right path. But that is the nature of the industry, the business and if everything was smooth sailing and easy, everyone would be doing it. I also find the area of quoting a difficult one, educating and communicating to others the type of service, creatives can offer. As my business is predominantly service based, with a finished product coming at the very end, through the delivery of a space, concept to image, the challenge is educating others (and yourself) about valuing your time, ideas, effort and hard work that goes into a project. The proof is really in the content and material you produce, so with each project completed, and a portfolio built, clients start to see the high level of work I create.
Has your career evolved how you expected?
I think it has, I am an extremely driven person and can be very hard on myself, but I am becoming more at ease with myself and learning I have something unique to offer. I really just want to create awesome spaces, collaborate with like-minded creatives and be a good person. My varied skill set within the design world has definitely helped me in so many ways, so I always tell people, to get as much work experience as you can, put your hand up and help out, as you just don’t know where that may lead. I can’t tell you how many free hours I did when I was starting out, but it is worth it, you learn by doing. My career is evolving naturally, I am one who likes to live in the “grey areas"… I am not a black or white person, I let things progress organically, as they should. I find if you try and force something, it never really works and I wholeheartedly believe, what you put out is what you get back.
What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about being a stylist, and whats the most enjoyable part of your job?
That it’s glamorous. It’s not. Its fun and rewarding, but we don’t run around in high heels and freshly done hair and makeup on a job. Hopefully we get that luxury if we are shooting content for our own purposes, but day-to-day it’s converse sneakers, jeans and tees… and a sweaty brow!
Another thing I struggle with it is hard to switch off and I am constantly searching for good work/life balance. Part of working for yourself is wearing many hats, and some hats are more fun and stylish than others! I'm learning to slowly outsource some of the areas that I am not good in or have no interest in and concentrate on what I am good at and what comes naturally.
The most rewarding part of my work, is seeing what I have buzzing around in my head come to fruition. I also love to meet people and collaborate with like-minded creatives and clients. I have made a huge effort to offer a friendly and approachable service, with a concentration on being a normal, down-to-earth person. A pet peeve of the industry I have, is the pretentiousness that sometimes is connected with it. I don’t do pretentious.
What piece of advice would you give to someone wanting to get into the industry?
Be yourself, work hard and say yes to opportunities. Take your journey step by step, baby steps even. Don’t compare yourself to others, concentrate on your goals, and don’t be hard on yourself.
*All images belong to Eclectic Creative*