September 09, 2009
stylist ruth welsby
It seems this week Daily Imprint has an international flavour. Today I wanted to share the work and words of Ruth Welsby, a stylist who has been featured in real living magazine. She is originally from the UK, but now is based in Melbourne. Ruth has a great talent for tracking down covetable homes. And I have to confess I was chuffed when I learnt that she's inspired by people who don't own televisions: I haven't owned one for 7 years!
Which five words best describe you? Creative, happy, loyal, decisive and enthusiastic.
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? Oh blimey, my career path hasn’t been particularly glamorous or relevant to styling! My first job when I was 17 was in my local supermarket; then when I was at art college I worked in a clothes shop in central London (it used to get so busy on weekends that it drove me completely mad!). Once I’d finished my degree I starting thinking about possible careers and came to the conclusion that I liked houses, interiors and magazines. I put the three together and came up with interior styling. It took me months to even get work experience, but once I did I was lucky enough to work with some fantastic stylists and photographers who showed me the ropes and really inspired my passion for creating beautiful images. I took the plunge to become a stylist in my own right a few years later, and since then I’ve worked on numerous interior style publications both in-house and freelance.
What’s your proudest achievement? I should probably say something to do with styling, but I think my proudest achievement was passing my driving test. You could say I’ve had a bit of a phobia about driving and having lived in London my whole life I got away without needing to. However, with a move to Melbourne on the cards, I had to face my fears and get behind the wheel. I passed my test about a week before flying out and the irony is I haven’t really needed to drive since! On the styling front, I think a pretty good achievement was my first solo shoot: a five-page spread in British House & Garden.
What’s been your best decision? Moving to Australia. I left the UK on a wet, grey, freezing cold January morning and landed 24 hours later on a balmy, summer's evening in Melbourne. I live close to the bay and the city, and most days my commute takes me across the corridor to my office or a 15 minutes ride on a tram to go propping, instead of a two hours slog on the grimy tube.
Who inspires you? My family, my friends, my partner. Artists, designers, photographers, writers, creative types in general and people who don’t own televisions.
What are you passionate about? In no particular order, the sea, the city, houses, painting, texture, interiors, food, the countryside, architecture, colour, reading, spending time with my family (when I get to see them), and making sure that I laugh every day.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? Not to take things too seriously when it comes to styling. Often things break, or they don’t turn up or your fantastic idea just won’t work. Staying calm, trusting your instincts and having some sort of back-up plan generally works. Another lesson I’ve learnt, which is actually a quote from T.S. Eliot (and is my mum's absolute favourite) is, "To make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from." I adore this quote and it’s helped me in all sorts of situations.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Probably Elvis. Or Audrey Tautou.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? I would love to buy an old rambling French Châteaux and renovate it. One slight problem in the plan is my total lack of French. I learnt it at school but gave up age 16, and I don’t think asking directions for the station and/or library will get me very far when I need a builder/plumber/electrician. Maybe I’ll have to rethink that one.
What are you reading? I’m reading The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work by Alain de Botton. I’m a bit of a de Botton fan, so couldn’t wait until this book came out and it certainly hasn’t disappointed.
images courtesy of ruth welsby