Tamara Maynes is a maker, stylist and author. After years of living in the country, and Sydney, she is now based in Melbourne, where she is the creative director at The Establishment Studios. Earlier this year she released her book The Maker with Murdoch Books.
Read her original interview on Daily Imprint.
Describe a typical working day There’s not much chance of keeping a routine with my work, so depending what project I’m working on I’ll either spend the day at the studio making props/sets and attending to admin, be on the road sourcing, or on set shooting. I’m usually up by 7am, starting work not long after that and continuing until the late hours of the night. I go through stages where I walk or meditate before work in an attempt at balance, but the lack of pattern makes it tricky to maintain. It’s all-consuming but thankfully I love what I do.
What are your preferred tools, materials and equipment? Being a maker as well as a stylist, I have a lot of all of these! My Mac laptop is an essential that never leaves my sight, and I rely heavily on my well-stocked tool collection, which includes everything from a needle and thread to a drop saw. Raw materials are one of my passions so whenever I get the chance to explore another type of clay, timber or fabric I grab it with both hands.
How do you dress for your job? Making and styling are both so dirty and physical that black jeans and T-shirts are essential attire for me at work. If I’m shooting I’ll throw on my black trainers, but when I’m in the studio I attempt to jazz my wardrobe up a bit by rotating my favourite collection of boots, coats and hats.
What is the current state of your desk or creative space? Oh please don’t make me answer this question! There is a running joke at the studio about the constant state of complete chaos my office is in. Visitors to the studio tell me they are incredibly inspired by my creative chaos, with eyes devouring it’s every prop and project in mid-process, when in reality it’s bordering on ridiculous!
What's your approach to managing technology - from emails to social media? This is a continued work in progress for me as I find it completely overwhelming. I am constantly apologising for my delayed email replies and spending weeks at a time feeling guilty for not being able to find the time to even glance at social media. Recently I have started making a big effort to write briefer emails in an attempt to respond more promptly, and adhere to a strict social media schedule.
When and what do you have for lunch? I usually stop to grab a hearty salad between 1-2pm which I practically inhale while I continue to work.
What’s your preferred pick-me-up? A brisk walk to the shop to buy a treat which I enjoy on the not so brisk walk back.
How do you combat physical or creative lulls? Fortunately I don’t really experience creative ebbs, but I do encounter physical lulls, particularly after every shoot. The preparation can be enormous with the painting of sets and general stress involved with meeting a tight deadline, while a shoot itself can involve lugging heavy furniture, and contorting my body to squeeze between lighting stands and precariously perched props. I make a point where possible to spend the day after a big shoot working from the sofa so my body can really get some time out.
What role does silence or sound play in your day? At home I crave absolute silence as it helps me feel relaxed - this is a bit tricky considering I’m married to a musician! Work is a different story, where I find sound, whether it’s the buzz of the studio in the background or playing my favourite music in my office, very conducive to productivity.
What's the last thing you do before finishing work for the day? I go over my to-do list and schedule with a fine tooth comb to assure myself everything is on track, then I allow myself a good solid dose of eye candy via Pinterest.
images courtesy of tamara maynes; photography eve wilson, sharyn cairns, mark roper, eve wilson; portrait eve wilson