PROfile is a series of interviews with artists and creative souls who have built businesses around their craft and passion. We’ll dig deeper to try and find out everything you could want to know from seasoned pros who have experienced the full gamut of highs and lows that come with running a creative business.
This time, I interviewed photographer Marioly Vazquez, who relocated all the way from Mexico to London to pursue her art. Her photography has a whimsical quality about it, and the dreamlike colours never fail to lift my mood! I hope you enjoy this little window into her world!
What was your first ‘proper’ job and how did you land it? Was it what you intended to do as a career?
My first proper job was working in the educational department of a Museum back in Mexico. Having studied cultural tourism, I followed the path of art and museums, I have always been interested in them, but never thought I would land a job actually working in them.
Has art always been in your blood?
Yes! I’ve always been an artsy girl. Since I was a kid I was always colouring and doing crafts. love trying new things involving the arts, so I’ve knitted, tried watercolours and acrylics, sewing and embroidery, anything that allows you to create beautiful things.
What’s your main creative discipline and how did you get started in it?
My main discipline is photography. I started since I was young when my father thought me to use an analogue camera. Since them I became fascinated by photography and wanted to learn more. I never studied anything related to photography, but I always read things and took different courses.
Do you see yourself as introverted or extroverted, and does being either affect the way you work?
It’s weird because I have always associated with both. Just recently I read an article of the type of individuals that are extroverted introverts, and knew that was exactly me. I love going to parties, meeting new people, having meaningful conversations, but I also really enjoy the time I spend by myself and I tend to recluse myself from socialising and just get in touch with myself and my emotions. I always try to find a balance, and sometimes I need space to clear my mind and allow my ideas to flow.
What is your favourite kind of commission, and why?
I love to create social media content for brands. When brands are open and flexible its great, because that allows me to be more creative and experiment with different medias such as stills, gifs and stop motion.
How did you know you were ready to have your own business?
I think I never felt ready to have my own business, to this day I’m still learning so much.
How did you secure your first clients?
I worked on a campaign for a PR company doing all their Social Media Content. I styled 5 different concepts and photographed them. It was a big challenge because I’ve never done such a big campaign like that, that required set design, styling, photography and post edition. I landed this job through Instagram, the agency saw my work and liked it, and they contacted me to see if I was willing to work with them. I always loved doing that, but at the moment I had a full time job, and did not think it was possible to make photography as a proper career. I did this campaign with all my heart and invested a lot of money and time on it. I knew it was a good opportunity to learn and grow, so I did not make a lot of money on it, but it helped me to develop my portfolio and see the things that I’m capable of doing.
What is your typical daily routine like?
I do not have any specific routine, but when I wake up I like to stay a few minutes in bed practicing gratitude and meditating. Then I take breakfast and then a shower. I will then check emails, plan my day and work on the projects I have. I will take a walk around London and then coming back home I will have dinner and then relax reading a book or watching a movie.
What traits do artists have that help with running a business?
I think artist are very driven people that love what they do, so in everything they create they but so much effort and love and that makes their work so unique and personal.
How does being an introvert (or an extrovert) help or hinder you when it comes to business?
Sometimes being an introvert will make yourself be kind of a hermit, and it will make you not want to connect with interesting people that are around. You can miss opportunities of getting to know people that may have the knowledge you are looking for, or can help you connect.
Do you have a favourite medium or technique?
Yes, I love working with photography, doing still images but also enjoy working with gifs and stop motion.
What’s been the most beneficial business decision you’ve made?
Moving to London to pursue my master’s degree in Arts Management. I’ve learnt so much about the business, marketing and culture.
Artists and writers often describe the compulsion to work – do you experience an overwhelming desire to create something new?
Yes! I’m always looking for inspiration around and sometimes I get a rush of energy and just want to work on a creative idea, even if that means being up at 3am. I think artists in general are more sensitive to the energy around them, and they need to channel it by doing something creative, almost as a way to cope with all the emotions we feel.
Do you ever feel alone in your work?
Sometimes. Most of the time I do the work alone at home, and it is different to my past job where I was always surrounded by people. But this allows me to concentrate better and take my time doing what I want. I’m also able to put on loud music, take long breaks etc. But I do enjoy doing collaborations and working with a team because when you work with like-minded people ideas flow more easily.
How do you relax?
Reading a book, drinking a cup of tea, meditate and watch an old school film.
Where do you find inspiration?
Everywhere, but mainly in my travels. Travelling has opened me to a new perspective on things and life.
What advice would you give to your 21-year-old self?
Have no fear and trust your gut. Do not allow yourself to be overwhelmed by uncertainty, trust that the universe has a unique plan for you.
What would you like to be remembered for?
I would love to be remembered as someone who was always true to herself, and loved and enjoyed what she did. Someone that lived by love and reflected light in her work.
What’s been the best moment of your career so far?
Being able to travel the world
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
To see how people like my work and are being inspired by it.
What have been the biggest challenges or obstacles you’ve faced in your business and how did you overcome them?
Back in Mexico I loved to work with natural light, but when I moved to London it was hard to find a sunny day where I could work the way I was used to. But I had to adapt and find new ways to simulate the same light as in Mexico.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Never let anyone take away your happiness.
If you could have dinner with any inspiring person (past or present), who would you choose?
John Lennon, I would love to hear his perspective of the world.
Want more? Head this way for more PROfile interviews.