As a stylist based in London, Charlotte Love is always working on exciting shoots with awesome brands. But in her free time, she’s also built one of the most inspiring Instagram accounts we’ve seen. Her “faces” series, created from normal grocery store foods, is totally brilliant. We were super curious about her creative process. Where does she come up with inspiration? What does her normal day look like? Today she’s answering all our pressing questions about her job and photography (we loved her answers!)…
Hello my name is Charlotte Love, and I’m a stylist & prop maker from London.
What does a normal day look like for you?
My day usually picks up the night before… most of my ideas for work and Instagram come to me late at night. I keep a notebook by my bed so I can draw out my thoughts (usually in the dark!). If I know it’s a good idea, I’m excited and it gets me up and out of bed in the morning. I have a cup a tea and start creating my image. It sounds strange, but I can’t relax or concentrate on the rest of my day until I get the idea out of my head.
Once my Instagram picture is done, I reply to emails and get to ‘real’ work. I’ve usually got 2 or 3 styling jobs on at the same time, so I spend the rest of the day researching, putting together mood boards and sketching out ideas for my shoots. It’s a very long day and I usually don’t stop researching until I go to bed at 11.
Did you always want to be a stylist? If so, what were the steps you took to follow this dream? If not, how did you stumble into this path?
I didn’t know that there was such a job. I would always admire styled images in magazines and books (before blogs & Pinterest of course) but always assumed that it was the photographer’s handy work. I actually studied illustration, but always really struggled with finding my style (I’m more of a doodler than an illustrator). I tried my hand at illustrating for a while, but I was always drawn to the styled images in Vogue and interiors magazines. Then, I discovered the work of Tim Walker and fell in love. With a bit of difficulty I got in touch with Shona Heath, Tim Walker’s set designer and luckily got some work experience making props for his shoots. I quickly realized that I wasn’t cut out for the fashion world. As exciting and glamorous as it is, it’s also very competitive. So then I decided to try interiors and approached interior stylist Selina Lake. It all went from there really. After 4 long years of assisting and tea making – here I am!
We love your “faces” series on Instagram! Can you share the background of how this idea evolved?
I have a pretty vivid imagination so I often see things differently than they actually appear. The “faces” started from sticking googly eyes on pretty much anything and everything around the house. I can get a little bored working at home all day so I need ways to entertain myself and take breaks. I also like to give myself small projects on the weekends, so I started walking around the supermarket and finding items that would make good faces.
You live in one of the best cities – London! What’s your favorite place to visit in the city to get inspired?
I get inspired by day to day things. A simple trip on the bus means I can sit, look out the window and watch as I pass all the shop displays, colorful fruit stands, and nicely dressed people.
Do you ever go through periods where you can’t seem to get inspired? How do you get out of the funk?
The main reason I use my Instagram account is to offset the creative slumps from my styling work. If I get stuck on a concept for a job, I take a little break, get out my props boxes and paper, and have a play. And more often than not I find that my Instagram image will spark an idea or inspire a color theme for a shoot.
What’s your least favorite part of your job?
The day before a shoot. I often stay up until 2am making props, then wake up at 6am to carry all of it down three flights of stairs to load into my tiny car… and then go off to work a 10 hour day. But, when I arrive at the shoot and start styling I remember why I love my job.
Have you ever started a project or series that just wasn’t coming together? What did you do?
I can be quite impatient sometimes so if I can see that something’s not working I usually know it’s time to stop and start over. I find it’s best to go back to the drawing bored and begin researching or watching something that I know will inspire me.
Your Instagram photos are all so perfect and beautiful. What would a “behind the scenes” shot of the same photo look like?
Ha, picture a HUGE mess of paper and fruit.
Who’s your favorite artist or designer?
I’m inspired by so many people and so many different mediums – I love photographer Tim Walker, set designer Anna Lomax, Artist Julie Verhoeven, director Wes
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Yes – prosecco. And if I’m with my sisters, I can drink it like water until eventually I disappear for a little sleep (and don’t come back!)
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
My parents run a business together and I’m always calling on them for work advise. My Dad always tells me ‘Work as hard as you can, be nice, and never let anyone down. Seems to have worked for me so far.
PS – Check out more Instagrammers We Love!
All photos used with permission from Charlotte Lovely.