Originally, I intended for this post to be an ode to the first day of spring. Then I realized:
1) The first day of spring was yesterday–apparently it has always been March 20th, we just didn’t know it; and
2) Today is The Styley’s first birthday! Yes. It’s true.
I started this blog because I was looking for a job. I was told by the head of a trend forecasting company that a successful blog would help me break into that business. As it turned out, I ended up with a completely different job in a completely different field, and the blog became something I never expected–a streetstyle blog, a blog based on photographs and writing, rather than just writing. That was quite a surprise.
I’ve been writing since I was eight years old. At the end of high school, I started taking photographs with a point and shoot. I photographed all the way through college. My senior year I took two photography classes, using a Pentax K-1000 that a group of friends had gathered together to buy me for my birthday. I loved it, loved it, loved it–I spent hours in the darkroom, and even ended up locked in the darkroom after it closed one night.
When I graduated from college, I was very, very torn about which path to pursue: photography or writing? I chose writing. I’d been told I was a talented writer for years–my family thought of me as “the writer”–and I think I was afraid to pursue something where I felt like I had less of a track record.
So I worked on being a writer for many years. I got my MFA in fiction writing at NYU. I taught expository writing at NYU and Stanford and a handful of other places, and photography fell by the wayside. Then, in December of 2010, I finished a draft of a book I’d been working on for a number of years. I sent it to agents, all of whom were positive about it, but none of whom picked it up.
Then I started this blog. And a few things happened. I began carrying my camera with me everywhere, which was fun. I remembered that at one stage of my life, I loved taking pictures. Then I had a conversation with the jewelry designer/blogger Wendy Brandes, who is very wise, and she said she thought that one area of fashion blogging that had room for growth in it was streetstyle. Something clicked.
It has been a good year, although not what I expected, which of course life never is. I’ve had two photography shows, one at the Haus of Hipstamatic and a second at RGB Shop and Gallery, which I could never have predicted. I’ve had a bunch of pictures featured in the New York Times online’s “Best of Readers’ Streetstyle” slideshows. Suffice it to say that I’ve received some positive feedback about my photography. So, after focusing on writing for what feels like a century, I feel like photography has become my primary creative activity, and possibly a career path I’d like to pursue.
We’ll see what happens. Adopting a new creative identity is a big transition, and more life changes are on the way. Thanks so much to those of you who have encouraged and supported me this year. It means a lot.
I thought I’d include a picture of myself, just because I never do:
Here’s to another year of writing and photographs and style, of course!