Last year I've dreamt about my own atelier. A peaceful place in Antwerp where I can work on projects, stock my material and do some shoots on my own. A playful environment where I can mess things up and just leave it for a while without worrying about cleaning my house or break something. A bright home for the styling studio.
I've spend New Year in Barcelona with some friends and didn't realize what 2018 would bring for me. The only thing I knew was that I wanted things to get bigger and better. In the first week of January, I needed a while to get back on track like most people do. When me and my boyfriend go on trips, we are always daydreaming and musing about our businesses. We laugh with each others ideas but still stimulate one another and try to go for our dreams, even if it's in smaller versions than our expectations.
At the end of January, he came with the suggestion to search for a workspace together with his film company. I loved the idea and in a week we had a place. A clear room in Antwerp, not far from home but still in another district in the city. A lot of cultures surrounding us with inspirational food and shops. Perfect. We found our second home.
After my latest photoshoot about floral art with Charis Boel. I'm crazy about concrete walls as backgrounds. I think it's mostly perfect for every styling and I like the dark, mysterious look of it. The texture in the wall contrasts beautifully with most of other textures. It makes a picture more poetic. That's why I wanted to create a concrete wall in the atelier. Just big enough for my photoshoots. I did many researches about techniques, painting companies and prices... but I wouldn't be a stylist if I didn't do this myself. Together with my beloved boyfriend of course .
After seeing many tutorials, wondering which one would be the best. I've decided to work with the technique Marrakech Walls (<3) from Pure & Original - a Dutch painting company. We ordered the color White Rhino because we didn't want the wall to be to dark. I figured out that I could always make the picture darker while editing. Pure & Original had lot's of examples on their website and a clear tutorial, fast delivery (with free stir sticks!) and is not to expensive. It's not the cheapest way to paint your walls, but it's the cheapest and best quality to go for a concrete look.
At first, you need to add a primer in the same color. You can also go for a darker primer than your main layer, so you can become a little bit more shading. When the primer is dry, it's playtime! The paint of the main layer is very thick, so you need to add some water while stirring. When the paint is ready, you need to add a thick layer on the wall and then make the texture with a scoop (you can buy this one on the website of Pure & Original.) This way you can decide if the shades are rather rough or soft, repeat themselves or not...
It's a dreamwork made by teamwork, one brings on the paint - the other plays with the scoop.
After the paint is dry, you use a light grain of sandpaper to edit the wall. With the sanding, you create more shades and can remove some tracks from painting. You don't need to worry, the sanding is better for the wall and makes it very soft and nice to touch. On the website of Pure & Original are all the different kinds of colors and techniques to make this look happen:
After working comes the best part: my first shoot in the atelier. My head is clear for any inspiration because I am constantly surrounding by my props and the environment is equipped for shootings. It's so much easier to work. I love to work with talented photographers and never underestimate their job. But I honestly can not resist to take some pictures myself. It's just some portfolio work from my food styling or floral art and mostly it's just recreation. A relaxed and easy way to do some styling and take some pictures. It keeps me focused and creative in a non-stressed way and it helps me to constantly see and make new images.
I live for challenging myself and sometimes it goes a bit to far. But this is my gentle way of doing that.
A quote of mine
-- Never lose your inner child.