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Creator Spotlight: Kayla Mendez

As a freelancer, my weeks often look different from the ebb and flow of my workload. Regardless, I love to have a loose structure in my schedule to keep me more on track to get things done. I don’t always follow the structure & that’s okay! We are artists, after all, we need to go with the flow and meet those deadlines.

12.5.20
Written by
Moodelier

My use of color in my work is largely drawn from the colors of my travels.

What does a week of life look like for you? What do you do each weekday?

As a freelancer, my weeks often look different from the ebb and flow of my workload. Regardless, I love to have a loose structure in my schedule to keep me more on track to get things done. I don’t always follow the structure & that’s okay! We are artists, after all, we need to go with the flow and meet those deadlines. 

Monday’s are my CEO days which is where I execute my “needle-moving tasks” such as admin, scheduling, and batching content-- it really sets the tone for what the rest of my week will look like. Tuesdays are the day I like to reserve for a majority of my client calls and 1-on-1 photographer coaching sessions and to finish up any tasks from Monday. Wednesday and Thursday are most often my editing days with Friday and Saturday being my main photoshoot days. Sundays are my slower days and the day I try to rest, though if I am honest, I love working on Sunday evenings and getting ahead for the upcoming week. 

How do you incorporate colors in your work?

My use of color in my work is largely drawn from the colors of my travels. In 2019, I traveled to 12 different countries like Indonesia, Italy, and France and my photographic style was quick to evolve to capture the lush greens, terracotta buildings, and vibrant blue skies. As my travels have slowed down this year, my eye has been drawn to warm, neutral color palettes-- almost as if this year has been more of a grounding year for me. Color and light are such crucial tools in my work that I love to play with, usually to evoke a feeling of romanticism and warmth.  

How do you define/find evergreen pieces/props that work for your aesthetic?  

Everything I purchase for my home is always bought with the intention of repurposing as a photoshoot prop! I have a very small collection of props and homegoods that I have mostly thrifted, purchased from homewares stores, or gotten off of Etsy.

The biggest thing I look for when sourcing for props is color, texture, and how it could add levels or dimension to an image. A huge stylistic element to my work is shadow play so I always try to find things that will create unique and interesting shadows. 

My enneagram type is a 3, and if you go back and look at how I answered question one you can definitely see why!

What is your favorite type of project to work on?

My favorite projects to work on are always the projects that are grounded in an underlying foundation of trust and collaboration. I am so lucky to have clients that hire me for my creative direction and are so open to new ideas. If I had to pick one type of project to work on it would be a fashion or lifestyle photoshoot (preferably with some kind of travel component!). I love connecting with people and collaborating to bring a vision to life so creating an atmosphere on set that is reflective of the end-tone of the images is paramount to me. 

How do you incorporate Moodelier pieces and other props into your workflow? Can you show us some photo examples?

I absolutely love Moodelier pieces! They are a God-send when it comes to creating different levels and adding dimension to my still life and product photography. In my most recent shoot, I used them not only for their shape but also for their shadows-- the end result is an ethereal, architectural-inspired image.

When I am not styling them in an image, they make the perfect decor statement piece on my desk.

What are your enneagram types? 

My enneagram type is a 3, and if you go back and look at how I answered question one you can definitely see why! Type threes are usually known as the “achievers” and we are always looking to accomplish the next goal or task and driven by success. I think my wing is a 2 which mellows me out a little bit but I have to do some more research, haha!

Who and what are your inspirations currently? Any apps and accounts that we should follow that have been helpful or inspiring for you?

I have been drawing a lot of inspiration from music lately, and the way musicians produce albums. I love the way musicians write and produce music as a team. It usually takes a whole team of writers, producers, sound mixers, musicians to produce one track and I find that to be true with creating images as well. “Creating is a conversation” Rosalia stated in a recent interview and that really stuck with me. Sometimes I find myself relying on my own creative direction so heavily that it is nice to open it up to a larger conversation.

All images from @kaylammendez

Find out more about Kayla Mendez at https://kaylamendez.co/

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