The days of snapping random selfies and munchies are long gone. Today it’s all about #feedgoals and branding on fleek, one thing that Marioly Vazquez does flawlessly on @cestmaria.
This London based photographer and stylist has caught our eye, as well as 122,000 others. She shares a world seen through pastel colored glasses, and brews up an infectious case of wanderlust within us only seconds after scrolling down her feed.
Curious as we are, we jumped right into her rabbit hole.
You seem to capture the same essence no matter where you are! How do you do it? Are you always on the lookout for color?
While traveling is where I get most of my inspiration. The places I visit tend to change and not one place is the same. I’m always in the look for color, but as unusual as it might sound, color usually finds me.
We know @CestMaria, but who is Maria out of Instagram?
It’s odd because people might think that I usually wear pastels everyday, but my closet has a very narrow color scheme. I dress mainly in black, white, gray and beige. I love those colors.
So I guess you can say, I’m the girl in black with the colorful mind.
When you’re not off traveling the world, you style. Tell us about it.
I started styling mainly because I needed it for my own shootings. I have always loved beautiful images and wanted to create some for me, but in the town where I used to live there was no inspiration, or places like the ones I pictures on my mind. So I started to create them myself. It’s funny because since I was little, I was always styling my room, changing the color scheme, the textiles, painting my own walls, doing new cushions and painting new art work. So I guess it kind of evolved organically. I started sharing these photos on Instagram, and I started to meet people from all around the world, which eventually lead me to amazing opportunities and collaborations.
Would you say you have a signature Maria style?
I don’t usually like to describe my style, because it is constantly evolving, depending on my mood, the places I go, the people I’m with, everything that surrounds me affects and inspires my style in a positive way. But what mostly resonates with myself would be a feminine, fun, peaceful, colorful and fresh style.
I love all kinds of materials, at the moment I’m crushing on marble, copper, wood and soft textiles. I try to mix all of them creating certain harmony and balance. My style as been evolving along with me, everyday I learn new things and that can be reflected on my work.
The key is to always challenge yourself and take smart risks in your work.
What’s your creative process?
I always have open eyes for inspirations, so I carry my Moleskin with me all the time to write note of things that I like or things that I want to explore further. Nowadays with the iPhone, it’s so easy to just take pictures of things that inspire you and just save them for later.
Before prepping for a shooting I will always do a mood board, and when I’m working with clients, I love to get them involved as well. That way we can both really understand what we are trying to achieve with the look of the shooting. This is one of my favorite parts, as we both have feedback from our ideas and the creativity starts to flow, which is why I love collaborating with people.
Not everything is planned. Sometimes I just start styling in the moment, to what I feel looks right and makes more sense. Many of my favorite stylings have just come on spontaneously. Sometimes even though you already have it all planned, you have to follow your intuition and do what feels right deep inside you.
How does your workspace look like? How do you creatively get into the zone?
At the moment my workspace is super tiny, I try to make it multi-use, as we live in a small flat in London. I manage to create this space that would not take as much space and is still something nice to look at.
I think what make my space so unique is that I have my own artwork display. I printed my photos. Some of them I frame them and the others I just paste them with washitape. This is very inspirational to me, as every time I see them is a reminder to myself of why I love doing what I do.
I also have my crystals there, I love being surrounded by them, they give me such an amazing energy and they make me get into a creative vibe.
I also have different plants around, just surrounding myself with a little of nature, because working all day long indoors tends to drain my energy. So by surrounding myself with nature I at least have a small feeling of the outdoors.
Another important thing on my workspace that can never miss is my Bose speakers, I love working with music, it gives me so much inspiration and it gets me in any mood I wish to be on.
The best time for me to work is during the mornings. I have such amazing big windows, so I get lots of natural light directly to my studio, which makes me so happy. But creativity can be tricky and sometimes. I feel more creative at night. So I would prepare my self a tea, put some music on and start working.
Any words of inspiration for stylists in the making or individuals eager to build their brand as well as you?
I think the most important tip would be to find your own voice, and try to express it visually.
When people go to your Instagram they get a first glance of what it is all about, so you need to be conscious of this and try to make your images coherent with each other.
Try to find inspiration outside the online world. Go to a museum, read books, go for a long walk in a cool neighborhood and just explore. Remember everything that caught your eye. That way you will start to recognize your own voice in a more organic way.