A young freelancer designer looking to grow her business, Larissa Fatseas yearned for fulfilling work. As is the plight of many a freelance artist, she couldn’t see a clear path upon which to travel. Looking to see how others made it work, she clicked through images on Pinterest, Kinfolk, and Cereal. For creative inspiration, absorbed the work of local artists and took in the changing environment around her. When she landed upon food stylist and photographer Chantelle’s Grady’s website, she knew she had hit upon something special.
Lost amidst the crisp photographs of comforting plates of food and the clear lines of Chantelle’s warm and inviting composition, Larissa fell smitten. Heels dug in deep, she discovered common interests and shared connections. She poured over images from Chantelle’s publications — Dévorer Montréal, Sourced Cities San Francisco, and A Little Relish Montréal — and the styling she’d done for clients like Food & Wine, Real Living, Condé Nast Traveler, and Vogue China. Following an inspiration of “she is where I want to be”, Larissa sent an email, hoping to connect personally.
In 2013 — thousands of miles apart in their solitary studios — Larissa found a mentor in Chantelle. They recognized a mutual need for space and quiet in order to create, and the similar unattainable expectations they set for themselves as introverted perfectionists. And they both celebrated and commiserated working within a world where each player must continually forge their own path.
With years of experience behind her, Chantelle advised above all to “keep it simple. The best things have come when I’ve kept it simple. I try to do that in all aspects of my life. That’s when I’m the happiest and most creative, and things work the best.” Larissa grew in confidence, focusing “to do the best work I can do, to enjoy what I create, and to let the cards fall as they may.”
Larissa’s business has grown, indeed. Chantelle has lived through massive moves across the globe, first from Australia to Montreal and back to Australia, then to San Francisco and back to Brisbane again. Their careers continue on the malleable paths that their intrinsic creative desires require. In a moment of thankful reflection, Larissa recently reached out to Chantelle, connecting and reflecting on where they’ve come from, and where they both hope to go.