‘For me, my workload begins to feels unhealthy if I haven’t been selective enough about what I’ve committed to,’ says Tamara Maynes. The Melbourne-based freelance image stylist specialises in art direction and set design. She is also an author, and the creative director/co-owner of The Establishment Studios – a location-style photographic studio and prop house in Melbourne.
‘Originally, I was apprehensive about taking on the studio, as I knew something else would have to give,’ recalls Tamara. ‘The result was deciding to close the door on my commercial making practise, and allow it to become a slow personal one… a scary decision, but one that felt right and has allowed me to be more present in it.’
Finding her way into her field through lots of volunteering and work experience rather than formal study, Tamara is no stranger to long working hours. An average week sees her working more than 60! She feels fortunate that her co-owner responsibilities are shared with business partner and studio manager, Carly Spooner, with whom she regularly talks through everything, from financial decisions and fine-tuning operations, to broader vision and growth.
‘My non-work life definitely gets less of my time, but to be honest, I love what I do to the point where work, for the most part, actually fulfils the majority of my personal interests – in an unconventional sense I actually feel balanced,’ Tamara explains. Despite her busy week, she tries to remain flexible, taking an hour/day/weekend off whenever she needs time out, whether that be to potter around at home, or to lose herself in the gardening or craft.