COLLABORATION OR COMPETITION? THERE'S POWER IN BOTH CONCEPTS

Written & Styled by Sharra Greene

From "My Sista's Keeper", Featuring Tene'A Cummings and Dominique Harris and shot by Damon Rice.

From "My Sista's Keeper", Featuring Tene'A Cummings and Dominique Harris and shot by Damon Rice.

A lot of major brands and business in the fashion and style realm as well as other industries are taking a stand for the idea of "Collaboration Over Competition", essentially creating a movement that empowers the idea of individuals coming together to achieve a common goal as opposed to individually competing to get there. This movement has a powerful message that caused me think about the different benefits of both competing and collaborating in order to progress in a career, and even in life in general. I believe that both concepts can bring out the best in a person both personally and professionally, I explain how below. 

The Ideal Concept of Competition

     The idea of competing for some sort of supremacy, whether it be money, a repuation, or even clientele, often has a negative connotation behind it because of the often insecure, immoral and sometimes mean spirited nature of people. However, when competition is done with authenticity and good ethics, it can serve as a tremendous benefit for those who are constantly striving to grow within their craft.

    As a style creative, I am not necessarily just studying those in my proximity who are building a brand within my field, but I am looking beyond, at the ones who are or seem to be "winning" the way that I want to win. When I do this, I'm rarely ever looking to compare my chapter 7 to someone elses chapter 20, as they say. But instead, I am proposing a challenge to myself to create work that I truly believe is on that level. I truly believe that by challenging yourself to compete with the best, you can literally only get better in the long term. I believe that when someone is receiving the things that you want, one of the most effective things to do is to challenge yourself to create work that could stand side by side with theirs. This type of competition can be done without announcing, sabotaging, or bashing someone else. Over time, the progress will definitely speak for itself. 

My Sistas keeper2.jpg

The Ideal Concept of Collaboration

Though I appreciate healthy competition, it is no secret that I am pro collaboration. Most, if not all of the posts on The Walking Art Blog are a result of a collaboration with other bomb creatives. I absolutely love the idea of a group of individuals leveraging each other's strengths to create a collective work of art. Looking back at my journey as a stylist from when I first started to now, one thing that I've learned is how to be selective about who I choose to collaborate with. When I am either seeking or deciding whether to accept or decline a collaboration request, I am looking to see if we are all on the same page, and if our collective efforts would add value of some sort to each individual involved, whether that be financially, professionally, or artistically, the value needs to be there. When those factors are involved, that is when the magic happens. That is when everyone involved can utilize the results to take themselves and their work to the next level, whatever that level may be for them because it really is different for everyone. 

Embracing Both

I am truly learning to appreciate and embrace both competing and collaborating because of what the two combined could do for me as an artist and as a business woman. My advice? Don't just stick to one. Explore both strategies for yourself in the best way that you can and witness your own growth in whatever it is you're going after. 

My Sista's Keeper.  Tenea is wearing a vintage faux leather little black dress with fur trim, Inari fishnet stockings, vintage earrrings and rings, thigh high boots, gold scale necklace from my wardrobe collection. Dominique is wearing a vintage Janine New York geometric print metallic dress, Public Desire Kassidy gladiator heels, Urban Outfitters choker, bangles, rings, and earrings from my wardrobe collection

My Sista's Keeper.  Tenea is wearing a vintage faux leather little black dress with fur trimInari fishnet stockings, vintage earrrings and rings, thigh high boots, gold scale necklace from my wardrobe collection. Dominique is wearing a vintage Janine New York geometric print metallic dressPublic Desire Kassidy gladiator heelsUrban Outfitters choker, bangles, rings, and earrings from my wardrobe collection

Credits:

Photographer/ Creative Director: D. Rice Photography

Models: Tenea Cummings and Dominique Harris

Styling and Creative Direction by Me

Click here to see this full shoot!

Stay tuned for more inspiration and insight coming very soon to the blog.

Sharra,

"The definition of walking art."

"GIRL ON THE MOVE": COLLABORATION WITH SULIT SHOWROOM & ONLINE BOUTIQUE

Styled by Sharra Greene

GIFMaker.org_TDv3mR.gif

Credits:

Photographer: D. Rice Photography

Model: Kayanna

Pants and Jacket: Sulit Boutique

Styling and Creative Direction by Me

Alexus Jade is the fashion buyer and founder of Sulit Showroom and Boutique, both a physical store based in Baltimore as well as an online go to for bold yet super chic statement pieces. (She’s also in business with Jessica Williams of Irregular Exposure, one of my fave Baltimore based showrooms) It was such a pleasure styling her pieces to achieve this look, featured on model Kayanna and shot by Damon Rice. I look forward to collaborating with Sulit again very soon! Shop online here or stop by the showroom (420 E. 25th Street, Baltimore, MD) for unique Ready to Wear wardrobe essentials! 

IMG_2369.JPG

Stay tuned for more projects coming very soon to the blog! Are you subscribed? If not, see the sidebar to submit your email! Xoxo

Sharra,

"The definition of walking art."

THE POWER OF BEING "LADY-LIKE" (WHATEVER THAT IS)

Written & Styled by Sharra Greene | Captured by Allen Stewart

IMG_1617.JPG

     So while I was preparing for this shoot, my makeup artist and I were talking and she asked me what I would be wearing. Upon me mentioning that I was wearing a skirt, I told her how much I love skirts (anyone who truly knows me, knows this) because they make me feel really feminine, lady-like  and chic. She then added "and so empowered, too!" I've never related to something so much in my life. Our conversation drove me to start thinking about the different perceptions that people have of what it truly means to appear and "behave like a lady". 

IMG_1620.JPG

     I'm usually the one who shows up and hears a comment like "why are you so dressed up?" or "It's not that deep, you didn't have to wear a skirt." I always find these comments funny because as someone who explores self expression through style so often, it comes so naturally to me so I never really think of it as "over dressing". I enjoy getting dressed up for life so much for several reasons, one of them being because when I look good, I feel good. I feel like I can take on whatever comes my way. Though there is soo much more to me than the way that I dress, expressing myself through dress actually does make me feel both feminine and empowered, all at once.

IMG_1619.JPG

     By definition, "lady like" means "appropriate for" or typical of a well-bred, decorous woman or girl. But to me,  it's interesting how as fashion and society evolves, our standards of what it means to be "lady like" has evolved with it in so many ways. Some may feel that you have to dress modestly, have a certain set of manners, or perform certain tasks to be essentially valued as an authentic woman with a sense of class and integrity.  This idea is often pushed on women in society. However, in today's world, I am so glad that so many of us (myself included) are creating our own standards and embracing whatever truly makes us feel good as women. 

IMG_1604.JPG

When someone suggests that one needs to increase value, strength, or power in a stuation, we often hear "Man up!"  Well I'm hear to tell you that there's nothing more powerful than a lady who is authentically herself, and who feels free enough to express that in whatever positive, inspiring way that she can think of. I believe that when a woman feels free to be herself, she is then best able to live her best life and add value to the lives of others. Whether it's wearing a skirt,  speaking up for yourself, spreading love and light to others, or all of the above, do whatever makes you feel "lady like". Woman up. 

Credits:

Photographer: Allen Stewart of Stewdio Photography

Makeup Artist: Vanessa Lazo

Styled by and Featuring Me

Feel free to comment your thoughts on this post! Xoxo

Sharra,

"The definition of walking art."

#STYLISTFROMSCRATCH: MY INTERVIEW WITH EDITORIAL & CELEBRITY STYLIST JAYNE DO'

Written by Sharra Greene & Jayne Do'

jaynedo.jpg

If you stop by The Walking Art Blog often, you're quite aware by now that I love to mix it up and bring guests who have a unique journey, a fresh perspective, and amazing wisdom gained from building their own personal and business brands from the ground up.  Whereas some creatives tend to shy away from interracting with others who work in their field, I am completely inspired and fueled by it, always looking to learn something new and apply it for myself.

     My most recent interview with editorial and celebrity stylist XO Jayne Do' was nothing short of an insightful exchange. Her indentifiable styling skillset can be seen on the likes of Timbaland, Draya Michele, ANTM's Marissa Hopkins, just to name a few and on gorgeous models in Nylon, Complex, and the list goes on. She's also about to make her debut as an author, with her book "Edi-tutorial: A Guide on Upgrading Your Next Editorial" set to release Winter 2018. Upon us following each other on Twitter, I instantly peeped her work and I was super impressed to say the least. Furthermore, I related to her honest, "no frills" take on the wardrobe styling experience, documented in her #StylistFromScratch social media videos. In our interview below, she offers up the real on her experiences, her favorite clients, her biggest challenges, and more. 

What inspired you to pursue a career as a stylist and how did you get your start?

I didn’t initially want to be a fashion stylist, I wanted to be a fashion designer. At 14 (when I started), I had NO clue fashion styling was even an occupation. I got my start my 9th grade year of high school. A local Kansas City musician asked me to style him alongside his then girlfriend (because he thought I was fly).. but I had one day to do it. After school, I took my two best-friends with me to Sharpstown Mall. I shopped, overnighted his clothes and I’ve been styling ever since.

What is one myth about the life of a stylist that you feel is the furthest thing from the truth?

That it’s easy or glamorous. I mean it is glamour, but not for the stylist. Many starting stylists don’t just wake up with a million pieces in their closets. If they did, that’s just the easiest part. There is SO much paperwork and politicking before the styling portion even starts. And even more paperwork and headaches after.

One of my fave looks by Jayne Do': Draya Michele for Pleezer Mag. 

One of my fave looks by Jayne Do': Draya Michele for Pleezer Mag

Who are two of your favorite clients and why?

I’ll do two different types of clients, brand and celebrity. My most favorite client is Whitney Brown, she’s the CEO of W Entertainment. She is ABOUT HER BUSINESS. I love that in a client. I also love that she allows me to be the creative, trusts my judgement and is always honest. She is the A-Client that us stylists need. I would say Timbaland is my favorite celebrity to work with. He just has this energy that isn’t intimidating and keeps you comfortable. He was one of the easiest people I have ever worked with. He’s just great overall.

What would you say is the biggest challenge you've faced so far in your career?

Figuring out your worth. That’s the stage I am in right now. Having to “fire clients” and walking away from situations that isn’t conducive to my growth as a business woman. It’s a challenge because it just looks bad. Having to choose between having a bad rep short term vs. long term because you can’t make everyone happy is a challenge. Saying no when you want to save the world is a challenge. It’s nothing personal, but of course it doesn’t feel that way when it’s you.

The fashion industry is such a competitive field. Many seem to have a "crabs in a barrel" mentality and would rather not help others along the way while they themselves are on a similar journey. What particularly inspired you to want to " groom the next generation of stylists"? 

I have experienced that “crabs in a barrel” mentality you speak of. On many levels. I started this journey in 2007 at 14, before social media, before this course was offered at college campuses. I had to blindly find my way. I don’t feel like all aspiring stylists do though, especially since there are resources. I have reached out to other stylists in an attempt to humble myself and have been shot down, too. I am not that stylist, I genuinely believe it’s enough money, jobs and room for us all in this industry.. if I can help you move up, perfect. Let’s all win and be great. Plus, I would love to see better stylists flourish now more than ever.

Speaking of the next generation, what do you feel has changed about the wardrobe styling industry that may not have affected stylists in past generations (or vise versa)?

SOCIAL MEDIA ! Social media and reality television has changed the way stylists are perceived and handled. It’s crazy. As time surpasses, the respect a stylist receives diminishes a little.

What are some words of wisdom from you on how to not only survive, but how to flourish as a creative entrepreneur?

It sounds cliche, but KNOW YOUR WORTH, not only as a creative but as a business person as well. Literally everything will fall into place. You will attract the type of client that identifies with you. You will attract people that don’t want to haggle your prices, or negotiate what you offer. It’s a domino effect after that.

IMG_1173.JPG

Keep up with Jayne Do's grind via her social media (@xojaynedo) and look out for her #stylistfromscratch videos as well as her new book, set to release Winter 2018. Jayne Do', thank you so much for dropping some insight on The Walking Art Blog. I'll be watching the glo. ✨

Hope you enjoyed this interview as much as we did! Stay tuned for new projects coming very soon to The Walking Art Blog! 

Sharra,

"The definition of walking art."