We came across One Shoe, Two Shoe, Red Shoe, Blue Shoe in the Blurb offices and fell in love. The vibrant colors, the gorgeous photos, and the passion for a single subject—shoes—leapt off the page. We’ve been passing it around the office for weeks, delighting in the vibrant, stylish images and whimsical copy. We wanted to share a peek inside with you, so we chatted with Giulia Scalese, creative director and owner of the studio behind the book, to hear the story of how it came together.
How did you get into blogging?
The blogging aspect of my business plays more of a supporting role to everything else. It’s a great way to give my audience a more personalized perspective of what I’m working on.
How did you get your start in creative content?
Featuring my artwork on Instagram. Back then, I only thought of it as artwork to share for fun, but as more and more brands started contacting me for the production of image and video content, it eventually turned into a creative business—a content studio. As for my style, I think it’s just something that developed both organically and accidentally. It’s a mixture of photography, styling, and some digital manipulation. I’m a pretty resourceful creator, and some of my production tricks are responsible for my signature look. I also do pay attention to what performs well on social media, and what kind of pieces my clients are always requesting, so I tend to lean in those directions when I create as well.
What’s the difference between creating for a blog and creating for a print book?
The content I feature on my blog is short-form, fast-output content. It’s more about creating a relevant and up-to-date feed of current information. Creating a book is very different because you’re looking for that one special topic that will be timeless both visually and as a story.
How do you think digital and print can work together for someone’s brand?
The traditional side of me will always love a print product. No matter what kind of artist or brand you are, it’s definitely a mark of achievement to have your work published in a book. I sell mine in my shop along with some other branded artwork. I may be a digital artist, but I certainly still have an appreciation for the physical.
It becomes more difficult every day for a print product to find its relevance in the digital world; however, I do think, that a branded book or print product has a place.
How did it feel to unwrap and see your Blurb books for the first time?
Very exciting! During the creative process, I did a lot of closing my eyes and imaging size, weight, texture, etc. You have your fingers crossed while you wait and hope that everything will look good. When you receive the tangible product, it definitely makes the effort feel worthwhile.
I don’t have any experience with other self-published products; however, in comparison to any other book I’ve ever held/read, my Blurb book looks and feels equally sound. I’ve designed several as gifts for friends and family because I know the quality is top-notch.
How did you decide on the format of your book?
I chose a tiny square book as a tribute to the format of my Instagram account! In regard to paper types and other options, I wanted my product to look and feel as elevated as possible, so I went with a thick pearly paper and customized the flyleaf to match the book.
What was it like to make your book?
I created my book using Photoshop because that is my software of choice when it comes to designing. The advice I’d give to anyone else would be to do the same: Create in whatever software where you feel most comfortable, and then use the Blurb upload guidelines to make sure all your technical specs are in order. If you’re new at designing, Blurb’s very own software BookWright is probably the best starting point.
If you could go back and talk to your 5-years-ago-self about your creative business, what would say?
I would tell myself to stay focused and be patient, but not to take everything so seriously. I would remind myself of certain things I’ve learned (and was probably experiencing then), mainly that while hard work and dedication do pay off, moments of failure are inevitable on the journey. Sometimes you lose a job, or you are unsure about whether or not you pleased your client. Unlike what I may have thought back then, bumps along the way aren’t the end of the world.
When you were a small child, what did you want to be when you grew up? How does what you’re doing now compare?
Well, I’m not a veterinarian or a spy, but at some point, I did want to be a fashion designer, so that’s kind of close! Haha, who knows? A big part of my mantra is just believing that I’m exactly where I should be at this very moment. At some point during my teen years, I started spending summers in NYC. That’s when I found myself becoming really drawn to fashion and photography. I leaned in that direction, and after years of art school and working freelance, you just become who you are. And here I am.
What are the best parts of your job? What are some challenges?
The best part of my job is being able to work with my favorite subject matter—shoes, bags and clothes! As an art form, I will never be sick of fashion, and so I’m lucky to be able to work with it. Obvious challenges are creative burnout, and the task of keeping your work relevant, and your clients happy.
What’s one creative project you’re dying to do?
I’ve done so many amazing projects recently! I’ve done collaborative fashion collections with top brands, my work (image and video) is being featured in various storefronts worldwide this holiday season, I published my first book, my studio has expanded, I’ve worked on campaigns that a few years ago I could have only imagined, I’ve designed shoes that are coming out in 2019… I’m so grateful for all of this, and what I’m absolutely dying to do now is take a vacation!