THE TURN UP how In­sta­gram RY dis­cov­ers TEWKESBU LY­DIA to­gether Ply­mouth cre­atives brought two

Devon Life - - Plymouth -

When Jo Barker re­turned to Ply­mouth from Aus­tralia to open her hair sa­lon, YOKE and Sarah Brit­tain Ed­wards moved down to Corn­wall with her young fam­ily, both women – Jo, a hair stylist and Sarah, a pho­tog­ra­pher and art di­rec­tor – found them­selves in un­ex­pected cre­ative iso­la­tion. Start­ing over is hard enough un­der nor­mal cir­cum­stances, but build­ing a cre­ative net­work from the ground up proved an even greater chal­lenge.

Sarah ex­plains: “I was des­per­ately try­ing to find peo­ple that are cre­ative, be­cause although this is such a cre­ative area no­body comes to­gether in one place.”

‘I was des­per­ately try­ing to find peo­ple that are cre­ative, be­cause although this is such a cre­ative area no­body comes to­gether in one place’

She went along to the Na­tive Mak­ers mar­ket in Ply­mouth, a plat­form for emerg­ing mak­ers and de­sign­ers, and ended up swap­ping In­sta­gram info with the per­son who would lead her to Jo – at the time her­self just in the process of open­ing YOKE for busi­ness.

Sarah and Jo met at a vi­tal time in their cre­ative ca­reers, with both look­ing to flex their imag­i­na­tive mus­cles rather than, as Sarah put it ‘chase the pound’. Both were re­luc­tant to ‘spam’ other lo­cal cre­atives with their work, look­ing for a col­lab­o­ra­tion driven by pas­sion – some­thing they even­tu­ally found in each other. Putting to­gether a photo shoot was never on the cards when they first met, but as they got to know each other and shared their mu­tual frus­tra­tions the plan be­gan to fall into place. The shoot came about very or­gan­i­cally and was about, first and fore­most, cre­ativ­ity for cre­ativ­ity’s sake. Sarah says: “It started off that it was go­ing to be a test shoot, so we weren’t think­ing that it was go­ing to be for any­thing in par­tic­u­lar.”

En­thu­si­asm soon took over how­ever, so it wasn’t long be­fore she and Jo were plan­ning a very pro­fes­sional shoot. Sarah is a trained fash­ion pho­tog­ra­pher whose work has ap­peared in a va­ri­ety of pub­li­ca­tions in­clud­ing The Sun­day Times and Jo a hair stylist with ex­pe­ri­ence with the likes of L’oreal – so both have strong fash­ion cre­den­tials ev­i­dent in the beau­ti­ful im­ages their col­lab­o­ra­tion pro­duced.

The shoot was also a test run, so both women could find out whether or not they were able to work to­gether. As any­one who has ever worked on a project like this can at­test, con­nec­tion with col­lab­o­ra­tors is key – for your san­ity and the qual­ity of your work. From the off though, Sarah and Jo were on the same page, and quickly formed trust in each other’s work­ing styles. They agreed early on that nei­ther of them wanted to over plan. Sarah ex­plains: “Some­times things don’t work if you plan it all down to a T. Ob­vi­ously there are some sit­u­a­tions where that has to be done, but when you’ve got the chance to be cre­ative and you’re work­ing with peo­ple who are happy to just go with it then you end up get­ting re­ally good shots. Be­cause what you’ve planned might look good, but once you’re in from of the cam­era if it’s re­ally not work­ing then you’ve got the flex­i­bil­ity to change it to get the best shot that you can.”

It’s ob­vi­ous to see that both Sarah and Jo rev­elled in the free­dom this project pro­vided them, as well as the re­lief of hav­ing found a part­ner to work with. Jo says: “I like work­ing with a team and I re­ally feed off other peo­ple’s cre­ativ­ity, so if some­one else is su­per pas­sion­ate about some­thing I just suck it up.”

Build­ing a net­work of cre­ative col­lab­o­ra­tors from scratch is a dif­fi­cult task, but through de­ter­mi­na­tion, Jo and Sarah have started the process for them­selves.

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