When the magnitude of Covid set in earlier this year, I needed a survival strategy. I was already working from home, but I was used to moving through creative circles on the side to keep The Peahen, and myself, afloat.
In March, I started brainstorming all the ways I’d stay productive in the digital world. I had to be safe and help flatten the curve but I also needed to stay personally motivated. My identity and work are strongly intertwined. So at first, sheltering was a forced gift of uninterrupted time. You know the kind that writers say they always need but rarely create themselves?
I had plans to organize my random thoughts into a poetry chapbook, pitch my writing to earn bylines, refresh my content on The Peahen, and work on my photography skills.
Covid mostly runs the show
I was aiming to be prolific. But for all my intentionality, I didn’t foresee the emotional toll of this year. The never-good-news-cycle, the most vulnerable bearing the brunt of the pandemic, the inequities of the world surfacing like never before — it was hell. And not in an ethical handbasket. Ethical fashion, like other sustainability efforts, got sidelined as we focused on relief efforts and rallying against an administration and a police force that were failing us worse than ever before. My personal and privileged goals and ambitions stopped mattering.
Honestly, when I wasn’t triggered or drained along with everyone else, I mostly exhausted the Great British Baking show archive as an escape. Please let the record show that not much aspirational baking followed the watching in 2020. Just the consuming of content.
Not being able to rely on the simplicity of a hug to take away the bite of a complicated world, yeah, that was tough. For many of us.
In rare bursts of motivation, I nagged myself, rather un-inspirationally, into doing what I could to progress in the digital world. I set up kasimartin.com as a home for my professional styling and writing outside of The Peahen. I will develop both there this year and beyond.
I also helped direct and style four socially-distant shoots with the team at Everything Swai, a rising fashion and branding agency in Austin; directed my own shoot called ‘Inside Voices,’ which examined our minds at home; and shot product photography for my friend Kate, a talented ceramicist (see: legs as the new boobs).
So where will this all take me?
The idea is that I’ll be a one-woman-show for freelance writing and styling and I’ll serve up my specialties with the side dishes of a multi-disciplinary creative. I will also speak, consult on ethical and sustainable fashion, produce photoshoots, conduct research, and do creative and brand direction.
Most of these services are a continuation of what I was offering before but are now more formalized. A new one that I’m most eager to start when travel re-opens is designed for artisan brands that want to produce photography where their products are produced, using local talent. For example, a brand producing bags in Oaxaca could come to me to book local handlers, photographers, and models and have me direct and style a shoot that represents their brand authentically and elevates their storytelling.
New ideas like this bring me so much energy and I’m hoping to do them alongside other creatives when vaccinations make it safe again. If any of this sounds interesting to you, your brand, or your publication, let’s collaborate.
How to work with me
If you’re a brand or publication, check out the offerings on my visual and written pages. You can find details on origin photography on the visual page. If you want to be featured on The Peahen, see my media kit (new one coming soon) or get in touch for alternative proposals or speaking opportunities.
If you’re an individual, I do personal styling for clients interested in curating a more sustainable wardrobe. This includes closet clean-outs, helping you hone your personal style, and teaching principles of quality care and maintenance for longevity. If you’re interested in those services, please get in touch or let me know how else I can help.
In the meantime, I’ll still be writing fashion guides and investigative pieces on The Peahen. I will also broaden my coverage into ethical living and beauty.
Most of all, thank you for being here and keeping my humble little blog going. I always love to hear your thoughts and perspectives. Drop a comment or question below or on IG.