Talisa Sutton: “I feel like blogging was a bit of a happy accident”

With Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia just weeks away, we thought now was the perfect time to profile one of Australia’s top style bloggers against the background of Carriageworks – the hub for all things MBFWA since 2013. For those not already familiar with this accomplished creative, meet Talisa Sutton – the brains behind Badlands Journal.

A former graphic designer and content manager, Talisa now divides her time between Badlands Studio (set up with husband Rohan Peterson), Badlands Journal, and her successful Instagram account @talisa_sutton. An early adopter of the digital space, we were intrigued to chat to Talisa about everything from how she got her start in the blogging scene to moving to full-time content creation to what a normal week looks like. Read on for a snapshot into Talisa’s burgeoning career…

You’re quite a prolific blogger on the Australian scene. How did you get into it?
I feel like blogging for me was a bit of a happy accident. My background is in graphic design and fine arts, so when I was studying, a blog was just a really organic way for me to share my inspirations, put out a little bit of my work, and bring everything together in a digital space. That was about eight years ago, and from there one little thing led to the other and now it’s what I do full-time along with my design work.

You’re still doing design work?
Yes, my husband and I co-own a creative studio together; he’s an art director as well so we get to work together on so many fun, creative projects. I’ve also got my Badlands Journal publication and my social, it all comes together so nicely – it’s perfect.

So your husband… tell me more about that?
We actually met at Fashion Week! 2006 Fashion Week… we were friends for a year, and now we’ve been together for over a decade.

So you were coming to Fashion Week before doing your blog?
I was doing work experience, then the next year I assisted a friend of mine who had a store, then I was working with Belinda and The Corner Shop – so sometimes I would come to the shows with them, and then I was at Elle Magazine. So I had this journey of different careers and working with amazing brands and companies, and now the past four years I have been coming in my own capacity, which has been amazing as well.

How long were you with Elle for?
I was there for two years. So from just before the re-launch, and then for a year and a half after that.

When did you leave Elle?
I think it was two and a half years ago.

Is that when you went full-time on the blog?
Yeah. In the beginning I was working a few days a week in digital doing content management – and that was a really great opportunity for me to make that transition from print and also gave me more time to explore doing my own thing. That was when things were really starting to pick up – so a few months after that I went fully freelance and now I’m running my own business, which is fantastic.

Can you talk me through a normal week in your life?
I would love if there was a normal week, I feel like it’s always so varied! Usually I will have a briefing with my partner at the start of the week and we’ll look over all our deadlines and projects that we’ve got going on. Usually there will be scheduling of shoots and things we’ve got to work on creatively. Then I guess it’s a mixture of me being at my desk, pumping out design deadlines or replying to emails, and then being out there shooting – whether that’s styling for someone else, or shooting content for my blog, or occasionally we art direct shoots for other clients as well… it’s a real mixed bag.

Talking about client work, can you tell me a bit about this?
I guess from a brand perspective, I work with people in all capacities… whether that’s coming in and styling something for them, or I might be doing graphic design for logos or look books, or I might be in front of the camera shooting things for my blog. It really varies client-to-client, but it’s really fun trying something different.

Does your husband do most of your outfit shots?
Yes, sometimes he does. I’m very lucky that he jumps in as a photographer every now and then. Makes life so easy and it’s great because he understands exactly what I like.

Do you work with other photographers as well?
I do. I’ve got a few photographers who shoot with me – when you meet people and get a sense of their work and they know your style, it’s a nice relationship to have.

Does the job require you to travel a lot?
Yes, travel is definitely a fun part of the job. I’m usually away 3-4 times a year. Fashion Week is definitely the big one, so I’ll do New York, maybe Paris, and anything else that pops up in between…

And is that a career highlight?
Oh my gosh, for sure. Love the travel!

All images taken by Husskie Press

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