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“Live a Creative Life”

By: Jordan Staggs

I joined VIE founder and president Lisa Burwell and VIE social correspondent Lisa Ferrick at Studio B. in Alys Beach, Fla., for Sydney-based stylist Natalie Walton’s “Live a Creative Life” workshop. In addition to writing and styling numerous pieces as the deputy editor for one of Australia’s top interior design magazines, real living, Natalie has become a successful blogger, entrepreneur and globetrotter—all with a husband and child at home, and another on the way! How does she do it?

We sipped wine and pink lemonade in Studio B.’s charming gallery/kitchen with studio owner and host Colleen Duffley while a nice mix of workshoppers trickled in. The meet and greet was informal and relaxed, and we all sat to talk about ourselves a little before hearing how Natalie manages her hectic schedule while still staying fabulous. It was interesting to hear that we had a former New York City journalist, an elementary school teacher who has since moved to Japan, and the owner of an independent graphics design company all in one room, waiting for the same advice about managing life while maintaining your imagination and creativity.

Staying active in your creative life and keeping your mind open to new possibilities seems to be key for Natalie, who studied English literature and journalism at university in Sydney and began her writing career as a financial reporter. But we couldn’t be happier that she broke the mold and worked her way up the ranks to stylist, writer and eventually deputy editor of real living. Her interior designs are fresh and fun, with eye-catching colors and a masterful simplicity that keeps things from being too cluttered or too sparse.

Natalie told us about her work, how one of her very first designs for the magazine is still her favorite, how she has traveled the world and also did some workshops in NYC while she was in the U.S. this summer. We also heard of her hectic tale of being stuck in the Atlanta airport—and yet she still had time to personally wrap and decorate some awesome gifts for all of us workshop attendees! (They were blank greeting cards with some seriously cool photography from one of her favorite companies, —. She also raffled off some cosmetic and travel bags from eco-adorable designer Apple & Bee.)

Most talked about was Natalie’s blog, The Daily Imprint, a creative mecca on which she showcases artists, writers and designers a few times a week with interviews about their work, lives, inspirations and favorite things. Even Natalie herself seems surprised her blog took off like it did. It began as a hobby and another creative outlet for her, and now The Daily Imprint receives over 45,000 unique visitors per month! But she is thrilled about it and about continuing to interview people she never thought she would and being able to share it with her readers. She has even implemented a sort of styling into her interviewing process, having compiled a list of questions that every subject answers. But half the fun is seeing the ways each person has a different response. “List 5 words that describe you” could turn into five adjectives, or a short sentence, depending on the subject’s own creative process.

Natalie invoked a quote from Hemingway (one of her all-time favorites) when talking about her writing style. “Make every word count.” Like the simplistic yet intricate beauty of her designs, her writing has taken on similar traits, making it easy to get lost in her blog, carried away until you realize you’ve read a dozen interviews and articles already, and clicked links to at least four very cool shops and design websites. For all the talk of productivity, The Daily Imprint is best read when you’ve got time to browse and get lost in its extremely cool content. There really is something to feed the creative genius in everyone.

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