We spoke with LA based creative, Caitlin Miyako Taylor about her life on the west coast, how she stays inspired, and her approach to staying committed to a cause.
Q: Hi Caitlin, tell us what we need to know about you!
A: My name is Caitlin Miyako Taylor and I'm a digital creative and social media strategist! I post a little bit of everything — fashion, beauty, my new puppy Dale...all with the common thread of sustainability and quality over quantity
Q: What do you like about living in LA? Where would you live if you weren’t in LA?
A: I grew up in Los Angeles, and the older I get the more challenging it is to leave (or think of leaving)! Whenever I travel I'm reminded of how lucky I am to be surrounded by such cultural diversity here — the people, the food, the experiences — I don't know who I'd be without it. It's sometimes really jarring to leave, because I forget that not every city looks like LA does! I'm half Japanese so I love visiting Japan and have a lot of family there as well. I also love New York! So if I didn't live here I would probably live in one of those two places.
Q: You’re so creative and have the most beautiful feed - what inspires your creativity?
A: I think I do my best work when I'm strapped for time and resources. Whenever I try to actually concept a shoot, it never quite goes according to plan. But if I decide randomly one day that I NEED to get a photo and I just use what I have on-hand, those photos end up turning out best! I think the main thing is trying to see your daily life in a new way and to appreciate the beauty and aesthetics in things you normally overlook. I love playing with monochrome color palettes and finding new ways to style the pieces in my closet, and am always saving images I see on Instagram for inspiration!
Q: Any advice for those who are in a creative rut?
A: Just force yourself to take a photo! Like I said, I have some of my best ideas when I'm not even planning to shoot at all. I just grab a tripod (or a friend), use self-timer, throw an outfit together, and somehow it all comes together! The more you experiment, the easier it becomes to improvise shots, rather than recreating things you're seeing on the internet, and I think experimentation is a great way to develop your personal aesthetic and creative eye!
Q: Do you prefer shots with a camera or iPhone for instagram?
A: In the past year I've been leaning more heavily on my camera! I always gravitate towards more editorial-style photography and high-flash shots, so my camera usually gives me that flexibility and produces a richer image. If I'm in a pinch, though, there's no shame in grabbing an iPhone photo! I just like to go with the flow and use whatever works best for a given situation or idea.
Q: Who or what has been an inspiration for you? Why?
A: Instagram has always been a big source of inspiration for me! Playing around on this platform is what allowed me to explore my creative side and eventually find a career in it. Besides constantly gathering inspiration within the app and from the friends I've made through it, monochrome looks are something I've always loved! I think playing with color (and making it your own!) really lends itself to experimentation because you can try different things with your outfits, hair, makeup, and jewelry. I know I mostly post neutral-toned images, but I'm always attracted to fun, light, colorful imagery, too.
Q: What is something you daedream about?
A: Oooh...lately I've been daedreaming about taking a week off. Is that so lame? I love freelancing and am so lucky to do what I do, but the only downside is that it's really difficult to take time off because there's no one else who can do your job for you! If there's one thing I want to do for myself before the end of this year, it's to sign off from work for a week or two and just recuperate. Burnout is REAL, so it's important to find that balance.
Q: We saw some yummy recipes on your stories… what is your favorite recipe to bake?
A: I grew up baking so this is such a tough question. My favorite recipes to bake are probably chocolate chip banana bread or apple crostata. They're both so easy! I love the apple crostata because it's basically an apple pie but more freeform and rustic (but it looks so beautiful and impressive!), and it has candied ginger in it as a fun twist.
Q: What is a social cause that means a lot to you and how can people help?
A: Up until a few weeks ago, the election was THE social cause at the top of my mind. But the outcome of that election doesn't mean our work is done! I'm doing my own research and reflection to think about where I want to spend my time, money, and energy moving forward to make the biggest impact. Environmentalism and sustainability have always been extremely important to me, but there are also so many issues close to home that we can focus on! It can be so overwhelming to look at all of the problems we face as a nation and world right now, but I think starting right in our own backyard and investing in our communities and neighbors is a great place to start. I encourage everyone to think of the causes that matter most to them, whether they be police reform, food insecurity, housing insecurity, health care, or anything else, and to get familiar with the organizations serving their communities to engage in a long-standing commitment and really dig deep.
Q: Words to live by?
A: I guess this is more of a philosophy than a specific quote, but I really try to go with the flow. I used to get so worried about the future and what I would be doing in the next year...or five, or ten. In my 20's I've found so much more balance and peace in living in the moment and taking things one day at a time.
Answers & Photos: Caitlin Miyako Taylor