5 life lessons from The Sartorialist

I may be one of the last people out there to discover Scott Schuman, aka The Sartorialist.  He’s considered one of TIME magazine’s Top 100 Design Influencers and has one of the Best Blogs of 2010.  Where have I been?  Thank goodness for @TIME and @designmilk on Twitter or I’d still be in the dark.

I’m drawn to The Sartorialist because it’s a great place to watch creativity in action.  It’s interesting to see how “real” people choose to express themselves for the day. It also makes me want to put more thought into what I wear… to occasionally reach beyond the Uggs, yoga pants and hoodie.

However, what sold me forever, is this video capturing Scott’s philosophy on creativity.  His path offers insight for anyone questioning their career path or favored form of creative expression.

Here are 5 things that inspired me about his life:

1. He could never have predicted the way his life would unfold. After 9/11 he left 15 years of sales and marketing in the fashion industry to focus more on photography.

“I always felt that there was a disconnect between what I was selling in the showroom and what I was seeing real people (really cool people) wearing in real life.”

He started taking pictures and started a blog.  His photos and style insight are now covered by media around the world.

2. He’s confident despite his lack of formal training. He didn’t grow up dreaming of being a photographer so he never had any formal photography training.  With practice and experience, he’s become comfortable with his ability and says,

“The way I do it is just the way I do it.”

3. Childhood curiosity fueled his interest. He started getting into fashion, looking at magazines in junior high. (It was a way to get with the girls.)  From this, he picked up a “visual understanding” and became curious about the world outside the Midwest.

4. He trusts his instincts. He’s says his lack of training has helped him remain instinctual.  He doesn’t over-think the shot, wondering if it’s fashionable enough. Something catches his eye and he reacts.

5. He designates time in his day for inspiration and execution.  He spends part of his day on his computer just getting the blog going. Then, he spends about  4-5 hours outside, walking, waiting for possibility to catch his eye.

Can you imagine the people who probably told him to get a real job, or that he needed formal training to be a photographer?  Thank goodness he kept going or the world would be missing a very intriguing, telling snapshot of today’s culture – a “digital park bench” as Scott calls it.

Blogs like this will also provide a unique historical perspective.  Not only will we we have a record of real-life, unstyled street shots, reader comments will offer a record of real-life attitude right along with them.

I hope you’ll watch and share what inspired you…