While society seems to believe that one’s “influence” is directly correlated to the number of followers they have on Instagram, we chose a different (and dare I say, authentic) approach when choosing our Leading Ladies. The women featured in our summer series, The Women’s Edit, are women who are true trailblazers in our beautiful, booming city. We wanted to highlight women who, like us, are creatives seeking to add more life and love to our community. The Women’s Edit is a salute to those making their own way, setting trends we want to follow and shifting how Nashville is viewed by the outside world. This forward-thinking group of women makes us want to do more, to be better and to challenge ourselves to tackle something new.
This week’s Lady of the Moment?
Dallas Shaw | Fashion Illustrator and Visual Artist
The Nashville Edit: You’re one of the most sought-after fashion illustrators in the industry. Tell us a little bit about how you cultivated this talent into a career move.
Dallas Shaw: Well, I used to work for Disney. I was drawing with the Disney Design Group in the animation building when they were still in Orlando, FL, and the company was changing over to 3D projects. It was the perfect time to take my 2D drawing to the lifestyle industry. I was always drawn to visual storytelling, and the fashion world was where I wanted to be at the time, so I started my own business and began with illustrations for everyone from Chanel to Harper’s, Oscar de la Renta, and Kate Spade. It was just the perfect transition for me since personal style was always a forefront inspiration-wise.
TNE: Are you a night owl or a morning bird? When do you get most of your creative work done?
DS: I’m a morning bird, but not by choice. I really like my sleep, but my clients are on all different timeframes … so if I don’t get up early I just don’t get enough done. My best creative work happens around 10 or 11 AM, but … I don’t always have that time to create, so I try to get at least 2 days a week where I can make that a priority.
TNE: You’ve worked with major brands such as Chanel, Ralph Lauren, Target and Victoria’s Secret. Tell us a little bit about how you got started?
DS: I started my own business and I didn’t have any contacts in the fashion or lifestyle industry, since all of my experience was with Disney. So I started researching PR and how to best get my work into the hands of companies. I took some money and invested in strong press kits. That, combined with just meeting with people and being honest about where I wanted to go next, worked steadily over the years. Once I was able to prove myself as a creative—not only in illustration but on the styling and visual direction side—that’s when the work started coming to me through the word of the industry.
TNE: How do you prevent getting stuck in a creative rut?
DS: I don’t have this problem a lot, to be honest. If anything, I get in “overwhelm-ruts” because there is too much I want to do and I don’t know which to start with first, or I’ve put too much on my plate. I’m a “yes” girl and I need to step back sometimes because that’s my main rut source.
TNE: Describe how your studio looks when you’re the most creative:
DS: Have you ever seen the next-morning scene in, The Hangover?
TNE: What is your best creative advice?
DS: Hang around with people who inspire you in all creative fields and who believe in you. My close friends and work friends keep me thinking of new, wild ideas daily. I’m inspired constantly by their drive and what they’re working on, even if it’s not in my field. They constantly keep me feeling like I can call them to brainstorm even when I’m on the road.
“Hang around with people who inspire you in all creative fields and who believe in you.”
TNE: How do you wind down after a long day?
DS: Yoga, red wine, Netflix, a cuddle with my dogs or any combination of the above.
TNE: Tell us about one of your favorite clients to work with.
DS: I actually have so many great memories from projects and have made so many friends through work, so it’s hard to pick favorites. But, I just wrapped a great travel/creative project with Hyatt Unbound Collection where I traveled everywhere from Austin to Madrid with the PR team for eight months exploring the hotels, neighborhoods and getting into the visual storytelling with the team. I came back feeling so inspired from each trip, and just wish I had more time to create in between each. It was wonderful—the team was a little family to me for that project. I’ve had similar wonderful experiences with Phyto and Four Seasons Orlando… all good things. I’m very lucky that my talents allow me these adventures.
TNE: What drew you to Nashville from Michigan, making Nashville your second home?
DS: No lie, I visited once and there was a creative energy here that I just didn’t expect. I had heard about the country music scene in Nashville, but I didn’t expect all that I found when I got here. The creatives are just all-consumed by music, food, and design—and it all comes with smiling faces. I knew I had to be a part of it somehow, so I made that happen.
This or That:
East Nashville / West Nashville
Turnip Truck / Whole Foods – Addicted to their Doug Funny Juice
Mall & Boutiques / Thrift Stores