Today we’d like to introduce you to Giana Shorthouse.
Giana, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
My unique story is deeply rooted in both familial influences and my hometown’s expanding creative culture. With my mother having worked in the music industry, my father a graphic designer, and a grandmother who spent many years working at The High Museum – creativity was always encouraged and celebrated in my upbringing. I latched on to design at a very early age and decided that studying Interior Design or Photography would be apart of my path. I always felt a strong connection to the built environment and so Interior Design it was. I studied at SCAD (The Savannah College of Art and Design) both in Savannah and in Atlanta, and wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Since graduating, I’ve worked around every angle of the industry. I started my first job in a product showroom, then from there met the owners of a local design studio, Terracotta Design Build. I went on to intern for them as a design intern; however, my strengths really showed when it came to supporting the growth of the company.
At the time, they were looking for someone to help manage marketing and thought that I had what it took to both understand what goes on behind the scenes in design and also the skills that it took to push the company forward, so I was offered a full-time position managing their marketing. It took many years of practicing and learning the marketing world, but in my process, I eventually started organizing, and styling photo shoots for their projects.
One day, the photographer I worked with at the time mentioned ‘Styling’ to me and suggested that I look into it. It sounded like a great idea but I had no idea what went into styling other than what I was currently doing at the time, so I took it upon myself to do some research and start reaching out to potential mentors. After joining an artist agency in Atlanta, my career as a stylist took off. It took me a couple of years to dig my feet into it, but I eventually took the leap and began working for myself full-time as a stylist in 2017.
I’m super grateful to be where I am now and attribute my story to always being able to readily adapted my skills and passion in every opportunity that has been presented to me.
Nowadays you can find me working on photography sets ranging from editorial to film and advertising, or working on small interiors projects from my studio in Old Fourth Ward’s Ponce City Market.
Can you give our readers some background on your art?
When I worked as a Marketing Director, I found myself taking over the planning of the company’s photo shoots. What was once my bosses responsibility at the time, eventually transformed into me styling their shoots and really enjoying the creative freedom it gave me. I was able to semi-design a space on camera and see it come to life immediately. This was an exciting discovery because I didn’t have to design a space from start-to-finish, but rather support or elevate a space that was already designed. I was able to mix in my love for photography and my graphic eye with my passion for the built environment and the objects that take up those spaces. It all came full circle for me.
That experience is what lead me to prop styling. I eventually left my job as Marketing Director and took on styling as a full-time career. I love that I get to curate the objects (or in my case props) that I’ll use or create to add to my clients’ concept. It’s truly a collaborative role and requires an understanding of 3-dimensional space and 2-d design to get what ends up being a beautiful image in a magazine, on a website or a billboard. It’s really quite an exciting and demanding process!
In your view, what is the biggest issue artists have to deal with?
As a creative I think one of the biggest challenges that I see creatives facing is the oversaturation of information and the comparison factor that comes along with it. There is so much information out there, and that can be so inspiring at times, but it also creates a lot of competition. I say ‘do your own thing’ and go at your own pace. Everyone has a unique journey and their own story to tell, and as long as we can continue to recognize that as creatives, the potential for growth and connection is limitless.
What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
You can follow me at @gianashorthouse. I try to post my work on my feed, and a behind-the-scenes peek at what I’m doing from time-to-time on my stories.
Editorial Images Photographed by Photographers Jeff Von Hoene, and Wedig & Laxton (for Atlanta Magazine).