When it came to commissioning the London House still life brand photos, we worked with renowned stylist Maya Angeli. We sit with Maya to discuss her career, her design process and to find out what London means to her.
How did you become a set designer and prop stylist?
My love and strong background for dance and music brought me in the set design world. I studied find arts with a masters in set design for opera and theatre, where I was working as a freelancer set designer for around 10 years. After moving to London, I discovered the photography world and the challenge of going from large scale set ups to small ones triggered me.
What is your creative process when commissioned to do a project?
I love being involved in the art and creative direction and after establishing the aesthetics of the shoot with the client and the photographer, I start making sketches for each set and researching for interesting props and solutions. The next step is working on any technical drawings and sourcing the correct props and surfaces. I like making my own props for shoots that allow this.
What has been a career highlight for you so far?
A highlight was designing the sets of the opera “Turco in Italia” at Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza. The theatre designed by Andrea Palladio is so renowned for its architecture and false perspective illustrations. The building it’s a UNESCO patrimony so as the designer I had so many technical limitations and obstacles to overcome, and it has been a great challenge but also an honour.
What has been one of your favourite projects recently?
From my very recent work, London House is one of my favourites. I really enjoy the bold and abstract but still elegant aesthetics and its experimental nature. Another favourite was for a brand called OKAPI, where I had to create plaster walls with alcoves in a very Greek Mediterranean style. The whole design process made me very nostalgic and transported me home even though working on it from a big city like London.
How do you stay inspired?
I follow the art scene and go very often to dance and music productions. I am regularly training in ballet for the past 30 years and the freedom and music while Following a strict choreography, clears my head and gets me very inspired. Most of my inspiration though comes from the nature. I was born in a small Mediterranean island so the textures of the sea rocks and the warm sunlight hitting the water and any random everyday objects, creates a lot of imagination.
What was the design brief for the London House still life photoshoot? Is there a particular image you are most proud of in the final image selection?
The design brief was an overall brand identity which I loved. The variety in themes and the beauty of sourcing beautiful flowers as well as glassware and cutlery to create elegant moody aesthetics, amazed me. I loved the addition of all the abstract shots we created playing with reflecting props and light reflections and refractions.
You are currently living and working in London, what is your favourite thing about living/working in London?
London never sleeps. It’s a city full of opportunities and inspiration and everything is moving very quickly, and I love that adrenaline. I like that a lot of my clients are so different and the variety in styled of work is always challenging and inspiring.
Your favourite London Restaurant?
Wild food café
Your favourite London Art Gallery?
Your favourite shop in London?
Liberty and anything in Coal Drops Yard
Your favourite area in London?