Profile on Art Director, Stephen Lynch and Film Maker, Florian Sachisthal

Mr Florian Sachisthal

This week I have double the fun with the amazing Filmmaker Florian Sachisthal and the ever so creative Stephen Lynch, who just happen to be a couple. They are giving “power couple” an entirely new meaning and below you can find out how so. Florian and Stephen, thank you both for joining the couch here at msalonen.com (comfy isn’t it).

1. Tell us what is it that you do?:

Florian: I’m a filmmaker. I work as a director/editor in Berlin and London and to earn a living, I produce promo trailers for TV shows on Deutsche Welle TV.  But the project I currently care most about is “Art & Sex” a feature I co-directed and edited. It’s about young artists, actors and writers in New York and the progressively more and more f***ed up things they do to stay inspired – the title already gives you a little hint. The movie is in the final stages of completion. We’re about to enter film festivals, looking for distribution.

Stephen: I’m an Art Director for an integrated marketing agency in Soho. I come up with concepts for marketing campaigns and design how they look and feel to the consumer.

2. How did you get started in filmmaking/graphic design? Was it always what you wanted to do?

Florian: With 5 I was very intent on becoming an ice cream parlor owner. (Free lemon ice cream, always!) As a teenager I began working as an actor and eventually I wanted to be behind the camera. So I studied directing a the New York University Film School and, right after graduation, I began working as an editing assistant on documentaries. I have been working in film ever since.

Stephen: I’ve always wanted to have a creative career. I have a degree in Industrial Design but while I was studying that I developed a huge interest in brands and the way consumers interact with them so I went on to do a Masters degree in Advertising. I’ve not looked back since.
 
3. what is the best part of your job, and the worst of course?!Florian: I tend to be interested in way too many art forms, sometimes loosing focus. Making movies combines a lot of them (music, photography, acting, sometimes even painting or choreography) so I get to be involved in all of them a bit. The worst is the cost of filmmaking. Even if you’re doing what’s considered a no-budget project, it’s still ridiculously expensive.

Mr Stephen Lynch

Stephen: I love the fact that I get to use my imagination every day. I have to maintain knowledge of popular culture and developing technologies and no two days are ever the same. The most frustrating part of the job is when a client isn’t brave enough to push their brand in a strong single-minded creative direction. Consumers are so incredibly media and advertising savvy these days, it takes a lot to interrupt them and make them take notice of your brand. To do this though, you need to be brave and do something, that no other brand has done before (or at the very least, do it better). Unfortunately some clients aren’t willing to push things as far as they should and ideas become diluted and then fail to have an impact on the consumer.
 
4. In a perfect word, what would you like to be doing if not your current career?

Florian: You mean, if I couldn’t make movies? I’d like to be a gardener. I know nothing about growing plants, but I want to learn. (Msalonen, awwww. I can actually see him in dungarees)

Stephen: I’d love to be a travel writer. There’s nothing more exciting to me than discovering new places, finding an amazing local restaurant or experiencing another culture. (Msalonen, Curious George)
 
5.  Any advice to anyone thinking about a career in filmmaking/graphic design?

Florian: Find a network of people you work well with. Filmmaking is collaborative. Having a crew of friends and colleagues you’ve worked with before, who speak the same artistic language is invaluable. Building this network will take its time, but eventually those will be the people who stick with you for the rest of your career. I’m lucky in that I even can get to work with my fiancé. The current poster for “Art & Sex” for example was designed by Stephen.

Film by Florian, poster by Stephen

Stephen: A piece of advice that I could probably do with listening to myself: don’t be precious about your ideas. The best work is done by collaboration and the sharing of knowledge. Also, there is amazing free content online like Photoshop tutorials or design blogs to help provide education and inspiration. Start with Twitter. There’s so many brilliant design and advertising blogs out there and they’re all on Twitter. Get your portfolio online and think of a clever way to get it in front of a Creative Director. The more unusual, the more likely it is to get that all important call.

Boys, I can’t thank you enough to take the time to talk to us and give such insight in your lives and careers.

1.The first thing you do in the morning when you get up?Florian: Emails, Twitter, Facebook. Then reading the German magazine Der Spiegel in the bathtub. Then coffee and a bagel with lots of heavy cream cheese (collective *gasp* of the gay body builder crowd). After that my day can begin. (Msalonen, cream cheese is ok as long as its LIGHT)

Stephen: Tumble outta bed and stumble to the kitchen, pour myself a cup of ambition, yawn and stretch and try to come alive. (Msalonen, thank you for that Mr Parton)
 
2. Before you leave the house, you always check?Florian: If I have my keys. Always! (I’ve locked myself out too many times.)

Stephen
: That there’s no toothpaste in my beard.
 
3. On your way to work, you? (do what)
 Florian: I tweet or yak with Stephen (Msalonen, awwwwww), if I’m sitting on the subway. Actually, I do that when I’m walking too.

Stephen
: Regret hitting the snooze button so many times and panic that I’m going to be late for work.

4. At the end of the day you look forward to?
Florian: When I’m in Berlin: Phone-time with Stephen. When I’m in London: Couch-time with Stephen.

Stephen
: Either having a drink with friends in the evening or going home and having something nice to eat while on the couch chatting to Florian on the phone or watching one of my favourite TV shows.
 
5. The last thing you do before you go to bed?
Florian: Turn off the light.

Stephen
: Call Florian and say goodnight and prepare myself for the next day.

Thank you boys for taking the time and talking to us. Just goes to show that you CAN have it all. J

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Profile on Ian B, Style and Beauty Commentator

Hi Ian and thanks for joining msalonen.com!

1. Tell us what is it that you do?
I’m a former fashion stylist, and was style & grooming editor of GT magazine from 2006-2008. I now work as a professional blogger (I’m the author of Diary of a Fashion Mister) and make-up artist (clients have included Alexandra Burke). I also have a TV agent and am currently working towards a career in television (not many people know that I was screen tested by Maverick Television for Gok Wan’s job on How To Look Good Naked). Msalonen: OOOOOOHHH! Search for “ianbrownstyle” on You Tube and you’ll see my most recent stint on QVC! My website is probably the best way to illustrate my diverse career: http://www.ibstyle.co.uk/

2.  How did you get started in the fashion and beauty industry? Was it always what you wanted to do?
When I was very young, I think the first job I expressed an interest in was being a fireman (Msalonen: Why do all my profile men wanted to be firemen?) However, being so young, my career aspirations changed almost weekly. I think the longest held aspirations (and most serious ones) were to be a doctor like my paternal grandfather, a barrister, then an actor (I was in the National Youth Theatre). These other aspirations aide, I do recall when my passion for fashion was first ignited. I was sick at boarding school, probably at about the age of 10 or 11, and I recall picking up a copy of Hello magazine that was lying in a pile by my bed. I remember seeing photos of a Chanel catwalk show, starring supermodels such as Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford, and from that moment on, I was hooked.

From the age of 13, I was subscribing to the Sunday Times. Every Sunday, my ritual involved having breakfast and ripping open the plastic casing of the supplements, and reading the Style section first. The late Isabella Blow was the Fashion Director at the time, and producing the most amazing shoots and content. The pages were filled with British talent such as the late Alexander McQueen and milliner Philip Treacy, together with aristo models such as Honor Fraser, Stella Tennant, Iris Palmer, Jasmine Guinness and Sophie Dahl. I recall this being the highlight of my week, and most likely responsible for sparking my desire to become a fashion stylist. From the Sunday Times Style, I quickly moved on to Vanity Fair magazine, which I read every month, cover to cover, particularly loving the Hollywood specials with the fold out covers. I also recall loving Sky Magazine, which I found in the airport one day (my headmaster’s wife actually banned me from reading it at school which I thought was rather tragic). To encounter such a ballsy polysexual magazine in my adolescence was just miraculous, it opened up my eyes to a whole new world (especially Karen Krizavonich’s agony aunt section, which featured the most hilarious stories).

 I moved down to London from Scotland at the age of 16, and got into the National Youth Theatre at 17 while studying for my A-Levels at Dulwich College. After that, I applied for a place at RADA. I was accepted but decided to take a gap year so I could experience life. I got a job at Whistles on the Kings Road in the summer of ‘2000 (back when it was privately owned by Lucille Lewin). Lucile was a formidable woman and probably the most important fashion buyer in Britain at that time. I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by beautiful garments from the likes of Dries Van Noten, Isabel Marant, Sophia Kokosalaki, Catherine Malandrino, Jill Stuart and Rozae Nicholls, to name just a few. This really sparked my latent interest in fashion. I was the only boy in the store, but had already built a vast customer book of personal clients, whom I would regularly style for events. One of my earliest clients was comedienne Jenny Éclair. I remember dressing her for an awards ceremony, and I was only 18 at the time. Most of the girls I worked with were studying at Saint Martins, and they became my first creative family, nurturing my interests and helping me hone my skills. Four years later, in 2004, Kate Harwood, one of these girls (and co-founder of cult London boutique Beyond The Valley), gave me my first break as a stylist. She was doing a shoot for Emmanuel Saint (who had worked with McQueen at Givenchy), and asked me to co-style his look book. After that, Emmanuel asked me to style his catwalk show, then another look book. My big break in music styling also came via Kate. She had been asked to style Massive Attack collaborator Nicolette Suwoton (Nicolette sang the tracks three and Sly on their Protection album, also featuring Tracey Thorn from Everything But The Girl). After working on a music video and album cover with Kate, Nicolette asked me to style her for other projects, and after that I went on to style Kanya King, the founder of the MOBO Awards, together with pop starts such as Rachel Stevens and boy band 5ive. Later, I got a job as a freelancer at Cosmopolitan magazine, which was the springboard to becoming style and grooming editor at GT.

3. What is the best part of your job, and the worst of course?!
The best part of the job is meeting such amazing inspirational people, travelling, dining in fabulous restaurants, and being blessed with a lot of freebies (for which I’m always grateful, as my bathroom looks like Space NK) and I’ve collected some beautiful garments, jewellery and accessories.

I think the worst aspect of working in the fashion business was the insecurity. I encountered a lot of nasty people who made me feel worthless and insecure. I think what I’ve learned, is that no matter what industry you are in, there will always be people who’d rather your star shone less brightly (especially if you have a kind nature). I’ve been reduced to tears on more than one occasion, which is probably why my destiny has drawn me towards the beauty industry, where the people, quite frankly, are a hell of a lot more pleasant. I think what you find in fashion is that the true greats, are always the ones who are the most pleasant and respectful, because they have less to prove. The late Isabella Blow and milliners Philip Treacy and Louis Mariette, are some of the kindest and humble people I’ve met, together with the jeweller Theo Fennell, shoe designer Jimmy Choo, designers Dean and Dan Caten of Dsquared2 and Viktor & Rolf.

4. In a perfect world, what would you like to be doing if not your current career?
I honestly think that I was destined to do what I’m doing, I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. My creativity is my life, and my life is my creativity.

5.  Any advice to anyone thinking about a career in fashion?
Yes. If you don’t have a thick skin, don’t even think about it. Fashion kills, quite literally. Just look at Isabella Blow and Alexander McQueen.

Ian, I cant thank you enough, you have just opened your life to the readers here at Msalonen.com. Lovely to talk to you as ever. Now if only I can get my eyebrows managed like yours! Hmmm.

1. The first thingo in the morning when you get up?
Make myself a cup of green tea and have a cigarette (don’t worry, the irony of that contradiction isn’t lost on me. I will quit at some point!) (Msalonen: HA! I knew you had a “fault”)

2. Before you leave the house, you always check?
I work in the beauty business, so I always do my make-up before I leave the house for appointments and meetings. I believe in embodying the world that I represent. I’m a style and beauty commentator, so for me, that means dressing well and looking perfect.

3. On your way to work, you…?
Either listen to my i-Pod or read (more often than not I read, one of my favourite pastimes).

4. At the end of the day you look forward to?
Going to the gym and doing weights and yoga, having a shower and sitting in the steam room to unwind. Then it’s home to change into my tracksuit bottoms, a hoody, my Ugg boots, having a cup of herbal tea, some supper, spending time with my dog Shiloh (a Bull Mastiff cross) and writing for my blog Diary of a Fashion Mister (which, like now, I tend to do in the middle of the night when it is quiet so I can really think without distraction).

5. The last thing you do before bed?
I pray. My paternal grandfather, the celebrated author Reverend John Bremner Purvis, was the Rural Dean of Bedlington (look him up on Burke’s Peerage or Amazon), so I guess spirituality is in my blood (together with writing!)

Amazing, thank you Ian. I cant thank you enough!

Profile on Adam Moger, Retail Manager for Boodles

Adam and Gruff (awwwww)

This week’s profile is one of which I have been chasing for a while. I met Adam Moger a while back and was immediately intriqued about his chosen career as a Retail Manager for Boodles. I have never met anyone who works in the jewellery business, let alone for a luxury brand like Boodles. As I am interested, it of course means that so are all you lot. So without further nonsense, over to Adam!

Hi Adam and thanks for joining msalonen.com!

1. Tell us what is it that you do?
Retail Manager for Boodles luxury jewellers. We have a new boutique within the Savoy Hotel, I am responsible for looking after existing customers and generating new customer base from the Hotel and surrounding area.

2. How did you get started in the business? Was it always what you wanted to do?
My mother had always commissioned jewellery for herself and I used to go along with her and help her choose the stones etc, I fell in love with the loose gemstones and associated sparkly, shiney things. After deciding the option of Fireman wasn’t right for me, yes I always wanted to go into gemstones in some way. I originally qualified with a degree in Gemology, a subdivision of Geology specialising in gem stones etc. From there I fell into retail and have been doing it ever since.
 
3. what is the best part of your job, and the worst of course?!
At the risk of sounding cheesy the best bit of my job is having somebody walk out overjoyed by what they’ve bought and the experience they’ve enjoyed whilst buying it. The worst part is dealing with customers who have no concept of how to treat a piece of hand-made fine jewellery. The phrase, “I spent £xxxxx on this therefore I expect it to be more hard-wearing” makes me mad, price has no bearing on durability. I mean would you drive a Bugatti across a field or wear a couture gown to do the gardening in…? Exactly! Fine jewellery needs maintainance regularly and then it will last life times.

4. In a perfect word, what would you like to be doing if not your current career?
Ski Instructor would definitely be at the top of the list although more practically, I love event organising and run some of the big events for the company. This was very nearly an option if I hadn’t done well in selling the bling.
 
5.  Any advice to anyone thinking about a career in luxury jewellery?
Do your research into the brands that you like and approach the ones you like via phone to introduce yourself to the relevant person then back it up with a personalised letter and your CV. This is what I did and had 5 opportunities offered to me. Most luxury jewellers like ourselves get dozens of CV’s a week but the ones that stand out are those that we can instantly imagine looking after one of our customers.In short present yourself like you would to a customer of that company and you’ll have a good chance.

Right, since Adam wanted to be a fireman and ended up playing with jewels all day long, I am thinking that I need to get into the business as well. I will of course be wearing a ski instructor outfit while dripping in diamonds. Me and Adam aren’t really that different, other that he gets to look at gorgeous jewellery all day long and I get to dream about wearing them! Fast forward 25 years and I will most likely be one of those queens who wear big rings and shiny things. I am counting on Adam for NOT letting this happen. 
 
1. The first thing you do in the morning when you get up?
I’m a morning freak, I smile when i wake up. and switch say morning to my followers on Twitter. (Msalonen: This is true, he is always happy on twitter in the mornings!)
 
2. Before you leave the house, you always check?
I have my phone and headphones to listen to my music.
 
3. On your way to work, you?
I normally go to the gym before work then pop into Cafe Nero for a grande skinny latte.
 
4. At the end of the day you look forward to?
Chilling out and getting into jeans and a t-shirt.
 
5. The last thing you do before you go to bed?
Shower, then say night to everyone on twitter. (Msalonen, again true. Every night without a fail)

Adam, thank you so much for joining us (well me) and shining a little light on your chosen career path. I do hope you realize that I will be hounding you for shiny things for years to come!

Profile on Vanessa Bird, Personal Trainer

Personal Trainer extraordinary

Today marks the start of something new on msalonen.com, little profiles of interesting people with something to say. No better person to start than my Personal Trainer, Vanessa Bird.

Hi Vanessa, thanks for joining msalonen.com!

1. Tell us what is it that you do?
Why of course Marko! I am a freelance Personal Trainer specialising in aesthetic body reshaping (training the vain!), fat loss, intense & advanced weight training techniques, online PT, and metabolic training (training designed to maximise fat burning & get rapid results). Oh and I am one of the very 1st PTs to be qualified in the UK as a Power Club Instructor. In fact, I have just filmed 6 new TV shows with specific workouts using the clubs after the successful response from the 1st show I filmed that was screened on The Active Channel (you can peek at it online now if you missed it). So I guess that means I am also a TV Presenter too, & I often contribute to national fitness magazines. Wow, What a long answer!

2. How did you get started in fitness? Was it always what you wanted to do?
Was it heck! Surprisingly I hated fitness. Like, REALLY despised it! It was my worst subject at school and I hung around with the asthmatic kids during PE so I’d not have to do much exercise (I’d say they needed looking after!). You’d need threat of Nuclear War to even warrant me to break out into a slow jog I hated it that much. So no, it wasn’t what I always wanted to do. Originally I wanted to be a Graphic Artist, then a writer of fiction, and then I fell into fitness by accident and worked in gyms for a few years until I ran them, before leaving it to work as a medical sales rep. Of course, turns out that fitness is my true passion, so I’ve returned to where I belong and am now transforming the world into a fitter, more beautiful place, person by person (or victim by victim)…I am creating a bionic, vain and supremely healthy race 😉
 
3. what is the best part of your job, and the worst of course?!
The best part is that I truly enjoy it and it’s my passion. It’s hard to tell where my working hours end and my free time begins. I have an intense  burning need to help people become healthier & happier in themselves. I want to fight this rubbish view that getting older means you get fat, slow, ache a lot and generally curl up into a decrepit foetal position & wait to die. I want people to realise that they can be in the best shape they have EVER been in, regardless of age. I want to create a bionic army of Pensioners that look like silver-haired Adonis’! Seeing results & seeing how a person changes completely in their body and character inspires me. You think THAT was a long answer then you’ve no clue how much I had to stop myself launching into a 10 page epic on why I love what I do!!!!

The worst? When I get frustrated as some people just refuse to take accountability for their own physical body and blame everything but themselves for failing at fitness & then quit. I hate seeing lost potential. I’ve been that person and made all the excuses myself so I know if I can change then anyone can. Oh and also the ridiculously unpredictable and antisocial hours sometimes. 4.30am starts and 10pm finishes? Not so hot! 
 
4. In a perfect word, what would you like to be doing if not your current career?
In a perfect world I’d be doing the exact same thing, albeit in my own private sumptuous health club. I’d also have a health club over in Las Vegas!  I’d be ramping up the TV presenting too & bringing out some motivational books to help people get into the right frame of mind to begin their transformations.  If THAT wasn’t an option? Well I’d be Prince Harry’s Cougar Mistress (whilst being his Personal Trainer too!!). “Harry, ‘call me, yeh? Marko can pass you my number…xx’
 
5.  Any advice to anyone thinking about a career in fitness?
Be prepared to earn little to begin with and work hard as you build up a reputation. Results show and clients will then refer you without question. You need to eat, sleep and breathe health & fitness and have a true passion, otherwise it’ll come across to your clients. If you cannot motivate and inspire your own fitness lifestyle then how the hell do you expect to do it to anyone else? Personally, I believe that if you put yourself up there as a Fitness Professional, then you need to go that extra mile and practice what you preach and look the part too. Don’t do it thinking you’re gonna get paid to work out and look buff all day. You’re in for a shock if you do! It’s hard work and a true vocation.

That’s great, thank you Vanessa. Now as we have learned about your chosen career, 
I would like to get a little more personal! 
 
1. The first thing you do in the morning when you get up?
I nip downstairs, make a cuppa (I’m a Northern girl and we transfuse our blood with tea daily), and then head back upstairs to have a shower and paint on ‘the face’. Grooming darling! No excuses!
 
2. Before you leave the house, you always check?
Whether I have my iphone glued to my hand? It is 99% certain that I have but I always check!
 
3. On your way to work, you?
Continually change tracks on the CD or radio, sing along to it, talk to myself and paint my nails when in stationery traffic. (shhhh). 
 
4. At the end of the day you look forward to?
Ooh, I don’t actually know? Getting home & shutting out the outside world? That & having another cuppa!
 
5. The last thing you do before you go to bed?
I say my prayers. I’m a good girl & you’ve got to thank The Big Man for everything he’s done for you eh?

Right, in conclusion: Vanessa is totally committed to fitness (well now at least), she drives with her iPhone glued to her hand, tea bubbling in her vains, whilst changing CD’s. God help the people on the road with her! For more about Vanessa you can visit her site www.elitephysique.co.uk. On the site there are regular updates about news and blog as well. PLUS you can of course get in touch with her and book you very own training session! You can of course visit her facebook page “Elite Physique Personal Training” or follow her on twitter. As I have been training with Vanessa for a while now, I have invited her to join me on the site as my “fitness guru”, in the next coming weeks, she will be guiding us all to “the perfect gay body” using me as an example! Give me few weeks to get camera ready and then it is on! Any request? Just comment below and we will see what we can do!