January 19, 2013

Jo Claravall: Creating Real Life Wonderlands

Have you ever wondered how it is to be Alice, wandering wonderland filled with all the wonderful wonders?

Ok! That was a little too much wonders played around in one sentence. Still, I would like to answer that question. Yes...

When I was a kid, I would imagine myself being transported to different worlds of fantasy and magic - the stuff you see on movies and cartoons. Growing up, I fell in love with trips and travels that gave me the chance to witness the life and culture in varying countries and surroundings, opening my eyes to understanding beauty all around. Now that my profession has somehow taken over me, attending events have become the more crucial aspect of life that I have enjoyed. 

Events have become a grand celebration for most everyone. From the traditional weddings and birthdays, to parties and product launches, the details in creating events have been hyped up to create an astonishing scene for everyone. Fortunately, there are people these days who recreate, and glamorize more the sundry gatherings in the metro. Coined as the events stylists, their jobs are to make the event not just beautiful or amazing, but also memorable. 

One such events stylist that I have admired is Jo Claravall. I have been to a couple of events styled by her and I stood sincerely at awe with her work. I persuaded her if I could write about her and post some of her works in the story and my request was lucky enough to be granted.


How did you become an event stylist?

Nine years ago, my sister hosted a party at our parents' home. I helped set it up with a full-on Asian theme. A friend of hers who happened to be an events organizer took notice and I was offered to style an event for them. Without batting an eyelash, I said yes and styled my very first event for a shampoo brand. 


What is your creative process? What transpires before you create the design in your mind?

Well, I become very quiet during meetings to listen to clients. I observe how my clients are and dissect everything they say because I picture everything in my thoughts, as clients describe what they want. 
It's like a mental imprint once I know who my clients are and what they want. Then, everything else just follows. I don't over think or analyze. Eventually, I know exactly what to do.

What do you love most about your work?

I love the fact that I can transform spaces and blow the mind out of clients and their guests. It still gets me excited to see them extremely amazed with the event spaces I've designed.

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

Everything is a challenge, but I live for it. 


As someone who has had success in the industry, what do you want to tell people about your profession? Are there misconceptions about your line of work that you want to clarify?

People think its easy. A lot of people may think it's just putting stuff around and arranging flowers on a table, but I definitely think that only people with very strong styling point of views are cutout for this job. A lot of people think its as simple as how Martha Stewart does it, but they don't know that the Martha Stewart way of styling is extremely difficult: it's a discipline. A stylist has to be true to his or her own styling sensibilities and disciplines -- something that you can't fake since it's innate. It really is hard to pull of more or less fifty events a year, all distinctly different from one another, but thats why it's fun.

Check out events stylist Jo Claravall at: http://www.facebook.com/joclaravall.events

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