Natalie Tan, Senior Fashion Buyer at JD Sports SEA
When did your journey as a creative begin?
Professionally, my creative journey as a Fashion Buyer started when I was a freelance creative (I was freelancing as a video editor and photographer) after my graduation in 2018 (I was a film, broadcasting, and journalism graduate). After my studies, I was contemplating between pursuing a career in fashion or in film. I decided that fashion buying was for me after I was introduced to the job by a friend of mine.
How would you describe your creative leadership?
I would describe it as who practices gratitude, self-awareness, and openness: I will always have gratitude for the people with whom I have crossed paths or worked alongside my creative journey, have the self-awareness that I am always a work-in-progress, and always open to strive for new challenges and opportunities.
There will always be someone who is better than yourself, but I've learned that when you allow yourself to take the first step which is to be present out there, you're creating a chance for yourself to express and grow, and that's where you learn and improve.
What is your life ethos and how does it relate to your creative journey?
There's this quote from Martin Scorsese that stuck with me, which is that "the most personal is the most creative". This phrase has changed my perspective on how I execute my craft/work as a part-time creative.
If there's something you noticed women creatives doing, what would you advise them?
I am my own worst critic. I have been in situations where feeling this way has hindered me. I wish I didn't take myself too seriously because I have come to the realisation that being creative and doing creative work is supposed to be fun!
There will always be someone who is better than yourself, but I've learned that when you allow yourself to take the first step which is to be present out there, you're creating a chance for yourself to express and grow, and that's where you learn and improve. My advice is to believe in yourself and if you ever feel like putting your work out there for the world to see, put up the work for everyone to see. You'll be surprised to find that you have the power to inspire other women creatives/creatives around you.
What was the most significant project for you thus far?
The most memorable project that I've worked on was for a shoot last year with Highborn, a fashion label founded by a good friend of mine, who also is a creative himself. It was my first fashion styling gig and I was also in charge of the preparation of the props for the shoot.
Although the shoot had to be cut short due to bad weather, the project is memorable to me because it's something rewarding about coming together with friends who share the same creative vision and passion with you makes working on the experience worthwhile.
Please share with us what constantly inspires you.
I find inspiration in my daily life, be it the outfit I am wearing for the day, the colours of things I see when I pass by a location, a recent film I saw, stumbling across an Instagram page, or even just casual conversations with friends. I also find inspiration in every film I see. Everyone who knows me knows that I am always influenced by Wes Anderson. But recently, I've been finding inspiration from Gia Coppola. No one captures raw human emotions as beautifully as she does.
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