A Chat with Stylist Mr Jason Grant
It’s safe to say that Mr Jason Grant has played an integral part in Aussie styling for years. Having worked with the likes of Inside Out, Real Living, Freedom, Murobond and a host of other Aussie brands, he now adds author to his CV with his latest book release A Place Called Home. I caught up with this stylist extraordinaire to talk about his own home, his new paint range and how he rose to fame.
Mr Jason Grant has become a known Aussie brand now. How did you start out in styling?
Before styling, I worked for a homewares company that was huge in the ‘90s called Room Interior Products. I did a bit of everything there; besides sales and the other less-than-exciting stuff, I was also working with stylists with product loans for shoots (even loaning stuff for the TV show The Secret Life of Us)
I fell into styling like most stylists I know; growing up it wasn’t really a job you would hear about, but it satisfied my creative tendencies. The long and the short of it is that I met stylist and very good friend Glen Proebstel (I still remember the day). I guess he saw some potential and he convinced Karen McCartney (then the editor of Inside Out) to give me a chance. One shoot led to another and the ball began rolling. I eventually became the Melbourne contributing editor – producing most of their Melbourne house shoots and profiles etc.
I then moved to Sydney after being offered the role of style director for Real Living magazine – a role I held for almost two years before deciding to go back to being a freelance stylist. Ultimately this works best for me as it leads to more variety.
Your book, A Place Called Home, is an inspiring read. How long did it take to put together and what were some of the challenges?
I had never made a book before – so I guess I just find ways to make things happen – it’s what you do when you have a deadline. I’m very lucky to work with a publisher (Hardie Grant) that has confidence in me and allowed me really to make a book exactly how I wanted. I wanted to make a book that was my style, my way; I wanted it to be laid-back, local and not over-styled. I didn’t want to tell people what to do but inspire them with my example. I guess Hardie Grant liked that I had a clear vision – even down to the cover, yellow spine and paper stock (yes, it’s all in the details). We worked shooting the book in a small time frame; really it was just me and the photographer James Geer that made it. I later worked with my book editor and book designer to turn it into the book you see now. It really feels like me on page – I wanted to be authentic.
The book celebrates the ‘imperfect’ in homes. What’s your own home look like on its best and worst day?
To be honest, I have nice things but it’s a real space; I have to confess that I am no neat freak. It’s a mixture of high and low, it’s laid-back, comfortable and eclectic (sorry, a very overused word but it does best describe my look) – everything from IKEA, Freedom or West Elm and vintage finds, to more designer pieces that I have saved up for (including the Ercol love seat on the cover of my book and my prized quadrant seats from Koskela). My new house is much bigger and brighter so I’m just workshopping a few new purchases. I love mixing neutrals like timber, leather and other organic looks with pops of colour. I like my home to feel calm.
Would you agree that stylists make hard work seem easy?
Yes, that’s what we do; we make it appear effortless when in fact it’s usually a lot of hard work. In reality, we are the illusionists.
Tell me about your relationship with Murobond Paints.
I love partnering with Murobond. I have worked for a number of years creating colour palettes – it’s really a dream come true and it is always exciting to see the colours I have dreamed up come to reality. My new collection, Colour Memory, just launched – which is my fifth (so 60 colours in total).
Any advice for would be stylists looking to get into the industry?
Work experience – the best way to learn is working with a stylist!
You were recently named a man of influence by Men’s Style Magazine. How did that feel?
Weird! But it was an honour. It’s nice to be recognised for what you do. I ultimately work to make myself happy – I love what I do.
What’s on the horizon for you in terms of styling and outside of work?
I just moved house so I am enjoying settling in (and not doubt you will see it in a magazine sometime). I’m working on my second book – due for release late next year. Always looking at ways to improve mrjasongrant.com; I guess my blog is like a conversation I have with my friends. I get asked so many questions – so it’s a way of sharing the cool stuff I find. There’s always another shoot coming up, be it advertising or editorial.
Lastly, how do you live The Life Creative?
I guess I’m pretty fortunate as my job is kind of more a lifestyle – i just need to work on the work/play balance, but most times work is play!
Photo Credits for this Post:
Image One by Lauren Bamford
Image Two, Three and Four by James Geer
Image Five by Chris Prestige