We had the good fortune of connecting with Kaylynn Jaycox and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kaylynn, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I truly don’t think that you can accomplish anything great without risk. Everything I have done that has lead me to where I am now, has come from a risk. Whether that risk is minor or major, it all adds up and it all pushes you out of your comfort zone and forces you to grow, change and expanded yourself. I will never forget how scared I was when I started freelancing on my own with no safety net. But the one thing I have learned along the way is that it will always work out if it is suppose to work out. And if it doesn’t work out, that risk is leading you in a different direction. It doesn’t mean the risk wasn’t worth it.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I create art though pictures; my profession is most commonly known as a photo stylist. I am not a photographer–I am the person behind the scene making the arrangement of objects looks their best. I mostly style for cosmetics, still life, product such as shoes and handbags and I often do prop styling for bigger sets. And although all of those styling categories take particular skills and artistry, I find that I can really express myself as an artist through cosmetic styling the most. It basically painting, only with makeup! I feel most myself when I sit down on set with my palette knifes and plates full of smashed, crumbled and melted makeup. I am always trying to push myself to a new level of creativity every time I sit down to do a smear or rub of makeup. So much has already been done when it comes to cosmetics styling and I want to continue to experiment and test the boundaries of what is possible with this medium. Just like with any art, my job is to bring the objects that we are shooting to life. I am trying to evoke an emotional response when someone looks at the picture. I am hoping it brings them a level of joy, inspiration, curiosity and so much more when they view my work.

Design also plays a huge role when it comes to styling. I am often doing set design, including sourcing surfaces, backdrops, walls, floors, furniture pieces, picking out paint colors, finding the perfect props to use and so much more. I find that I flipflop between the roles of designer and artist frequently depending on the job.

In a world that is flooded with images and content, it can be really hard to break through the noise. We are constantly comparing ourselves to other people and in constant fear of someone else “making it big” before we do. And I think thats one thing that sets me apart and something I work hard to remind myself of everyday. I run my own race. One of the best quotes I have heard talks about when a track start is racing, they don’t ever turn around to see who is behind them. They focus on their own race. The second the look back, is the second they lose the race. I just love the idea of that because truly, we are all on our own paths, our own roads and our own journeys. If we waste energy comparing ourselves and looking at what someone else is doing in comparison to ourself, we only hold ourselves back. So run your own race, know you are exactly where you should be and don’t focus on anyone else’s race. I also refuse to operate on a mentality of scarcity; I only focus on the abundance of life. So instead of telling myself, “If i miss this job, I’ll never get another job like it again” I tell myself “There is plenty of work for me coming and plenty more opportunities to be had” This helps keep me in the right mindframe as an artist in a very competitive space.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I am a very low key person and I enjoy a slower pace and a good dinner most, so I think my ideal weekend with a friends would consists of some sort of outdoor activity (depending on the friend or family member who is visiting) I would do either the Dallas Arboretum, a walk around White Rock Lake or even some Yoga in the park (found around the city but Klyde Warren park has it usually on Sat/Sundays). The farmers market is always a fun time to walk around, get some local goodies and have a good lunch. Depending what was going on in Dallas at the time, if there was any good art exhibits, I would for sure go there. Also, if there was any vintage/flea markets happening, (you can always find me at a good vintage swap), I would take them there. If no vintage flea markets where going on, I would take them to so some of my favorite vintage spots around town. We would finish the day off getting cocktails somewhere for HH, my current favorite spot is Catbird before we head to dinner. And for dinner, I absolutely LOVE a good dining experience and it would all be depending on where we could get reservations at but my current top picks would be Monarch, Homewood, Alice, Georgie, and of course Mot Hai Ba. And then if they really wanted to hit the town after dinner, we would probably end up some where like Twilight Lounge or (if I had it my way) a low key dive bar like Lakewood Landing.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I don’t think there is enough time or space on this page to list out everyone who has helped me get to where I am today. I honestly think that every person who I have crossed paths with in my life has taught me some sort of lesson about life, career, love, passion, dedication–and has left me feeling inspired. But to name a few people who I definitely wouldn’t be here with out, I would have to start with my mother. She taught me how important it is to work hard. My dad taught me to put love into everything I do and that you get more bees with honey.

Moving to Dallas when I was 18, I was so blessed to have found a supportive circle of older women who shared their wisdom with me and, of course, their love, so here is my thank you to all the women and men at Tootsies (one of my first jobs) . I later in life found myself surrounded by so many supportive stylists who taught me so much about the industry and styling and who have become some of my closest friends: Lisa Slusher and Lara Amis, I love you girls and all the support to have shown me. One of my biggest mentors in styling was one of the most talented stylists in Dallas, Jay Evers. I wouldn’t have the career I have without his mentorship.

And of course what would the ups and downs be worth without the support and encouragement from your girl tribe? Rachel Cowlishaw, thank you for your constant encouragement, love and support. Not just in my career but in my life.

There are so so many others to thank here and mention, but just know I have not forgotten about any single person in my life that has helped create my story.

Website: https://www.kaylynnjaycox.com/

Instagram: kaylynn_jaycox

Image Credits
Jeff Junkins Claire Benoist

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