MMDH: Current Muse Gray Malin
I started following Gray Malin on Instagram a few years ago, after seeing his aerial beach photography on design feeds. I was immediately drawn to the vibrant color and overall wanderlust quality of his images. Many of his collections are captured from helicopter views, for those of you who are not familiar, although he also has iconic shoots that have been taken with his feet on the ground in some of his favorite places around the world.
When I find someone like Gray, I take it upon myself to learn more... where they started it all, what their career looked like at the beginning, and how they have made what is seemingly the career of most creative entrepreneur’s dreams, into their day to day reality.
As I dug into all things Gray, I was even more intrigued that someone so approachable had made something so major out of a flea market stand, a vision, and a boat load of hard work. I mean, a lot of people in this world work their tails off, but without a concrete vision, it is so easy to forget what you are doing it all for.
Soon after I started following Gray, he released his first book, Beaches. He was out on a book tour around the country, and before I realized he was headed to Chicago, he posted on Instagram that he was in town for the evening signing books at a boutique in the city.
I was still working for the design firm I had been at for twelve years then. I had an idea in my head about starting my own residential design business, but was lacking a whole lot of inspiration to ever make something like that happen. Brian and I were knee deep in the grind of raising two toddlers and balancing super busy jobs, so I was not in the habit of taking time to think about my own life’s vision.
I saw Gray's Chicago book signing post around 3pm that day, and knew I was on kid duty that night. I remember being a tad preoccupied for the rest of the day, trying to figure out how to finagle an hour-plus drive into the city and back before both kids had major post-bedtime meltdowns.
I am not a spontaneous person by any means, but that day was different for some reason. I got home from work, gave the kids dinner, got them in their pjs, and packed them into the car. This was major for me. As we were parking in front of the boutique over an hour later, I felt like I could legitimately concur the world, no meltdowns yet AND we made it in time to meet Gray!
I was beyond inspired that evening. It was the first time in a long time that I had done something that was out of my comfort zone. It was the first time I really started thinking that I may have a different career path than the one I was on. It was the first time I really felt like I could accomplish anything I put my mind to.
Gray met us for what felt like ten minutes, but was probably no more than two. He thought it was great that I brought the kids and was completely taken back that we had just spent over an hour in the car to come meet him. It was a night I will never forget, and one that I owe a lot to. Maizie wasn't quite model material yet, and Finn was pretty unsure of strangers, but all in all this fan photo was a keeper :)