Spotlight: Sweet Paul Lowe

March 17, 2011

Friends, you know I am a lover of food.  I love gorgeous images of simple recipes, they often send me to the store on a quest to replicate a fabulous dish that very day.  The same thing happens when I see an creative and stylish craft idea, it also inspires me to go to the craft store and create something special of my own.  As a lover of both food and crafting, I chanced upon Sweet Paul magazine last year, and since then have read every issue from cover to cover. 

Sweet Paul is the online magazine creation of food and prop stylist Paul Lowe. The first issue came out only one year ago, and it never fails to deliver easy elegant recipes, fun and easy crafts, and simple entertaining ideas too.  Naturally, whenever there is a new issue, it prompts me to run to both the grocery and the craft store on the very same day.   

easter sweet paul

Image credit: Alexandra Grablewski

As a huge fan, I was prompted to write to Paul and ask him to share a little about himself, and also what motivates and inspires him in his creations.  Today, I’m excited to bring you our Q & A, which I know will leave you inspired, and most likely, hungry. 

swirl snip

CG:  Hello Paul!  Please tell us when you knew you wanted to become a stylist, and about your humble beginnings in the industry that eventually led to working with publications like Country Living, Domino, and Real Simple magazines.   

PL: I never wanted to be a stylist, but I used to be a florist 20 years ago and fell into the styling business by accident and I have loved every minute ever since.  I used to work in Norway but after I moved here 5 years ago I have been lucky enough to work with some amazing clients.

sweet paul drink station

Image credit: Frances Janisch

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Image credit: Sabra Krock

 

CG: : Your prop styling is bright and eclectic, layered and fresh, with an incredible attention to detail.  What are some of your sources of inspiration for your amazing craft projects?

PL:  It can be anything, an image, fashion, or art.  It’s really not just one thing. My biggest inspiration has always been fashion, textures, and a mix of colors.

spring painted bottles sweet paul

Image credit: Frances Janisch

CG: Let’s talk food because your recipes and photography in SP make my mouth water.  What is your culinary background, and what is the magic formula for combining memorable flavors with a beautiful presentation? 

PL:  I’m not a trained chef but someone with a good eye and a sense of what looks and tastes good.  When I work on recipes for photo I have two rules: it must taste awesome and must look simple to make.  No one wants to make something that looks to complicated.

Vanilla Porridge with Cooked Pears

sweet paul pear

Image credit: Colin Cooke

 

Classic Egg Salad

egg salad sweet paul

Image credit: Colin Cooke

 

Apple Dumplings

sweet paul apple dumpling

Recipe & image credit: Sabra Crock

 

CG: After so many years developing commercial projects and working with photographers, what are your best tips for anyone who wishes to style and photograph their projects or creations in the most attractive way? 

PL:  Keep it simple, and don’t overthink things, and go with your gut feeling.  Think a simple background and few props.  Remember what’s important in the shot.

sweet paul old books

 

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Image credit Frances Janisch

CG:  Who was Mormer and how did she influence you? 

PL:  Mormor is grandmother in Norwegian.  She was a woman of great taste and skills and let me help her in the kitchen from a very young age.  My interest from food and crafts all come from her.

I love this reflection in the magazine Paul shares about his Mormer:

“From an early age, my parents understood that I was not like other children. When asked what I wanted for my birthday when I was 3 years old, my answer was, “A coffee pot, please.”  I was totally crazy about coffee pots, I was preoccupied with them.  My Mormer would later recount stories of me playing in the garden, surrounded by 12 coffee pots at a time (thank God my grandmother had a big collection) and having the time of my life.

Why coffee pots? I think the connection may have stemmed from my beloved Mormer and her affinity for making very strong coffee every morning. The house was filled with that wonderful enveloping aroma, and I think it made me feel safe somehow, knowing I was home surrounded by the people that I love. My Mormer was a great baker. She always had some sort of cake in the oven. One of my fondest childhood memories is sitting in the garden under the cherry tree, eating raspberry and chocolate brownies fresh from the oven.”

sweet paul raspberry brownies

Image credit: Colin Cooke

 

CG:  What inspired your leap of faith to begin Sweet Paul magazine, and what can we look forward to in upcoming issues?

PL: I just wanted to create something that was all mine, somewhere I could use ideas and showcase my work.  Had no idea it would grow this fast.   The last issue has over 1 million hits in one week.

strawberry marshmallow shake sweet paul

Image credit: Alexandra Grablewski

 

Thank you so much Paul for taking the time to answer my questions!

 

What can we all expect from Sweet Paul on June 1st? 

next time

 

 

paul lowe sweet paul

 

 

Paul Lowe is a food and prop stylist and crafter, currently living in New York City. 

Paul’s motto is ‘chasing the sweet things in life.’ 

Don’t miss Sweet Paul magazine and the Sweet Paul blog.

You can see more of Paul’s portfolio at Big Leo Productions.

 

 

I too am wishing all of you the sweetest things in life today. 

xoxo,

cg kate signature

 

 

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22 Responses to “Spotlight: Sweet Paul Lowe”

  1. What a great guy- love the magazine- amazing pictures.Do you check his blog as well sometimes / it’s really good , with lovely recipes.Guy after my own heart! Plus he loves dogs- a win- win hahaha!! Thanks for the interview !

  2. Thanks for the “introducing” us, Kate! Beautiful images. Love that shot with the cute straws and marshmallows! :)

  3. Big fan of sweet Paul – the mag always makes me feel both hungry and like I should be re-arranging things with sprigs of flowers on a tray! Lovely!

  4. Karena says:

    I was not aware! Thanks so much I now love Sweet Paul!! Everything looks yummy!!

    Come and join my Springtime Giveaway!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

  5. Jaclyn says:

    Such a great interview, I love sweet Paul. The styling is so incredible and I definitely find inspiration on those recipes and food shots. I find myself at the grocery store and craft sore trying to recreate things too :)

    So glad I found your blog, it’s great.

  6. Stephanie says:

    I love his publication! I look forward to each issue.

  7. Sam says:

    They have to be the prettiest sandwiches I’ve ever seen!

  8. Susan (Tote) says:

    That food looks so good! I will have to check out that magazine.

    Susan

  9. Sue says:

    Well, you are right…I’m hungry and I want to grab my camera! What beautiful photos and an interesting interview. Thanks!

  10. Allyson/HBMomof2 says:

    I completely adore Sweet Paul. I have been a huge fan of his and with all that he does he answers emails with such grace and kindness that it makes me love him even more. His recipes are delish, but his mag’s photos are amazing. It is the best eye candy on the internet! Thank you for sharing a more personal side of him with us.

  11. All that delicious looking food made my mouth water and my tummy growl. Makes me want to get in the kitchen and start cookin’!

  12. Karyn says:

    BEAUTIFUL pictures!

  13. Rachel says:

    I have LOVED Paul’s magazine since the first issue! It is so beautifully designed, and the recipes are fantastic… I look forward to each issue!

  14. GinaE says:

    Hadn’t heard of Sweet Paul before. Now I will be a fan. Thanks for posting this!

  15. Thank goodness I am eating lunch right now, because those photos are mouth watering! I am going to check out Sweet Paul right now!

  16. Oona says:

    All those beautiful photos and the one that makes me the happiest is the pic of Paul and THE CUTEST FRENCHIE EVER! Good lord, that is a precious face.

  17. Rose says:

    What a delicious article!
    Rose

  18. Cass says:

    Wow, he is amazing! Thanks for introducing us to a fabulous new person to stalk. :) And no joke, I am now feeling famished!

  19. I really enjoyed reading this interview and being introduced to the magazine and the man. Gorgeous, gorgeous photos.

  20. Grace says:

    What amazing photos of food. As someone who has recently tried to improve my food photography skills, I’m impressed. I’m off to check out his blog. Thanks for the interview.

  21. lesley says:

    oh my I am gushing over this article & magazine !!
    The magazine is fantastic, thanks for introducing it to us.

  22. Ruth says:

    What a great interview! I loved the coffee pot story. I’ll be checking his magazine regularly now. Thanks for sharing!

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