Tuesday, 30 June 2009

(art.inspiration) adriane strampp







On the weekend I went to the opening of Adriane Strampp's art exhibition at the Eva Breuer Art Dealer gallery in Woollahra. Her home has been shot for real living and I LOVE it, so knew that her artwork would be to my palette. Looking at Adriane's current works is like watching the morning fog lift over a forest scene. Well worth seeing.

Which five words best describe you? Optimistic, creative, clumsy, stubborn, compassionate.
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? My first job (age 6) was selling boxes of Chiclets chewing gum in Mexico. I think I sold one box (to my dad) and ate the rest. I dabbled with cooking, and textile designs, but after art school I was picked up by a Sydney gallery and never looked back. I am lucky enough to be represented by several galleries. What’s your proudest achievement? My house, I deigned the renovations (it was an empty factory space when I bought it), and was very ‘hands-on’ during the building process. I learnt a lot about building, and want to do it again!
What’s been your best decision? To trust my instincts, things usually go wrong when I haven’t.
Who inspires you? My friends and family, and my university supervisor Nick, who is a beautiful artist and mentor.
What are you passionate about? Food! I love cooking, and am passionate about keeping it fresh, simple and seasonal. On the weekends I shop at the market and enjoy cooking for friends.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? There are very few decisions in life that are fatal.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I’m female, I’m single – that would have to be George Clooney!
What dream do you still want to fulfil? Lots! I’d like to spend a year in New York, a year in Italy, and a year in Paris. I’d also like to have a show in Berlin, Rome, and London.
What are you reading? A lot – on everything from aesthetics and philosophy, to cooking. I love the Movida cookbook.

Images courtesy of Adriane Strampp and Eva Breuer Art Dealer

Monday, 29 June 2009

(design*sponge.guest blog) jodie fried




Here is the latest instalment from the design*sponge guest blog I did last year. The original post is here and more about Jodie and her work is here and here. Enjoy!

Creators – sneak peak into their design world

There’s so much to say and so little space, so today I’m going to give you a sneak peak into the design worlds behind some of my favourite products. For more about these amazing women visit Daily Imprint.

Burst of inspiration: Jodie Fried, Bholu

The story behind Bholu is inspiring enough – then you see and feel the product!

How and why did you start Bholu? Bholu was born after I had been living in India for a couple of years. I went there on a scholarship to work as a set and costume designer for a traditional Indian dance company and fell in love with the country and its people. After a devastating 2001 earthquake, I went to assist aid for a village in the desert region of Kutchchh. During this time I experienced amazing hospitality and became particularly close with the women, whose beautiful traditional embroidery is only really used for their own clothing. Immediately I thought I have to do something with this. A few years later, I went back with my designs and gave the samples to village women to see what would happen. I achieved some amazing results. The women laughed at the lack of sophistication of my designs and thought their “Bholu” could do better! (Bholu meaning a small child, often a term of endearment to a grandchild.) The name stuck and Bholu was born!

What are your favourite pieces from the range? I adore the toys - the result of a collaboration with the children in the slum communities. I designed them from their drawings, trying to be as accurate as possible to capture the awkward and childlike way children interpret their imagination. A lot of the creatures have quirky anatomy which makes them undefinable as a particular animal. Adults love them just as much the kids.

Images courtesy of Bholu

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

(design.inspiration) lynneke tromp







I love how small the world is sometimes. That's how I found about the creative talents of Lynneke Tromp. She knows Nick Young from Two Ruffians, who is the partner of Clair Wayman, who styles for real living. Lynneke is a Melbourne-based designer who uses Amy Butler fabrics. Enough said, really.

Which five words best describe you? Natural, Honest, Practical, Loyal, Relaxed (some even say I have a calming effect... hmmm).
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? It's funny really, I seem to have come full circle! My very first job was at the local newsagent, kept me in pocket money during high school. I then got a job at Running Bare Active Wear, and decided I wanted to study Fashion Design. I was accepted into the Fashion Design School at East Sydney Technical College. While I studied I worked part time at The Regent Hotel in Sydney. I really enjoyed the people side of this work... so after I finished my degree I applied to become a Flight Attendant, and got the job! Hmmmm. Nothing to do with fashion... but,16 years later I'm back designing. So at the moment I still fly, but I am also getting my business up and running, having a market stall at the Red Hill Markets on the Mornington Peninsula just outside Melbourne. Who would have thought! Back doing the design thing! I am a very practical person, so I design practical things. Sling bags (for hands-free shopping), Yoga mat bags, Laptop sleeves (with a girlie twist)... doorstops... things that are user-friendly.
What’s your proudest achievement? Having my first ever market stall failed dismally, and 'getting back on the horse' making the next market a success!
What’s been your best decision? Buying my own surfboard, so I could surf when I wanted, not when I could borrow a board from someone else.
Who inspires you? Mother Nature.
What are you passionate about? The ocean, fabric and colour! It should be a crime to wear black!
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? With business, it's all in the presentation. Personally, treat everyone the way you expect to be treated.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Sorry, there's at least two. Jack Johnson and Audrey Hepburn. And that's culling the list!
What dream do you still want to fulfil? Moving to the beach so I can roll out of bed in the morning and go for a surf instead of having to drive there, having my own studio/workshop with space, getting the internet side of my business up and running... all with the end goal of giving me freedom in my work hours.
What are you reading? Pride and Prejudice... again.


Images courtesy of Lynneke Tromp

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

(design.inspiration) amy cunningham







You may recognise Amy Cunningham from one of the house features of this month's real living magazine. Or from a feature in Belle magazine, which called her a "shining star". Or read about her in the Sydney Morning Herald when she was selected as part of the Springboard mentor program. So after interviewing about her home decoration project, I was interested to know more about her business Zema Designs too.

Which five words best describe you? Passionate, caring, creative, playful and positive.
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? My first job was in a shoe store when I was only just 15, selling fancy ladies shoes. I loved fashion and felt very grown up working there! From there I worked in a newsagent, in my parent’s real estate agency whilst at university and then a furniture manufacturer and onto corporate interior design until I recently started to concentrate completely on my own design business.
What's your proudest achievement? Seeing my products come to life, from images in my head to drawings to the final product. It is an amazing feeling to see my ideas come to fruition. Having my pieces shown in public and recognised for the first time fresh out of university, through object gallery, Bombay Sapphire and workshopped exhibition. The public reaction from this first exposure made me realise I could do what I loved for a living. It was an amazing feeling knowing that my designs were going to be used in people’s homes!
Who inspires you? Many people inspire me in my life and industry. At the moment a lot of my inspiration and drive comes from the memory of my Great Aunt Sue, who was hugely important person in my life. She was an amazing independent woman who was before her time. I am currently sketching out a new design inspired by her.
What are you passionate about? I am passionate about producing products and spaces with longevity in both aesthetic and function. I hate to think of all the waste produced by the fashion nature of interiors, and aim not to contribute to this by creating simple classic yet innovative designs. My feeling is if a person connects with an object, and if that object can adapt with them and their space it will be retained for a long period of time.
What's the best lesson you've learnt? My Grandfather Ray always said, “If a job is worth doing, it is worth doing well.” This has been carried on by my father as well and is really at the core of everything I do. When I set out to achieve something I put my heart and soul into it and try to stay true to these words in all areas of my life.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Eileen Gray, an incredibly talented designer of the 1920s and 30s. She was so before her time! Her pieces are still stunning and relevant today. I would have loved to have seen how her creative process worked.
What's next? Next is the launch of my re-vamped business in the middle of this year through the aid of the Springboard mentor program. I will be launching a new branding and marketing look as well as my Hat Stand ready for production and the market. I am working a new lighting series that will be created out of the scrap add off cuts from my manufacturer's factory. So keep an eye out on the Zema Designs website to see what’s new.
What are you reading? I am reading A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. It is really opening my eyes up and making me look at life with a different perspective. I am also reading The Lieutenant by Kate Grenville. It’s a beautiful book describing the experiences of an Astronomer's first experience of Sydney after arriving as part of the First Fleet in 1788.

Images courtesy of Amy Cunningham

Monday, 22 June 2009

(shop.inspiration) jocelyn van hoven @ heaven in earth







There are two types of gardens that will always make me wistful. An English garden, planted with rhubarb, strawberries, gooseberries, apple trees, roses, pansies and daffodils, such as what I had when growing up. And scrambling French countryside gardens, places to hide and seek, such as where I stayed as a child during family holidays. And so there is so much that appeals to me about Heaven in Earth, which focuses on the beauty of both of these types of gardens, but with a particular Australian appeal. Jocelyn Van Hoven created Heaven in Earth with her husband Justin after realising it was hard to find good-quality gardening products that weren't mass-produced in China. Products are either sourced from Europe or hand made in Australia.

Which five words best describe you? Inquisitive, focused, giving, spirited, stubborn.
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? I worked in a bank after high school to fund my first overseas trip. Since then, it has been varied from a artist model, hospitality worker during a zoology degree to finding horticulture as a path which enabled me to use my love of science along with my creative side.
What’s your proudest achievement? That's hard to pin down; I am proud of my family and our decision to leave the city. But I would have to include my two business, my first of garden maintenance and design in Sydney and that of Heaven in Earth, which is a constant source of discovery and a delightful challenge, during which my two sons have been born.
What’s been your best decision? To marry my husband who shares my love of all things natural and to be brave enough to give things a go.
Who inspires you? Other mothers with their own business, my husband for his joy, and my parents for their inquisitive and open minded nature.
What are you passionate about? Original thinking.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? To love the detail in in life but don't dwell on the little things!!!
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Well I would rather watch the people of Astier de Villatte do their ceramics, observe Seraut do his pointilism, follow Ansel Adams through Yosemite, talk with Gabriel Garcia Marquez and talk with Karl Popper about the philosophy of science, spend time with my maternal grandmother and my stepfather's father and more time with my brothers who are both in different parts of the world.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? So many dreams... to travel with my family, to travel with just my husband again, to open a shop with it all (garden wares, vintage finds, plus bookshop and more), to expand my garden with drystone walls, reticulated streams, to compile a book of beauty, to draw again, be a freestyle stylist, oh my one could go on!
What are you reading? Zero by Charles Seife (a book on the origins and philosophy of the number 0).

Images courtesy of Heaven in Earth

Thursday, 18 June 2009

(book.inspiration) andiamo by kelly barber




Andiamo is one of the first words I learnt in Italian. It means, "let's go!". It's also a word I use every day - many times a day. It's something I say a lot to my little boy when we're leaving the house, getting out of the car, leaving day care. It's a precious but fun family favourite. And so I was so excited when I saw a book called Andiamo when I visited Ariel bookshop in Paddington not too long ago. Of course the book was about Italy - but it was about my favourite part of Italy - the Amalfi Coast. The photography was dreamy too. I had to have that book! And so I also featured it in the July issue of real living.

Which five words best describe you? Eclectic, Independent, Determined, Impatient, Creative.
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? Junior Art Director in Advertising. My own.
What’s your proudest achievement? Creating a successful business from one-off books.
What’s been your best decision? To cut my own path creatively.
Who inspires you? Real artists and filmmakers that change the way I look at something.
What are you passionate about? Photography, communication and connection.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? No risk, no return.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? P.T Anderson
What dream do you still want to fulfil? Love & family.
What are you reading? Beautiful Antonio, Vitaliano Brancati and Annie Liebovitz at Work.

Images courtesy of Kelly Barber and Hardie Grant Books

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

(design.inspiration) gillian corban







I don't know if this ever happens to you, but sometimes I have an "aha" moment with products. It's when the penny drops and I view something from a completely different perspective. This happened to me with Corban & Blair. I remember looking at their photo albums when I was getting married several years ago. I was so impressed with the quality of the product and I just thought that the name of the company had been made up to sound stately and authorial. It has that ring, don't you think. Well, when I started working on an interiors magazine and got to know more about the company, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that there was in fact a Corban and a Blair. And that these two women had worked as teachers before embarking on an altogether different yet fabulous journey. Oh, and if you get a chance, you should check out their recently opened first retail store in Petersham.

Which five words best describe you? Generous, focused,creative, supportive, curious.
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? A teacher and curriculum consultant in education and even though my jobs have all been different and now I am in business they have all bee about creativity and working with people's creative potential.
What’s your proudest achievement? Other than my 20 year old son - having built Corban & Blair over the past 21 years with my business partner Amanda Blair.
What’s been your best decision? To get advice on matters financial.
Who inspires you? People who see things for what they are - people who are not followers, an original thinker such as Brian Eno.
What are you passionate about? Making interesting things happen and understanding how humans are so interesting and complex.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? Finances do not work just by using intuition only - other parts of the brain are very necessary.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I just met him - Dr Norman Doidge - who has written a book about the plasticity of the brain - was out for the Sydney Writers' Festival.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? Walking some of the pilgrim walks in Europe.
What are you reading? Groundswell by Charlene Li and crime fiction.

Images courtesy of Corban & Blair

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

(design*sponge.guest blog) emma magenta

Here is the latest instalment from the design*sponge guest blog I did last year. The original post is here. And for more of the interview - which I couldn't squeeze onto the d*s site - go here.

Burst of inspiration: Emma Magenta
Illustrator; author






How did you develop the “Magenta” character? She evolved from drawing at the front desk at Berkelouw Books in Paddington for many years. I would stick my drawings to the wall behind the desk and also place one in the front window, which drove my boss quietly insane at first. I mostly worked the night shifts and when you work a casual job until midnight you can begin to connect with a very interesting place within yourself. Thankfully, I found this alter-ego character to have a conversation with and often she would inform me of confusing feelings about various things. I would never draw her until I experienced a certain feeling of excitement about what she had to say. And I would draw her with my left hand, so as not to be distracted by intellect and to let the pen just create the feeling of her. You could say she emerged as a response to finding hopeful solutions to a series of pressing issues that I felt were obstacles to joy.

What came first – the illustrations or the words? More often than not, the drawing would come first, however, there have been times when I have overheard something that’s VERY funny and it opens a door in my mind to create a drawing. When I write a book though, it is a little less spontaneous. I write a lot though, continuously in fact, and things emerge, reoccurring motifs of an idea that I realise I am trying to work out for myself, so the book becomes how I arrive at the solution for myself.

What’s the story behind the publication of the first book? That was an incredible and magical thing. Bradley Trevor-Grieve and Deborah Bibby walked into the shop one evening and purchased two of my drawings. Together they offered me a book deal through a publishing house they created together called Night Butterfly. Later my work was sold to Random House Australia and Andrews McMeel in the US. It was pretty much through the belief and support of these two people in my work that my book came to fruition, and I am forever thankful to them both.

Who inspires you? It is a strange list. Certain friends of mine who are extremely funny really have to take first place. My son Orlando and Arturo, Orlando’s father, inspire me every day. Then there are better known people like: Jane Goodall, David Attenborough, Lisa Gerrard, Louise Borgeouis, Frida Kahlo, Remedios Varo, Bjork, Andy Warhol, Shaun Gladwell, Bill Viola, the imagination of JKRowling, Sylvia Plath, Jeanette Winterson, JD Salinger, Rumi, Tove Jansson… so many… then there is some kid’s hand-made, hand-painted book about an unhappy cow who had a dream that I saw up in Jabiru Public Library in Kakadu National park… it changed my entire life.

What’s next? I have just completed illustrating a children’s book written by Toni Collette called Planet Yawn. It is due for release in October and that was a pretty exciting project. I am currently making my first animation. I was offered the opportunity by Hopscotch to write and draw an idea that I had been nurturing for a while about a character called Phillipa Finch. It is a very exciting project that is bringing together the talents of the boys from The People’s Republic of Animation, the music of Tony Dupe and the voice of Toni Collette.

Images courtesy of Emma Magenta

Monday, 15 June 2009

photographer natalie boog








It is always hard to pin down photographers to feature on Daily Imprint. While many of them are excited to be involved, getting a spare few minutes out of them to answer questions is always tricky. Photo shoot days are invariably looong. And whenever I've left one, I know that it's not over for the photographer. They've then got to do all the "tech stuff" which they usually call "digital processing". Anyway, after many long shoot days, Natalie Boog was able to find a few spare minutes. Hurray!


Which five words best describe you? Creative, visual, organic, culinary and adaptable.
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? McDonalds after school, taken a very different path since then.
What's your proudest achievement? Buying my house, with a lovely garden.
What's been your best decision? Choosing photography as my career.
Who inspires you? I draw inspiration from many different things, like the garden, friends/family, something off the street, sunsets.
What are you passionate about? I'm passionate about my photography but also about fresh fruit and vegetables.
What's the best lesson you've learnt? Everything can change in a day.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I would like to meet Frank Hurley, first photographer to Antarctica with Shackelton. His photos are amazing!
What dream do you still want to fulfil? I dream of having a photographic exhibition.
What are you reading? Love in the time of cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.


images courtesy of Natalie Boog

Friday, 12 June 2009

(styling.inspiration) sibella court







It's hard to know which of Sibella Court's achievements to talk about first. Not only has she worked as a successful stylist in New York (and, surely, if you've made it there, you've made it anywhere - as the song goes), but she's also opened perhaps Sydney's most beautiful shop in Paddington called The Society Inc (pictures, above). On top of that Sibella is one of the judges on Channel 9's homeMADE program. And she's working on a book. But perhaps the work that has made the greatest impression on me was Sibella's New York apartment, which was featured in Inside Out magazine a little while back. It was divine - and so is she!

Which five words best describe you? Pow (most of the time).
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? First styling job was assisting at 20 on a Sheridan sheets job, ironing for 12 hours a day. I loved it and never looked back. Was out styling in my own right within about a year which took me to New York.
What’s your proudest achievement? I'm not sure if I've had it yet but I suppose the last year I'm pretty proud of: Just finished a book on my style with Murdoch (due out this Christmas 2009), participating in HomeMADE Channel 9 prime-time reality design show as a
judge, Interiors Editor of 2008 launch magazine, Grazia, opening The Society inc. and working with Murobond designing 10-colour palettes 4 times a year.
What’s been your best decision? Moving back to Sydney after 10 years in New York.
Who inspires you? My Mum, my friends & family, artists, filmmakers, historians, explorers, people who think outside the box.
What are you passionate about? Art, film, paint, books, magazines, discovery, travel, beachcombing, beauty in the everyday.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? Don't sweat the small stuff. There is a solution to every problem. My job is superfun, enjoy everyday.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Oscar Wilde.
What dream do you still want to fulfill? So many dreams, constantly expanding & changing them. Life is dreams waiting to be fulfilled. I hope I never run out of them.
I suppose the next on my list is to design products.
What are you reading? Ulysses by James Joyce.

Images courtesy of Sibella Court and Inside Out

Thursday, 11 June 2009

photographer anna wolf







I have sung the praises of real living's deputy art director Renae Lovett before. She's just got knack for finding amazing photographers. That's how I came across the work of Anna Wolf. I thought you might enjoy it too.


Which five words best describe you? Caring, passionate, dedicated, hard working and a little neurotic!
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? First real job was working retail at Eddie Bauer in the Santa Monica mall... I folded the jean wall thousands of times. First photo job was shooting a quarter page portrait for Out Magazine! Have since moved on to some bigger projects... Just shot Target, MTV and Virgin Mobile!
What’s your proudest achievement? Living in Mexico City for a year and becoming fluent in Spanish.
What’s been your best decision? Moving to Mexico!
Who inspires you? Right now I love Cedric Bihr and Emma Hardy.
What are you passionate about? Photography pretty much consumes me. But my secondary obsession at the moment is looking at brownstones for sale in Brooklyn.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? Learning to reconcile the things I want with the things I can control.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? My grandmother Libby.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? To learn French.
What are you reading? The New Yorker.


images courtesy of Anna Wolf

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

(design*sponge.guest blog) kat macleod

Here is the latest instalment of the design*sponge guest blog I did last year. The original post is here.

Illustrators: putting art in motion

What are books, mags or blogs without images? And they can’t be just any old pic – no, they have to take you to another head space altogether. In recent years illustration has really crossed into new territory – inspiring while still, well, illustrating – telling a story. Two women whose work I love have quite a different style, but that perhaps is their crowning achievement – they are so distinct. Oh, and I’m desperately running short on space so pop onto my blog Daily Imprint for more…

Burst of inspiration: Kat Macleod Illustrator agency; Kat’s graphic design company





How did you become an illustrator? I was working at graphic design studio as part of a university placement program. My bosses knew I loved to draw, and they offered me a studio-based project to illustrate a collection of drawings, which they would then design and publish into a book. I chose birds and women as my subjects, and experimented with illustration, embroidery and collage. Bird was published in 2002. It’s a 200-page limited-edition, internationally distributed art book. It won several design and illustration awards.

What’s a “day in the life” of Kat Macleod like? I run a graphic design company - with Simone Elder and Chloe Quigley - called Ortolan, the name of a tiny French songbird. We work on lots of lovely projects, including fashion, beauty and publication. Chloe is half of Michi Girl so we do that from here, too. Most days my time is divided between illustration and graphic design work, although lately it’s been 100% illustration.

Where do you look to for inspiration? Our studio is an inspiring place to work, but if I need to go searching I go to the library and photocopy references - good covers, old patterns, kids book illustrations, interesting typography and anything else that catches my eye. There are so many strange and great colour combinations in old books.

Who inspires you? My amazing business partners Chloe and Sim, my friends & family, and an endless list of illustrators - my absolute favourites being: Julie Verheoven, Tina Berning, Rene Gruau, Aubrey Beardsley, Quentin Blake, Arthur Rackham and all the artists at Jacky Winter.

Which projects have you enjoyed working on most? Epic illustration projects such as my book Bird, and also The Cocktail, which was an illustrated cocktail recipe book. It’s great to become completely absorbed in big projects, and be able to spend months drawing and creating a collection of pieces. I also enjoy smaller projects, such as the illustrations I do for each issue of Vogue Entertaining + Travel, and Real Simple. Another favourite client is Third Drawer Down. I’ve done illustrations for an apron, handkerchief, and two new pieces coming out in March - a decal and a set of pillowcases.
Images courtesy of Kat Macleod
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