Monday, 24 October 2016


Australian artist Ross Laurie has been around the world - in the pursuit of art - but in the early 1990s he came full circle when he returned to his family farm in Walcha, NSW. It is from here that he paints the landscape of the property on a tract of land in the Northern Tablelands of NSW, between Tamworth and Armidale. While Ross paints, he also works on the sheep and cattle farm that has been in his family for a couple of generations. Ross studied at various art schools, starting off at the Sydney College of the Arts in 1982 and detouring at one point to St Matins School of Arts in London. He has had several solo shows in Sydney and Melbourne. His latest exhibition is on at King Street Gallery until November 5.

Which five words best describe you? I’m told I’m - Articulate, dedicated, impatient, interested, considered.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? Art school in Sydney 1979 because of an interest in art history. Studied in the UK looked at painting in Europe and America. Still painting, still looking.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Painting badly is just as important as painting well.
What’s your proudest career achievement? Still painting after 35 years and still excited to be in the studio.
What’s been your best decision? Marring my wife who saved me from myself.
Who inspires you? The whole history of Western painting and indigenous Australian painting.
What are you passionate about? Always the next show.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Sonny Rollins.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? I would like to be a good painter.
What are you reading? John Berger.

images courtesy of ross laurie and king street gallery

Tuesday, 18 October 2016


Once artist Kate Tucker stopped worrying about what others thought of her work, the response was immediate. “Other people saw something in it that spoke to them,” she says. The catalyst for the change in her mindset was becoming a mother six years ago. “After my son Jasper was born I started painting in a new, simpler way, which reflected the way my whole worldview had changed through becoming a mother,” she says.

However, it took a while for Kate to turn to painting. While she grew up in a home that encouraged creativity and tried various creative fields - from performing and music to multimedia design - nothing gelled until she went to art school. “I’ve always been interested in cross-disciplinary practice, so it came as a surprise to me that I found my way to painting,” Kate says. “But everything I’ve done before seems to make sense through the lens of painting, it gives all the creativity a focus.”

Kate was born and raised in Canberra before moving to Melbourne for university. She studied Multimedia Design at Swinburne University and worked in design until she did a graduate certificate in Visual Art at the Victorian College of the Arts followed by a Graduate Diploma in Visual Art. Kate held her first solo exhibition at c3 Contemporary Artspace in 2011, and became represented by Helen Gory Galerie and had her first exhibition with them in 2012. In the same year she was selected for the Archibald Prize for her portrait of Missy Higgins. Kate is exhibiting at Daine Singer in Melbourne until November 5 and will open a show at Galerie Pompom in Sydney on October 19.

Which five words best describe you? Better at describing with pictures!

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I always wanted to be an artist, but I didn’t go straight to art school. I was partly scared of failing at or ruining something I loved, and partly motivated by the need to earn a living. I also didn’t feel like I had much to say yet. I worked as a designer for years, and gained many skills that I’ve brought with me to art. But something never felt right. Eventually I realised that my reasons for not being an artist were unsound. So I went to art school, and immediately felt like I’d found my home. I fell pregnant with my son after two years of study. He helped me stop overthinking things; I found a joy in painting I never had before. I had my first solo when he was nine months old and it sold out. It felt amazing to realise that I loved painting and that maybe people were going to be interested in what I made.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Probably to say no, which takes a lot of confidence.

What’s your proudest career achievement? I find it hard to rank achievements, some things look amazing from the outside but actually don’t matter that much, other things don’t look like much but they change everything. I feel proud that I’ve been exhibiting for six years and had two kids and I’ve made something of every moment, and this is just the beginning.  

What’s been your best decision? At a certain point it felt necessary to shift the emphasis away from the final product and onto the process. You’ve got to try to find the right balance between the discipline required to develop a strong body of work and the spontaneity that keeps it interesting - for you, maybe also for the viewer. I had to consciously turn off the part of me that cared what other people thought. It wasn’t just liberating, it enabled me to clarify what I actually wanted to do, which made the work stronger.  

Who inspires you? My children. Also my husband, whose creativity is combined with a confidence and optimism that is a hugely beneficial influence on me. Also my whole family: I have struck it very lucky in that department. Also music, musicians, and too many visual artists to list. 

What are you passionate about? Nature, fairness, creativity.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Probably David Attenborough, because he’s been my hero since I was a kid and that’s a hard thing to shake. And I think he has really changed the world. 

What dream do you still want to fulfil? I really am living my dream. I have been very lucky and I would like to do a lot more for the planet and for others less fortunate in the future.

What are you reading? I am currently “not reading” either of the books on my bedside table, but they are Thinking through Painting; Reflexivity and Agency beyond the Canvas by Isabelle Graw, Daniel Birnbaum and Nikolaus Hirsch, and On the Road by Jack Kerouac. 

images courtesy of kate tucker and daine singer

Monday, 10 October 2016


While Inga Campbell studied graphic design and worked as an art director for leading Australian fashion magazines, she is becoming increasingly known for her illustration work. But it wasn’t until she made the decision to leave her role in publishing in Sydney and return to her hometown of Newcastle that she was able to explore new avenues through her business, Inkling Design. Most recently, she has embarked on a new adventure with her husband Mike Campbell and their four-year-old daughter, attempting to house and pet sit their way through North America for a year. “I just love travelling around, seeing this beautiful country, and feeding my creative passion all at once,” Inga says.

She was born and raised in Newcastle. “I had a fabulous childhood with very encouraging parents who constantly stimulated my creative brain with both travel and culture,” Inga says. She graduated from the University of Newcastle with a Bachelor of Design/Graphic Design. “From an early age I was constantly drawing,” Inga says. “I was also lucky that my father is an artist so I was encouraged and taken to many art galleries. I can remember as a kid being obsessed with the Brett Whiteley painting Summer At Carcoar and would always try to draw it myself. Drawing bought me happiness and still does.”

Which five words best describe you? Curious, minimal, creative, particular, caring.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? While I was at university I did work experience at Girlfriend magazine. I loved every minute of it and when it was finished I knew I wanted to work in magazines. I worked my way through the design ranks from a junior to photo editor, deputy art director, advertising art director and art director. I worked for magazines including Girlfriend, Dolly, Cosmopolitan, Grazia, and White. When I relocated to Newcastle with my husband to start a family, I started my own design company, Inkling Design. 

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? That less is more. It is not only the way I approach my design, but also the way I approach life.  

What’s your proudest career achievement? Having the guts to go out on my own and work for myself. It was a big leap and not always easy but something I am intensely proud of. It wasn’t a rash decision but something considered. I was working at building this while being in another role and then it just got to a point where I could no longer juggle both. That was the moment I knew I should be able to make it work. 

What’s been your best decision? Moving from Sydney to Newcastle. It was a difficult decision to make initially as my husband and I had great jobs that we both loved. I was Art Director of Grazia Magazine at the time and he was National Publicity Manager for Universal Music. But we just couldn’t afford to buy where we wanted to live in Sydney. Moving to Newcastle was the catalyst for me to start my design company, Inkling Design. I can’t imagine it any other way. Our mortgage was less than our monthly rent in Sydney and this freedom has allowed us to do so much more.

Who inspires you? Other female business owners, there is not a particular person but rather the many women who have taken the leap to do their own thing. I am a strong believer in women supporting women and not tearing each other down. I love nothing more than reading about other success stories and learning from their experiences. 

What are you passionate about? A balanced life. It is something that I have grown to really appreciate and I know I am at my best when my rhythm is balanced. I love my family, I love creating through my work, I love traveling, I love my friends and our home in Newcastle. There are so many beautiful and wonderful things I want in my life. And for me, 
it all comes down to finding that perfect balance. 

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Grace Coddington. I was in awe of her when I watched the documentary The September Issue. I then read her autobiography Grace: A Memoir and was even more impressed.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? My husband and I spent 12 month’s redesigning our life so we could embark on a family adventure for a year, attempting to house and pet sit our way through North America with our four-year-old daughter. At the time of writing this we are currently in Upstate New York. This year has been a dream for me, to be able to take my design company on the road and travel with my family. My future dream would be to take my studio on the road again, to travel to more places, for an extended period of time, and be immersed in the culture and community. Oh and more house drawings! 

What are you reading? A Walk In The Woods by Bill Bryson. I found it on the shelf of one of the houses I was staying in and loved it. The idea of going off grid and walking in nature really appeals to me so I loved reading this.

images courtesy of inga campbell

Tuesday, 4 October 2016


“My mother is an artist so I grew up in a household where working a creative profession was always a possibility,” says Sydney photographer Chris Walters. “Photography was never any less important than any other type of career so I was lucky to have been encouraged very early on.” By the age of 10 his mother, the artist Marilyn Walters, bought him his first camera, and after high school Chris studied Visual Arts at the University of Sydney. Since then he has worked for more than a decade as a commercial photographer for a range of advertising clients, including Mirvac, Nokia and the Mecure Hotel/Accor Group. “Photography is the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do,” he says. Over the past four years Chris has been working on a fine art photography project which culminated in the show Halcyon at Black Eye Gallery. He also runs a small media production company, Walters Media, with his business partner.

Which five words best describe you? Patient, ambitious, open-minded, calm and lucky!

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I was very fortunate to have people around me that believed in me and supported me to go out on my own. I began working in a camera store part-time while completing small photography jobs at the beginning of my career. I would take on any job I could to get experience. I also assisted a fantastic advertising photographer Penny Clay whenever I could as it was great exposure to large-scale shoots with precision style capturing and briefs. Here I picked up quite a lot of skills which really helped me progress in my own commercial work.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Always experiment. It is the best way to progress and hone your skills. With every job I do, I firstly complete the client brief as promptly and expertly as time allows, and then I try new things, experiment and think outside of the brief for a moment. I’m always surprised with what we create and so are my clients.

What’s your proudest career achievement? Probably my first solo show Halcyon at the Black Eye Gallery this year. It was great to finally see four and a half years of work culminate in a body of work that I am immensely proud.

What’s been your best decision? Convincing my wife to be my business partner. Since we joined forces the business and my career have moved forwards in leaps and bounds. Having that creative partnership with someone so close to me means that I get honest feedback. She is as critical, in a constructive way, as she is supportive which makes me a better photographer because I get to evaluate and deconstruct my work externally which pushes me to constantly grow and change.

Who inspires you? I take inspiration from everywhere, but musician Bon Iver (in particular, his second self-titled album), Nadav Kander, Claude Monet (especially his later more minimal works), Marilyn Walters (my mother, who is also an artist), and my friends who work in any kind of creative industry or are small business owners trying to carve their own way.

What are you passionate about? I’m passionate about art, travel and football (soccer, the one you use your feet for!). I’m crazy about football, just ask my wife. Creatively, I am constantly thinking about my next project and where in the world I need to go to create it or how I can convince someone else to go there and take me with them.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I would love to meet some of the early game-changing artists of the early 1900s such as Marcel Duchamp or Salvador Dali. The ones who sat around together and theorised about what art is, the age old question. Artists who were actually changing and challenging the way we see the world and constantly pushing the boundaries of what art is.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? To travel the world full-time making images or professional footballer. I’d be happy with either.

What are you reading? At the moment I’m reading The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. Love the way he analyses the world, his podcast Revisionist History is so clever.

images courtesy of chris walters

Monday, 26 September 2016


Travel has played an important role in the life of designer Laura Wortlock of Once Was Lost. She met her husband Andy in New York. Together they moved around through Malta before returning home to Australia, and setting up life in Hervey Bay, Queensland. However, they continue to have strong links with the rest of the world through the fair trade homewares collections they have created based on their work with artisans in Ethiopia. Since launching in 2013 Once Was Lost is now stocked in more than 100 stores around the world.

Laura grew up in a family with a father who was a full-time artist and a mother who was passionate about design. “I always had an appreciation for the handmade, thoughtful aesthetics and original craftsmanship,” she says. However, Laura felt there was a gap in the fair trade product market - for items that possessed a simple, understated style. “Once Was Lost was really born from a desire to merge these ideas and it's heartbeat has always been to blend age-old making techniques and craftsmanship with a more sophisticated, natural aesthetic,” she says.

Most recently Laura and Andy have opened a bricks-and-mortar store in Hervey Bay, Pocket. And they have plans to develop a range for little ones later this year.

Imprint House is proud to be a stockist of Once Was Lost. One and include one of their beautiful fair trade throws in our 20 Everyday Essentials collection.

Which five words best describe you? Enthusiastic, ambitious, authentic, optimistic, grateful.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I saw there was a growing trend toward Fairly Traded products which I loved conceptually, however, what I often found was products that whilst beautifully produced, lacked the more simple, understated style that I would be more likely to wear and use. Once Was Lost was really born from a desire to merge these ideas and it’s heartbeat has always been to blend age-old making techniques and craftsmanship with a more sophisticated, natural aesthetic. We wanted to create pieces that were ethically produced and celebrated the handmade process but were also authentic to the natural style that we love.  

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Be flexible and always say thank you. The greatest products we’ve created have sometimes been by accident and being able to be flexible with our plans and designs has helped us a long way. Also, we’ve found that simply being thankful for all the people who have helped nurture and support us through the journey of Once Was Lost has been essential to our growth.

What’s your proudest career achievement? There probably hasn’t been a defining moment as such, however, when we first received our samples from our artisans and saw the quality of craftsmanship, paired with the designs we loved, we knew we had created something that was really special. Being able to partner with the artisans that we do and to have the opportunity to share their craft with the world is a a real privilege and something we don't take for granted.

What’s been your best decision? Aside from choosing to work together - which we love - to actually travel to Ethiopia, drive out to our artisans homes to sit with them and watch them weaving our collections. This was life-changing for both of us and an experience that has enabled us to look at our business, our artisans and products in a whole new light.

Who inspires you? Those who overcome. Anyone who has the courage. determination and creativity to pursue their gifts and talents regardless of circumstance or the status quo.

What are you passionate about? Not taking life for granted. Living each day filled with love, gratitude, generosity and a genuine enthusiasm for being alive.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Right now, the greatest gift has just been meeting our little boy, James. We are completely besotted.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? Oh, we have so many, this is just the beginning. We are both passionate about encouraging and helping empower people to live their very best and we have some exciting new opportunities surrounding this planned for the future. We are also excited to be launching Once Was Lost into the UK, Switzerland, Japan and New Zealand, so to see the pieces housed all over the world is really exciting.
What are you reading? Currently, the book I have open is Oi, frog, which I was reading to James this morning, but to be honest, there’s been very little time for reading.

images courtesy of once was lost


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