Friday, 28 October 2011
Thursday, 27 October 2011
Wednesday, 26 October 2011
I don't think I've been into a more well-organised home than when I visited the Queensland house of Julie Palmer a few months back. Not only that, but it was thoroughly well designed and perfectly groomed. I was even treated to a home-baked quiche. Julie and I had initially been in contact in relation to her design business olive & joy but when we got talking homes, I just had to see her place. Soon I was on a plane and shooting it with photographer Chris Warnes. It recently appeared in real living magazine.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I studied interior design at uni, but since then the path has wavered in many different directions. From renovating properties for our own boutique development company and building our own homes, to learning to screen print and starting my own business with olive & joy.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Everything takes longer than you think it will, but with a little patience and time, anything is possible.
What’s your proudest career achievement? I believe my proudest moments are yet to come – which is quite a lovely, exciting feeling.
What’s been your best decision? To marry my husband Andrew, hands down my favourite person on this planet.
Who inspires you? People who know where they are going in life inspire me immensely. Those not afraid to dream and then make it happen.
What are you passionate about? Ooh, hard one. I’m passionate about so many things – the handmade, screen printing, vintage furniture, interior styling, learning new things, texture, colour, and of course my family and friends.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? My great grandmother Olive, and my husband’s grandmother Joyce – olive & joy’s namesakes. I think they would be very proud of what we are creating here.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? Start a family of our own, and enjoy a margarita in Mexico (not at the same time!).
What are you reading? My attention span is far too small for a book right now, so lots of magazines and design blogs. In saying that, I recently enjoyed reading Pattern by Orla Kiely, I loved learning about her journey in pattern design.
Tuesday, 25 October 2011
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? After studying printmaking in Hobart I travelled a lot. But it was back in the motherland, during the poor years in Amsterdam, that printmaking equipment became a hassle. So I took up painting, starting on old ceiling boards. The initial years of painting were supported by a large variety of shit jobs on the side. Kept painting and painting.
What's the best lesson you've learnt along the way? Don't just talk about it, do it.
What's your proudest career achievement? Painting full-time.
What's been your best decision? Starting a relationship with the man I'm still with 16 years later. We make a good team and have two beautiful sons.
What are you passionate about? Good food.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Johann Sebastian Bach or Willie Nelson.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? To live long enough to see my children grow up into happy independent adults.
What are you reading? Carry Me Down by M.J. Hyland.
Friday, 21 October 2011
What was your first job/career and what path have you taken since? I have actually never been anything but a photographer; I've never held a job. So the only questions have been what kind of a photographer would I be, and in what city would I work. I moved to New York immediately out of school and I've never left. My career has been almost exclusively editorial, I barely do commercial work.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Not to over think things. I need to concern myself with the viewers first impressions by making pictures that feel a certain way as well as look a certain way.
What’s your proudest career achievement? My editorial career. I am so fortunate to work for such good magazines with such talented people.
What’s been your best decision? To be married and have a family.
Who inspires you? Ellsworth Kelly and Cy Twombly. William Eggleston. The writers Jim Harrison and Michael Timmins.
What are you passionate about? The way thing look. Really; I'm a bit of a maniac.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Crazy Horse.
What are you reading? Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.
Thursday, 20 October 2011
Which five words best describe you? Opinionated. Energetic. Ambiguous. Specific. Ambitious.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I began when I was quite young and started out working for an independent magazine called RUSSH. I worked in the fashion department and it was a fantastic place for me to be exposed to fashion both in Australia and internationally. I then decided to start my own brand almost five years ago and have been working towards perfecting it ever since.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? To work as hard as you can and always do the right thing.
What’s your proudest career achievement? Starting the E L L E R Y gazette. A bi-annual book-zine that I cannot wait to distribute worldwide in the coming year!
What’s been your best decision? To skip too much studying and jump straight into working on building a brand. The lessons I learnt along the way no college could teach.
Who inspires you? My mother and Amy Child, my assistant.
What are you passionate about? Art. Values. Visual stimulation. Helping people feel good through dressing.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Andy Warhol. I simply love reading his books. I think his take on life is so unique and I really relate to so much of his work.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? Having a showcase in Paris. I hope that it is not too far away!
Tuesday, 18 October 2011
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I got picked up by the Tim Olsen Gallery whilst at the National Art School. This allowed me to keep up the momentum and enthusiasm gained whilst studying, and just keep painting. I was lucky, because post art school can be hard for a lot of people. There's no real reason to keep painting, you get a job, etc, and life takes over. I was just lucky that this became my job.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? The thing with learning lessons is you forget them along the way. I've re-learned most of them two or three times already. I don't remember which was the best. Follow your instincts. Do what you know you have to do, but don't be in a rush, although I'm always in a rush. Try to remember the lessons you learnt.
What’s your proudest career achievement? I'd like to be cool and say something other than winning The Archibald, but basically that was it. I was way proud. My mum and dad were too. My grandma cried. It was a great time for me and my family. We were all very proud. But the pinnacle of proudness came when my mate was doing pub trivia and "Who won the 2009 Archbiald Prize?" was one of the questions. I was a pub trivia question!
Who inspires you? My friends and family. I tend to surround myself with people who inspire me. Mostly they are other painters (people who understand the obscure world I live in) or musicians. Enthusiastic people energise me. My family too. I'm very close to them. Every Saturday afternoon we all meet in my grandmother's house and hang out in my grandfather's work shed. We installed a commercial coffee machine in there and it's sort of like a cafe/workshop. We also roast coffee and are always fixing some old machine. It's a very energetic environment. Caffeine and grease.
What are you passionate about? Music, art, nature, coffee, collecting things, doing stuff, etc.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I really don't know; sometimes meeting your heroes can be dangerous. You might realise they're just humans, or maybe they're a dickhead or something, and that could be terrible. Like my friends and I agree: we never want to meet Bob Dylan; he's better off not being human, or a possible dickhead. I don't know. I'm happy with the people I know.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? My mate keeps saying when we are all drawing and painting together that "these are the good old days", and he's right. You could say we're living the dream right now. And I'm happy enough with that.
What are you reading? I just read a couple of Cormac McCarthy books. The road and No country for old men. He is a beautiful writer. The road is gut-wrenchingly bleak, but it's written so well I keep telling people how beautiful it is. It's about empty landscapes too, which is what I'm painting at the moment.
Friday, 14 October 2011
Natalie McComas is an up-and-coming Brisbane-based photographer who has been highly praised for her documentary work too. She was commissioned by the Museum of Sydney on behalf of the Historic Houses Trust to create a documentary called Tails of the city. Natalie has also been recognised in competitions such as the Moran Photographic Prize, The Leica/CCP Documentary Award and NOISE/Qantas Spirit of Youth Awards. Her photographic work has been published in the UK's Monocle magazine and Australia's delicious magazine. She's currently travelling around Europe documenting her journey via her blog.
Which five words best describe you? Quiet observer, perfectionist, water-baby.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? My grandfather gave me his old, all manual Pentax film camera in high school. I spent hours taking pictures, guessing all the settings and loved the magic of the darkroom and seeing how they all turned out. Since I shot those first few rolls of film I have always felt being a photographer was the right path for me to follow. I’m so glad I never questioned myself and whether I could do it, I just went about making it happen. I moved from country NSW to Brisbane to study photography straight after school and in hindsight it was a big move; going from the cruisy, beach lifestyle to the city. But my entire world opened up - I was a sponge for everything photography and couldn’t get enough of it. In 2005 I graduated from Griffith University with my Bachelor in Photography and First Class Honours in Social Documentary Photography. Straight out of uni I worked part time jobs and did freelance work on the side. For a while I worked full time as the in-house photographer for a local magazine but it got to the point where I couldn’t keep working for other people and freelancing at the same time. I went out on my own and everything flowed from there. One job has always led to another and I’m always looking forward to what comes next.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? There are a few good lessons I’ve learnt in the last couple of years: there's nothing to lose in trying - just have a go! One of my favourite quotes is: "What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?" - (Robert Schuller). The biggest lesson has been to balance my love of photography with everything else in life. I love photographing so much, it’s never felt like work – and therefore I have the tendency to take too much on!
What’s your proudest career achievement? That the majority of my work is from word of mouth.
What’s been your best decision? To follow my heart.
Who inspires you? There are so many people I draw inspiration from. Photographers: Mikkel Vang, Sara Remington, Derek Henderson, Dean Sewell, James Mollison, Jodi Bieber, Rineke Dijkstra, Narelle Autio, stylist Sibella Court, author Tim Winton and philosopher/writer Michael Leunig.
What are you passionate about? Documentary photography and films; seeing the way other people live and learning about them; the ocean, surfing, swimming, volunteer work, yoga, learning, growing, traveling, finding vintage treasures.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Hmm, it would be great to meet any of the above photographers who inspire me, but I am a bit of a David Attenborough fan. He would be so fascinating to talk to.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? To travel and see as much as I can.
images courtesy of natalie mccomas
Wednesday, 12 October 2011
I got a surprise when I opened the latest issue of real living magazine. It included a shot from a shoot that I did earlier in the year. The idea was to use a lamp shade as the base for a coffee table and top it with a piece of painted MDF, cut to size. The project is in the October 2011 issue.
Tuesday, 11 October 2011
Which five words best describe you? Passionate, creative, curious, dreamer and traveller.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I began my career as a graphic designer working for a small film company in Brisbane. After working for the company for 2 years I booked a ticket and went to London to work. In London I worked for a small design studio, I learnt so much about typography and being ordered in my work practise. I was so untidy when I arrived, when I left every pencil was sharpened, no scraps of paper were left under my desk. My dream was to work on magazines, I loved photography and type. In time an opportunity came up to work on a fashion magazine and from there I went on to work for Australian Vogue, British Vogue, Elle Decoration UK and World of Interiors. I worked in London freelancing for lots of magazines and also small design studios. I enjoyed directing photo shoots and designing concepts for brochures, catalogues and magazines. Travelled to Italy as much as I could as it was so inspiring to be there. I took photos, sketched and painted. Often bringing material back to London to work on larger canvases. When possible I would be in my studio in Clapham working away, in this environment the pencils became blunt and paper filled the floors...
In time I moved to Palermo, Sicily and set myself up there, spending months painting and then flying back to London to do a contract for a few months. I moved to Australia almost 15 months ago and have been freelancing here as an art director. My art making has changed a little as I now use collage in my paintings and I have created some illustration work for more commercial projects. This practise of cutting up magazine images or book pages has been something I have actually done all of my career. So it seems natural that it has come back to me. Only now with more focus and I feel it has a voice in my paintings. Currently I am building a body of work and will have a pop up show asap.
What is the best lesson you have learnt along the way? To follow your heart. I feel it is important to do what you love. Even if you are only able to dip into your passion from time to time it is worth the experience. For many years I resisted painting/fine art, I had always been curious about making marks on canvas. It wasn't until I had a chance meeting with a New Zealand artist Louise Henderson almost 15 years ago now, that something within me wanted to start painting. I recall her saying to us all - painting gets into you blood and it eats you. My time in Italy taught me to appreciate the simple things in everyday life. To take time out to share food and celebrate being together. Sicily taught me patience, just when you think something will happen... oh, domani signora.... allora! Somehow it always worked out.
What is your proudest career achievement? Letting go of expectations! Being able to see the bigger picture when dealing with very challenging individuals.
What has been your best decision? To travel - I am so grateful for the opportunities I have had to travel personally and with work. I treasure those special meetings when you meet strangers and you share stories. I was in Rome in via Margutta having a coffee in a small bar, in walked Fellini's costume designer who dressed Anita Ekberg in La Dolce Vita, he told me all these stories about Fellini and of course that famous scene at the fountain. Minutes later I met an artist with his dog and I was invited for super at his house... I still wish to continue travelling although it is time for me to have a home here, and maybe another elsewhere for pleasure.
Who inspires you? My friends and family; their support has been amazing. I am so lucky to have such beautiful people in my life.
What are you passionate about? 1. Art - I adore making it and also visiting galleries to see exhibitions. 2. Food - I love fresh food and cooking for friends. My neighbours in Palermo always had an open door and a place at their table for me. Eating was a ritual and so pleasurable... I know that there is a place at the table for me and it is wonderful to know we will share food and many stories on my return. 3. Music/concerts/opera - I love the ceremony and the joy to the senses. 4. Laughter.
Which person living or dead, would you most like to meet? Gandhi
What dream do you still want to fill? Two homes, one in Sydney and the other in Italy. To exhibit nationally and internationally and set up a charity.
What are you reading? Street fight in Naples by Peter Robb.
images courtesy of monique lovering
Friday, 7 October 2011
One of the most successful UK textile and wallpaper designers of recent times is Neisha Crosland. She studied graphic design at Camberwell School of Art and completed postgraduate studies at the Royal College of Art, where he degree show led to an invitation from Osborne & Little to create a collection for them. In 1994 she launched her own label and has produced many ranges of fabric and wallpaper but also rugs and ceramics. Neisha's work has also been collected by the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
Which five words best describe you? I really do not know.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I specialised in printed textiles at The Royal College of Art, and Osborne and Little commissioned a collection from my degree show. I then freelanced and sold designs painted up on paper to fashion houses and fabric houses. I became increasingly frustrated with not getting the designs to look like I wanted them to, by not finishing the process on to cloth, so I started my own line of scarves. I am now doing a variety of products with pattern on everything from wallpapers and fabrics to stationery and rugs.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Try to go one step at a time but keep stepping!
What’s your proudest career achievement? The goal posts keep moving, but I suppose the first time I saw one of my scarves worn by a woman in Sainsbury’s supermarket. It was in 1996 and my first collection - I remember following her around the dairy aisle like a groupie.
What’s been your best decision? To have children, to move my studio next to my home, and to book holidays well in advance so you have plenty of time to enjoy looking forward to them.
What are you passionate about? After my family, work, after that food, wine, paintings, the sea and the mountains.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Matisse.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? Cook really well with great aplomb rather than flap and stress.
What are you reading? The World of Yesterday by Stefan Zweig.
images courtesy of neisha crosland
Thursday, 6 October 2011
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? My family members are all artists in some form or another, but being ever rebellious, I took on bookkeeping, a safe and reliable career in NY for 3 years. After September 11 I realised how much I missed the ease of Australia – parks, beaches, good coffee and, of course, my family. Not sure how I could combine my love of food, creativity and (believe it or not) structure and routine, I spent some time working in my uncle’s shop The Chefs’ Warehouse.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? To really stay alert creatively. You never know when something will inspire you and to stay true to that vision and in the end the harder something is to achieve, the more worthwhile and satisfying it is likely to be. Oh, and there is no such thing as too much bubble wrap.
What’s your proudest career achievement? To date that would be styling the welcome to Sydney Oprah party with Donna Hay as creative director for the event. It was an experience I will never forget and an opportunity rarely available (who wants to say never!?). It was 24/7 fingers on the dial type work: emails and phone calls taken at 2am when ideas would come to mind. I loved every minute of it, as I was able to work along side Sydney’s most significant and respected companies and brands to create an event that would essentially be part of one of the biggest Australian tourism campaign’s in the USA. I met some amazing people on this job who helped change, support and inspire the direction of my career.
What’s been your best decision? The most recent, best decision I made was to embark on a freelance stylist career. I’m in month two and it has already been so rewarding and empowering. People may not realise, it requires lots of determination and confidence to get out there amongst it alone in this world whatever you do. I’m really proud to be doing it.
Who inspires you? Wow, so many people. For their souls: my Dad and my partner Andrew and my son. For their creative approach and vision: Steve Pearce. Sibella Court. Donna Hay. Glen Proebstel. Sue Fairlie-Cunningham. Saskia Havekes. David Starck. Deb McLean. The Remodelista team. Lynda Gardener. Gaye Chapman. For their rebellious and voracious approach to life: my mum and Charlotte Weight.
What are you passionate about? Tones, texture, movement, light; all of these things in a still image can take my breath away. Taste and smell would have to be my top two senses. Taste is my indulgent one, but scent is completely magical for me. It’ll stop me in my tracks and take me back and even forward in time. Family; I am fortunate to have one that I love to spend a lot of time with – they really make me laugh and feel full. I also feel that respect in all forms is key to a better career and can transform all aspects of our lives. It’s a very underrated trait that was such a huge part of societies history, but somehow now, not so much.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Currently Tim Walker. I say currently because I still have the chance.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? My career goals and dreams will be ever changing. But I have always wanted to buy a space, rip its interior out and create the perfect home. A place that has outdoor areas inside, inside areas outside, light from the sides and above, smooth hard floors, levels that aren’t always directly above/below one another. A place that has little areas that you can drift between through day and night. One day, I will be surrounded by rubble and dust with a sledgehammer in hand and it will be so exciting.
What are you reading? Dad, my brother and I swap crime books – I enjoy absent-mindedly following their path. I am constantly reading the gutter or on-page credits in any design/interiors mag: InsideOut, Belle, (Inside), CASA Vogue (any issue will do!).