Friday, 30 March 2012

shelf/life giveaway!

For many of my styling shoots this year I've stopped off at shelf/life in Sydney's Surry Hills. The shop, run by Jess Ibbett, has a great mix of gifts and homewares, all with an eye towards sustainability. It's also just a beautiful space to be in.

One brand that shelf/life stocks is Leif, a range of bodycare products made from Australian botanical extracts with pure botanical oils that are free from soap and a range of chemicals. Needless to say, the products are proudly Australian made.

shelf/life is offering one Daily Imprint reader the chance to win
1 x Leif duo kit, valued at $40

For your chance to win, visit the shelf/life website and leave a comment below, specifying which one of the three fragrance choices you would most like.

Note: the prize is only available to those with Australian postal addresses. One entry per person please. Comments have to be approved so there may be a slight delay in your comment appearing on the site.

A winner will be selected at random after comments close at midnight on Thursday 5 April. Don't forget to check back to see if you are the winner. The results of the draw will be posted on the Daily Imprint Facebook page. If the winner does not respond within two weeks of their name being announced, the prize will be redrawn.

images via shelf/life

Thursday, 29 March 2012

florist sarah ryhanen

Sarah Ryhanen, Eric Famisan and Jeremy Barbour

One of the go-to places in Brooklyn, New York, for flowers in Saipua. However, the name is actually derived from the Finnish word for "soap". Since 1999 Susan Ryhanen started not only making bars of it from olive oil but also cutting and wrapping it by hand. In 2006, after daughter Sarah and her partner Eric had joined the business, a shop was opened in Brooklyn, selling flowers too. The studio with a storefront, pictured above (via The Scout Mag and Mindy Best), was opened in 2009 based on a design by architect Jeremy Barbour of Tacklebox.

Which five words best describe you? Fearless, cranky, loyal, dramatic, excitable.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I started playing with flowers after receiving a very pretty and unusual bouquet of black dahlias from my partner Eric on my 25th birthday. I would visit this unusual shop and purchase things by the stem and place them around the apartment. It made our little apartment feel exquisite. I was working as a curator at the time at Exit Art and the director, Jeanette, let me create big arrangements for openings and events. She was very supportive of my new hobby and eventually it was the right time for me to leave Exit Art to pursue flowers and our business. Isn't it funny how life works?

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? I'm not sure I've learned any good lessons yet! I know the lessons, but learning them and adhering to them is so much different. As our business has grown it has become a lot more complicated, clients, employees, now a flower farm - but I think the most important lesson for me is to always remember the flowers. Every single arrangement needs to be perfect. There should never be any skimping, never any, "it's good enough". As things get bigger and more chaotic it makes me more obsessive about keeping the small orders absolutely exquisite. Otherwise, we loose sight of why we're working so hard.

What’s your proudest career achievement? Being able to employ and provide health insurance for our staff. I'm really proud that Saipua can make a living for four people - seven if you count part-timers. I owe them everything for their relentless commitment.

What’s been your best decision? Hard to pick one - always repeatedly the best decisions come from listening to Eric's (my boyfriend and business partner) sound advice. He keeps my impulsive, rash side in check.

Who inspires you? Ariella Chezar. Thierry Boutemy. All of the talented Brooklyn designers who constantly put out stunning work; they keep me on my toes, asthetically. I love healthy competition, it keeps us driven and inventive.

What are you passionate about? My work, cooking, coffee.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Kate Bush

What dream do you still want to fulfil? I want to have a field of bearded iris one day. And sheep; I want a small flock of Icelandic sheep, to make some cheese. I want to learn more about dance, and make my own dance troupe. That sounds like a 13-year-old dream, but it's true.

I really want to do a book but finding the time for that is hard lately. And a pack of dogs that follow me around and keep deer out of my flower beds.

What are you reading? Eliot Coleman's The New Organic Grower.

images courtesy of saipua and mindy best; via the scout mag

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

landscape designer anthony wyer

Anthony Wyer had been working as a structural landscaper when he came into contact with William Dangar, one of Australia's leading designers for all things outdoors. (You can read a DI interview with Will here.) The meeting, and years under Will's tutelage set Anthony on a path to create AWLD in 2002. Since then he has designed gardens in Australia and Asia. Anthony is a horticulturalist and licensed structural landscaper, and a member of the Australian Institute of Landscape Designers & Managers and the Australian Institute of Horticulture. Also, his home has been featured inside and on the (April 2011) cover of Australian House & Garden magazine. I recently interviewed him for another place that he designed, in Sydney's Paddington, for real living.

Which five words best describe you? Engaging, friendly, fun, creative and driven.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I became inspired while working with former employer and now close friend William Dangar. He opened up a world of creativity and design. My business was closely affiliated with William for many years but has recently drifted along it own path as AWLD became it own identity within the landscape design world.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Creativity, attention to detail and honesty; I have always believed that one should strive to evolve design and from a business perspective it should be conducted honestly.

What’s your proudest career achievement? I am particularly proud of the gardens that the AWLD team produces, but on a personal level I am honoured to be an ambassador for National Plant A Tree Day.

What’s been your best decision? Without a doubt, marrying my wife and having a family.

Who inspires you? Travel gives me so much inspiration, whenever I return from an interesting trip I am always full of new and creative ideas.

What are you passionate about? My work; I love turning an area into an aesthetically beautiful and useable space, it is so rewarding. I am also passionate about keeping fit and healthy: I am up a 5am every morning cycling, swimming and in the gym.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Richard BransonI admire his positive outlook on life and business.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? I would like to sail in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. There is a certain fear and endurance to the race that would be hugely satisfying.

What are you reading? Paths to Glory by Jeffrey Archer, which I am thoroughly enjoying.

images courtesy of anthony wyer

Friday, 23 March 2012

photographer haik kocharian

Haik Kocharian says art is in his DNA. He was born in Armenia to actor parents, and followed in their footsteps, studying at the Armenian Theatre Academy before moving to New York in 1994. Initially he worked as a photo journalist, before graduating from the Brooklyn College, with majors in photography and film. For almost a decade Haik has been working as a fine art photographer, and has held several exhibitions in New York. He also has been a finalist in the Smithsonian Magazine Annual Photo Competition. In a continuation of his theatre background, Haik has written and directed six short films, and is about to complete his second feature film Please be normal. He is exhibiting at the Robin Rice Gallery in New York until April 29.

Which five words best describe you? Free, internal, dreamer, seeker, me.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? To photography I was introduced by my uncle who bought me my first camera at the age of five. The rest, as they say, is history; I've been photographing since. I was born in a family of professional actors; my father is also a painter and theatre director. So art is in my DNA. Currently I work in fine art photography, film, as a writer/director and in music as a singer/songwriter. Aside from my solo exhibition at Robin Rice Gallery and my photography work, I am currently finishing my feature film Please Be Normal as a writer/director and have completed my new album "Children's Album" to be released in mid May of 2012.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Hmm. This is a tough one. There are many valuables lessons I have learned that have shaped me as an artist and an individual. The lesson for life is: Nothing in life is bigger than life itself. The lesson in work/art is: To win you must lose. The lesson in life's outlook is: A person in motion always stands a chance.

What’s your proudest career achievement? Every artistic achievement is a result of hard work and determination. Perhaps overcoming the doubt, the fear, the difficulty and pushing forward to achieve a full potential for your vision is what I am proud of most.

What’s been your best decision? To follow my calling, my passion, my dream.

Who inspires you? My mom, my darling love Natalie, and all who love and believe in me.

What are you passionate about? Life, Life, Life: it's a magical gift to be enjoyed every single moment.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Oh. The list is very, very long. Just to name a few. John Lennon, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Mark Rothko, Federico Fellini, Henri Cartier-Bresson. I would also like to meet President Obama.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? Achieve my maximum potential as a person and as an artist. Contribute to society in a lasting and meaningful way, enrich the lives of people I love and care about.

What are you reading? Currently I am reading a short novel by Werner Herzog Of walking in ice.

images courtesy of haik kocharian

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

designer mike durante

Lauren Boyce and Mike Durante of Basil Bangs

Given that Australia is (usually) the land of sun and surf it's a little surprising that it took as long as it did for a good-quality sun umbrella to appear on the market. However, it did and it came to us via Basil Bangs, a company founded by three friends who live in and around Bondi Beach. Mike Durante is the designer behind the triumvirate, which includes Lauren Boyce and Nicholas Chapman. The umbrellas are based on vintage designs, but the hinge mechanism is purely modern. The fabrics, which they design themselves, are marine grade and have even been given the thumbs up by Missoni, who agreed to collaborate with Basil Bangs.

Which five words best describe you? Love sand between my toes.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I studied industrial design at UNSW and did a year in Europe, studying in Milan and Stockholm. They were immersive inspirational experiences and opened me up to very different modes of design thinking – I recommend it for anyone studying design. After uni I held various roles but being a very passionate surfer, when a job came up at Surf Hardware to design FCS fins and Gorilla Grip I jumped at it! I’ve been there now for nine years and worked my way to my current role of design manager. I work with a great team of ruffians; it’s a great job. Basil Bangs started out of this love for the beach and beautifully designed functional products. It also happens to suit my lifestyle - I can stay out in the surf a bit longer because my wife’s protected under the brolly. So you could say that it’s a win-win!
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Don’t be afraid of hard work. I firmly believe that putting in the hard yards will pay off down the line. It’s all about patience rather than instant reward, which although nice, seldom happens that way. And that a bit of chutzpah and initiative goes a long way sometimes.
What’s your proudest career achievement? Seeing my first products, a range of backpacks, in production.
What’s been your best decision? To marry Hubes.
Who inspires you? After a bad day: President Bartlet. The rest of the time: my dad.
What are you passionate about? The beach, design, food (I’ve got Italian heritage so it’s inescapable), learning new things, my family and friends.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Chevy Chase.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? There are so many: taking Basil Bangs international, growing tomatoes in a backyard veggie patch with chooks, learning to bake sourdough, more exploring and adventuring overseas.
What are you reading? We always have lots of books on the go in our house and I have a bad habit of starting them and not finishing them. I love non-fiction, and have recently been getting into audio books & podcasts (loving This American Life) - they’re so good for my commute! Some books on the bedside table are Cradle to Cradle, Small Giants, and Glimmer. Inspiring reference books are also important to me, with Slim Aarons’ photography books and print and textiles references at the desk. My wife’s obsessed with jam making at the moment so we’ve got a few of those books lying around too. We really need a built-in bookshelf. There are just too many books in too many piles!

images courtesy of basil bangs; portrait concrete playground

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

artist dane lovett

Dane Lovett only graduated from his fine art degree in 2004 but he has already racked up a series of scholarships and shows. In 2008 he was the recipient of the Clayton Utz Travelling Scholarship. The following year Dane was a finalist in the Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize. His work has hung in several exhibitions, including at Chalk Horse in Sydney, and in 2010 he was the recipient of the 2010 RBS Emerging Artist Award. Last year he exhibited at fashion store Colette in Paris and completed a residency in Japan. On March 27 he will open his next exhibition at Sullivan+Strumpf in Sydney.

Which five words best describe you?
Hungry, indecisive, daydreaming tall man.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? My dad gave me my first paint brush and a tube of orange paint - which I ate. My family are rather arty and have always been very supportive. I started out studying design but fairly quickly shifted to painting. I got a lot out of moving to Melbourne a few years back to do some more study, I met some good people and my work really developed out of this.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? You can’t be good at everything. Some things you just have to accept mediocrity no matter how hard you try. Like playing music or being a handyman - I’m rubbish at both but I really appreciate that others can do them so well.
What’s your proudest career achievement? I felt pretty proud showing my work at Colette last year. It was my first time showing overseas and something I want to do a lot more of. They even had blue, smoking, vodka numbers at the opening. It was ace - I froze my throat.
What’s been your best decision? To let the dog sleep in the bed. She’s like a furry hot water bottle.
Who inspires you? My friends, my girlfriend, people that make cool stuff, people that can write well.
What are you passionate about? Well art is number one... I'm into it the same way I was obsessed with Playstation and BMX as a kid. Basically it's what I spend the most time reading about online and in magazines, and the first thing I do whenever I go somewhere new is to check out the galleries. Lately though I've been loving New Scientist magazine, I wouldn't say science is a passion of mine but more a vague non-specialist love.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? It’s a tough one but I think I’d like to have a chat to David Hockney; I like the way he works.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? There are plenty of dreams but right now I’d like to pack my bags and visit a few places. A trip to The Kimberly and a Scandinavian adventure are right up there on my list.
What are you reading? I’m listening to Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle in the studio. I just got the latest issue of Turps-Banana too (such a terrific painting mag).

images courtesy of dane lovett

Friday, 16 March 2012

dunlin lighting giveaway!

One of my favourite finds from this past year has been Dunlin Home. (Read Alexandra Bond's Daily Imprint interview here.) It is a company set up by two architects who lived and worked in New York for several years, and came back to Sydney intent on sharing their contact book filled as it is with great brands that previously haven't been available in Australia.

One example is BTC, an English company that makes lights out of its original Oxford factory. Dunlin Home have collaborated with them to create the Titan pendant lamp, which is based on an original 1940s British design and handmade.

Dunlin Home is offering one Daily Imprint reader the chance to win
1 x Original BTC Titan pendant lamp, valued at $498

For your chance to win, visit the Dunlin Home website and leave a comment below, specifying which of the four available colours for the Titan pendant lamp you would like to own.

Note: The prize can only be delivered to an Australian address as the lamp is wired and specifically approved to comply with the Australian National Electrical Code and regulations.

Also, one entry per person please. I have to approve comments so they may be a slight delay in your comment appearing on the site.

A winner will be selected at random after comments close at midnight on Thursday 22 March. Don't forget to check back to see if you are the winner. (If the winner does not respond within two weeks of their name being announced on Daily Imprint, the prize will be redrawn.)

Go to the Daily Imprint Facebook page to find out the winner.

images courtesy of dunlin home

Thursday, 15 March 2012

photographer hugh stewart

Hugh Stewart is a New Zealand-born photographer who has travelled the world with his trade. He has made a name for himself in the UK and US, and is now based in Australia. Some of the iconic images of our times have been created through his camera, such as the shot of Nicole Kidman for Chanel No. 5 with the necklace dangling down her back. Hugh is the man that Baz Luhrmann goes to for film stills and portraits that will grace movie posters and collateral. His images have featured in Vanity Fair, Vogue (British and Australian editions), Conde Nast Traveller, Elle Decoration and Martha Stewart. Advertising clients have included Ralph Lauren, J. Crew, David Jones and Country Road. Hugh has also just launched an online gallery of limited edition fine art prints. But perhaps best of all, Hugh is one of the few people left in the world who likes to speak his mind.

(I had the honour to work with Hugh when he brought some of my ideas to life with this shoot for real living magazine.)

Which five words best describe you? Pretends not to be difficult.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I did an old fashioned printing apprentice after I left school. I hated every moment of it so I went to London. I assisted some very fine photographers and was young and egotistical enough to think I could do this myself, not only do this but much better than you! This is why it’s so great being young because you absolutely can do anything you like. I grew up on a farm. I left school when I was 16. They only exam I passed was my license and yet I was so gung ho that when I found something I loved I just went and did it. If I tried that now at 50 I would be so analytical and concerned about failing and my lack of training I would not even try. I hate that about getting older and it’s a constant fight to not lose that youthful enthusiasm and energy. There is no reason to, but you start using some nagging part of your bloody brain that queries everything and really it just holds you back. Just do it, I say, but my shout is not as loud as it once was.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way?
That I’m not always right and should be open to the opinions and advice of others. And that you must always make the most of your opportunities. Sometimes things come up, and in my experience they don’t come up twice. I’ve never regretted asking someone if I can photograph them or stopping the car and photographing a landscape that’s flashed past. I have a long list in my head of missed opportunities that exists only because I didn’t ask, didn’t stop the car or thought I will get that another time. It never happens.

What’s your proudest career achievement? I don’t know, but I remember a defining moment. I had shot my first big story for British Vogue on the Baftas with Fiona Golfar. And I had to meet Alexandra Shulman, the editor, at the Wolseley to show her the proof sheets. I was so nervous I almost had a panic attack. I was shaking and had to tell her I had food poisoning so might have to leave at any minute. Lucky she is used to dealing with weird Englishmen so a nervous shaking New Zealander did not faze her. She loved the images and ran them over 20 pages. David Bailey called the art director and said, "Who the fuck is this Hugh Fucking Stewart and why the fuck did he get to do that fucking shoot. I’m not fucking dead you fucking know." In that issue I had a contributors page alongside Bailey and Snowdon. Snowdon was the first photographer I’d ever heard of.

What’s been your best decision? Putting a sign on our front door that reads: Is this visit really necessary?

Who inspires you? I’m inspired by people that quietly go about their business without attracting attention to themselves, without making a noise and without pushing some sort of ideology down your throat. I contributed to a book on the Wayside Chapel. I think if I were ever considering a religion I would head straight there. If there is anyone that deserves the title of Saint it’s Graham Long and the people that work with him.

It's like last time I saw Nick Cave and he was doing what he does and I looked around the audience of people my age and some had tears rolling down there cheeks because it was so brilliant seeing someone our age up there with more energy originality and vitality than some Arctic monkey. That’s inspiring

I was shooting some Irish singer once and I made her sing my favorite song of all time, "Danny Boy". It was haunting and beautiful and made you think how talented people are. This little girl whose name I cannot remember who could sing unaccompanied and make 10 people in a studio in South London choke. That’s inspiring too.

What are you passionate about? Firstly, my family. My patient wife, my eldest daughter Lily’s HSC mark and my noisy fighting out of control younger children. But I suppose in my own lazy halfhearted way its reading books, watching films and looking at paintings.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I've met some of them: Johnny Cash, Judi Dench, Clint Eastwood and Paul Newman were terrific. I loved meeting Alan Bennett and John Updike. Some people I’ve actually forgotten I’ve met then will look through old images and remember I photographed them.

I took Snowdon's portrait about a year ago and the deal was I had to take him out to lunch afterwards. I drove with him in a car past Buckingham Palace while he told me stories about “when I was married to Princess Margaret”. We then spent the best part of a day at Le Caprice while he drank seven double Bullshots! Half vodka and half beef stock and as many ports. As ”I” was paying the bill he was still ordering just one more port! He calls people fucking c..ts and tells amazing stories.

Bob Hawke told me this joke. How can you tell if your wife’s dead? The sex is still the same but the washing's piling up. (Ask Mark Mordue if that’s true or not!)

There are two people right here in Australia that I’ve met and worked with in a small way for over 20 years. Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin. These two are inspiring. They are dedicated passionate and totally committed. They take huge risks and have changed our cultural landscape. Look at Romeo and Juliet. To illustrate that language in that way was absolutely inspired, and I think they are doing it again with The Great Gatsby. I’ve just finished a series of portraits of the cast so had the chance to creep around the set and watch while I was waiting. They are living and breathing that film. I hope for and they deserve all the Oscars it should get.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? I would have loved to have photographed Lucian Freud. It's too late now but that really would have been a dream fulfilled. I want to get the book I’ve been working on for years finished, photograph the Queen, and go back to The Wayside Chapel and do something useful for them. I want to take the family to Paris and live there for a bit and buy another old motorbike and tool around on that.

I’m quite into taking still lifes of flowers at the moment and I still want to take Judi Dench up on her offer to go to her house and do her portrait properly. (Not in character.)

I also want to learn the three chords on a guitar that you supposedly need to play all the decent songs ever written and have a band with other past it people and play music. (This will never happen!) That reminds me, I’m going to see The Pogues in a month.

What are you reading? The answer to this always sounds like a big wank. Let's show everyone what a literary appetite I have and how interesting I must be to be devouring so and so. Therefore, I will tell the truth. I’m reading Boy by Roald Dahl because my brother-in-law just read it and said I should.

images courtesy of hugh stewart

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

shopkeeper sarah o'neil

"Pare down to the essence, but don't remove the poetry. Keep things clean and unencumbered, but don't sterilise." It's a quote from Leonard Koren, an artist, architect and author, and it can be found on the website of Small Spaces, a recently opened shop in the inner-city Sydney suburb of Redfern. The sentiment of the quote applies equally to the store as the actual goods found inside. Sarah O'Neil brought this philosophy to life after she decided to simplify her life. The result is Small Spaces.

Which five words best describe you? Warm, loyal, passionate, curious and (just occasionally) stubborn.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? Always had a passion and respect for design. Spent 16 years in fashion culminating in role as sales manager for Collette Dinnigan. The frenetic pace and disposability of fashion design led to a growing interest in the more lasting character of interior design and architecture. My mother had a company, Arkitex, which collaborated with some of the world's leading modern textile designers. She sold the business in 2004 and I've stayed in the industry since.

What's the best lesson you've learnt along the way? Oh, so many lessons: listen to my intuition, take risks, the value of gratitude, acceptance and resilience.

What's your proudest career achievement? Opening Small Spaces. Putting everything on the line to follow my intuition and do something that matters to me.

What's been your best decision? To buy a small apartment. I realised it meant I could live comfortably and have the financial freedom to follow my heart. I ended up having to design my own furniture to make it work after discovering no one was catering to this growing market and so, Small Spaces was born.

Who inspires you? Innovators. The Japanese. My family and friends. My mother's grace and resilience in the face of adversity

What are you passionate about? Small space living, wabi-sabi, nature, my family, Japan, good design in any manifestation, human rights, animal welfare... in no particular order.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Terence Conran, Stephen Fry, David Suzuki, Leonard Koren.

What dream do you still want to fulfill? To see Small Spaces grow to become a destination for good quality, considered design solutions for modern small space living. To enable others to enjoy the freedom and richness of this simpler, lighter way of life. Oh, and a barn of my own.

What are you reading? Blogs and The flower shop: charm, grace, beauty and tenderness in a commercial context by Leonard Koren.

images courtesy of small spaces and matt palmer


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