Thursday, 26 April 2012

designers sarah gibson & nicholas karlovasitis

Sarah Gibson and Nicholas Karlovasitis are industrial designers who met at the University of Technology in Sydney. Back then a seed was sown to create a design company that focussed on Australian creations. In 2006 they formed DesignByThem. Not only does it showcase their work, but that of other Australian designers too, including Tommy Cehak and Stefan Lie. Their wares are stocked at a range of stores across the country, including Top3 by Design.

Which five words best describe you?
Sarah: Passionate, ball-breaker, determined, creative, dreamer
Nick: Creative, resourceful, caffeinated, determined, perfectionist.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since?
Sarah: My first job was working for a commercial furniture company - this was for six months before deciding to quit and start DesignByThem with Nick. We had discussed the idea at uni, of starting a business that supported Australian designers. Five years later we are doing exactly that.
Nick: I always wanted to be an industrial designer ever since I was in year 7. I think I loved the idea of making things and robots. That led me to UTS where I met Sarah and to a part-time/full-time role in a consultancy which I left to teach at university and eventually start DesignByThem with Sarah.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way?
Sarah: Starting things is easy, finishing things is much harder, but is the most important thing.
Nick: Be prepared to be challenged and to fail. Accept criticism and always seek to learn.

What’s your proudest career achievement?
Sarah/Nick: Seeing our one of our products in the Opera House, we collaborated with Stefan Lie to relaunch his Ribs Bench. We hope to have more things like this happen in the future.

What’s been your best decision?
Sarah/Nick: Hiring a business manager. It's great to have a third wheel to guide us with business decisions and planning. Also to partner up to form DesignByThem

Who inspires you?
Sarah: The Bouroullec brothers, Patricia Urquiola, Dion Lee
Nick: George Nelson, the Bouroullec brothers, artisans and craftspeople who make handmade objects.

What are you passionate about?
Sarah: Food, the beach, sustainability, nice houses (kind of predictable hey? haha!)
Nick: Food, design, business, technology, sustainability and the handmade.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet?
Sarah: Obama
Nick: That's really tough... So many. Steve Jobs
What dream do you still want to fulfil?
Sarah/Nick: To become an internationally recognised brand for Australian design and become a net exporter of Australian design.

What are you reading?
Sarah: A fraction of the whole by Steve Toltz
Nick: I am addicted to the world, design, technology and business news. I read it for at least a couple of hours everyday.

images courtesy of designbythem

textile designer zoe wall

Zoe Wall is a textile designer who is based in Byron Bay on the northern coast of NSW. She has learnt her craft through her mother, and continues to cite Shyama as a mentor and inspiration. Zoe uses organic silks and Australian wools in her designs and works with them utilising ancient techniques. Twice a year she releases a range of scarves, shawls and wraps. The most recent is "A place on Earth, with you".

Which five words best describe you? Happy, creative, quirky, relaxed, gentle.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? It now seems all things led toward what I now do every day, which is to create scarves. I learnt the skill from my mother.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? That there are always so many new lessons to learn.
What’s your proudest career achievement? I feel very proud that women from around the world wear something I have designed and made with my own hands.
What’s been your best decision? To follow my heart.
Who inspires you? My mother.
What are you passionate about? Books, truffles, cheese, the beach, soft snow, shopping in boutiques so beautiful they give me sweaty palms, the occasional gallery, always the ballet, faraway places and, of course, long lengths of beautiful fabric commonly known as scarves.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Coco Chanel and the Dalai Lama
What dream do you still want to fulfil? Too many to even begin.
What are you reading? Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

images courtesy of zoe wall

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

photographer tim pascoe

Before Tim Pascoe became a photographer, he studied dramatic arts. It turns out that it provided him with a unique way to create images. He uses the viewfinder in his camera like a proscenium arch, and within it tells stories. This approach has seen Tim win a swag of awards with the Australian Institute of Professional Photographers, including Master of Photography. (Previous wins have included 4 gold, 12 silver with distinction and 28 silver.) More recently Tim has collaborated with Penny Farthing Design House to create a series of prints, some of which are pictured above. You can find the rest here.

Which five words best describe you? Fun, patient, loyal, joker, dreamer... hmm, maybe dreamer should be first.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I fell into photography over a drink one night with a friend of my wife's family. He had been running a photography business for a few years, and I had just quit my job. I boldly asked him if he had any photography jobs available? (Thought, why not, give it a go.) His reply was, "What are you like with a camera?"? To which my reply was: "I don't know." Strangely, and to my surprise, three months later he called me and asked if I would do some video work for him and through that I then fell into doing stills. Never having a photography lesson in my life, I picked up a camera and it was like I had finally found something that made total sense. I had studied dramatic arts for a while, and loved theatre, but when I picked up the camera and looked through it, it was like I was sitting in my own theatre and I had the ability to create the story and vision. I just loved it. At the very start of my photography career I was named "AIPP Self Commissioned Photographer of the Year" and also "NSW Professional Photographer of the Year - runner up". Three months later I had my first solo exhibition. This, and the awards, gave me confidence to start my own business, and I haven't looked back.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? To commit to what I was doing. It was a pivotal moment in my career. Being a bit of a dreamer, this could have, and still can, bring me unstuck. As soon as I told myself that photography was my life career, and to handle everything that throws at it, the ball really started rolling.
What’s your proudest career achievement? Supporting my family and the 10 years of working for myself. I never thought I would ever work for myself, and although you're always walking in faith, and it can be a bit of a roller coaster ride, it is a lot of fun.
What’s been your best decision? To strive for the best in my images, have passion to look for something better, influence my clients, focussing on quality in my business. When my clients to say to me: "This image gives me goose bumps, how did you capture that?" I have achieved this. These decisions have got me where I am today.
Who inspires you? I am blessed enough to have amazing people around me from all different walks, careers and businesses. Definitely my family, friends and my amazing close friend and mentor. They all keep me in check.
What are you passionate about? My wife and two beautiful children (with number three on the way - very excited!). If I could, I would be more than happy to hang out with them all the time! It's so amazing to watch them grow.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I know it's a big call, but I would have to say Jesus. Whether you believe he existed or not, his influence over the world, still 2000 years later, has impacted more lives than anyone else that has existed.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? Where do I start! I am forever thinking of dreams I would love to fulfil. I have all these photographic ideas just stuck in my head waiting to be expressed. I feel that I am always quite time poor, so I put them in the "to be done" folder in my brain. One that stands out though is I would love to have to opportunity to do some cinema-photography, I just love it! I am always seeing these amazing moments that I would love to capture. It's another wonderful medium I would love to try.
What are you reading? I am the most hopeless reader in the world. I am normally reading several books at one time. Terrible, I know, but I never can commit to just one.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

architects ville hara & anu puustinen

Finland may only be a country of 5.4 million people, but it produces some amazing architecture and design. Even withstanding its size and population. Take this garden shed by Avanto Architects for Kekkilä Garden. It was co-designed with Linda Bergroth, and the model you see pictured above is one she adapted for her summer house. The duo who founded Avanto are Ville Hara and Anu Puustinen. Among their award-winning projects are some churches and chapels like you've never seen before.

Which five words best describe you? Young, sensitive, responsible, innovative, ambitious.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? Avanto Architects was established in 2004 after Ville Hara and Anu Puustinen won an open competition for the design of the St Lawrence cemetery chapel. Since then the office has successfully participated in a wide range of competitions in Finland and abroad, winning second prize in the Tsunami Memorial International Design Competition in Khao Lak, Thailand in 2006, for instance. The work of Avanto Architects is featured extensively in leading architecture magazines in Finland and overseas and has been displayed in several exhibitions. The most noteworthy accolades of the office include a Bryggman Prize for young architects and interior designers and two separate nominations for the Mies van der Rohe Prize.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? You cannot please everybody if you try to achieve something new in architecture.

What’s your proudest career achievement? Bringing projects successfully to the end. Like chapel where it took eight years.

What’s been your best decision? Start your own office.

Who inspires you? Everything we have around from nature to city life.

What are you passionate about? Sauna and avanto swimming!

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Michel Foucault

What dream do you still want to fulfil? Live a life in peace and harmony with other people and nature.

What are you reading? Mostly professional books.

images courtesy of avanto architects and arsi ikaheimonen via yellowtrace

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

elk accessories giveaway!

One of the first brands that I got excited about when I started working in magazines was Elk Accessories. They were - and essentially still are (although on a larger scale) - two designers based in Melbourne who create affordable yet stylish fashion accessories. At every trade show Marnie and Adam always have one of the most impressive stands. Everything they do is thorough and thoughtful. (Read one of the first Daily Imprint interviews with Marnie here.)

Elk Accessories is giving one lucky Daily Imprint reader the chance to win

1 x leather Cappel Satchel, valued at $189.

For your chance to win, visit the Elk Accessories website and leave a comment below, specifying which colour you would like. Note that Marnie has reserved colours for this competition. Also, 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 Tuesday 24 April. Don't forget to check back to see if you are the winner. The results 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 courtesy of elk accessories

Monday, 16 April 2012

artist mami yamanaka

It is just over a year since an earthquake and tsunami hit north-east Japan, obliterating the landscape and causing widespread destruction. While Japanese artist Mami Yamanaka has been living in Melbourne for more than a decade, the disaster has affected her work. "After the initial shock, my internal life went back to normal, but subconsciously it created a large shift within my psyche," Mami says. "My works for this show express my own contemplations - they are meditations towards my own internal landscape and the patterns that I see within." Her latest exhibition "Silent Yesterday" will run from April 17 at the Flinders Lane Gallery in Melbourne.

Which five words best describe you? Unique, quiet, loyal, complicated, dedicated.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I was a writer and editor in Japan. After migrating to Australia, I realised I couldn’t work in that profession here, so I decided to follow my other passion seriously. I applied for a fine art course in a university in my 30s. I stayed in the uni to take an honours year and a masters course. I developed one large installation work for the master course and the segment of installation won an award. The director of the gallery that currently represents me saw the work and approached me. I have developed my work since by exhibiting mainly through the gallery and other venues.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? I need a lot of time to do unorganised, unproductive activities away from my art practice in order for me to naturally form what I want to create. I feel sometimes wasting my time, but those times are actually very important for my art practice. I am observing and contemplating a lot in the process. Once it’s set inside, my working process is usually very intense and fast. The process and the outcome is the most important aspect of my art practice.

What’s your proudest career achievement? When my teenage son said he loves my work the most.

What’s been your best decision? To become a mother.

Who inspires you? People around me who are dedicating their lives to create amazing art works and being sincere in what they create.

What are you passionate about? Try to find a beauty (in my own terms) in every situation or environment, even from ugly ones. Try to be honest.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I have tons of artists, writers, musicians, film makers, scientists, philosophers who I respect and admire, but I can’t think anyone particular that I want to meet in person at the moment. I would like to meet ordinary people with amazing life stories.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? To create better work than before - each time. (So my dream continues.)

What are you reading? The emperor of scent by Chandler Barr

images courtesy of mami yamanaka and flinders lane gallery

Friday, 13 April 2012

a space of my own by caroline clifton-mogg

Who doesn't want a space of their own? (Even if you don't have much to spare.) That's the premise behind the latest book by UK journalist and author Caroline Clifton-Mogg. She provides ideas and inspiration, as well as plenty of case studies, on how to create a space where you can be creative. The title is distributed in Australia through Hardie Grant.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken
 since? I worked in magazines both at Conde Nast and Hearst for many years, always on the design side, and after some time decided that it would be much more fun, and more stimulating to go freelance and try and write books about the subjects that interested me.

What's the best lesson you've learnt along the way? Professionally? Always deliver on time – if not before! And that self-deprecation is better than hubris. Personally – a variation of the above – if you say you’re going to do something for someone, do it. If you don’t think you can or will, don’t say it.

What's your proudest career achievement? Actually getting a book or two published and occasionally seeing them on a table in a book shop.

What's been your best decision? To strike out on my own.

Who inspires you? Anyone who has managed to rise above the idea that they can’t do it, and then goes out and actually does do it.

What are you passionate about? The usual – being with people I like, preferably eating and drinking with them. Reading books, cooking, and going to the cinema and opera.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Charles Dickens, although I think he would probably be too busy talking about himself to take much notice of me!

What are you reading?
 Life and fate by Vasily Grossman.


How did you arrive at the concept for the book? I had just re-arranged my own apartment to create a small room in which I could write and keep all my reference and work-related books around me. It was a revelation! It would not be an exaggeration to say that my whole work life changed the minute I plugged in my laptop onto the work counter and put the last book in its place in the new shelves.

What was involved with the creation process? Working with Ryland Peters and Small is a pretty seamless process. We had creative meetings to discuss what a reader might want from such a book; picture meetings to try and find images that would be useful and helpful, on every level; and editorial meetings to discuss what help one could actually give, beyond the bland and obvious, in terms of inspiring, practical and above all, personal advice.

How long did it take to come together - from concept to first copy? About six months.

How did you envisage the look of the book? I knew that it should look clean and contemporary with ideas on many different levels.

What was unexpected about the whole process? Generally, the enthusiasm that greeted every stage of the book – both at the work place and amongst my friends - which made me realise that having a space of your own is actually a deep-felt need in many people – particularly women who work from home.

images courtesy of caroline clifton-mogg and via hardie grant

Thursday, 12 April 2012

designer karishma kasabia

Melbourne-based Karishma Kasabia says she was "your typical Indian" at high school. She studied all three sciences and a bit of history. "No fine arts till I took a risk in the last year of high school," she says. That decision has set her off onto an altogether different and creative path. After studying a Bachelor of Art and Design in Auckland, and completing her Masters at Monash University in Melbourne, Karishma freelanced for a couple of years and then set up her own design studio. Two years later, after a trip to Mexico, where she was inspired by the art of Frida Kahlo, and the local culture, she has launched a range of scarves handmade in India - Kish & Evie. Both projects have been done side by side with her husband Vivek "Evie" Dugar. He makes all of Karishma's designs come to life for Kish & Evie, thanks in part to his textile connections in India, where he was born. The silk/wool fabrics are made in Ludhiana in Punjab, and the embroidery is done by hand in Kolktata, a region known for that style of work. The launch range is called "Take me back to Mexico".

Which five words best describe you? Kooky, honest, smiley, sensitive, hungry.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? Doodling in physics. Bachelor and Masters in art and design. Quitting a full-time job within a month and having a mortgage. Going from freelancing design to running a studio in two years. Getting burnt out with business responsibilities and using that to create a scarf range. (Somehow marriage, in-laws, a few trips to India, and a big one to Mexico, happened in between!)
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Watch the numbers. Trust your own judgement - cause you're the reason why you got to here in the first place.
What’s your proudest career achievement? A tear in my father's eye when I told him we sold a scarf to someone in Brooklyn, NY.
What’s been your best decision? 1. Marrying Evie. 2. Being defiant (this is an ongoing, reoccurring decision).
Who inspires you? Frida Kahlo was hugely inspiring for the range. She was so real, flawed and vibrant. I'm also inspired by my peers; Ms Critique, Lucy Feagins and Tess McCabe, and great women with a saucy tale to tell. I don't believe in perfection, it's a huge turnoff. Clothing: Charlotte Taylor and Bibhu Mohapatra.
What are you passionate about? Raspberries and chocolate ganache get me in bed. Sometimes the violet ice-cream from Cutler & Co can actually make me sleepwalk. Pinterest is my latest obsession. I thought it would wear off. It hasn't. Beautiful things that serve great purpose.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? My dream would be to be friends with (because meeting them wouldn't suffice and choosing one is much too hard) the creatives behind Maricor Maricar - I adore their work - and the brain behind Osho.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? I'm really putting myself out there with this one, but I want to be on the cover of Times (or some super highly reputed mag) for being in The Design Top 100 list. That and adopting eight children, seeing my pieces on a runway, travelling to Japan, having a second home in Mumbai and being loved (on a regular basis). No high expectations of life at all.
What are you reading? Conversations with creative women by Tess McCabe.

images courtesy of kish & evie; portrait via creative women's circle

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

photographer michael graydon

During a family holiday in British Columbia in Canada, Michael Graydon was passed a Pentax Spotmatic by his father. He was 16 at the time and has been taking photographs ever since. Initially he went to live in London to assist other photographers before returning to Canada. He is now based in Toronto, and often collaborates with his girlfriend Nikole Herriott, who I interviewed in 2008 here.

Which five words best describe you? Kind, loyal, particular, passionate and patient.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? My father passed down his Pentax Spotmatic when I was a teenager and I haven’t stopped taking pictures since.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? To trust my instincts.

What’s your proudest career achievement? Teaching myself photography and making a living at it for 20 years.

What’s been your best decision? I’m not sure it’s my best, but I recently made the decision to overhaul my website. The process led to some reflection on my work and in turn showed me what’s really important to me photographically. The result is a collection of images that truly illustrates what I’m about.

Who inspires you? My girlfriend Nikole Herriott, who I collaborate with frequently. Her style is the real deal. She pushes herself in a way that inspires me to do the same.

What are you passionate about? All kinds of things; music, film, light, baseball, auto racing, love. I am passionate about what lies beneath more than what is on top.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Ayrton Senna

What dream do you still want to fulfill? To travel more. To me, nothing is more inspiring than walking out my front door.

What are you reading? Errol Morris - Believing is seeing: (observations on the mysteries of photography)

images courtesy of michael graydon

Thursday, 5 April 2012

designer courtenay graham

The first time I spotted the Frida Plumm range - at Pentimento just before Christmas - I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the products were designed in Melbourne. There are not many independent designers creating wares out of Fine Bone China. It's a big move but one that its founder can do with confidence. Courtenay Graham got her career start as an art director for (inside) magazine and went on to product design for another Melbourne company Mor Cosmetics. She's put lessons learnt at both jobs to good use with her new brand Frida Plumm.

Which five words best describe you? Adventurous, driven, chaotic, determined, quirky.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? After graduating at RMIT Bachelor of Design, I worked in a few small boutique design agencies. From there I got a lucky break and became art director of (inside) interior design review and Architectural Review at Niche Media. After travelling the world I began at Mor Cosmetics. Here I learnt the product development process which was hands on from conception through to production, which I found rewarding. It was this time at Mor that gave me the motivation to start designing my own products, and try my hand at business and Frida Plumm was born.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Take opportunities as they come, enjoy the process and the unexpected.
What’s your proudest career achievement? Bringing Frida Plumm to life. I’m delighted seeing my work produced and in store, and gaining acceptance in a relatively short amount of time.
What’s been your best decision? To take the time to travel.
Who inspires you? My friends, designers from all over the world and my father Steve with his lust for life, motivation and insight, and sheer entertainment value.
What are you passionate about? Adventures, creativity, and cooking.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I’d like to see my grandparents again.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? To see our dream house be built in Warrandyte and start a family. I’d also like to take Frida Plumm to an international level and see it on the shelves of the likes of Liberty and Joyce.
What are you reading? I burn through books, I’m reading lots of stuff on my Kindle.

images courtesy of frida plumm

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

interior designer tobi tobin

She has been called the rock 'n' roll Martha Stewart by the LA Times. Tobi Tobin started working as a designer about 15 years ago and has built up a strong client base, especially in the music and film industry. Over the years she has created a range of her own products, including bedding, furniture, flooring and candles. Tobi also has a store on Sunset Blvd, pictured above.

Which five words best describe you? As a designer: timeless, historical, relevant, modern and reflective.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I have had many career paths in my life (model, writer, chef, designer) and now brand owner. They have all been stepping stones in my life that have created my personal life and my brand. The Tobi Tobin brand is a reflection of all those journeys. The choices I made in life were from a place of passion. Really, I feel that I have never worked a day in my life. I just love what I do and I am very grateful to being doing the thing I love so much everyday. That's the gift. It's all in the doing.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Keep moving forward, keep moving forward. That's the key. Never take no for an answer. Keep pushing until you get what you want.

What’s your proudest career achievement? My first cover of AD and the opening day of the Tobi Tobin flagship store in Los Angeles.

What’s been your best decision? To launch and build the Tobi Tobin brand. I love it. I wake up everyday and can't wait to start working.

Who inspires you? Those who push against all odds, all of us who overcome and believe that we have the power to design our own lives.

What are you passionate about? Design, luxury goods, fashion, food and my Swiss Mountain dog Theo.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Anais Nin

What dream do you still want to fulfil? Finding the love of my life.

What are you reading? Perfumes by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez

images courtesy of tobi tobin


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