Thursday, 30 July 2015


Even though she studied Modern Asian studies, and spent years working as a language teacher, it was when Mel Robson took a pottery class that she knew instantly how she wanted to spend the rest of her life. Not long after that she quit her job and began life as an artist. “Thankfully, things have taken a fairly smooth path since then - confirmation for me that I have been on the right path,” she says. Taking a mentorship program with Patsy Hely through the Australia Council was key to helping her find focus with her art practice and connecting her to a network of supportive artists and educators. “I think that early period after graduating can be a really crucial time,” Mel says. “It can be tough trying to get yourself and your work out there.” While she was born in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, most of her life was spent in the Northern New South Wales town of Murwillumbah. About five years ago Mel moved to Alice Springs with her family. She works in the art department at Charles Darwin University and continues her studio practice. “We love it here,” she says. “It’s a remarkable little town full of remarkable people and a landscape that just gets under your skin.”

Which five words best describe you? Self-disciplined, motivated, curious, love a good laugh, and a wee bit shy. 

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? My first degree was in Modern Asian studies and I spent many years after that traveling and working through Asia. I worked as an English Language teacher and then in my late 20s I took a pottery class at the local Tafe and that was the end of that! I’ve been studying and working as an artist ever since. I did an advanced diploma in ceramics at Southbank Tafe in Brisbane where I got such an amazing grounding in the technical aspects of making ceramics. After that I did a degree in contemporary arts at Southern Cross University in Lismore, which helped me refine a lot of my ideas and approaches to making. Since then I have basically been working as an artist, making, teaching, public art, commissions, exhibition work, retail work, collaborations. The main thing for me is to work on projects that keep me interested. I really enjoy the diversity of the projects I work on. It keeps me engaged and stimulates new work and new ideas. I’m pretty open to where I go with my career and am interested in trying a lot of different things and approaches rather than focussing on any one strand. 

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Ask questions, work hard, strive for balance, keep things in perspective and don’t take things too seriously.  Sometimes as an artist you can get a bit caught up in it all. Enjoy what you do. Also, it’s really good to do things that freak you out. It’s the best way to learn and the best way to really discover your capabilities. When I’ve jumped into things despite trepidation, or feeling overwhelmed, they’ve often ended up being the most rewarding and unexpectedly good experiences. 

What’s your proudest career achievement? Hmmm, maybe the fact that I’m still here doing it Being selected for the third and fourth World Ceramics Biennale in South Korea was pretty nice too.

What’s been your best decision? Moving to Alice Springs. It has enabled me to develop a good balance between making, teaching, researching and experimenting. I’m probably in the most satisfying and rewarding phase of my career so far. Inspiring, meaningful, balanced and challenging. There have been some really rewarding and satisfying projects I’ve worked on out here and I’m enjoying seeing how living out here is slowly coming through in my work, my approach and my attitude. The work-life balance is good and the community out here is an inspiration to me.

Who inspires you? Anyone who gives it a red hot go. 

What are you passionate about? My family, hiking, ceramics, textiles, traveling. 

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? My grandmother. She died before I was born, but has loomed large in our family and in my work. She was the most fascinating woman, not of her time, and I would just love to be able to sit down with her over a cup of tea. 

What dream do you still want to fulfil? Oh, I have a very simple little dream of a beautiful light-filled studio in the hills somewhere. I’d love somewhere where I could invite different artists to come and work and collaborate. 

What are you reading? I’ve just started re-reading All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Poetic and beautiful. I rarely re-read books, but this one deserves it.

images courtesy of mel robson 

Wednesday, 29 July 2015


“I feel free when illustrating,” says Louise Jones. “There’s no right or wrong way to illustrate.” However, when the Melbourne-based illustrator and pattern designer was working for a wholesaler in the textile industry she got to a point where she felt frustrated with the lack of creativity. Shortly afterwards she went freelance and after starting a Tumblr blog A Side Project was approached to design a wallpaper pattern for a former Vogue writer/editor based in New York. The commission came from her interior designer and it was to create a bold floral pattern for a powder room in the editor's newly renovated Brooklyn home. “This was a dream project for me, as I have always wanted to design patterns for interiors so I felt very chuffed that my work was being recognised internationally, especially in New York!” Louise says. 

Which five words best describe you? Loyal, caring, open, playful and fussy - so I’ve been told.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? After completing my Bachelor of Communication Design, I was hired as a junior graphic designer at a small design studio. I was led by two senior designers on varied design projects including website design, signage and branding. From my three years at this studio, I designed and illustrated interior and wall graphics for fashion and hospitality clients. These types of projects helped me discover my passion for illustrating and pattern design.

I decided to dip my feet in the fashion industry and landed a job as a textile designer for a wholesale company, where I was designing yardages for Target, Kmart and Jay Jays. I soon found out that creativity and originality wasn’t highly appreciated in this industry, and I became frustrated with the lack of creative opportunities. I had always wanted to work for myself, so it seemed like perfect timing. I quit my full-time job to start a freelance career, which was quite daunting as I had no clients. Fortunately, I found work through a recruitment agency, and some of my own client work too.

Even though I was enjoying working for myself, I found the freelance and client work wasn’t building towards my goals and where I wanted to drive my business. My good friend and textile designer, Shelley Steer, was also in the same situation as myself and we both wanted to be designing patterns for fashion and interiors. We decided to start a creative space where we could create our own pattern designs based on a monthly theme, so we started a Tumblr blog and named it A Side Project. I now have a small collection of patterns which has attracted local and international clients from the fashion and interior industries.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Believe in your work, and trust your gut instincts. It’s important to get feedback and help from others along the way, but ultimately only you know what feels right for you and your business.

What’s your proudest career achievement? Seeing my pattern on a pair of Abercrombie and Fitch shorts. The pattern was a custom tropical print commissioned by A&F for their Spring 2015 collection.

What’s been your best decision? Moving into a shared studio after working by myself for two years in my home office. I felt very isolated and trapped working from home, and I really craved the creative energy from working amongst like-minded people. By investing in a studio space, I felt more energised in my creative process. It was also the simple pleasures of bouncing ideas off others, seeing how others worked and just the general daily chit chat.

Who inspires you? Individuals who are passionate about what they do 9 to 5, and in everyday life. Plus all my studio buddies, they are all so inspiring and such a creative bunch.

What are you passionate about? Those that are close to me might say that I have a slight chair addiction, mostly of the midcentury era. I am also passionate about spending quality time with the ones I love, my family and friends. But most importantly my newly born baby girl, Grace, and my beautiful husband Ross. 

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I'm struggling with this one, as I'm not entirely sure I would have the courage to approach someone I admired. But if I had to choose one, I would say the Dalai Lama.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? Designing and producing my own range of fabric and wallpaper, which is in the process as we speak. I also have a growing wish list of creatives and businesses that I would love to collaborate with.

What are you reading? The Science of Parenting by Margot Sunderland. When it comes to parenting, there is a lot of information out there which makes it hard to know what you should follow or not. The Science of Parenting is an evidence-based book on the science of parenting styles and their effects on children’s brains. This book appealed to us because of it’s evidence-based research, especially my husband because of his background in science. 

images courtesy of louise jones

Tuesday, 28 July 2015


“There is just something so beautiful about working with natural fibres,” says Tanika Reed. “Watching the morning and afternoon light catch on the threads as I weave is probably up there on my list of favourite things in the whole world.” The fibre artist, who is based on the South Coast of NSW, turned to weaving after experimenting with other craft forms, including clay and painting. It also coincided with her husband leaving his full-time job to go back to university, and having two babies close in age. “It made me realise I needed some sort of funding to fuel my obsession with buying craft and art supplies,” she says. Through Reed Smith Co she creates a range of weaving designs and accepts custom orders. The designs, which involve hundreds - sometimes thousands - of knots, can take many days to create.

Which five words best describe you? Daydreamer, visionary, creative, chatty, indecisive.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I began knotting away at night at home and posting photos of my work onto Instagram. People started emailing and asking for custom weaves. The creative Instagram community is so supportive and inspiring. I have met some amazingly beautiful people on there and it is so cool to meet makers all over the globe, it has definitely helped open my eyes to so many mind-blowing artists on my own turf too.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Gosh, I’ve learnt so much yet there is still so much to learn. I think one of the most important things is to celebrate your achievements, big and small, with those you love. Keep the family involved. Look for beauty every day, notice the moments that make your heart smile.

What’s your proudest career achievement? Definitely having some work featured in last month’s Real Living magazine. It is and always will be surreal to see your stuff featured on glossy pages. I was also just given the most heart-melting review of my work from an Australian painter who I very much respect and admire. As I type this we have just packaged up our first ever woven wedding arbour which took a whopping 50-plus hours to weave, definitely my biggest order and weave to date.

What’s been your best decision? To give weaving another crack. I began knotting plant hangers mid last year and grew bored of it pretty quick. I then want on a craft binge and tried my hand at rolling clay, abstract art and crocheting - much to the detriment of our family budget! It wasn’t until my husband encouraged me to give macramé another go that I really began exploring texture and contemporary design with the traditional art.

Who inspires you? My daily inspiration comes straight from my Maker’s hands. He truly is a magnificent Creator. I also owe my technique to my two-year-old daughter. I was watching her colour in one day, drawing bold lines and colouring in the shapes she created and I really felt inspired to do this with rope and string. 

What are you passionate about? Far out, there are so many things. Spontaneous finds of wild ferns and branches on the side of the road, my ever-growing antique and handmade vessels collection, layering different textures, creative mess. I have a huge weakness for large-scale art. I am passionate about people discovering their own creativity then pursuing it and thriving in it. I love that my daughter says to me almost every day “Mummy, I want to make something!” 

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Jesus. I wouldn’t mind a good yarn with Nelson Mandela either.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? To have our own workshop/studio/gallery space in an old industrial/factory setting.

What are you reading? The wording on the timber beams in our roof above my head, I still cannot figure out if the logo says “Not for use North of the Tropic of Capricorn”, or “Not for use worth of the Trojan of Caterpillar”.

images courtesy of tanika reed 

Monday, 27 July 2015


“Creating is something I’ve done since I was very young and it’s continued to be a big part of who I am as a person,” says artist and designer Sarah Kelk. It has followed her throughout her life - from growing up on the South Island of New Zealand to creating a homewares business, Hello Polly in 2011 from her current Melbourne base. Sarah started that venture after a period of living and working overseas, including time in Edinburgh in 2004 running a gallery space. “It solidified that fact that I really wanted to work with and alongside creative people, as well as showing me that I really enjoy working for myself,” she says. A few years ago Sarah was keen to start painting again, and she used her artworks as a starting point for a range of homewares for Hello Polly, which she runs with her sister Helen Adams, who joined the business in 2013. All of their products are made in Melbourne, using local printers and textile manufacturers. As for Sarah’s art practice, she says, “I loved painting again and haven't stopped since.” She is exhibiting All Things Now at Modern Times in Melbourne’s Fitzroy until 6 August.

Which five words best describe you? Busy, happy, driven, practical, creative.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? It started by someone giving a fresh-out-of-uni, driven and enthusiastic girl a chance. From there I’ve put my head down and worked incredibly hard in every role I’ve worked in since.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? I’m a firm believer of the “do it now” policy. I use it everyday and thank my sister for sharing this great bit of wisdom with me. 

What’s your proudest career achievement? Working on the solo show All Things Now for Modern Times has been incredibly rewarding. I’m really proud of the fact that I managed to pull together 22 pieces that I love, whilst running Hello Polly and making time for my family. It’s been hard work juggling it all, but it’s been well worth it. 

What’s been your best decision? In 2003 I was about to start post-grad study, but at the last minute threw it all in and ran away travelling the world with my now husband. This decision started the wheel of self discovery and was instrumental to feeding my creativity.

Who inspires you? Busy people who not only make time for their creative pursuits, but also give lots of time to their families are endlessly inspiring. I also have really strong female role models in my life - my sister, Mum and Grandmother - and they have always been a strong pillar of inspiration and support to me. I really hope I can inspire my kids to follow a dream of theirs in the future too!

What are you passionate about? My family, friends, food, ideas and creating.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I’d have loved to have met my dad’s father, George Adam. He sounded like a total character and I’ve always thought we would have got on. Oh, and Ryan Gosling!

What dream do you still want to fulfil? To continue painting,  and in an ideal world, find the time to take a couple of years out and go travelling around the world with my husband and kids.

What are you reading? The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton.

images courtesy of sarah kelk and modern times

Friday, 24 July 2015


The latest volume of Frankie magazine’s Spaces interior book features another cover from Melbourne-based photographer Hilary Walker. She has worked regularly with the publication since returning to Australia after living for a few years in London. In the UK she styled and shot many book covers for novels. However, now is more focussed on interiors and people, as well as craft. Hilary has also shot campaigns for Craft Australia and has a book coming up with Thames & Hudson. She also has a solo fine art photography exhibition in the works.

The original interview (reproduced below) was published on 5 September 2008.

While studying an arts degree in psychology and criminology, Hilary Walker worked part time in the art department at her school. Afterwards she decided to pursue a career in photography and enrolled in and completed a BA of Photography at RMIT. After a few years of assisting in her native Melbourne, she moved to London where she started to get bookings for her own work, mostly for fiction book covers. More recently she has returned to Melbourne.

What five words best describe you? Aesthetically obsessed, imaginative, loving, procrastinating.

What's your proudest achievement? Hmmm... moving to London by myself and not crying when all my stuff was stolen.

Who inspires you? Film makers and artists. People that make me laugh or cry with their own peculiar thoughts or creations.

What are you passionate about? Pictures, drawings, films, music, people.

What's the best lesson you've learnt? I'm still learning it.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? My four-year-old self.

What are you excited about? Small things, never the big things - like a decent meal, green lights, riding my bike or watching movies.

What are you reading? The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. That's a lie. I'm reading a book I'm not mad on but The Time Traveller's Wife is so gorgeous I've bought it about seven times as presents.

images courtesy of hilary walker; portrait charlie kinross

Thursday, 23 July 2015


Success can come in many forms. Sometimes it’s a matter of overcoming adversity, or even just surviving. Shelley Collins Trbuhovich has experienced the whole spectrum of success. She opened a well-received vintage poster shop in 2002 with her husband Stephan. It started as an online gallery known as Galerie Montmartre with occasional showings at trade fairs and after five years the duo opened a retail space. However, in June 2010 tragedy struck the couple when Stephan suffered a massive brain bleed and subsequent brain injury. At the time they had two young boys, aged four and two. “It has been an incredible, often daunting road, but we’ve come the other side,” Shelley says. Along with the brain injury, Stephan has paralysis down his right-hand side. While they are no longer together as a married couple, he lives next door to Shelley’s parents and visits their boys regularly while he practices his life skills. “We feel we have made the best of a God-awful, unbelievably challenging situation,” Shelley says. And throughout it all, she has managed to continue running the gallery, thanks to a support team and her gallery manager Michelle Clarke. 

In November 2014 the gallery was rebranded and renamed The Galerie Fitzroy, and moved from a large warehouse in the back streets of Fitzroy to the first floor of a Victorian building on Brunswick Street. “I have learnt that change is inevitable and to simply go with it - to only control what you can and not worry about what you can’t,” Shelley says. “I’ve learnt to really believe in and back myself and have been gifted - through trying circumstances - with an inner belief that there’s pretty much nothing in life that can knock me down too much for too long.”

The original interview (reproduced below) was published on 8 May 2008.

If you are a Real Living reader, you may recognise Shelley Collins Trbuhovich. She was featured with her partner Stephan in the May 2008 issue talking about their business Galerie Montmartre. What started out as a hobby collecting vintage poster art has turned into a fully fledged business after the couple returned back to their native Melbourne following many years of living in the USA. 

How and why did you start Galerie Montmartre? It was by chance; while living in San Francisco we saw a number of huge European vintage advertising posters on the walls of a restaurant we were eating at. Stephan and I then set about sourcing them for our tiny apartment. We bought three initially, with every intention of leaving it at that, but we couldn’t help ourselves. Our collection evolved, along with our knowledge and passion. It became an all-consuming hobby. We sold a few pieces to friends and then started to source for others. By the time we moved to New York City in 1999, we were part of a collecting community, including a woman who became our mentor, and we knew that it would be part of our life forever. That’s when we made a plan to bring our part-time business home with us, and turn it into a full-time business. We began as an online gallery, launched in October 2002, and opened our retail space in March 2007.

What has been the response? Overwhelmingly positive! It’s so great to reach like-minded people whose enthusiasm for original vintage poster art matches our own. There’s something really special about sharing our product with those who haven’t seen it before, imparting the knowledge that we’ve gained through years of sourcing and learning. We’ve worked hard at making original vintage poster art accessible to everyone who would like to own a piece and as a result, majority of the time, we meet with enthusiastic people. I never tire of seeing people’s faces light up when they walk in the door and take in their surrounds; it’s very rewarding.

How is having your own business different to what you expected? If anything, it has been better than I expected. I think I had expectations of owning a small business as being a really hard slog, all work and no play, but nothing is too hard because it is your own. I’ve really enjoyed the slow evolution of our business, I can certainly feel the momentum building month by month, but our steady pace behind the scenes over the years is holding us in good stead. It is also just dawning on me that Galerie Montmartre is my place to experiment and dabble in other areas I love, such as interior decoration, merchandising, branding, writing and styling, not just "business stuff".

What has been a highlight? Besides the travel opportunities the business has given our family, I think that a highlight so far would be the serendipitous way that we found and set up the building for our retail space, right in the heart of a neighbourhood that we know intimately in an incredible space that shows our collection perfectly. I also love the relationships that we’ve developed as a result of owning and directing Galerie Montmartre.

Where do you look to for inspiration? Home/interior magazines; Fitzroy and it’s immediate surrounds; conversations and visits with others who have small businesses that excite me; Paris and NYC; marketplaces of every variety; bookshops.

What's the best lesson you've learnt? I’ve learnt to really trust my own instincts – I have my own little saying “if in doubt, leave it out” and it works for me every time. I either make an immediate decision then and there, or wait until things feel exactly right, based on this little rhyme.

What are you passionate about right now? My two beautiful boys, keeping journals of their development and giving them the best start in life I possibly can; Mario’s (of Brunswick St, Fitzroy) flourless chocolate cake; writing handwritten notes to friends and family; reading anything, anywhere, anytime; creating a home that is a highly organised sanctuary; building a stylish wardrobe that can endure the riggers of mothering two under the age of two!

If you could meet one person, living or dead, who would it be? French-born, Melbourne-based artist Mirka Mora. Not only do I love her work, but having read her memoirs and countless interviews, it is her lust for life that I find inspiring. She laughs with gusto, curses like a sailor and the glint in her eye speaks of many mischievous moments. She is one woman who has always done whatever she has wanted to do, even when society was begging her not to. She just turned 80 and there was a soiree held in her honour at the restaurant that is named after her – as you do! She also has an incredibly beautiful, lilting French accent that I could listen to for hours. I just love her.

What are you looking forward to? Owning an art-work by Mirka Mora! The day that Galerie Montmartre is the place on everybody’s lips; the input of a business coach; a Hawaiian holiday with Stephan and our sons within the next 18 months; being able to join Stephan on a European sourcing trip again; becoming fluent in French; actually learning to play the guitar that sits in my attic; a straight eight hours of sleep.

What are you reading? Besides the eight home decor magazine subscriptions I have… I like to have a few books on the go, currently Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert; The 7 Rules of Success by Fiona Harrold; and my ‘4am feed fiction’ (criteria? must be entertaining, easy to pick up and put down in the early hours of the morning) Those Faraday Girls by Monica McInerney. Really looking forward to A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Husseini, which is next in line. Although, I am very excited to see my all-time favourite ‘4am feed fiction’ author, Jennifer Weiner, has just released her fifth book…

images courtesy of galerie montmartre

Wednesday, 22 July 2015


“I have arrived at the point as a photographer where I wake up in the middle of the night dreaming of a photo I want hanging on my walls,” says Carla Coulson. The Paris-based Australian photographer is currently working on creating a series of fine art prints, some of which are already available on her website. She’s also working on her ninth book. Several of the books have been collaborations, such as Naples A Way of Love with Lisa Clifford and French Essence with Vicki Archer [interview]. “Working with these great women has been a treat as what they have taught me along the way,” Carla says. She has started to run workshops in Australia and Italy based on her experiences. “We are living in exciting times,” she says. “Technology has opened up so many opportunities and given many people the chance to live a life that 30 years ago may not have been possible. I feel fortunate to be one of them.”

The original interview (reproduced below) was published on 28 November 2008.

A book that I often return to is My French Life by Vicki Archer [interview here]. It is in equal parts due to the images of photographer Carla Coulson as the story of Vicki's restoration of a beautiful home in the south of France. Carla has recently released a book on another iconic place and its people - Paris Tango. Her photography career began after she decided to leave the Sydney-based business she'd been running for over a decade and go to live in Italy. It was there that she studied photography and found her path, which she chronicles in her first publication Italian Joy. Since publishing her first photography story in Marie Claire Australian in 2002, she has had her work featured in a range of magazines including Vogue Entertaining and Travel, Gourmet Traveller, Harpers Bazaar and Qantas. Carla has been based in Paris since 2004.

What was the starting point for your book Paris Tango? My first job in Paris was for Italian fashion magazine Collezioni. They asked me to photograph details of couture at the ateliers of John Paul Gaultier, Dior, Christian Lacroix and Valentino. It was a wonderful experience entering these places with so much Parisian history. I thought, "Wow, imagine if I could show everyone this!" The seed was planted and during a three-year period I sought out many special places and Parisians and the culmination is Paris Tango.

And what about Italian Joy, what's the story behind that book? Italian Joy is my love letter to Italy. At the beginning of 2000 I changed my life. I left behind a business I had in Sydney for 13 years and moved to Italy to learn photography. Italian Joy is a photographic journal of my experience and all the wonderful things I found along the way in Italy including rediscovering the simple pleasures in life.

Which five words best describe you? I asked my boyfriend to help with this. Messy, funny, enthusiastic, open and passionate.

What's your proudest achievement? Surviving eight years as a freelance photographer in a foreign country.

Who inspires you? Artists, photographers, architects, nature and the man on the street.

What are you passionate about? Photography and life. I think they go hand in hand, if you love one then it is easy to love the other.

What's the best lesson you've learnt? Patience; it has taken eight years to beat the "multitasker" out of me and I feel liberated.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? There are so many but I often think I would love to speak with the generation of my great grandparents. They are the keepers to so many ways and secrets that our society has lost. Also, I love Italian fashion photographer Paolo Roversi.

What's next? More photos!

What are you reading? Love and Louis XIV: The Women in the Life of the Sun King by Antonia Fraser, Death in the Mountains by Lisa Clifford and The Middle Sea by John Julius Norwich.

images courtesy of carla coulson

Tuesday, 21 July 2015


“Never ever hide your enthusiasm,” says Megan Morton. It is a message that the interior stylist is getting out to an ever increasing audience. While Megan has always been a well-known name in the world of interiors - styling homes and spaces for the leading magazines as well creating books and running a prop shop - she is spreading her message through The School, a place of creative learning. “Beauty is for everyone,” she says. Now she’s planning to send The School on its first excursion to NYC. Megan has also been busy creating a range of beds with Incy Interiors.

The original interview (reproduced below) was published on 19 May 2009.

She’s one of the busiest stylists in Sydney, if not Australia. And she’s had her work featured in international publications, including Vanity Fair. Megan has worked extensively across Australian interior and lifestyle publications and has a client base that includes leading homewares brands and interior designers wanting their projects to make it into glossy magazines. 

When did you start working as an interior stylist? Nine years ago.

What lessons have you learnt along the way? Money and style have nothing in common.

What’s your favourite decorating style? Charming.

What’s the most common mistake people make when decorating their home? Sticking to the rule book.

Where do you look to for inspiration? Music and books. I read everything and anything.

Who inspires you? Tadao Ando, Millie De Castonet, Iain Halliday, my florist.

Which features or projects that you’ve worked on are you most proud of? A Vanity Fair cover, a skyhome in the city and a wine bar we designed for fashion week and Dita Von Teese and a Christmas lunch for the homeless.

How has your own personal interior style developed? It’s pretty much been the same my whole life.

How would you describe your home? A ramshackle mess (with outrageous potential!) where my most favourite people and things happily co-exist.

What are you passionate about? Living with only what you need.

Monday, 20 July 2015


“Some of the best memories and highlights are sometimes from shoots where the process was so rewarding, not just the finished images,” says photographer Sam McAdam-Cooper. “Troubleshooting problematic locations or changeable weather conditions, creative problem-solving, pushing briefs, collaborating with inspiring creatives, making clients happy… all of these make for highlights.” Sam, who works regularly for the likes of Inside Out, Vogue Living, Country Style and Delicious magazines, is now also a mother of two young boys. “There’s something very grounding about having children - whatever achievements or acknowledgements I receive have no currency with them whatsoever,” she says. “They just want their dinner. Or a hug. Or a story. It’s quite a blow to one’s ego, but a necessary and healthy one, not to be defined by your job. It’s easy in this industry to lose perspective about that stuff.”

The original interview was published on 2 October 2008.

Some of my favourite images in recent issues of Inside Out have been delivered via the talents of Sydney-based photographer Sam McAdam. Thanks to a couple of art directors giving her a break - she had studied fine arts at university and wasn't really cognisant of how the industry worked - jobs filtered through. Sam says her visual style is informed by art history and semiotics, which explains why some of her work is reminiscent of a Dutch painting.

Which five words best describe you? Passionate, driven, loopy, mercurial, critical.

What's your proudest achievement? Ohhhh, I'm too modest to say!

Who inspires you? People that overcome adversity.

What are you passionate about? Family, friends, ideas, beautiful things.

What's the best lesson you've learnt? That in life, you can either be right, or be happy. Thanks Dad.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Without any hesitation, Neil Finn. Sigh.

What's next? A honeymoon.

What are you reading? Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises.


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