Wednesday, 27 January 2016


After attending a painting workshop in Sweden, Melbourne-based artist and illustrator Belinda Marshall experienced a significant shift in her approach to life and work. The workshop was with Camilla Engman in Gothenburg. “The trip was so inspiring and liberating and when I came home it really felt like I was at the beginning of something but also there was a fearlessness in regards to what I could do,” Belinda says. “I was less afraid of making ‘ugly’ work and the more intuitive side of it came to life.” 

Belinda was born in Tamworth, NSW and raised on the north coast of NSW before going to Brisbane to study a Bachelor of Arts in the Humanities at Griffith University. “I spent most of my time in lectures decorating the edges of my notes and filled many sketch books with abstract pencil drawings,” she says. At the age of 20, she moved to Melbourne and did a Professional Writing and Editing Association Diploma of Arts at RMIT with the idea becoming a fiction writer. “I became obsessed with the small press publishing subject in this course as it was almost a design subject and combined visual elements with the writing,” she says. Editing became a way to make a living, however, Belinda steered herself towards graphic design, which she taught herself. After having children she has focussed on painting and is now based in Brunswick’s HomeWork Studios.

Which five words best describe you? Whole-hearted, colourful - pastel to neon, shy.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? It was a conscious decision to make painting my career instead of going back into graphic design. Just before my first son was born I immersed myself in painting, using those precious months to create for the process alone, without pressure. I gave myself the freedom to start and I loved it so much that I worked whenever I could while the kids were little. 

Having an online shop, connecting with other artists and designers both locally and online has led to customers and stockists finding my work and opened the door to some exciting collaborations. 

Learning along the way has been essential - being an artist also means getting a grasp of how to choose and use the tools and systems to run a small business. Gradually my art business has grown to include a collection of limited-edition boutique homewares and paper goods featuring select paintings. Painting is my passion but I also get excited by the possibilities of what can be made with the reproductions of the paintings. So many things!

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? The best things can happen in an “out of the blue” way and to trust in that.

What’s your proudest career achievement? Having a painting acquired by Göteborg Opera and featured in their 2014/15 subscription campaign.

What’s been your best decision? To move my home studio to a shared studio space. It’s really opened up my sense of freedom and my capacity to make larger works.

What are you passionate about? Colour. Being in the painting zone where anything feels possible. My kids.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? David Sedaris. Just to listen to him chat.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? I’d love to take my kids to Spain, Portugal and Scandinavia, and actually I’d like for us to move to Göteborg.

What are you reading? Leap by Myfanwy Jones.

images courtesy of belinda marshall

Tuesday, 26 January 2016


Clair Estelle found a lot of crossover between her work as a graphic designer and her interest in photography. “I have always enjoyed compositional elements, such as shape and colour,” she says. While she was born in Rockhampton and grew up in Bundaberg, Clair studied Fine Art in Brisbane on a scholarship. After a couple of years she switched courses to graphic design and pursued this as a career, working for design houses in Brisbane and London. More recently she has worked as a photographer. “For me, the sense of achievement I get when a photo just ‘works’ gives me such a positive and fluid feeling,” she says. Based once again in Brisbane, Clair has created a print shop showcasing her range of travel photographs. 

Which five words best describe you? Passionate, creative, ever-changing, active, analytical and currently pregnant.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I was awarded a scholarship to attend university to study art. Soon after I became a graphic designer and worked in many design houses in Australia and London. This led me to taking photographs for my commercial design clients. From there I discovered my love for people, colour and shape behind the lens. I then took the leap and started a portrait and wedding photography business based in London. Recently returning home to Australia I have transitioned again introducing another business to my creative bow - an online print shop selling photographs I have gathered on my travels along the way.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? If you work hard, apply yourself and be positive and passionate about what you feel good about doing you will achieve. Being grounded and connected to the earth is number one priority and everything grows from there.

What’s your proudest career achievement? Realising that I had made a living out of doing what I love.

What’s been your best decision? To be original and focused on what makes your craft “you”.

Who inspires you? Musicians inspire me through emotional connections to their music: Bowie, Lennon and East India Youth are favourites. Nature inspires me.

What are you passionate about? Anything that my heart is involved in. I’m passionate about my husband, the beauty in nature, my family and gorgeous books that show an insight into a different world.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? The Dalai Lama or John Lennon. I would like to understand both their thoughts and perspectives.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? Become a pianist and climb many mountains with my husband Grant and my soon-to-be born son.

What are you reading? Art therapy books; I’m also interested in that.

images courtesy of clair estelle

Monday, 25 January 2016


Sometimes it’s worth getting to know your neighbours. Talk often turned to homewares when the Melbourne-based founders of Marmoset Found, Nareen Holloway and Cherie Slater, got together. “Cherie and I both felt that we were seeing the same products in every homewares store we visited and felt there was a need for more bespoke, unique products,” says Nareen, pictured left.

About five years ago the friends decided to launch Marmoset Found, focussing on handmade wares. Exhibiting at their first trade show - Life Instyle - gave them a huge boost of confidence, as well tripling their orders. “We were absolutely swamped on opening day of our first fair,” Nareen says. Initially the duo sourced products but now they spend most of their time developing their own homewares, releasing them twice a year - in February and August. Their range is made by small family-run operations in Thailand, Vietnam, The Pacific Islands, India and the Philippines.

Marmoset Found will be showing for fifth time at the upcoming Life Instyle event in Sydney. “We especially love the Sydney fair as we don't get to catch up with our NSW or Queensland stockists throughout the year like we do with our Victorian stockists,” Nareen says. This year the designers will release their biggest range of new products, which includes new shapes and colours in the Cloud range, handwoven natural fibre baskets, wire bowls and a larger size and shape of its popular spiral weave light pendants. “We have had a lot of new products in the pipeline, which we are now ready to show,” Nareen says.

Register now to attend the upcoming Life Instyle Sydney show. The trade event runs 18-21 February at the Royal Hall of Industries and Hordern Pavilion.

This post was sponsored by Life Instyle, an event I have attended many times over the years. All editorial content was produced independently. Thank you for supporting businesses that help to make Daily Imprint possible. - NW.

Which five words best describe you? Friendly, organised, creative, adventurous, spontaneous.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I started out managing and buying for several international retail stores. Although I had a sound knowledge of the retail industry, designing and manufacturing my own product range was new to me. I spent over a year of research before starting Marmoset Found with Cherie and really every day since has been a huge on-the-job learning curve.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Sometimes it takes a while for your plans to come to fruition so be patient.

What’s your proudest career achievement? Our very first Life Instyle where we had such amazing feedback on our first range and tripled our business overnight.

What’s been your best decision? To have faith in our design philosophy and design our own products from scratch.

Who inspires you? My friend and business partner Cherie is a constant source of inspiration - we are constantly bouncing ideas off one another.

What are you passionate about? Quality and attention to detail - it can be applied to almost everything. Design, food, architecture, fashion…

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Frida Kahlo.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? I would love to take an “inspiration” trip to Denmark and Sweden - maybe next year - fingers crossed.

What are you reading? I have just finished Freakonomics by Steven D Levitt - it’s an interesting read by a rogue economist about the riddles of everyday life.

images courtesy of marmoset found; photography armelle habib, styling julia green at greenhouse interiors


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