Sunday, 12 May 2013

profile - karina sharpe.


I first met Karina Sharpe years ago when I interviewed her for a story on industrial design. At the time I was fascinated with the work of an product engineer - the tremendous amount of time, hurdles and processes involved in creating something entirely new, whether it is a humble esky or a high-tech ceiling fan. Several years later Karina is still creating but in some ways it is less about the technical and more about, simple beauty, the unexpected and curated collections which make you smile then think, she's one clever lady...... I wish I had a tiny horse figurine too!

karina jean

I rediscovered Karina's work on Instagram, where her thoughtfully composed vignettes leapt off the screen. Clearly inspired by the fine details within nature, an assortment of her children's toys and colour, it's always a pleasure seeing what she'll come up with next. I imagine Karina's home and garden is filled with a treasure trove of unique pieces and tiny fragments just waiting to be captured in a creative composition. With countless  projects on the go, from jewellery design for her label Karina Jean to visual art, Karina's creativity spans many mediums, all of them inspiring. I am thrilled to share an interview with Karina and some of her favourite Instagram shots, but for a real treat head to her Creative Showcase here.

How would you describe yourself in five words?
Creative, clever, short, funny, ambitious

What was your childhood dream?
I wanted a flying bike and to discover something amazing. Later I thought about being a marine biologist and then an architect. As a kid I never knew design existed.

What led you down your current path?
I’m a designer, a storyteller and an image maker. I got to this combination in a round-about way. Firstly through lengthy study and consulting in industrial design and mechanical engineering, then by answering a calling to do something more heart-based and fulfilling.

What side projects do your pour your creativity energy into?
I have many projects. All of them are equally important and dear to me. Nothing is really ‘on-the-side’. Karina Jean is my jewellery label. I am currently working on a new range and working on some commissioned designs. I am also writing and illustrating two children’s books. And on a daily basis, I make creative images, which usually end up on Instagram.

What do you love most about what you do?
I love seeing a design or an idea come to life. I especially love when something that looks really good in my head, actually looks really good in reality. I also love that I get to give of the talents I have been given, that I get to use my natural gifts to make other people smile.

Where do feel most inspired?
Oh everywhere. I never know when inspiration will strike. I suppose it happens most often either in nature or amidst the pages of a magazine.

You’ve amassed an incredible following on instagram how would you describe your photography style?
I suppose my style is a bit minimal, with a warm tones. I pay close attention to composition, shape, colour, light and shadow. My images often include some humour, and usually have a ‘feel good’ feel. I follow my whims, and take many photos, and only post the very best.

Who do you admire?
I admire so many creative people it would be difficult to choose. So I am going to say my Nan. She is the epitome of strength and grace and ‘doing good’. She has taught me a tremendous number of life lessons, mostly by example. Recently we discovered that, creatively, we are very alike.

What challenges have you had to overcome?
Indecision is a killer. Learning to trust myself. Lack of time. Life balance, or learning to be okay with imbalance.

What's been a 'pinch yourself' moment?
Megan Morton’s Science of Styling Masterclass last year.

What are your top creative resources?
I am quite sporadic in my use of resources. I use a little bit of a lot of things. My most frequently used resources are probably The Design Files blog, Fashion and home magazines, Pinterest and google images. 

What is your idea of happiness?
Seeing other people enjoy my creations, prospering from my passions and sunny days with my loved ones. Laughter. Lots of laughter.

What's next?
Well it could be anything, but in the planning are new designs, my  books and I have just launched my online creative showcase which you can find here.

When the weekend rolls around what do you love to:
Read – My latest magazine purchase.
Watch- My boys playing.
Cook- Quick and simple.
Create- Whatever won’t leave my mind.
Listen to- Laughter.
Photograph – Whatever takes my fancy.
Dream about- Happy success.
Look forward to- Seeing ideas come together.