Monday, 23 September 2013

profile thomas wilcox - artist.

artist thomas wilcox
Art at times can seem inaccessible and unaffordable, yet with new ways to discover and purchase art, such as Art Pharmacy Australia's first completely online art gallery, you can browse through the works of dozens of emerging and established artists and are simply a click or two away from snapping up a piece for your home. Aimed at contemporary collectors and those new to art acquisition, Art Pharmacy showcases the work of a range of Australian based artists specialising in original prints, oils, watercolours, acrylics, photography and etchings. Today I am thrilled to profile the work of New York native Thomas Wilcox who now calls Sydney home. Producing incredibly tactile and layered works, Thomas begins each piece by assembling reclaimed materials such a wooden planks and weatherboard which he uses as canvas upon which to paint streetscapes. The result is an amalgamation of urban and rustic mediums which is truly distinct. You can view Thomas's City Construction series here

How would you describe yourself?
Inventive, creative, adventurous, light-hearted, fun.

What was your childhood dream?
As a child, all I could really dream of was not ever having to grow up. 

What led you down your current path?
When I finished High School, I decided that I wanted to go to University, the only thing that I thought I would enjoy studying was art. In the time I spent completing my degree I met so many interesting people that are involved in the art world, and decided that I wanted to be a part of it as well.

What do you love most about what you do?
I love that for myself making paintings is not only about the piece that I am making at the time, but about how I view the world. Every time I finish a painting it encourages me to find new ways to examine everything around me. 

Where do feel most inspired?
I feel most inspired on late night bike rides around the city by myself. The stillness that I float through makes me feel as if I am riding through a painting that has not yet been created. 

Can you explain your approach/process in creating a piece?
Photography is the first step to my painting process, I need to find a way to bring the images back into my studio so that I can begin to reconstruct them using whatever found materials I have stock piled.  I establish a rhythm and flow within the image as a base, and begin to build a physical representation of that. Then I work in details using both materials and paint.  The most difficult part in creating paintings for me is to know the correct moment to stop.   

What do you hope people get out of your work?
When people look at my work, I hope that they realise they can make so many things from items that may be considered garbage.  

Who do you admire?
I admire anyone that has the courage to start their own creative business. 

What challenges have you had to overcome?
Fortunately, I was raised by a loving family that emphasised the fact that I could do anything with my life.  Because of this I have luckily not had any extreme hardships befall me. 

What's been a 'pinch yourself' moment?
About two weeks after I moved to Australia, from the United States, It finally sunk in that I live almost as far away from the place I was raised as I possibly could. The idea that I have been able to come so far is still amazing to me. 

What are your top inspiring resources?
Pod-casts, my friends, my family, and the size of human civilization. 

Do you have a dream creative project?
I always think of my creative projects as moving towards something bigger, even though I do not necessarily know what will come next. 

What are you currently coveting in the world of design?
I really love anything that is practical, stream lined, and efficient, especially relating to camping equipment.  

What's next?
Keep making work!

When the weekend rolls around what do you love to do?
On the weekend I like to read, paint, and ride my bike.

Monday, 16 September 2013

profile marnie goding - elk.

elk founder marnie goding

Today I am very chuffed to profile elk founder Marnie Goding, whose timeless accessories, leather goods and stylish threads I've admired and I acquired over the years. I still remember an epic weekend trip, on several trams and buses with a friend I was visiting in Melbourne,out to the elk showroom, only to discover it had already closed for the day! Luckily everything you could ever wish to get your hands on is available online.
For me elk has consistently produced beautiful pieces and simply gets better with each passing year. Expanding their product range and scope with their foray into the US and new SOMN sleepwear collection, the collaboration between Marnie and her husband and co-collaborator Adam, who together founded elk many moons ago is truly inspiring. No doubt they put in a lot of hard work, but taking a peak behind the scenes, it also looks like a whole lot of fun. You can checkout elk's Summer 2013 Lumiere collection here.

How would you describe yourself?
In no particular order, impatient, lucky, busy, very happy, content.

What was your childhood dream?
Can you believe I wanted to drive a truck until the age of 5? Then I wanted to be a hairdresser! Neither of those eventuated.

the elk showroom
What led you down your current path?
Fate really. I was lucky to meet my husband when I was very young. We work so well together and our life and our careers just formed organically. I needed to work in a more creative field, with a partner by my side encouraging and supporting every decision the path has laid in front of me. Hence being lucky!

What do you love most about what you do?
The people we work with and the travel. We have an incredible team of staff, agents and customers.

Where do you draw inspiration for the collections?
We always start with the palette. Inspiration is usually drawn from our travels. We pick up scraps of cloth, leathers and other bits and pieces along the way and hoard them like bowerbirds. At some point down the track we will bring out these pieces and this starts the creative process.

From there the range concept evolves much from what we “feel” we want to make. We go on past successes, look at trends (although not to follow) and usually have a feeling about which direction we want the season to take.

Elk’s first sleepwear range is set to debut in October, what influenced the range?
Again whilst travelling we met a lovely family who makes plain dyed 100% linen bedding. We were heading down the path of making manchester and realised with so many great labels already on the market it wasn’t a great decision.
Keeping in the bedding area we decided then to move into sleep wear. It is a great category – especially for gifting and there isn’t a lot of competition.
SOMN has been pre-released to media and wholesale customers and everyone loves it which is very encouraging

Have you ever considered a range of elk homewares?
We actually have made homewears in the past and still have a couple of pieces available. We made blankets and some soft furnishings under a “cabin” collection. It always did well and we loved it but fazed it out as the fashion side took off faster. In saying this, we are introducing a new homewears item into the W14 collection. It is a hand loomed floor rug and is absolutely divine…watch this space!

What challenges have you had to overcome since elk launched nine years ago?
We have been pretty lucky along the way. The growth of the business has been controlled and we have always managed to recruit well. There have been challenges with logistics – especially pertaining to International trade and more recently with legal challenges through IP infringement. Expensive and time consuming!

What's been some memorable 'pinch yourself' moments over the years?
There have been many but in all we try and keep things real. I still feel like we are a small business doing what we love (again lucky!). More recently though I have been pinching myself when we get amazing orders from some of the world’s best gallery and museum stores in the USA and in Scandinavia. That’s when I think “wow – how amazing that our product is now all over the world”.

What are your top creative resources?
* Travel is essential for anyone in a creative role. Going off the beaten track is most important too.

* Magazines – mostly interior mags are my favourite. The colour palettes, pattern and concepts you see in interior magazines I find very inspiring

* Music is essential especially when designing. There are several speakers around the office always with some great tunes playing

* It’s corny but I love watching “Fashion TV”! I shouldn’t admit it! I don’t have it at home so always have it on when I travel. It’s not so much about the actual fashion but when you see parades etc it’s the realisation of someone’s hard work over the months. It’s the culmination of look, sound and energy that I love.

Do you have an all-time favourite piece from an elk collection?
That’s a hard question. I don’t think I have an all-time favourite. I must admit we are just about to start selling our Winter 14 collection which hits stores in February 2014 and there are a number of pieces in this range that I really love…maybe because it’s all new and fresh!

What is your idea of happiness?
* Being able to laugh without restraint.
* Being with my family. 
* Feeling peaceful.

What's next?
* For the business we are at the foot of a wave which is about to spread across the US. Our team only days ago finished showing for the third time in New York. They also undertook showings with our agent in Seattle, San Francisco and LA and it was incredible. The response to Elk in the USA is so exciting and so this is going to be our focus for a while. We need to manage this growth carefully and make sure we cross every “t” and dot every “i”. 
* For our ranges we are about to re-launch Mr Elk. We have more and more exciting product for this category and want to give it a really good push.
* SOMN too will keep on rolling out. It doesn’t hit stores until October and it will be great to see how it goes. If it’s a winner then we will introduce more products into this category.

When the weekend rolls around what do you love to:
Read – I am reading “Why French Children Don’t Throw Food” by Pamela Druckerman (I have a two and a half year old). It’s very funny.
Watch - the ABC
Cook - I am a prolific baker which isn’t good for the waistline.
Create - I love gardening especially in Spring.
Listen to - ABC Classic FM.
Dream about - Longer weekends.
Look forward to - Christmas!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

profile magdalene bufalino - cubbylove.

Magda and Jai of Cubbylove
Bunting and pom poms have been all the rage for quite some time and my appreciation for the festive decorations hasn't waned in the slightest, particularly when I spy a slightly different take on them like those from Cubbylove. Based in Brisbane Cubbylove is the creation of Magdalene Bufalino who credits her partner Jai as providing a helping hand. Together they produce fun homewares and decor which simply make you smile. Timber bunting, pom pom trimmed cushions, adorned with cross stitch, and colourful pot plant holders. Described by Magdalene as a collection of "nice things to make your house feel loved," her range certainly does evoke a lovely homemade feel. I am sure you'll like it too, head here to checkout Cubbylove's entire range.

How would you describe yourself?
Honest, Friendly, Tenacious, Creative, Silly.

What was your childhood dream?
To be a ballerina.

What led you down your current path?
Wanting to fill my life with things I love.(Pretty things, lovely people, and a fun creative job)

What do you love most about what you do?
It feels great to be creating my own opportunities. I love being my own boss and all of the challenges and freedoms that come with it. 

Where do feel most inspired?
On long car trips with Jai. We always do our best thinking/talking while driving. 

Who do you admire?
Local Brisbane Underwear Designer Lis Harvey is someone I admire. She had a great idea and has executed it so delightfully through her label Nico Underwear

What challenges have you had to overcome?
I think the biggest challenge was biting the bullet and leaving my desk job to pursue this creative adventure with Cubbylove. There is something pretty scary about leaving a stable income to spend the days painting and sewing. However, I feel very lucky that Brisbane is full of young, enthusiastic and encouraging business owners, who have been super supportive. There is a real sense of community and information sharing that goes on, which makes a real difference when you are just starting out. 

What's been a 'pinch yourself' moment?
I was lucky enough to be featured in Frankie Magazine and Pepperment Magazine, two of my all time favourites. That was pretty nice!

What are your top inspiring resources?
Conversation, Travel, Pinterest, The Design Files.

Do you have a dream creative project?
I also really enjoy costume design and would love to do some creative collaborations at some point.

What are you currently coveting in the world of design?
I love the latest collection of bottle vases by Erin Lightfoot. 

What's next?
I am currently working on my second collection. Keep your eyes pealed!

When the weekend rolls around what do you love to:
Read - The paper.
Watch - Orange is the new black.
Cook - A dinner feast for friends.
Create - A cozy place to call home.
Listen to - Avaberee.
Dream about - Tropical holidays.
Look forward to - Summer time!