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01 Gold Coast creative community

paul bow & Claudio Kirac Loretta Lizzio matt vergotis Emily Chamberlain


A publication born through the collaborative process, sifting through the chaotic creative culture of the Gold Coast, and defining the ideas dancing at its heart.




the type museology brand new energy

COLLECTIVE One Publisher Designworks College of Design Editor Nolan Giles Art Director / Designer Drew Davies Cover image by Loretta Lizzio

Contributing Photographers Bek Grace, Orion Zuyderhoff-Gray

Collective is published four times a year by Designworks College of Design Š 2013 (All rights reserved). Printed by Foyer Printing on 120gsm Sun Offset stock by K.W. Doggett Fine Paper. Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly prohibited by law. Opinions expressed in articles are those of the author. All rights reserved on entire contents unless noted. Artists, photographers, designers and writers retain copyright to their work. Any Ideas for submissions, please contact


“One of the key aims with Marvellous was to create products with strong sentimental value.”


M A R V E L L O US Few 24-year-olds can lay claim to having built their own financially sustainable creative company. Fewer still can claim they have done it twice. Local designer, and budding entrepreneur, Emily Chamberlain is aiming to buck the trend with the launch of her second business venture – Marvellous. Chamberlain was one of three creatively minded young women who built the overnight success story that is Love Mae – a children’s décor business, specialising in wall decals with a distinctly kitsch vibe. In four short years Love Mae’s stylish designs won over the hearts and purse-spend of tasteful mothers across the globe. In 2013 she stepped down as Love Mae’s codirector, choosing to busy herself blending ideals of nostalgia into quality, handcrafted products for her new business – Marvellous. Chamberlain says Marvellous’ aim is to provide consumers with the perfect combination of stationery and leather goods. “One of the key aims with Marvellous was to create products with strong sentimental value,” she explains.

Photography beK grace

“I love that stuff. If somebody gives me something that has sentimental value I always get incredibly excited. Rather than making a product for the sake of it, producing something that is lovely and memorable creates a feeling. “I want to create something that gives people that feeling.” Continuing part-time as a graphic designer with Love Mae, Chamberlain dedicates her spare time to Marvellous. Moving off the screen and on to the workbench has allowed her to explore new passions. She has collaborated with local printery Impressworks to create beautiful, bespoke letterpress printed greeting cards and honed in on the craft of leather work in her Miami home studio space.


“When I started up Marvellous I thought about what I wanted the business to be, and what its sole purpose was,” she explains. “I always wanted to do greeting cards, but I wanted to do it differently, because there are so many cards out there, so making a point-of-difference through the unique art of letterpress printing was crucial.” Chamberlain admits she didn’t initially plan for leather goods to be a part of the business. However, after hearing her peers’ appreciation for the bags and purses she was creating for herself, she turned her attention to pursuing it commercially. “I was surprised that other people loved them, not just me,” she says. While creative ideas seem to flow naturally to Chamberlain, a former Designworks College of Design student, she faces many business obstacles. She adds both her creative thinking and business experience with Love Mae will be instrumental in overcoming these challenges. “I already have a lot of history in the craft industry with Love Mae,” she says. “I have seen a lot of inspiring businesses around the world. The exposure that I got from similar projects around me, trade shows I attended, and inspiring people I have met, have been an integral eye-opener for me as a businesswoman.” Chamberlain, like many creative artisans, now operates as a sole trader. She adds she must seriously consider every purchase her small budget will cater for. “When you have a tight budget you have got to be careful with what you do with it. It is unfortunate, but I think it helps keep you on track,” she says. “I would love to do so much more, but I have got to test the market and see how it goes, plan it out, and take time to think and work on the business. “It is very important spending time on the visionary things, the bigger picture, more than the day-to-day things. I think that planning is huge.”

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UNGU A RD E D MOMENTS Loretta Lizzio


loretta lizzio IMAGE by Melanie TjoenG

Loretta Lizzio’s images are charged with youthful energy and awash with evocative freedom. Carefree creatures float, longingly, in old motel swimming pools, pout their lips on vintage couches, and bathe freely in delicious sunlight. Lizzio’s work tends to romanticise a more idealistic time than the present, a time when our coastline was lined with beach shacks, Art Deco motels, sunkissed bodies and very little else. Perhaps this portrayal of simplistic freedom and beauty is due to her upbringing, in a much quieter place, far away. “I was living in a different world the whole Lizzio says she is always drawn to the time I was little, growing up on a farm in world’s most beautiful and natural delights, North Queensland,” Lizzio explains. “I one of them being the female form and would never watch TV, I’d be more likely to its subtle intricacies. “I really like dreamybe commando crawling through the garden looking girls,” she says. “There can be a with my stuffed animals. My parents had beautiful girl or there is that girl that has got to call the police on numerous occasions ‘something’ about her, big, massive eyes or because I’d go missing, and they’d find me beautiful, bold lips, something different. sitting in a giant goanna’s nest or something.” It’s that ‘something’ that I love.”

(From top) Tahnee Zoe

The nature of this free-spirited, unguarded While a fine and tasteful eye has gifted childhood seems to have never left Lizzio, her inspiration, Lizzio also possesses the now 26, who is making herself known, at technical prowess to direct, frame and home and abroad, as a gifted illustrator and capture the lively essence of her subjects, photographer. It has been her hyper-detailed, even if that means making them step out moody illustration work that won her most of their comfort zones. acclaim thus far in her career. However, less than a year ago, she picked up the camera, “I don’t want to just do a portrait, I want to and today she is already scoring commercial capture a personality,” she says. “Even if fashion photography work. that means me saying ‘Hey! I have an idea! Can I get you in a bath naked?’ I don’t know She began shooting purely to enhance her how I get these girls agreeing to what I say.” illustration work, but after falling in love with the format it quickly became a strong “It is all the unguarded moments. I don’t part of her creative output. “I asked a girl know how I do it, I just know that when I in my class at college if I could take photos am in that moment I am comfortable of her to use in my illustration, and I got giving direction, which I think makes the some of the best drawings I think that I have subjects feel more comfortable. I am very done from the shoot,” she says. “That just straightforward with what I want and even egged me on to do more, and then I started if the girls are making suggestions I’m very learning Photoshop and I fell in love with the easy about taking back control.” other side of it.”


(From top Left) Tahnee Kaleigh Billie Zoe

Photography Loretta lizzio

“I don’t want to just do a portrait, I want to capture a personality.”


Matt Vergotis, founder of Verg Advertising,

is a Gold Coast-based designer and illustrator servicing an array of international clients. His success can be attributed to dedication, microscopic attention-to-detail and a strong focus on process. His varied work with identity and branding consistently wins great praise by his huge online following, particularly in relation to his craftsmanship of typography. Vergotis caught up with Collective to discuss his approach to a recent brief for a logotype for boutique fashion house, Museology.

t h e T y pe What was the brief you were given? Museology is a fashion and accessories label for women. Museology means ‘the study of Museums’ and the client connected with this name, because museums can be modern and contemporary, as well as old-fashioned. She also liked the play on words, the study of ‘the muse’, which is very relevant in fashion design. The client is very passionate about design and function and puts a lot of thought and purpose behind everything. She told me she envisioned the stores a ‘treasure trove of all those things that have inspired humanity in its many shapes and sizes’.

Can you give us a description of the technical elements of the type design itself? I worked on a large scale for this, utilising the grids in Adobe Illustrator, so there’s a lovely precision and modular feel to every anchor point that works to a consistent mathematical ratio. With my first variation of the logotype I ran into a problem where for some reason ‘ology’ of ‘Museology’ was taking centre stage. To fix this I changed the “o’s” from perfect circles and condensed them to match the width of the rest of the letters. I also wanted to soften the edges with a small radius so it almost felt smoothly worn.

How did you choose to approach this brief and why? This one came easy to me, in the sense that the vision started presenting itself while reading the brief and visualising the name Museology. I kept seeing a logotype with a solid typeface that had structure and integrity, like that of a well-kept traditional museum with great big sandstone columns supporting it. Being for the fashion industry it would need to go on tags, labels and metal badges, so I wanted it to be clean and legible with a sense of sophistication aligned to upmarket brands that rely on simple logotypes. There’s a popular font called Museo Slab Serif, which may have subconsciously aligned my thoughts to a slab serif style font. So rather than choose to use this font, I decided I wanted to create my own slab serif typeface from scratch.

Why are you drawn to type design? There’s a comfortable familiarity with letters that I love, yet there are infinite possibilities to alter their appearance to give them a whole new personality. You can express so many different tones and perceptions through changing the way a typeface looks and this fascinates me.

Can you tell us about the process of moving your initial ideas into the final logotype? I didn’t fill pages with notes and sketches for this one. It only took me one attempt on paper to know I had something worth exploring. My initial sketch had a nice weight and great, big, chunky, angular slab serifs. Rather than redraw over and over to perfect it, I knew I would be able to make those tweaks quicker digitally.

Photography matt vergotis


impressworks | Fine letterpress printing | Burleigh Heads | | 07 5535 0298


brand new energy

two successful local minds in the surf wear industry, Claudio Kirac and Paul Bow, left behind a globally recognised brand to go-it-alone and form two interweaving boutique businesses —re-imagining their careers in the process.

The Art-Work Agency and Surf / Brand are the banners of Claudio Kirac and Paul Bow’s dual business endeavours. The names represent the earthy simplicity of the start-up brands, which are intrinsically linked through the pair’s greatest passions – surf, music and art.

(l-r) Paul Bow, Claudio Kirac

SURF / BRAND Growing Surf / Brand is currently Bow and Kirac’s “passion” side of their dual projects, where they don’t mind spending endless hours huddled around a kitchen bench, refining designs of beautiful Australian Paulownia timber handplanes. The handplanes, used as an accessory to help body surfers glide across onshore waves, have evolved from hobbyist roots to become the backbone of an alternative surfing lifestyle brand, which comprises of handcrafted boards and apparel. “I started crafting some handplanes in 2010,” explains Bow, who was the licensee of MCD Australia for seven years and a General Manager of the Element, Von Zipper and Nixon brands at Billabong for another eight. “I was flicking through some blogs one day, and I saw all these handboards, and I had some spare timber sitting there, so I thought ‘why not make a couple?’ It was summertime. I said to my son Jack, ‘let’s make handplanes and


go body surfing when the surf is onshore’. That soon started to become increasingly addictive as we continued developing the shape, a little bit at a time.” At this point Bow enlisted the help of Kirac, a long-time friend and collaborator, who helped transform the idea into an exciting brand prospect. “The Surf / Brand name came to me when I was winding down at the end of a long photo-shoot in California,” says Kirac, a former power player in Billabong’s creative department. “I had noticed old sign writing in Venice Beach using the term ‘Brand Co’ on family businesses that had been around forever. There were signs going back to the 1800s painted on the sides of buildings, and they just looked fantastic. Back in the day, when you created something you were proud of, you simply put your name to it and it became a brand, and then it just dawned on me... ‘Surf   / Brand’. What we were creating was, literally, a surf brand.” The development of the board and the brand continued around the kitchen workbench, while the growing demand for the handplanes caused the pair to think about the project as an increasingly serious venture to pursue.

“I took mine on a boat trip in Bali and people were asking me where they could buy them, and I had to tell them it was a one-off,” Kirac explains. “When I came back Paul and I talked more seriously, and we said – ‘First we need to get rid of nuts and bolts’, which were literally nuts and bolts. Then we needed to start making our own straps. So along comes this natural progression of development.” THE ART-WORK AGENCY While the Surf / Brand project remained a hobby during its developmental stages, both Kirac and Bow harnessed their collective creative energy to move away from Billabong and establish The Art-Work Agency in 2011. The Art-Work Agency does exactly what it says on the tin – providing artwork and art direction to businesses through a network of talented freelance illustrators, designers and photographers. Bow and Kirac’s business acts as the middleman – seeing that clients’ briefs are delivered fully, on-budget and on-time, and that the freelancers get a fair deal. “We wanted to collaborate and work with other people and other brands, and we wanted to give artists the chance to work on projects that they wouldn’t normally be exposed to,” says Bow. “From a commercial standpoint, there is a strong need for creative services that can be outsourced. That is the nature of the commercial world that most of these businesses and brands are in – they can’t afford to have so much creative talent in-house. “This is where The Art-Work Agency comes in, it draws on our pool of freelancers to help brands inject different looks and different flavours into the campaigns and different collateral.” Bow says the business takes the “headache” out of the transaction on both sides due to his and Kirac’s experience and ability to talk to “both the left brain and the right brain.”

THE FUTURE Bow and Kirac say their next step is to bring Surf / Brand and The Art-Work Agency together through an online retail portal. “Surf / Brand is basically becoming our official merchandise partner for The Art-Work Agency,” says Kirac. Bow adds the aesthetic of Surf / Brand’s products aligns nicely with the artistic ambitions of the talent on the The Art-Work Agency’s roster. He says that a new online portal will nurture cross-colloboration by forming a single space where Surf / Brand merchandise can be sold alongside products created by The Art-Work Agency’s freelancers. “The online retail space, set to launch this year, gives us the opportunity to have a store selling pieces from a multitude of different brands we feel fit into our little niche,” he says. “We also want to expose up-and-coming artists selling things like books and apparel to complement the Surf / Brand products for sale.” Despite going it alone, in a business sense, Kirac and Bow are working with an ever expanding team, rejoining the industry at a time when small, quality brands are thriving. Surf / Brand and The Art-Work Agency may have been dreamt up to keep an organic creative chemistry flowing through the veins of two passionate artisans, but in the end it seems that they have cast their nets into a much wider pool. “There is a whole lot of new brand energy throughout the world, across all industries, but it seems to be particularly across fashion, action sports and surf,” Bow says. “The whole boutique brand environment has suddenly just burst open. There are lots of people doing their own thing, and it seems that a lot of this energy is coming from this part of the world. They might not all make it out the other end, but at the moment there is this whole group of people just giving it a go.”

“From a business viewpoint, brands are saying ‘we need these things’, and from the creative side we are seeing a new energy in the freelance sphere – we are really connecting these two things,” he says.

“The Art-Work Agency does exactly what it says on the tin – providing artwork and art direction to businesses through a network of talented freelance illustrators, designers and photographers.”


ICONIC graphic designER, Stefan Sagmeister, had a sign in his studio for a number of years proclaimimg Style = Fart. That equation never sat quite right with us... at least a fart can raise a smile and engage a reaction.

RTO 32160 / cricos 03174J

At Designworks College of Design students will develop engaging idea-driven solutions through a solid understanding of the design process. Students work on real-world briefs in a refined studio environment, receiving invaluable mentoring from industry experts. Designworks is VET-FEE approved and offers a full-time Diploma in Graphic Design. We are currently interviewing for our upcoming full-time August 2013 intake of students. For further details please visit or phone Drew Davies on (07) 5535 0298.

Simon & Jenna Hipgrave / The Hungry Workshop: Designers / Letterpress; — Toby / Just Another: Agency; — Loretta Lizzio: Next Generation Artist; — Fuzeillear: Next Generation Artist; — Isobel Badin: Next Generation Art-Director; — Sticks & Stones: Next Generation Agency

Campbell Milligan /

Monster Children: Magazine / Agency; —

Myki Slonim /

Vice Australia: Magazine / Agency; —

Bec Winnel: Fine Artist; —

Luke Lucas: Typographer/Illustrator; —

Designworks: Masterclass; —

Griffith University QCA: Masterclass; —

Southbank Institute of Technology: Masterclass; —

University of the Sunshine Coast: Masterclass; —

SLQ - The Edge: Masterclass

Skount: International Street Artist; —

Fintan Magee: Street Artist / Fine Artist; —

Kevin Finn / TheSumOf: Agency; —

Dan Pike / The Letter D: Agency —

Rone - [featured]: Street Artist; —

Ben Johnston / Josephmark - [featured]: Agency; —



Dan Milnor: International Photographer

Askew: International Graffiti Artist / Fine Artist; —





Design & Creative Culture

Element Eden advocate Loretta Lizzio wears the Chalet Coat & Hobby Dress.

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@ elementeden_au

Collective One  

Collective is a free quarterly print publication bringing the passionate and creative people of the Gold Coast together, showcasing their id...

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