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ISSUE 12 | JUNE 2018

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This issue celebrates our 3rd birthday! From the team at The Eye, we thank you for your continued support and inspiration. Without you (yes you!), we wouldn’t be able to live this dream and build this community.

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on the cover ALICE LINDSTROM

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oh, hi there! E D I TO R I N C H I E F, F O U N D E R / S A M I I LU N D

Uh, excuse me… But uh, where the fuck did that time go?! I blinked and all of a sudden in a flash of glitter and art, it’s The Eye Creative’s 3rd birthday. The honest thing is, I only arrived at the realisation 2 weeks ago while receiving content for this issue. I’ve been so crazy busy that my own accomplishments are barely at the forefront of my mind (which for a Leo like me, is quite alarming).

we’ve ever been afraid to discuss as humans about not growing up in a naked house and how to tackle body issues. (The girl is my hero.)

However, instead of being stressed, I have actually been busy laughing and crying genuine tears from reading emotional and inspiring interviews with the creatives we’ve featured within these pages.

Amy gets down to business with Clean Coast Collective and how they’re changing our environmental woes one piece of trash at a time, and Courtney chats to the one and only superstar behind everyone’s favourite shoe brand, Rollie Nation.

Chloe from Welcome to the Feels Club allows us in to her world, tackling big issues and releasing a piece exclusively through The Eye Creative (which we’re super honoured and feel super emotional about).

Hands down, this is the BEST issue we’ve released (Which is great news, because it wouldn’t be fun if we went downhill, now would it?)

Long story short, you won’t put this one down uninspired. So sit back, relax, secure a comfy spot on the couch and grab yourself a cuppa because you’re going to want to read this cover to cover without interruption.

Our great mate Alex Dyson has probably written my favourite piece of the whole issue, which tackles Amy Shark’s quick (yet well-deserved) rise to fame, and how she managed to bypass her fears and doubts to be able to move forward with her goals. I in fact had a fist-pumping Breakfast Club moment reading this one - it’s that good.

Happy birthday to us! I’m off to celebrate with another coffee. xx

Samii

Our girl Charlotte interviewed the illustrator behind the cult illustrations of Pink Bits and said everything

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What’s inside...

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GUEST ILLUSTRATOR @LUCKY_44

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Guest Illustrator Lucky 44 @LU C K Y44_ W W W. L U C K Y 4 4 . C O M . A U

I don’t know who’s luckier, Tanya Northey (AKA Lucky44), or us here at The Eye. I mean, having Tanya’s illustrations throughout this issue is a big deal for us. Not only does her art bright up our social feeds, but Tanya herself has been an enormously positive and hilarious impact on us from the very moment her email first hit our inbox 6 months ago. With an honest, raw and open approach to life and art, Tanya’s work is a shining beacon of light on a gloomy day and a warming, welcoming hug on the pleasant ones.

When I was a child I wanted to be… on the island with the Swiss Family Robinson or move to America and live like Laura in Little House on the Prairie. (I used to make my brother pull me around in a horse and cart aka he was the horse and I sat in a wheel barrow!!).

I am currently listening to… I go between Joji and Bob Seger. I had Ella Fitzgerald and Bruce Springsteen on the other day, quite the combo. I can’t sing for shit and I know approximately 20% of the words of any song. I usually make them up. The things I can’t live without are… jeeeeeeeeez. I want to say coffee and then my family, Husbo is a friggin rock and he balances all my crazy shit out. My daughter Isla is by best friend and I fully love her and everything she does. And my baby Will, (aka Willy Monster), who is no longer a baby and is much like his father in his “solidness” and quiet caring nature. Air and water. Grass. My iPad Pro. My 700kg of notebooks and art supplies. Flowers and music. And my favourite chair Chester. And my two dogs and my chook Happy.

The studies I took to get where I am… I did a year at Business College in Sydney, which started my short-lived career as a legal secretary. I actually think it put me in good stead for small business. I worked in a large international law firm and I still lean on some of the ways they did business and mimic their policies! I’m inspired by… pretty much everything and anything.Travelling really gets my juices going. I’m just always looking… for a pattern or a leaf or something to draw or take a picture of or use as colour inspiration. Music, Pinterest and Instagram get me going, tricky not to fall into an abyss of inspiration and then feelings of inadequacy. Be careful of that kiddies, always come back to your own style, flavour and flare. My influences are… at the moment, I would have to say… Bianca Cash is a complete cutie and I want to be her, Kitty McCall, Kelly Ventura, Heather Day and Amber Davenport…Oh my god this list could actually go on and on.

Obstacles I’ve faced throughout my career…. Fuck, I do not think we have enough time for this. I should have read through this list of questions first. Wow, I’m tearing up actually. It’s the assholes and the poo poo’ers. I had a boss that scared me so much my knees used to shake up and down (like in the cartoons) as I walked into work. I was young and pregnant and we needed me to keep my job until I could leave. He was a ranter and a mean, mean man. In the last 6mths I have had 3 surgeries and a nasty bout of pneumonia that nearly killed me… I have learnt so much in this time…. Rest people. REST.

People I admire… I’m going corny straight up, my Grandma.. she was a complete cracka and I just want to be like her. Other legends that I admire, in no particular order Oprah and Obama. Lisa Messenger. Atticus from To Kill a Mockingbird (I know he’s not real, and I do like Boo Radley too). Hmmmm I’m coming back to corny thoughts of my friends and family.

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How I got through them… Well, my general philosophy is a combination of FEEL ALL THE FEELS and roll with it and do the work on yourself. I don’t like being angry or hanging onto other people’s shit. Forgive them, forgive yourself, get over it as quick as I can. I am so much better these days are asking “what’s in this for me, and is this more about them? I believe the universe brings us tricky things so that we have opportunities to learn and grow. If I don’t listen, the messages and the lessons get louder and louder until I pay attention and change something… I have always stuck to my integrity and hard work ethic.

The latest project I’m working on… I bought a bloody Hair Salon last week. lol. I’m not a hairdresser. This will be interesting. BAhahahahahah

More recently, I have learnt to REST. Like every tom dick and harry, I have bouts of lows (I don’t like using the word depression, but something along those lines) and like to exit the room. I get overwhelmed and find it hard to switch off. I have serious self esteem issues and just constantly fight it… just keep working at it and keep doing your best.

Advice I have for those wanting to get into this profession… Don’t do what you think others want. Work hard at finding your style. It’s so hard to be original, but find people you love and look to them and then do your own version. Pay attention to things, anyfuckingthing that makes your eyes light up… . @angemillerart wrote this…. “The art you don’t care if anyone likes it or not THAT is the art you must make”.

My name Lucky 44 means…. Family joke really…. My lucky number was 44. Then my daughter claimed it as her lucky number. Then my son. Then he changed his to 43. Lol. My work represents me how…. I think it’s my unrecognised feelings and words. I don’t always have the words and I often have a lot of feelings. My art stuff is the inside me… it’s kinda private and at times hard to reveal!

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“An Undiluted Truth”

The birth of The Feels Club Words by Chloe Webb Founder of The Feels Club @welcometothefeelsclub

What you are about to read is a story a long time coming; a story often diluted, but now presented in its most potent honesty. My name is Chloe Webb I am the artist & writer behind The Feels Club. How did I get here? Well, like you - birth. But also like many others, more than we often realise - a journey through depression. Set scene: June 2016 , ‘A Glacial Pace’ Not only my first ever public art show. But the first time I ever let my art be seen, period. Frightened beyond belief, a tall ginger lady fights off sporadic urges to cover up the eyes of the onlooking audience, blocking her scribbles from view.

Made up of 20% anxiety, 30% general nerves, & 50% disbelief that she was even still alive, let alone displaying her art on walls where people can see them. As cliche as it sounds art was something that found me, in the dark when I think of it. My creativity, regularly squashed & denied; began to speak to me a whole lot louder in 2015 when I had been going through a pretty turbulent time with my mental health. At the time I was working as artist manager for singer/songwriter Jake Howden and good things were happening - the writing & releasing new music & national tour to accompany.

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It was on that same tour I tripped on realising something was wrong...It should have been the time of my life - I was on a tour I worked so hard to book with an artist I believed in with everything I had; accompanied by beautiful friends for the Byron Bay & Brisbane leg of the tour. Yet all I could do was pick at the skin around my fingernails and think about how much I wanted to break my hands.

& grief.. An inescapable and devastating blow to our community and beyond. It was then everything spoke a little louder. I was confused... I still felt a sourness and obliged to see my plan through, but I also felt bizarrely stunted. In a way I was forced to sit with what I was feeling and there consider my options. Options of which I simply hadn’t seen for such a long time… And it’s with the utmost of discomfort I say that, because I the world lost an extraordinary being that day. The sour in me continued to speak in volumes, it told me on loop that it my life held no meaning… yet somehow as impossible as it seems and as bizarre as it still feels to admit - I was choosing life.

Obviously, something inside me had grown sour and it became all I could taste, all I could breathe and no matter what I did all; I could present. When I returned home from the tour still disrupted with bizarre urges and little to no energy, that’s when the thought to end my life entered my mind. Once that seed was planted, the sourness fertilized it, encouraging its growth... And soon the idea burgeoned from a passing disruptive thought to a lingering voice. And more swiftly than I care to admit, into a legitimate plan that no longer frightened me. Looking back now that right there is the most frightening thought of all.

Shaken wide awake, the journey began... it hasn’t always been smooth sailing, or sparkling transformation. But it was the beginning of finding my way through dark by being light, despite the dark. First step started to upack what I was feeling to my friends & soon followed a visit to my GP. I started seeing a therapist, was misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder; and then 2 months later landed on a more accurate diagnosis of major depression. And even then then journey was still only just beginning.

In beginning months of 2016 I was made acutely aware that I wasn’t the only one going through the motions of darkness… Suddenly I saw the abrupt and heartbreaking veracity of depression’s toll first hand. In ways all too sickeningly close to home - I saw my plan play out in front of me, when a young woman from my local community unexpectedly took her life. A beautiful soul, with infinite potential and whose presence was for so many people - pure light.

Counselling, if I’m honest… was a total mind fuck. It unearthed a mound of things that I thought I had dealt with but in actual fact had just managed to sweep under the rug to fester into a silent, tangled mess of forgotten tormentors souring beneath the rug of my mind. It was there lifting up the rug, I found the heartwork, and that’s where the big shifts occurred.

Promptly, my plan was frightening again. The consequence of action was playing out it in front of my eyes and it was everywhere - pain, unspeakable loss, questions

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During that time I found myself taking pen to paper more than ever and I just knew that if I was going to stay on this earth then had to fight the good fight. I had to BE the light. And bowing down to my creativity was the only way I knew how to go about it. I found my space to unleash, upack and at the same time let people know that it is entirely OK not always be entirely OK. It was here in between murky darkness and wild lightness that The Feels Club was born, two days after that first art show… Turns out facing fears is a really good way to face fears!

I often describe depression as my invisible enormity… When I fall into a low, and it happens - I have my tools. And art and living creatively is a big part of how I pick myself back up again. Because when I allow myself to take up the space between an inky pen and paper or let my fingers feverishly dance across a keyboard; I know for certain that there are bigger enormities inside of me, enormities that are so much bigger & so much brighter than depression.

The Feels Club is my ongoing, presumably perpetual; heartwork in motion. Built on vulnerability, softness, light, dark & every damn thing in between. And honouring the same. But these days it stretches well beyond me to be an safe & open heartspace for the feeling & healing, slowing & growing.

A bewildered ginger lady takes a deep breath, sips her coffee and prepares the concluding sentence to story she has been afraid yet responding to the internal call, to tell. She flips to a fresh page of her journal, reaches for a pen and scribbles the following words…

Set Scene: May 2018, A green velvet couch at a busy cafe -

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LIGHT TO DARK DARK TO LIGHT EACH TIME WITH A LITTLE MORE STRENGTH EACH TIME WITH A LITTLE MORE MAGIC THIS IS WHAT WE DO WITH ALL OUR HUMANESS WE KEEP ON & ON AGAIN WE REMAKE START AGAIN, START A NEW WE FEEL & HEAL WE GRIEVE & GROW AND HONOUR THE JOURNEY WITH CROSSED FINGERS STARRY EYES & TENDER, WILD HEARTS Heart first into healing... My journey continues, it always will. I am accepting of that. It took pain & light to get here, and much the same to tell this story. But the timing felt right. In glowing memory x Lifeline: 13 11 14 - for the first steps of courage to see dark days lighter, you are not alone.


I M A G E S S U P P L I E D B Y A RT I S T

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Alice Lindstrom W R I T T E N B Y A M Y FA R N W O R T H @ALICELINDSTROM

Alice Lindstrom is an illustrator and artist who works in paper collage and designs prints and wares that exude all things fun. The 34-year-old from Melbourne creates her unusual artwork by building up layer after layer of paper in what she describes as a frustrating, timeconsuming task, but one that is highly rewarding and satisfying. “I love the happy accidents that can come from collage as well as the textural effects I can achieve; I really enjoy building the images up gradually. “Sometimes I’ll find my way into an image through moving the paper round until it looks right. There’s a kind of meditative quality to the process that I really love.” Alice studied Theatre Design at the National Institute of Dramatic Art and it was here that she was encouraged to use collage as an imaginative technique – ripping up magazines and photocopying images until she could assemble something that was evocative and textural. “I loved the process so much that I continued collaging from then on, and refined my style and technique over the years. “As a side note though, I have since found some pieces I made as a child and in most of them I used a combination of drawing and collage, so I guess it’s something I have always done in some form or other.”

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Clearly born to collage, surprisingly, Alice has only been illustrating full-time for just over a year. Before that she supported herself by working part-time and smashing out collage commissions for anyone who wanted them. Since signing with The Jacky Winter Agency in October 2017 though (which has bases in Melbourne and New York – a pretty big deal in itself), Alice has worked with Quarto Publishing, Little Hare Books, Hardie Grant,

T2, Bravery Magazine, American Public Media, and ABC Radio National. Plus, her ‘leafy collage’ design was recently blown up for ECO D in Hawthorn and is now plastered over their walls and windows nationwide, something which she got a huge buzz from. It’s finishing her first picture book ‘A Stage Full of Shakespeare’ that’s been her biggest achievement though – a funny, olde-worlde plethora of

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Shakespearian characters and stories. “Finishing the book was a really huge achievement for me. It was my first picture book and it was an honour to be asked to illustrate iconic scenes from some of Shakespeare’s bestknown plays. “It was also a lot of illustrations! The book will be published in September so I’m really excited to see it out in the world!”


Alice’s work can flit from intricately delicate to simple and linear – her repeating pastoral patterns for a wallpaper design appear bold and neat, yet her illustrations and collages that include more characters, action scenes, and landscapes, express a fine tuning and the ability to retain a steady hand amidst a busy backdrop. All this culminates in a portfolio of work that conveys to admirers and consumers that collage, like a lot of art, isn’t just one dimensional.

But how does she do it? For many illustrators, a blank canvas would be the obvious first choice, but for Alice, she begins by painting a hell of a lot of paper. “I try and create different textures and a diverse range of patterns, tones and hues. “I work surrounded by paper – I have piles of paper everywhere! I have a pile for green, yellow, red, and so forth, and I’ll pull out a sheet of paper as I go.

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“Next, I plan the collage by sketching it out, either on paper or on an iPad. When I’m happy with the sketch I translate it into collage, tracing each shape and then cutting out the corresponding shape onto a coloured sheet of paper.” If all that sounds like a huge task, then believe her when she says it really is!


Alice explains that the overall time a collage takes depends on the level of detail it has. “A simple, stand-alone image can take a few hours, but a detailed or highly realistic collage, for instance, an intricate still life portrait or interior scene, can take an entire week.” On her Instagram page, one of Alice’s posts from 2017 saw her experimenting with animation using Photoshop – a funny little sketch of fruit tumbling from a fruit bowl before being picked out by an animated collaged hand. And when asked about her foray into the world of animation, she excitedly said: “I’m really eager to learn about animation. It’s on the list as I’m keen to see my little collage people move!”

As well as the process for her collages taking up a lot of her sweet time, the classical boldness of the colours she uses beg the question about choice of palette and the never-ending spectrum of varying hues and shades.

film to a flower or an object like a wall hanging or a vase.”

She says that before she begins a collage she usually has a colour palette in mind that she feels is appropriate for the work.

“I always get inspired by revisiting artwork or by artists and illustrators that I love; or by discovering artists I haven’t heard of before.

“From that point, I mix up different colours and paint many, many sheets of paper in different tones, hues and textures. “I also have a large collection of painted paper, so sometimes I use the existing colours I have. “Other times I’ll choose a palette based on something that’s inspired me – from colours in a

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Speaking of inspiration then, Alice’s work is so varied that on first glance it’s difficult to know or guess where her ideas and muses come from.

“If I’m feeling short of inspiration though, a trip to the NGV always energises me!” Among the painters Alice admires are Stanley Spencer and Suzanne Valadon, but she’s also a collector of children’s picture books and loves illustrators from the twentieth century, such as Maurice Sendak and Sylvia Weve.


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“I also get inspired looking at Persian manuscripts, Medieval manuscripts, folk art and textile design. I find inspiration everywhere.” It’s clear that Alice loves being a creative, her excitement at the idea of making something with her bare hands enables her to express herself, and she loves the opportunities she gets to illustrate stories and ideas that she feels need to be told.

But it’s the fact that making her work gives her life joy, meaning and purpose that’s her favourite thing about being a creative. And the most important piece of advice she could give to a budding illustrator? “Stick with it, year after year. Try not to compare your work to the work of other artists and illustrators. Your own work will be the best teacher – it will tell you what you need to explore and what you need to refine.

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“I love the quote by American artist, Kiki Smith: ‘Just do your work. And if the world needs your work it will come and get you. And if it doesn’t, do your work anyway.’” Alice ships her collage pieces and designs nationwide and internationally. All her work can be found at www.alicelindstrom. com under the SHOP section of her website.


Vibrant, lighter than two bananas and the ultimate travelling companion, you’d be forgiven for thinking I wasn’t talking about shoes. But I am. Grab a cuppa and let me introduce you to Rollie Nation. Behind the brand is Vince Lebon, originally hailing from Mauritius he moved to Australia as a toddler. One of 4 boys in his family, growing up was non-stop fun and fuelled heavily by a love of sport, namely basketball, that was switched for art later in his high school years. Studying multimedia design at university, “I wanted to be a video or animation designer”, there was always a love of design in his blood, regardless of the industry. Vince ended up working for an Australian independent footwear company and then became a footwear consultant before launching Rollie Nation in 2012. “Rollie was inspired by my wife, Kat, who was a flight attendant. The idea of creating a shoe so light and comfortable so that she could not only travel light, but still look cool whilst exploring and shopping on her travels”, Vince explains. And if you’re wondering where the name Rollie comes from, it’s the nickname Vince gave to his wife, so the brand is named after her. Cue sigh. Rollie burst onto the scene with quite a bang, selling 500 pairs in the first 5 weeks, which are big numbers in the retail game, and quickly followed by landing an order with Level Shoe District in Dubai, who happens to be the largest shoe store in the

world. “After that, it levelled to a consistent pace and from there it’s been about building the brand and community.”, which Vince and the team are equally passionate about. Having worked in the retail industry for the past 12 years as a planner myself, more often than not, the driving force of any business is the financial bottom line. So when I asked Vince about where he see’s the brand sit within the wider market, I was refreshingly surprised by his response. “I don’t really see it like that. I think of the community first and what we are to our community and how we can grow our community as opposed to what other brands are doing or what their wider market looks like. I like to push myself as a creative by looking at new materials, initiatives and innovation and that’s what makes us stand out. If we focus on adding value to people’s lives, people will love us and want to share the love.” In an ever evolving marketplace, this sort of brand ethos is what the consumer is now looking for. A story to follow and feel connected to. To get something from the brand they didn’t have to pay for if you will. Lebon adds, “We try to add value to people’s lives. Whether it’s through a colourful print that people connect with or a comfortable lightweight shoe that they can take travelling. Just making people feel good and always thinking about adding value and putting our community first.”

I M A G E S S U P P L I E D B Y A RT I S T

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Rollie Nation W R I T T E N B Y C O U R T N E Y R OT H B E R G @ R O L L I E N AT I O N

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And it doesn’t just stop there. Vince is also conscious of the global community at large, which is representative of the space within retail we currently find ourselves. 10 years ago, hearing anyone talk about fair wages or sustainable fabrics was unheard of. Fast fashion reigned supreme but leaving in it’s wake was a level of devastation so unknown to the everyday consumer. Now, in 2018, we know better, which means we should choose better and Vince certainly is. “I’m always trying to find ways for everybody to win. How can we create a culture where our factories win, our company wins, our employees win, our customers win and ultimately our environment wins? That’s the core of it all and that’s what I’m constantly working towards.” He agrees though that the responsibility needs to be a collective one, “If designers have sustainability and ethical considerations in mind, then I think that’s the quickest solution that will have the biggest impact towards an ethical and sustainable world. If brands created products that were sustainable and still cool at the same time, then people wouldn’t have to think about whether it’s sustainable or not. There’s

currently too much emphasis on consumers leading this movement, it needs to happen alongside designers.” Within this shift also comes the move away from mass production and toward the simple minimalist philosophy of quality rather than quantity. “I love it. I think that it’s the fact that the consumer is gaining power through social media so they’re able to voice their opinions more openly and to a larger audience. I think we need to shift to individualisation rather than mass production. We produce product with the intent of creating an emotional connection with our customers.” With designers like Lebon behind some big brands on the scene, there is much hope for the future of fashion and it’s impact on our world. If you haven’t fallen in love just yet, their designs are sure to get you hook, line and sinker. Perforated leather, punchy metallics and soft neutrals, there is literally something for everyone within the Rollie range. While fashion appears to meet function in the ultimate yin yang relationship, I was interested to see what trumps in the design process. “For me it’s functionality for sure, but the emotional

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connection is what is going to make you want to buy the shoe and be part of the brand.”, Vince explains. And he’s right. The look is what grabs you first but you soon realise there is more than meets the eye once they’re on your feet. As Vince was trying to make the lightest shoes for travelling, EVA rubber was the product he’d been searching for. Extremely light weight and durable with excellent stress and pressure resistance qualities, which is why it’s used heavily in sports performance, it allows him to blur the lines between comfort and fashionable all day wear. With an EVA sole on each pair, the fun part is the upper, which is where you can find yourself in print heaven. The Rollie customer is very open minded so the risk lay not in the print direction but rather not offering too many options to begin with. Attuned to his surroundings, inspiration is never far away. “You could walk a whole day and find things to draw a collection from. Not just visually but through feeling and storytelling too.” Lebon admits he designs for a customer in mind rather than himself but has realised that his core values underpin the whole process.


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While Lenny Kravitz takes the crown for Vince’s personal style icon he resolves Pharrell is more in line with Rollie as a brand. “The thing they both have in common that I love is that they both take risks in self-expression and they don’t box themselves in.” Rollie is doing the same, making sure they stay firmly outside the box where the magic happens. With the launch of their Studio Series, the prints were a homage to Vince’s home life in Brooklyn, where he spends about 80% of his time. “The Studio Series collection was the easiest way to take customers on a visual journey of my creative inspiration and tell the story about my recent move to NYC.” Admitting to a love/hate relationship with Brooklyn and Melbourne always being home, the pull to the little borough runs deep. “The thing I love about Brooklyn is that you’re living in a big city but it still feels

like a small community. There is a great community of creatives just trying to make cool things which is really inspiring and fuels my drive even more.” With such a strong urge to create and push boundaries, Vince enjoys a fluid design approach with each new pair of Rollie’s created differently. “I can sketch, make paper patterns, create 3D designs, make a sample physically by hand or mock something up in Photoshop, so it’s different for each shoe and each collection. I like that I’m not forced to design in the same way or format because it allows me to create different products and create them in new and exciting ways.” The mood board for the coming season continues to build on the success of rose gold but also adding a new depth with the introduction of navy in the mix. There are trusted silhouettes from the past in new prints but the collection is about story

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telling more than anything. Vince loves to push the main collection more and more each season rather than continuing to reinvent it. But something brand new in the Rollie domain is their collaboration with EttaVee, the Parisian based art and design brand who stand for all things bright and beautiful. The Hello World collection, available worldwide now, is brimming with personality and inspired not only by EttaVee’s global travels but the magical views from her studio in the city of love. EttaVee is famous for her hand painted goods and now her incredible work has made it’s way into the wonderful world of Rollie Nation, the synergy between both brands making their collaboration a perfect fit, in more ways than one.


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Wondering if this brand was everything I was reading and seeing and wanting to play a little Devil’s advocate, I consulted a friend who wears Rollie’s and she barely stopped short of professing her undying love for them. She’s four pairs deep and lives in them for both work and play. They cover all bases of comfort and style, people are always commenting on them, and above all, toe coverage, which appears to be an issue for her personally but if you’re not that way inclined, check out their killer slides. With Rollie accessible to everyone, it seems we can also bid farewell to corporate pencil skirts, stockings and socks with hideous trainers on your feet for the morning CBD work commute. The 21st century conundrum has been solved. Praise the… Vince? It’s truly remarkable that he’s been able to create a global brand with a community feel at it’s core, where you know you’re buying into something other than just another pair of shoes. He hopes his customers feel empowered to do something incredible in their Rollie’s, “to go and travel and live the life they’ve always wanted to live. It’s about what they’re doing in the shoes rather than the shoes themselves. I want the shoes to spark their imagination and start conversation.” As for the brand moving forward, “Ultimately, we want to create a brand and products that we are super proud of. We’re looking at new ways that we can add value to people’s lives through other products and social benefit. We also plan to dive into the kid’s market and strengthen our men’s collection in the near future.” Certainly sounds like they they will be a one stop shop for the whole family in no time. While it may seem their ride into the fashion arena has been an easy one, it may be credited to Vince’s solid vision for the brand, admitting there have been no moments along the journey where he thought about closing shop. “I always believed it would work and if it didn’t I was going to start another brand. I think having that mentality forced me to make this business work.” Still giving the brand room to breathe on it’s own, Vince does concede they are by no means at the finishing line just yet. “It’s on the original path but we still have a long way to go with reaching the original vision. For us it’s always been about building a community and that emotional connection and even though we’re bigger now, we’re still super focused on delivering that.” So there you have it. Either get your feet in a pair of Rollie’s, The Derby Punch is the fan favourite, or crawl back under the rock you came from because life without them seems bleak at best.

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Flock Curiosity Assembly W R I T T E N B Y A M Y FA R N W O R T H @SAH O FFLO CK

Non-conventional colour combos? Check. Unusual yet wearable designs? Check. Experimental resin play? Check. A partnership formed out of a mutual love of colour? Check. Check. Check!

shop. And it was during their time selling exciting, contemporary jewellery from around the world that they decided to combine their love of accessories with their art school backgrounds, and naturally, Flock was born.

combine it with a hardening agent and pigments and moulds, forms a solid plastic object that becomes the perfect medium for us to execute fun and colourful one of a kind statement jewellery.”

Jewellery company, Flock Curiosity Assembly, has all the makings of a bold, statement-led brand; their one of a kind earrings stand out like orange spoons in a sea of black and white forks – and if you’ve ever seen a sea of black and white forks, then you’ll know it’s pretty damn interesting when you find an orange spoon in there!

Describing what they create as, ‘a visual feast for one to adorn themselves with, an overload of different colours, shapes and textures’, Stacey, who originally hails from New Zealand, and Sarah, a native Perth gal, use epoxy resin, sterling silver and polyurethane as the medium for their designs. “Each cast piece is considered and executed in an organic painterly manner which assures that each piece is unique to the wearer,” Stacey says.

The girls sculpt, mould, cast, sand and polish their little beauties in a process that, upon first inspection, seems like it could take a literal age.

That’s why it’s no surprise to hear that co-founders, Stacey Rutigliano and Sarah Byrne, aren’t afraid to step outside the box when it comes to their designs: “Give us a challenge and we will go to town,” say the girls. Veteran stall holders at Melbourne’s Rose Street Markets, Stacey and Sarah started Flock Curiosity Assembly around seven years ago, after meeting while working in an inner-city jewellery

But what exactly is resin? For those who aren’t accustomed with the fine art of jewellery making, it could be a little difficult to imagine how the substance is used to create pieces as eclectic as Flock’s. Stacey explains: “Resin is a type of plastic that starts of as a honey like liquid but once you

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“The actual process of pouring the resin into the moulds is a fairly quick one. You can choose to do flat colour or mix and layer the resin to get different 3-dimensional effects. “The resin we use has a fairly quick curing time which tends to give you great satisfaction from de-moulding the jewels once dry enough quite fast. “The weather plays big part in this process too - the hotter it is the faster the curing, so you tend to have to work fairly fast!!


“In winter though you have more time to play around with different techniques using the resin.” What they end up with at the end of their process are solid, often lightweight, unsymmetrical works of beauty, carefully crafted so that no two designs are the same; perfect for accessory lovers who want to stand out from the crowd...just like an orange spoon! From their Tear Drop Drops and Oval Drops, to their Skinny Hoops, Pacmans, Double Glam Triangles and Tube Drops - which are firm favourites with Flock admirers - to the newer designs which incorporate the Luna Hoop and Flat Bubble Studs, there’s no end to Stacey and Sarah’s imagination when it comes to producing new wares. The girls even experiment with bangles and necklaces and have been known to hold resin workshops in conjunction with WorkShopMelbourne, who provide creative know-how, demonstrations, and designled info for all kinds of crafty motherfuckers out there (their words, not ours). And, as well as keeping their stall at the Rose Street Markets well and truly stocked with vibrant designs, the girls like to venture further afield, taking their wares as far as Adelaide for the

Bower Bird Design Market, and Australia’s capital, for Handmade Canberra. They said: “We first started at Rose Street Artists Market about seven years ago as babies to the market scene, and soon became part of the furniture. “It has proven to be a great base site for us to sell our wares and be a part of a great arts and craft community. “We’ve made numerous new friends and it’s a great place to feed off and feel inspired by new and existing artists’ works in all medias.” Speaking of feeling inspired, the girls say that although maintaining their originality when it comes to ideas is hard, for budding design entrepreneurs out there it’s well worth the time and effort: “Original ideas are hard but are so worth your while taking the time to consider, not to mention much more rewarding for you as a creative! “Don’t be shy to try your hand at all the ways of getting your creative projects out there too. There are a lot of people out there dying to see new things and ready to support your journey. “And it’s a great way to build your creative network and make some fabulous new friends!”

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Flock Curiosity Assembly was born out of a love for contemporary jewellery, a desire to create, a desire to be unique, and a need to set themselves apart from everything else out there - two friends doing what they love, coming up with new and inspired designs, and smashing their way out of the boring box at the same time. “For us it’s about making things different and unusual; pushing our boundaries with every new collection and not following trends but rather creating them. “It’s very important to keep our ideas fresh not just for our lovely customers but also for us. “We make things we enjoy wearing so it’s very important for us to try our hand at new things all the time, so we have sweet new jewels 24/7, which isn’t really too hard as there are so many ideas out there, we have really only just scraped the surface!” Flock Curiosity’s designs can be purchased from their Etsy store which can be accessed via their website www. flockcuriosityassembly.com. They even have stockists in Japan, the UK and America, so get online, and get buying!


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Clean Coast Collective W R I T T E N B Y A M Y FA R N W O R T H @CLEANCOASTCOLLECTIVE

Plastics – love them or hate them they’re used and consumed by humans every single day, in hundreds of different forms, across Australia and throughout the world; from drinks straws to single-use bags, food packaging to cotton buds, bottles to microbeads; and they’re polluting our oceans and shorelines at an epidemic rate, contributing to the unnecessary deaths of hundreds of marine wildlife. So urgent is the need to decrease our plastic consumption, that some national and world leaders have pledged to help fight the war on plastics, to clean up our oceans and shorelines and to try to stop the polluting before it gets any worse. From July this year, Western Australia is set to ban single use plastic bags. WA Premier, Mark McGowan, said the state would address the problem of plastics that causes serious harm to marine wildlife and birds, and would also introduce a container deposit scheme to tackle the hordes of plastic drinks containers that cannot currently be recycled. NT, SA, Tasmania and ACT already have the bans in place, with Queensland aiming to implement the same ban this year. And Australian supermarket giants, Coles and Woolies have hinted that they intend to support the ban too.

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CLEAN COAST COLLECTIVE. CAPE YORK. PHOTO BY JEMMA SCOT T

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PHOTO BY ANGUS KENNEDY

The UK has had a plastic bag tax in place since 2015 but is yet to introduce an outright ban; instead, they are intending to ban the sale of plastic straws, drinks stirrers, and cotton buds. Environmental groups however, are urging governments to go further and want to ban all single-use plastics by 2025. Plastic bags and straws make up only a fraction of the plastic waste we see along our shorelines and in our oceans and banning their use will hopefully stop further build up. But how can it be possible to target the waste already out there and clean up our nations for good? That’s where Clean Coast Collective come in. The notfor-profit organisation and lifestyle brand, set up by Nat Woods and Dan Smith four years ago, run clean-up expeditions to Australia’s most polluted stretches of coastline using what they call, ‘Trash Tribes.’ They also sell a range of plasticfree alternatives through their online store, such as toothbrush

and straw sets, with the profits from sales helping to fund the Trash Tribe expeditions. “Four years ago, we had no idea about the extent of the plastic pollution in our oceans,” says Nat. “No-one was talking about it back then and we only came across the issue after spending weekends hiking on remote stretches of beaches. We would find so much plastic washing ashore. “We started Clean Coast Collective as a way to run small clean-ups on our local beaches, but it’s expanded into so much more than that since the early days.” Nat continued: “Our Trash Tribe expeditions take groups of passionate and creative people on clean-up expeditions in remote Australia. On our last expedition we helped remove seven tonnes of plastic pollution off a single beach in Cape York—it was the biggest clean up Australia has ever seen. “The idea behind the trips is that you can’t ignore plastic

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pollution after going through this experience—you can’t unsee the amount of plastics that are washing ashore on some of Australia’s most remote beaches. “Unfortunately, we can’t take everyone on these trips, so Trash Tribe members run projects when they return home to share their experience with their communities. The projects then share the message of plastic pollution across the entire country and beyond.” Nat explained that the most shocking part of the Trash Tribe journey is that the beaches they clean up are hundreds of kilometres from cities and are only accessible for part of the year. She said they often find mounds of plastic covering the sand, most of which isn’t coming from local communities but is washing ashore from all over the world. “The first year we went to Chilli Beach, we removed over three tonnes of pollution, and last year we removed seven tonnes.


The problem is getting worse every year and we all have a responsibility to stop using plastics to stop the flow of pollution.” Series such as ABC’s The War on Waste, and David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II, sounded the warning sirens about how dangerous our plastic consumption is, and revealed the devastating threat the manmade material is posing to our oceans. Perhaps the revelation is something that should’ve been highlighted sooner. But the stark reality is, we, in the 21st century, in the developed, progressive world, ignorantly didn’t realise until now, how much damage plastic is actually doing. Our world is choking in plastics – our oceans are filled with over five trillion pieces of plastics and our landfills are overflowing. Unfortunately, our society designed plastic to be so durable, that it actually never breaks down, and instead breaks up into hundreds of tiny pieces. Nat says that for our oceans, this means marine wildlife is now ingesting plastic, causing illness and death. There is also evidence of plastic pollution accumulating toxins in our oceans and then transporting those toxins into the animals that eat them, which in turn could enter our own food chain, with plastic particles having already been found in sea salt and even beer. And for a product that has only been around for a few decades, it is something that frighteningly, will outlast us all. Nat continued: “It’s scary to think that the plastics we use today will stick around long after we’re gone. And as a new material, it is just too early to know the impacts that plastic is having on our own health, with many research organisations hypothesising that plastic can have harmful effects on our bodies.”

With that said, Nat thinks there could definitely be more done at a government level to combat plastic pollution, particularly regarding plastic packaging bans, investment in compostable packaging and industrial composting systems, as well as regulations on companies to take ownership of the waste they pass on to the consumer. She said: “The bans in the UK are a great starting point and there are similar bans emerging all around the world. It would be great to see the Australian government start to take this issue seriously.” Clean Coast Collective’s approach to tackling the epidemic is a positive one, and through their Trash Tribes and online initiatives, they are aiming to educate people about their plastic consumption and try not to criticise those who are less conscious about how much plastic they’re actually using. “When we first started four years ago there was very little discussion about ocean pollution and only a few groups working in the space, now there are cleanup groups all across the country and the world. And also, so many social media influencers promoting zero-waste living. When we started, we really want to shift the way people viewed a plastic-free lifestyle and we’re seeing that shift taking place, so now we’re really thinking about where we go next and what our contribution to the space can and needs to be. “Everyone is on a journey, and we’re all at different stages of our awareness. Behavioural change takes time and we’re seeing a shift in that behaviour. Of course, there are still people who aren’t on this journey yet, but it will happen.” So, what can individuals, or people who aren’t involved in the

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Trash Tribes do to help? “On our urban and regional beaches, it really is as simple as picking up whatever rubbish you find every time you visit. In more remote areas there are definitely logistical implications in terms of removing large amounts of pollution. “We often work with National Parks who are always willing to help with waste removal. In Cape York we work with our partner organisation, Tangaroa Blue, who have links with plastic recycling facilities, so we can separate all waste and reduce the amount sent to landfill.” But it’s not just as simple as recycling, a term we’ve all grown up with, and a term that has become synonymous with our understanding of reducing waste. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle is etched onto our brains, and more often than not, we think we’re doing our bit by throwing our plastic bottles into the recycling bin. Recycling is actually the third step in a process though, not the first, and Nat says we need to stop seeing recycling as the solution and start reducing our waste from the beginning. By simply minimising the amount of plastic we use every day, we can help to reduce how much waste ends up in our oceans and on our beaches. Nat said: “Go back to basics. Our grandparents didn’t have plastic packaging, so we can easily do without it. Buy unpackaged food, shop local from the grower, take your own reusable cups and containers when buying takeaway, and say no to straws. There is no ‘disposable’ when it comes to plastics, so for every disposable item you use, replace it with something reusable. If we want to truly tread lightly on this planet, we need to use less and reuse more.”


PHOTO BY ANGUS KENNEDY

Having already cleaned up over 10 tonnes of marine pollution from the Australian coastline, Clean Coast Collective are determined to continue ferociously attacking the plastics industry with their defiance and reluctance to give in. And in August this year they’re heading back to Cape York with a new Trash Tribe group. “It will be great to take a new group on the experience and see their mindsets around plastics shift,” says Nat. “It’s a very powerful thing to see a group of strangers go through the same experiences we went through when we first realised the extent of this problem.” Despite their fantastic work though, Nat and the rest of Clean Coast Collective still have their fears about plastic waste if the problem is not dealt with quickly and on an international scale. There’s only so much they can do, whether that’s at base level with the Trash Tribes, or

by producing items that can be reused. Their toothbrush sets, and straw sets are a starting point, and they’re even pioneering solid shampoo bars, in an attempt to reduce plastic used to make bottles. “We’re simply not going to be able to cope with the amount of plastic waste we are creating. Our landfills are filling up, so we are running out of places to ‘dispose’ of our waste, and our recycling system is failing because it’s cheaper to purchase virgin or new plastics than it is to purchase recycled plastics. We need to all re-evaluate our relationship to waste and to take a good look at what we’re putting in our bins, because it’s not going ‘away’, it’s staying on this planet that we all love.” Clean Coast Collective run Trash Tribe expeditions each year. This year’s 10-day expedition is being funded by Patagonia Australia and runs from 3rd-13th August. Applications for the expedition

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are now closed but keep an eye on their website and check their socials for details of future conservation projects and ways that you can help reduce plastic waste. And while you’re there, why not purchase one of their straw sets? The war on plastics has to start with us and no matter how small the effort, if everyone does at least one thing every day to reduce the amount of plastic they consume, slowly but surely, we’ll begin to see a positive change. www.cleancoastcollective.org


Pink Bits W R I T T E N B Y C H A R L OT T E G O O D S I R @PINK_BITS

Getting naked makes me nervous. Coming from a very conservative family, a bikini wax at a the beauty salon would make my mother flinch in nervousness, not at the pain, that i would actually learn is similar to the worst pain you’ve ever felt but hotter; but at the thought of being (whisper) naked (whispering lower than humanly possible, eyes darting down to the lower half of your torso) down there. So naturally I felt the same. Growing up I never had a sister to reassure me that yeah hair does grow there, or contrary to popular belief those stretch marks around your hips are totally normal. Moving into my teens years, thanks to Rookie Mag, access to the internet and MTV music videos, my pseudo-amish views vanished. I still harboured some nervousness when it I had to put on my swimsuit at

swimming carnivals, and stretching my way out of skinny jeans on too-drunk Tinder dates, but nowadays, unlike the early 90’s, there are a plethora of blogs, videos and even TV series (shout out to Netflix’s Big Mouth) that let you know these things, without consulting the not-tohelpful sealed section of Dolly Doctor. One of these kick-ass influencers changing up the way we see ourselves is Christine Yahya. Christine is a Sydney based artist and cool bird lady who is here to freshen up your feeds, and be a general legend of a human being, creating inclusive, body positive art that celebrates women in all their glory, illustrating the bits and shapes we’re told to hide.

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Her Copic marker art may seem cute and fluffy with it’s pastel pink hues and soft curves, but look deeper and you’ll see it represents a diverse group of women, as well as highlighting and celebrating those who probably don’t feature your typical Insta feed. “Some days, we’re more comfortable with our strippeddown selves than others. Really, the best way for many women to describe their relationship with their body: “It’s complicated.” says Yahya (please say it one more time for the people at the back- we feel ya sister!). However, @Pink_Bits 52.2k strong following didn’t happen overnight. Christine has been drawing for a long time. She recalls one of the first things she remembers drawing as a fluffy duck or pikachu (shout out 90’s kids), but as she grew older she realised there was a large group of society that weren’t shown unless they were a token best friend on Disney channel. Her first illustration for Pink Bits, wasn’t created to share online, but as it came into existence they slowly demanded their own space and huzzah Pink Bits was born through a tiny lady drawn with a pink, bootleg copic

marker; modeled off Yahya’s own naked reference photos. “I wanted to see my own shapes represented on paper. [..] I’ve had a long and complicated relationship with my body, and had had enough. As more and more people liked, shared and commented on my art in support, it felt really special [... and that feeling] is so powerful and uniting in a world where not everyone is represented in online space, print and especially in our media. ” Inspired by Matt Fraction, Chip Zdarsky, Rupi Kaur and Archer Magazine, Pink Bits is both similar in it’s message, yet so radically different in it’s execution. Christine’s artwork has morphed in it’s short time to be more inclusive of women, including women of colour, women with disabilities or illnesses, predominantly those that struggle with equal representation of in the media. To find inspiration in this she has a range of connections, she asks her followers, she finds little things and people that inspire her in pop culture, as well as observations and personal experiences.

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Yahya weighs in on the question on why more artists and brands aren’t including more diverse models in their art. “There’s a range of reasons this could be, but of course we can’t assume [...]particular artists have a style that they draw to, and hence focus on a particular range of bodies they’re familiar with. Or maybe it could be due to a lack of awareness and representation in our society. When creating art, it’s such a personal and introspective process sometimes, so creating works outside of your own experiences, knowledge or awareness may not be a frequent occurrence for some.” There is a little bit inside of me that makes me nervous for when my mum sees this article, “But Charlotte”, she will exclaim, “She is drawing naked people” to which I will reply something along the lines of, yeah Christine is, in an easy to digest way that

makes body image discussion easy to talk about, easy to talk about with those that may not have the freedom to necessarily talk about it with family or friends. The way she depicts women of all shapes, colours, ability, in sickness or in health challenges our society with every double tap. But Christine said it way better than I ever could,“Representation is so important, not only for those who are being represented, but for our wider society. It creates a more inclusive space and better reflects our wonderfully diverse earth. There are a lot of artists, illustrators, designers and creatives who capture the realities of being human, and many wonderful people who capture and share their marginalised experiences and realities - which provide such important perspectives and conversations.” So what’s next for this

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trailblazer? Well worry not, I asked for you. “This year I’ve been trying to focus on creating beautiful things, that people can have, hold and feel representation from. So keep an eye on my store for those! There’s some delightful and exciting things in the works.” Christine’s work can be found to purchase at: pinkbits.bigcartel.com You can follow her Instagram account @pink_bits


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Obus “Whilst studying for my masters I took my first trip overseas to India… that changed my life. For someone who had barely travelled out of Victoria spending those months in India totally blew my mind.” A love for adventure paired with a keen interest in fashion, Founder Kylie Zerbst began to think differently about the people around her and how she wanted to spend her days and developed a desire to create an ‘Obus’ that was inclusive of all women. She was a one-woman power house with no formal training in fashion, no money and no idea where to start. The key to the evolution of her passion is authenticity and conviction. Kylie, and Obus, are now celebrating their twentieth year surrounded by a compact, all-female family of creative minds, both in the studio and in stores. In the beginning, Kylie managed the business entirely solo. For those who are naïve about this process like myself, she was not only pencilling her designs on paper, but also sewing samples, managing their production and marketing, whilst taking care of financials and arranging dispatch. (Who was making the coffee runs!?) Kylie admits that she is not sure how she managed it all. “A lot of it I certainly didn’t do very well, but I can see now that having performed so many different roles within the business really informs the way I’m able to support and work with the team now… it’s a no-brainer to build the business around the need for flexibility for those of us who are caring for family or studying or running our own businesses on the side; and that makes staff happy and invested for the longterm.”

WRIT TEN BY ASHLEA CODNER @ O B U S C L OT H I N G

Based in Melbourne, Kylie has strived to keep the majority of their product manufacturing local and ethical ever since she began, which the Obus team are very proud of. Rightly so, because according to the Australian Fashion Report (2015) only 25% of retailers were able to trace their inputs! Unfortunately, this hasn’t always been easy to achieve. However, ensuring minimal ethical and environmental impact at every stage of production is becoming easier for them, as both brands and customers demand it industry-wide. Supporting small businesses has become part of Kylie’s evolving vision. “One of the reasons we love Melbourne is the number of independent clothing and accessory brands that have travelled alongside us over the last two decades. There’s camaraderie and support in many aspects of running a business, and the ability to collaborate with likeminded brands and merge our strengths into killer products.” Approaching the end of twodecades in the biz, Kylie felt it to be a great time to collab with some other local brands. Working with other designers has provided them both with a creative platform to complement one another, such as their recent collaboration with Crumpler, which saw the production of a range of bags that are synchronised with the Winter collection ‘Way of Flowers’, and an incredible shoe collection with brand Radical Yes, due to release in Spring. Coming from a graphic design background, Kylie has long been inspired by travel and hopes this is reflected in their products. 47.

“The concept of Obus as a brand is to take it’s wearers on a journey so of course travelling is essential for me… To step outside of my life in Melbourne and experience new places is always a good way to find inspiration.” It is clear that Kylie’s creativity is on high alert at all times as she modestly downplays her ability to recognise something special in the simplest of things. “Generally, the overall patina of something will appeal to me, but then I’ll be a bit obsessed in that moment trying to create/find the best composition out of what’s in front of me.” The creative detail we see in the Obus garments is reflective of team members from all levels of the business. This helps to ensure that their products appeal to women of all sensibilities. “I think what is special about our customer is that she has followed us over the years and grown with us. She’s a smart, professional, mindful woman, and one who is always ready to inject some fun and creativity into her daily life” The Winter ’18 collection is a new platform of creativity for Kylie having become enamoured with contemporary expressions of Ikebana, also being closely influenced by a pioneer Japanese photographer Ogawa Kazamusa. She describes it as the parallel to creating a new Obus collection… “The pairing of individual elements and refinement of details to achieve a harmonious assembly of style, shape, colour and pattern”. This collection is now available both in-store and online now.


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Amy Shark WRIT TEN BY ALEX DYSON @AMYSHARKMUSIC

Amy Billings asked the Uber driver to pull over early. They were still 100m metres from her destination, but that was the point. She didn’t want to look like a goose clambering out of the back seat of the Prius in front of her date. Except it wasn’t 100m it was more like 100 yards because this was in America after all. And it wasn’t Amy Billings it w as Amy Shark because that’s the stage name Amy had decided on when she uploaded a song to the Internet called Adore. And it wasn’t a “date” as such, but actually a coffee catch up with Mark Hoppus from Blink 182 who had somehow seen Amy’s stuff and liked it enough to prompt him sent her a message on Twitter and invite her to catch up…and she just happened to be in Los Angeles that week… and now she found herself walking along the footpath looking in the reflection of shop-front windows adjusting her hair because she was almost there, and didn’t want to look like a weirdo in front of a guy she had literally grown up idolising, who now, incredibly, wanted to meet HER because of HER music... and *sigh* what even is life?   “It’s probably the first time I actually felt myself choking up.” Amy relates to me down the phone from Nashville, Tennessee, where she’s just checked into her hotel.   “What are you doing in Nashville?” ­   “Ummm….”   Amy goes on to explain that after meeting Chris Carraba, another childhood musical hero (this time from the band Dashboard Confe ssional) in Winnepeg earlier this year, they kept in touch and then he started playing her track Adore at his shows.  

“What, like as the house music as people are walking in?” I ask.   “Nah, like, doing a cover of it on stage…” We both laugh. Things are crazy for Amy these days. After chucking Adore up on triple j unearthed only 2 years ago it’s gone on to get #2 in that years Hottest 100, garner 37 million streams (and counting), and see her named as one of Apple Music’s NEXT GENERATION artists which among other cool things gave her and the residents of LA a massive billboard of her face right on Hollywood Boulevard. Like , I saw it and it was huge. Amy was equally blown away, particularly because a bit of Yule-tide scheduling made sure America got to see even more than anticipated… “I went there, and it was such a nice moment, I was with my managers and we went there and looked at it and was like aw that’s crazy man, that’s so cool, then we had Christmas and came back to the states and I thought it would be gone, but randomly because it was the holidays or whatever, they left it, so I was up there for aaaaages.”    These crazy instances have begun being par for the course for the endearingly self-depreciating Ms Shark, but have all been leading up to quite a momentous milestone; a highly anticipated debut album. July 2018 sees the release of Love Monster, Amy Shark’s sprawling collection of tunes that - as well as including some songs that Gold Coast locals who attended random live music nights at pubs might know - was also written with some of the world’s biggest names in songwriting.    

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Which brings us back to the INITIAL ridiculous encounter with a childhood hero… After having a terrible American coffee but a wonderful musical conversation with Mark from Blink, Amy returned to the hotel and relayed what happened the full day to her crew.   “We were just having a beer, and I was just telling them how it went, and what he smelt like. (Roses and handsome stuff apparently) and they said, “you know, you’ve actually got a few days free if you wanted to set up a session or something?” So I like, got up the courage and texted him and immediately saw the three dots appear and I was like ‘HE’S COMING BACK’!” Those three dots morphed into a message, and that message morphed into a 2-day writing session with one of the most famous Pop Punk musicians in history. Amy was nervous, and like almost everyone on the planet at one time or another, had one of those stare-at-the-ceiling-inthe-dark kinda nights.  “I really struggled to sleep the night before. I’m like, what if I’m no good? Or what if it sucks? The label were really good, and they say “don’t worry, it’s ok if nothing comes  of it”, but really, deep down I know we all want something to come of it...”  


Luckily, something did, a duet called Psycho which delves into the signs one gives off in a relationship; the intersection of well-intentioned actions that tread that fine line between being nice and being overbearing. The two now very distinctive voices meld together to create a really beautiful and unique moment in pop music in 2018. It’s a dream collaboration, and although Amy wouldn’t change it for the world. Being plucked from relative obscurity and being thrust in to the writing room with these- in Amy’s wor ds– “Big Dogs” definitely came with its own challenges.    “It was really hard and stressfu l to me. I was trying not to be a tool, trying to not to be a fangirl, trying to be professional, and mixing that with wanting to be normal and have a good time with these people, and build a relationship with them so we can work together again, and in the end you come out of it so mentally drained.”  ­­   Two of the other superproducers/large canines in question were Jack Antonoff and Joel Little. The former has worked with people like Taylor Swift, Ryan Adams and Sia and the latter with Imagine Dragons, Alison Wonderland and Broods. Oh, and they’ve both written songs with this artist from New Zealand called ‘Lorde’ who I hear is pretty good. Anyway, despite her nerves and being the down to earth Gold Coast local she is, Amy managed to get through unscathed, and with some great music to show for it. This (apart from her own obvious talent and coolness) was also due in part to how professional these guys seem to be at adapting to the personality of the musician they’re working with. “They have a way of working with artists, they know how to straight

away draw the artistry out, and pick up on what makes us feel comfortable and what doe sn’t and Jack (Antonoff) straigh t away noticed I was struggling writing words while we were sitting together. I couldn’t write any lyrics I was just so uncom fortable, and as much as I was trying to act comfortable he  just knew, so he put the song on loop and said ‘I’m going to go make a coffee’ or ‘I’m just going to make a phone call’ or something, and then come back. He did that like seven times. But it was perfect, because after a while he’d come back in and I’d tell him what I had and he’d say ‘I love that line, maybe swap that out so it leads in better’…and towards the end we had something really special and we both knew it, and for once it was the first time I had experienced getting excited with someone else in the room. It’s such a different feeling when you’re vibing with someone in a studio and the beat sounds massive and everyth ing’s sounding delicious… I know  why people do that now!” The three tracks, Psycho with Mark, All Loved Up with Jack and Never Coming Back with Joel are huge, but make up just 3 of the 14 tracks on Amy’s debut al bum ‘Love Monster’. Many ye ars of sitting in her bedroom writing music, then dodging the meter maids and surfboards of the Gold Coast to head along to the small local venues and play them to the patrons to various levels of appreciation. A few songs making the cut, most disappearing into memory leaving only the knowledge and skills learned from the experience to inform and improve the next chord or lyric. It’s a triumph of not only musicianship, but also perseverance, as it could very easily have never happened. ­­­

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“I definitely gave up on being a musician… I mean, I was s till an addict to songwriting, and I’d keep playing cover gigs just to keep up with the guitar, but it was hard. I’d get people all the time that’d I’d know from school or something that would be in the bar and they’d be like ‘awww you’re still playin’ ya music are ya?’ And I’m like – ‘yeah I ob viously am… I’m sitting here in a club, holding a guitar...”   It sounds awkward, but at that time of her life, the distant dystopian past of early 2016, what could have been a holding pattern of frustration, was really anything but.  “I was at peace with it. I was happy, I had a job I liked cutting videos, I loved the people I worked with, everything was fine. I just…I just hadn’t given it a right go in working with like, a really good producer.”   It was this thought. This little ‘what if?’ That nudged Amy to reach out to Melbourne born, but internationally known producer Marc Langdon, known professionally as M-Phazes. “So much had to fall into place for me to work with Phazes. Obviously, I was a nobody, and there was no reason to work with me. I had no catalogue. I had nothing going on. Absolutely nothing.”   That was true but not totally true. She had a song. And M-Phazes heard then what the rest of the world was soon to hear. A lyrically vivid and instantly immersive track called Adore, and he jumped on board. It now sits on track number 2 on LOVE MONSTER, and in the liner notes, the songwriting credit sits as 95% Amy Billings, 5% M-Phazes. It goes to show, after a decade of playing,

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writing and performing, years of not getting any traction, you can be sitting at your 9-5pm job thinking the career of your dreams is out of reach, but in reality it could be right there…waiting…only 5% away.   That extra 5% has happened for Amy, and now suddenly all those years of hard work are starting to pay off. I ask her- ‘whereto from here? How can you measure progress now that so many life goal boxes have been ticked?’   “This has already gone far beyond what I ever thought I was capable of or could happen to me. Now it’s just little things. Now I just want to keep putting out cool songs and playing cool shows and keep having these amazing experiences, you know. I don’t really have a desire to be a massive worldwide sensation. I just want to be a respected artist.”   Well, with an incredible debut album under her belt and a patient line of high caliber people lining up to work with her, by that measurement it seems like Amy Shark is definitely living her dream. 


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Grace Costa

W R I T T E N B Y C O U R T N E Y R OT H B E R G @ G R A C E C O S TA P H OT O G R A P H E R

Grace was raised on a farm in Hoskinstown, southeast of Canberra. Riding horses and mustering cattle with her sister were the equivalent of a suburban child bike riding in the street, it was the only life she knew. She watched her father break in more horses than she can remember, he’s a well respected horse trainer, and was taught everything she knows about horses from him. “Our most treasured family horse was Chester, we had him for the first 15 years of my life. I learned to ride with him and he showed me the relationship one can have with a horse.”, she affectionately recalls. It wouldn’t be until her later years that she would understand just how big of an impact they had on her. A creative her entire life, with photography her calling, Costa has spent the past 18 years honing her craft since studying commercial photography at Canberra Institute of Photography and along with it has been an evolving subject matter of choice. Early in her career she focused on families and weddings but as her skills developed, so did her gut feel for knowing what her next move was going to be. “Now I absolutely place limitations on what I shoot because I’ve discovered where my strengths and passion lies. It’s very important as you develop your brand to focus on what you enjoy creating, otherwise you resent doing the job.” It’s advice we

could all do with remembering when we’re in the trenches of creative pursuit. Her current day to day role as official photographer for the Department of Defence has taught her immensely and presented opportunities she would never have dreamed of having. With the commercial aspect of her career abundantly filled, she strives to find balance between her commercial requirements and expressing her artistic flair without constraint. Enter, the HORSE series. Costa’s most successful body of work to date came from an initial concept of bringing unbridled horses into our urban environment and it grew from there. “This series I used the old Mt Stromlo Observatory and old telescope building to shoot in. When I was invited to have an exhibition at the Nishi Gallery in Canberra the series had already started and I had 12 months to get it finished for the solo exhibition. I had to work on it every weekend after full time work, for the most part of a year. I drove up that mountain where I set up the studio week after week not guaranteed of any results from each shoot because nothing is a sure thing when you’re working with horses and weather. But when you truly believe in your work the willingness is there. It didn’t feel hard to me, it was simply necessary because the vision was so big.”

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Another testament to the notion that when you’re doing what you’re supposed to, everything culminates together in a much larger way than you could possibly fathom. “My light bulb moment about discovering what I want to photograph came when I launched my exhibition HORSE 2016. When I saw the response from my community with people buying the art work, all the first editions sold out in a three-week show, I figured out it’s because I’m making art that comes from my heart and people recognised that.”, she adds. Looking at the series, the images are captivating. Whether you’re a horse person or not, you cannot deny their majestic presence. “I love horses, they are the only animal I really understand on the deepest level. I love the unmistakable form of a horse’s shape, I love the nature and how they survive in the wild. They fascinate me and they have fascinated my father for more than 50 years. He is continually helping me understand them.”, Grace says. Knowing how to read their body language and understand the way they move has helped her take better portraits. “Portraits are my strength and the challenge of learning what makes a good portrait great will continue to keep me interested.” For Costa, the defining moment for her artistic outlet came from the realisation that combining her own life story with her passion of photography was where the magic lay. Since that little idea was executed, the flood gates opened. “I’ve had more sales, more opportunities to share my work and my story in many different mediums, with radio interviews and invites to have more exhibitions, it even led to presenting at TEDx Canberra last year. Who would have thought that could happen? But the bottom line is since starting this work with horses my

imagination has just gone wild.”, she notes excitedly. The horizon for Costa looks bright, with a few projects in the pipeline including a new collaboration with Canberra florist Moxom and Whitney, who are making custom headpieces for the horses out of floral and plant material, seeing the pair reinventing the headwear for race day idea with the horse as the model, not the punter. “The first portrait we did is called Blooming #1 and I’m so in love with it. So we are working on creating a small series over the coming year. It’s very unique work that I’ve never seen done before.” Continuously working at keeping her imagination engaged and mind wide open she studies other artists work, visits galleries to understand what is relevant and talks to her fellow creative cohort. “It’s important to take, borrow or steal ideas you see in the world and make it with your own voice. Everything is influenced by something that came before it.” Rest assured we will see Costa push the boundaries of her medium for some time to come. Perhaps the largest learning in Costa’s story though is that of getting back to your roots and connecting to your true creative self. “Things will change once you starting working in that more connected space. You will have more ideas, you gain confidence in your work and you have energy to even do the arduous or time consuming aspects.”, she encourages. As creatives we are all continuously searching for that next thing. We’re all pushing to come up with something new and exciting. But at a base line level our stories are what set us apart. No-one else has walked in your shoes nor lived your life. No-one knows your uniqueness better than you. Stop searching for something exterior to yourself, unleash what’s already within. Grace Costa, is perhaps, the proof in the pudding.

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Habitat Legit WRIT TEN BY NAOMI CRAWFORD @ H A B I TAT L E G I T

When you first open the gallery of digital collage artist Habitat Legit, AKA Colin Quest, your first reaction might be something along the lines of - holy moly, those are some bright-ass colours. The second thing you might think is, hey, this is dope. “A few years back I was producing music under the alias Habitat. Slowly the process of making computer music started to kill my vibe so I devoted more energy towards making art after whipping up a few digital collages using images bootlegged off Google”, but Quest maintains that he had a creative childhood – always making collages, illustrations, or teaching himself how to use photoshop among various other projects. The “Legit” came in later – a tongue-in-cheek reference to insta accounts that have “official” in their handle, or, as Quest jokes, he’s simply “too legit to quit…” “In the early days of Habitat Legit, basically the concept was to see how wild and vibrant I could make my work with very little refinement.” Wild and vibrant is accurate, that’s for sure. Making your way back into the depths you can see this in the way the characters are, as Quest puts it, “sketchy photoshop cut- outs”, contrasting colours and textures to create pieces that allow you to imagine a world where you might just be sipping a caipirinha on a Brazilian beach. But that’s not to say there isn’t variety in what you will find, and the Quest feels the progression of pieces has been an organic process. Many of the original works feature rappers, bold prints, patterns, and textures, but these days you’re more likely to come across architecture and nature filled with the same rich texture and audacious colours. And while the likelihood of spotting Childish Gambino has become

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less and less likely (though he does make an appearance among a variety of other famous faces), in new pieces you’re more likely to see a culmination of Quest’s own photography. “There’s definitely a lot of time spent taking photos of walls, that’s for sure – just ask my wife.” He jokes. “I find myself getting bored or frustrated sticking with the one style and would rather not restrict myself from being versatile. I just like to be open and not hold back if a new idea comes to mind. The real turning point was when I started to use my own photos after building more of a library from travelling. It became much more personal and perhaps created an aesthetic that was unique to me.” Cutting up photos of walls and landscapes, and digitally recreating homes in a desert backdrop is a result of refinement and therefore a natural progression away from the use of images that are “bootlegged off google”. With an innate ability to present the beauty and colour in what would otherwise be rather mundane, drawing inspiration in his more recent work from Palm Springs, CA, he says that he is “yet to visit another place where the architecture and landscape complement each other so well. The mid-century modern homes and their details are incredibly unique.” The contrasting colours and textures tell a story of their own, invoking a warmth and feeling that is almost tangible. And while he maintains that his style changes depending on the images that he has to work with, the core elements remain the same – colour, texture and “symmetrical in ways with reference to landscapes/nature”, drawing heavy inspiration for his colourworks from Mexico.


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And yet, the more you dig, and the further you go, the more it becomes clear that it’s not just about colour. There is a story being told in every image, one that, really, is yours to construct. Certain images invoking a sense of standing right there in the Mojave Desert with something as simple as the low yellowing of the sun to recreate that feeling of looking out into the vastness that is the desert with nothing around but the hum of the ground beneath your feet.

And while it may not be a focal point for his work, the photography you might come across on his social media lends itself to this, with the contrasting buildings and an egg-blue sky coming together like a real-life collage in itself. “To be honest though, most of my work isn’t too thought out. It’s not really meant to make sense, I just run with what feels fun at the time.” Quest says of this – he still works a 9 to 5 job with a busy life outside of making collages.

Across a number of these pieces are a stark contrast between having the colouring of the building against a blue sky, perhaps with the odd beach ball thrown in there. “There’s just something really beautiful about buildings or landscapes framed against blue sky. I just love the raw contrast between the two, almost surreal in a way and that’s certainly what I try to portray in my artwork”.

And perhaps the big take away from these images are to find more joy and light in the lives we lead – to see the lightness in the most mundane of scenes. Can those of us in a concrete jungle find a place where we can look at a building and find beauty? Can we look at a tree or a wall or a mountain and appreciate it if only for what it is? Maybe. Maybe not. Perhaps it is something that we must seek out for ourselves, but in the meantime, we can turn to art to fill this void. To remind us of this.

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We can absolutely expect big things to come from Habitat Legit. While he is currently taking a break from creating new pieces, he is busy collecting photographs to use in new collages when he gets back from his current travels. He notes that he is not exempt from the pressures felt by most creatives to constantly be producing work - “I’m definitely my toughest critic and super hard on myself… At the moment I’m actually quite content with spending the extra time to ensure I’m proud of the work I do put out and that I continue to progress along the way, that’s the main thing.” So what’s next? “I think the next step is simply to create more, inspire others along the way and try find the right space to apply my work IRL however that may be. I’m really quite open to anything. The idea of bringing some of these desert homes to life has actually played on my mind recently so perhaps one day you’ll see an installation in your nearby desert!”


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GUEST ILLUSTRATOR @LUCKY_44

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GUEST ILLUSTRATOR @LUCKY_44

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MODEL: NATALIE 2018

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Lana Kovak @_ _ L A N A K O VA C _ _ L A N A K O VA K . C O M

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MODEL: BECK BOEHME 2017

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MODEL: NATALIE 2018

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MODEL: LIILIA LEHTSAAR 2017

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MODEL: AMANDA WALKER WEARS OWN CLOTHES, 2017

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MODEL: AMANDA WALKER WEARS OWN CLOTHES, 2017

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MODEL: NATALIE 2017

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MODEL: BECK BOEHME 2017

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Rachael Edwards W R I T T E N B Y C O U R T N E Y R OT H B E R G @R A C H A E L E D WA R D S__

When I first started researching Rachael Edwards, I unsuspectingly ended up so far down the rabbit hole I was no longer sure when I entered it. Before I knew it I was years deep in her Instagram feed and bouncing between multiple tabs I’d opened in Google with a furrowed brow firmly plastered on my face and one question rolling around my head, what is THIS? I don’t even know that my brain was comprehending what I was seeing. Is this collage art? Is her work digital? Is that 3D? I held my laptop as close to my face as humanely possible trying to figure it all out. I’m no art aficionado. I know what I like but if you asked me to partake in a conversation about the historical timeline of art movements or periods, my contribution would be zip. zero. nada. The beauty though was that to appreciate her work I didn’t need to have a clue and that’s just the way Rachael likes it, enigmatic but debatable all at the same time. “I create bold, surreal and nostalgic compositions which combine colour, pattern, texture and found imagery. My work explores (wo) mans relationship to science and technology, mysticism and the natural environment. By using repurposed printed imagery from second hand sources my work aims to consume rather than create waste, thereby adding another level of commentary on western societies current condition”, Rachael explains. The waste consumption topic is an interesting conversation. A lot of artists and businesses are trying to minimise their footprint on the Earth but cannot eradicate their waste production entirely so it’s incredibly refreshing to hear Rachael discuss how she’s consuming waste rather than generating it and still making mind blowing works of art in the process. Rachael’s primary artistic focus is hand cut paper collage often using pattern like, symmetrical compositions. She has exhibited in both Manchester and London and recently presented her debut solo show in Melbourne and a collaborative four woman exhibition in 2016. These shows further explored the idea of constructed, ambiguous narratives alongside an exploration of craft techniques and mixed media work.

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You’re originally from the UK. Tell me a little about your migration down under? I moved to Melbourne in 2012 shortly after finishing university in Manchester. I had absolutely no plan whatsoever. Eventually one thing led to another and I ended up spending the last five years working towards my Australian Permanent Residency through an employer sponsorship visa. It’s been tough and very expensive but I’m happy here and I’m also too old now to start afresh somewhere else! Were you always one to showcase artistic flare, even as a youngster? I guess so. I was a relatively peculiar child, always consciously styling myself with distinctive clothes and jewellery, collecting all manner of things from rocks to candle wax and decorating or doodling on any surface or object which came to hand. Have you had any formal training? Yes, after studying both art and science at college I completed a Foundation diploma in Art and Design specialising in Fashion and Textiles. I then went on to complete a BA (Hons) in Embroidery at Manchester School of Art. This was a unique and interesting conceptual craft based degree, the only one of its kind. Disappointingly it no longer exists since the conservative government took power several years ago in the UK. How did you get into collage art? What do you love most about it? I slowly replaced drawing and painting with more mixed media and assemblage work during my study of art at school. Throughout university I concentrated on large scale installations and 3D illustration, experimenting with many different materials. I did a short unit in Photoshop which introduced me to the idea

of digital collage and I loved the endless possibilities of juxtaposition. The collages that I produce today marry my love of handmade crafts, op shopping and collecting with my interest in fantastical and otherworldly film and fiction. Collage is very fun, as anyone who tries it will attest to. The ability to quickly create imaginary narratives and scenarios is addictive.

Do you have a preference within your art, be it mixed media or paper collage, for example? I love making mixed media work however this kind of work is unfortunately often hard to store, display, protect and sell. My preference is for paper collage using found imagery, however I like to dabble in handmade crafts and jewellery design to mix things up a bit.

Collage art really took off in the early 20th century, thanks to Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. Have you always been drawn to Cubism art? Actually not at all. From a young age I have been particularly interested in Psychedelic, Pop and Op Art from the sixties. I gained much inspiration from Situationist theory and radical architecture zines of the 1950’s. Having studied modernism and other fundamental 20th century artistic movements at university, I am aware of their impact on the development of collage art. My work however draws more from popular culture, crafts and folk art/outsider art than it does from historical art movements.

What is your favourite piece to date? I don’t have a favourite piece as I don’t get too attached to my collages and also my style and tastes are constantly evolving.

Who and what inspires you? I am inspired by a large variety of things such as vintage science and nature books, textiles, mandalas, science fiction illustration and fantasy and occult art to name a few. As well as a whole host of contemporary artists such as Chrissie Abbott, Sebastian Wahl, Curiot Tlalpazotl, Koralie, Paula Duró and countless others. What is the most unexpected product you have used when creating a piece? I like to use everyday, unusual and recycled materials. I have used foil take away container lids before as they are often a lovely shiny gold colour. Curtain rings are another unexpectedly useful item when making art work.

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Some of your mixed media pieces feel like they are 3D, even when looking at them on a screen. How do you create such depth in your work? Some of them are 3D! I’ve always been obsessed with trying to create the idea of space and distance in two dimensional collages. It’s trickier than it looks and I’m still learning how to achieve this effect. I love the Juxtapose of your ‘Retro Future’ collage work. What were those pieces inspired by? A lot of my work is inspired by the vintage science fictions novels that I like to read and the Japanese anime films I love to watch. I am fascinated by how people imagined the future in the past. The 1950s and 60s were a time of wild imagination and exploration and I enjoy the aesthetic that this produced. Do you find you have particular times of the day you feel the creative buzz more than others or you can work anytime, anywhere? I’m a morning person, I like to work early in the day. If I’m not feeling it for whatever reason then I do something else. I have learnt that nothing good usually comes from forcing myself to be creative.


Your work showcases your ability to push boundaries and steer clear of a stagnant body of work. How do you manage this? My interests and inspiration evolve slowly over time as does my art. I create primarily for myself, it’s a personal and ongoing story. Is art your full time job? No and I don’t think it ever could be. I’m a very sociable person and being a studio based artist can be very lonely. Have you had moments along the way where you thought about giving up? Where the self belief dwindled a little? I think most peoples self belief dwindles from time to time, we are only human after all. Art isn’t really something you can give up easily as it haunts you and it also gives you a purpose. I struggled to find me feet within the art world after finishing my degree, it was a slow adjustment but I like to think that I am getting there slowly. How would you describe your work? Colourful, quirky and kitsch. If someone was to see your work in a gallery, what would you want them to feel? Anything at all. Just feel something. The narrative behind my pieces is deliberately ambiguous, I want people to create their own. Viewing art is a subjective experience and it is not for me to tell people what to think and how to feel.

Cubism at it’s core is essentially viewing something of the standard norm from outside the box. Does your creative brain function that way naturally? Although my compositions contain many figurative elements, in fact they are never based on real life. Creating something coherent and recognisable with all of the colours, shapes and elements I collect is almost like trying to piece together many disparate items in a vacuum of time and space; rather than trying to represent some kind of event or scene that exists naturally. I guess the finished result is often like a visual representation of the inside of my brain, it is a wonder that any of the pieces manage to make sense at all. Some of your pieces are very psychedelic. Are you trying to take people out of reality, into another world? Yes, exactly, and moreover I want to transport myself. I’m an escapist. Name three words that best describe you? Um… colourful, a bit eccentric, slightly aloof. Are you methodical in your approach to art or very free flowing? I am not especially methodical, I try to be. There is a certain level of organisation necessary to be able to sort and readily locate hundreds and hundreds of small pieces of cut paper. I still have a long way to go.

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Can you explain how you make a design from front to end? Do you do it in a single sitting or do you come back and forth as it calls to you? I often work on several collages concurrently, sometimes they are created quickly but more often they take a very long time, some never get glued down. I don’t usually design my pieces and then execute them, it’s more of an intuitive process, however I tend to work with the same stylistic principles in all my pieces, the main one being symmetry. Where can we see more of your work… or get our mitts on some? I post images of most of my work fairly regularly on my Instagram account. I don’t currently operate an online shop (maybe one day) so pieces are sold via personal email or exhibitions. What’s on the radar for you this coming year? I have a two person collage exhibition booked for November at Neon Parlour Gallery in Thornbury, which I am very excited about. The exhibition brings together works from myself and Simon Beuve, though stylistically different, our work aims to provide a commentary on the current state of the human condition in 2018. Through a process of cutting and assembling, with a keen regard for colour and composition we create work which tells an often critical but ultimately uplifting story of contemporary western culture. A conversation is created around the fragile nature of the relationship between ancient wisdom and modern technologies.


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GUEST ILLUSTRATOR @LUCKY_44

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Issue 12 | The Eye Creative  
New