Saturday, 27 August 2011

My Inspiration

Nanette Cameron - NZ Interior Design icon
Welcome to The Design Side of Life...
This is a blog about my journey to discover my inner designer and reconnect with my true passion in life.
My love of design began at an early age, as a child I was surrounded by creativity and design.
My grandfather was a talented artist and creative explorer. 
Charcoal sketches, oils on canvas and intricate china paintings filled walls and cabinets throughout the house.
He had a love of antiques and interiors with 
lavish turquoise upholstery, neutral velvet embossed wallpaper and crystal chandeliers among my favourites. 
My grandparents travelled extensively and always collected pieces from around the world.
My mother inherited the creative gene, turning her hand to artistic endeavours like painting, sewing, cake decorating and furniture renovation throughout my life.
As a student I developed a love of my art and photography subjects, at 14 I began designing and making colourful fabric handbags to sell to friends and in year 11 painted my first mural which formed the basis for our school year book cover.
At 18, I began work as a journalist, photographer and designer at our local newspaper in regional South Australia which was an opportunity to continue exploring my creative passion. I won Best Feature for Suburban Regional Press at the South Australian Youth Media Awards in 1999.
My journalism career continued after moving to Queensland at 21 when I took up a new role for a Brisbane local paper, I still craved creativity so started my own freelance graphic design business designing business documents and newsletters. 
Before long I decided to explore the world and traveled to London to begin a new chapter in my life. This experience opened my eyes to say the least.
My career took a new path into the world of publishing, account management and retail marketing. This was an exciting new direction and over the next 2 years I had the chance to work for some great publications including The Daily Mail and The Evening Standard.
After meeting my now husband, a kiwi, I moved to Auckland, New Zealand and continued working in publishing for ACP Magazines. Surrounded by design and creativity once more I enjoyed working with titles including Home and Entertaining and Your Home and Garden but with a focus on the marketing side I began feeling I needed to reconnect with my own creative flair.
And that's when I met Nanette Cameron.
In 2006 I enrolled in the Nanette Cameron School of Interior Design, Nanette is an icon in the interior design industry in New Zealand and has inspired over 8,000 students in the past 40 years.
For the next 2 years I treasured my weekly classes, rediscovered a strong passion for interior design and met some life long friends.
Paul Hecker - Comme Melbourne
I had the opportunity to travel to Melbourne and Sydney with Nanette in 2007 on an amazing design tour. Nanette's reputation enabled us to meet renowned interior designers and architects including Paul Hecker, Scott Weston, Steve Varady and Debbie Lyn-Ryan, with personal tours of their projects, an experience I will never forget.
During this trip I learned 2 things, 1. Melbourne is the place to be if you love design, architecture and coffee 2. I want to be an interior designer.
Around the same time I began a new career in the advertising industry and started to merge my marketing and business skills with my creative eye to create a new division at DDB focusing on branded environments and communications.
I had the opportunity to relocate to Melbourne last year to expand Retail Engine into the Australian market, and with this I found myself back in Australia and in the city of creativity. Believe it or not my office is across the road from Paul Hecker's studio in Melbourne which was a great start. I have been fortunate enough in this past year to have travelled through Europe and the US presenting on the subject of Engaging the 5 senses in Retail through design and innovation...a subject I am passionate about.
Fornasetti store - Milan, Italy
During a trip to Milan, Italy I was able to fulfil a dream to visit my favourite designer store - Fornasetti and explore in amazement for hours.
Whilst I have spent the past 5 years surrounded by creativity...managing and directing interior, graphic and 3D designers, working with leading brands like McDonald's, Lion and Telstra, designing and delivering over 100 retail design projects and building a successful business unit within an international advertising agency...I have become one step removed from my true love of hands on design.
So today I have decided to take steps toward my ultimate goal - to be an Interior Designer in my own right....step 1 - start a blog (tick), step 2 - explore further education options and enrol (tick).
Thanks for following me and I hope you enjoy my updates...

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