Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Creativity is the spice of life

Original pastel, William Forth
I developed my artistic flair when I was young, my grandfather was an artist and I always admired his work adorning the walls of his home and ours. He loved to experiment with multiple mediums like charcoal, pastels, oils and even ceramics.
Creased Kurt Cobain, charcoal, circa 1994
It wasn't until high school though that I really became hooked on drawing and painting, it was a great expressive outlet for me and with the encouragement of my teachers at the time I produced some work I was really proud of including a poster sized charcoal sketch of Kurt Cobain, my great love of 1994.
I continued to pursue the arts after I finished school, becoming a journalist in a small newspaper I was able to combine photography and graphic design as part of my role. Later I started my own graphic design business from home producing marketing materials while my day job focussed purely on writing.
Acrylic on canvas, 2005
After travelling through Europe and moving to NZ I began working in the advertising industry and was exposed to some seriously talented people. I worked alongside, mentored and was inspired by them everyday but I myself wasn't a creative, I was management.
Black and white sketch, 2013
So I decided to retrain in interior design, to spend 2 days a week being inspired to create my own work, learn some new skills and gain my own creative confidence again.
I studied with Nanette Cameron in New Zealand for 2 years which was the best 2 years of my life. 
I gained new confidence and started combining advertising and interior design techniques into my work, producing branded environments and experiences for great brands.
Drafted 3D perspective, rendered 2012
I moved to Melbourne almost 3 years ago to continue my advertising career and fell in love with the city. From the historic and modern architecture to the street art, everything here inspired me. Being the hub of creativity in this part of the world I decided to get amongst it and enrolled in a Diploma of Commercial Arts to again indulge my passion and hone my craft.
3D Sketch-up model, 2013
In the past year I have learned so much outside my day job managing an agency: drafting, sketching, rendering, 3D Sketchup and now I'm working on my ArchiCAD and Photoshop skills, I have to say I'm loving it and I'm starting to feel really proud of where I am at right now.
I believe its never too late to learn a new skill, have a dream and go for it.
The challenge I have set for myself is to wake up everyday loving what I do and living my dream...its a big ask but I'm going for it.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Barber Black Sheep

Barber Black Sheep is open for business

My most exciting achievement this year was designing my first solo retail environment - Barber Black Sheep.

Located inside Collingwood's Sircuit bar, the traditional barber shop was the brain child of friend and barber Gus Lundt who wanted to offer customers quality service and convenient opening hours within a unique environment.

My brief was to transform a disused rooftop space on the third level of the bar and bring to life the brand in a physical experience.

The bones of the space were the perfect inspiration for the design. The rusted corrugated iron immediately reminded me of my childhood staying on sheep farms and the rustic shearing sheds which were both functional and beautiful at the same time. 

The concept was to work with the existing space and play homage to the beauty of shearing sheds through use of materials including stencilled hessian, exposed rusted corrugated iron and timber. 

To further build on the design story, the building was built in the 1880's as a furniture retailer to complement the local flourishing wool textiles industry, Sircuit bar still has many original features from this time including an amazing stencilled staircase.

With a small space and budget creative solutions were a key focus of the design. An old door was used to mount crates and create a display area for hair product, hessian was hand stencilled for drapes and cushions and the sink and barbers chair were both second hand finds. My favourite feature however is the ceiling mounted clippers, playing homage to shearing traditions.

Barber Black Sheep officially launched 2 weeks ago with customers enjoying traditional barber services including cut throat shaves and was just featured in Melbourne's Time Out magazine

I loved collaborating with Gus on this project and wish him the best of luck with this exciting business venture.

Please check out Barber Black Sheep located upstairs at 103 Smith Street from 4-9pm Wednesday to Sunday and follow Gus on facebook