Miniature Art with Geraldine

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com

Hello everyone. Today for the Inspiration column, it’s all about macarons. And cake. And cupcakes. And chocolate dripping, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries piled on fondants and cream…well, you get the idea. It’s a sweet interview! Geraldine makes these deliciously detailed desserts.. out of polymer clay. And obviously, you can wear them and once you put them on, you feel an urge to go out and treat yourself to a nice slice of cake etc. Ha!

Let’s get down to the matter: She sells her lovely little creations in her shop called Gemnesis. And, she’s going to be sharing a little bit about her creative process and her inspiration. Seriously, I’m always in awe of the ‘fine’ details in art and she makes miniature desserts too?! Consider me a fan. Now on to what she has to say…


Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

Hello. My name is Geraldine and I am 24 years old. I am currently taking my degree in early childhood and at the same time building my business selling my creations.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com

 I love the delicate details in your polymer clay creations! Could you share the story of how you started using this particular medium?

Since young art has always been my favourite subject, particularly- painting. However, I always loved creating things with my hands. About 8 years ago, I chanced upon this tutorial that used polymer clay to create cute animals. Together with my mum, we went to the store and she got me my first set of polymer clay kit and an oven.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.comHow do you maintain the balance between regular life and your work?

I only started getting serious about setting up my own business late last year as I had a full time. Before that, it was just a hobby I loved and my shop was to sell my creations to others who would love them as much as I did. To be honest, when school gets busy, my shop is usually very empty. I do try my best to stock up whenever I’m free so I usually start crafting when I have the time again.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.comWhat was the hardest (and easiest) part while starting your business?

I think everything about starting a business isn’t easy, from having to produce the product from scratch, to setting up a shop and marketing, everything takes time and experience. Mistakes will be made for us to learn from them. But the easiest part would definitely to be able to do something you love to do.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.comWhat makes you the happiest in your creative process?

Looking at all the delicious dessert online and offline and in my own style, making them into delicious looking polymer clay jewelry. I can never say no to desserts so it excites me that I can gather inspiration and eat at the same time.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.comCould you give us a glimpse in a typical day of your life?

I usually start my morning on the wrong side of the bed because I am definitely not a morning person. It takes me at least 2 hours from waking up to be fully functional.

Depending on how my day is planned, I would either head out, start on my creations or study. If I am home the whole day, it would consist of lazing in bed A LOT. What can I say? I love my bed. The rest of the day would be alternating between working and lazing around.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.comWhat qualities are needed to keep up and also enjoy running a creative business?

The first most important thing is you have to have the passion for what you are doing. A handmade business would require you to turn your hobby into a business. Thus, you need to have love for what you are doing in the first place. Secondly, what you are selling should be something that you really enjoy making. I started out with a lot of trial and error. I tried out making animals, little people and that are even of my own creations (big head dolls with round bodies and hands with no feet at all.). It was only in recent years that I realised that I loved making delicious looking desserts the best. This made my clay making even more enjoyable.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com
Where do you see yourself in a few years?

In a few years, I hope to be able to make this business my full time job and focus on what I love to do the most.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.comWhat motivates and inspires you the most?

DESSERTS! As well as the love and support I have gained from my love ones. They are the ones who paid for my materials when I was out of money and also encouraged me to pursue what I love. I also love looking at other polymer clay artists’ work. When I am out of inspiration, looking at others’ work can actually motivate me to do more!

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.comHow long has jewelry making been your hobby? How did you think you could convert your hobby into a business?

I started making jewelry when I was around 16 years old and it has stuck with me since then. I wanted to do something I love so I thought it would be a good idea to convert it into a business.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.comJust for fun: What’s your favourite colour, flower and food? 

I love, love the colour pink!- so much I have to restrain myself from getting pink clay and creating all pink desserts. I love sunflowers the most because of their bright happy colours. If I would have to say my favourite food, I can eat nuggets everyday.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.comHow did you come up with the name for your shop?

I am really bad at coming with shop names. Before I got things serious, I came up with a few names myself. My first shop name way back in 2011 was Treasure Whispers then, Hut of Presents and I even tried to use my own name for a shop name.

My sister was the one who gave the name. It sounds like genesis which means a beginning and gem at the front is to show how much my creations mean to me, just like gems.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com

There’s a great emphasis on sweet treats in your work. Do you think you’ll explore other elements/themes later on?

If I were to explore other themes, they would definitely be cute looking miniature animals.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com
What would an ‘ideal’ day be like for you?

My ideal day would be: at home with the people I love, eating tasty cakes and working on my creations with fun and laughter at the same time.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com
What’s the significance of art in your life?

Art is something I can find happiness and solace in when I’m sad. When upset, creating things with my hands makes me forget about the worries and stress that I face. It also makes me happy and I see how a piece of clay can slowly turn into something that can look so beautiful.

….

Find Gemnesis here: Instagram |  Facebook | Etsy | Blog 

Continue Reading

Real Life Lettering Inspiration Vol. 1


lettering inspiration vol 1- interview with real letterers via Opinion9.com

Hey everyone. This feature has been long due and I’m excited to have it published here today.

For Surely Simple, over on my instagram (@surelysimpleblog), I started a lettering/drawing challenge and I was so happy to see others participating in it too! I always love to get someone else’s perspective on things, and what better way than to ask all the amazing letterers/ artists over on IG!

There’s something so motivating about reading people’s views and their outlook with whom you share a common interest- and here of course, that interest is art! So, here are 5 different people (in no particular order), all with their own perspective and take on lettering. Enjoy!

(To see their lettering/ artwork, head on over to #surelysimpleart and #surelysimplelettering.)

Let’s hear what they have to say about lettering, life, art and more!

…….

AMY

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

 Southern girl from Arkansas with a passion for travel. Very close to my family although I have no children of my own. Well, unless you will allow me to count my two cats, Ruby and Roxanne! My dad was quite the sketch artist even though no one really knew. I have never taken a formal art or lettering class but love practicing every day. I feel like my own style is a bit scattered and often seek focus in my life.

lettering inspiration vol 1- interview with real letterers via Opinion9.com

What sparked your interest in lettering? What do you feel about your progress?

As a young adult, I remember saying that I wish I could have a job where I could just write pretty things all day and so at 47 years old I am doing so as a hobby. I look back on my work from when I first started in March 2015 and can see a remarkable improvement.

 

What are your hobbies? (apart from lettering, of course!)

iPhone photography, watching old black and white horror movies.

lettering inspiration vol 1- interview with real letterers via Opinion9.com

Favourite art tools and supplies?

Tombow dual brush pens, Tombow fude, Pentel sign pen, Gelly roll pens, chalk pencil, watercolors.

 

Any people you look up to in the art / lettering / calligraphy field? Or just generally in life?

Lauren from Renmade Calligraphy, Sharisse from Pieces Calligraphy, Lisa Congdon.

lettering inspiration vol 1- interview with real letterers via Opinion9.com

Any advice for lettering enthusiasts you’d like to share?

 Just start! All you really have to have is paper and a pencil or pen.

lettering inspiration vol 1- interview with real letterers via Opinion9.com

Can you recall any memory that brings a smile to your face?

I love all the positivity and support my IG community offers. It’s so nice to read all the comments and watch each other progress.

 

Do you plan on pursuing art professionally, or is it just a hobby you love?

It’s a hobby but plan on opening an Etsy shop soon.

Social Links-

Instagram – @lilylanecreations

Pinterest – Amy Davis   @hulatree

….

DUSTY

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

I am a mom of 2 kids (11-Laurel and 14-Lily) and wife of 18 years to Michael. I am a teacher–I spent many years as a special education teacher in Cincinnati, Ohio, but now I am an associate professor at Eastern Kentucky University in the College of Education working to teach the next generations of teachers.

lettering inspiration vol 1- interview with real letterers via Opinion9.com

What sparked your interest in lettering? What do you feel about your progress?

My mom was (and still is) very arts/crafts-y…she used to do calligraphy when I was little…little framed quotations or certificates at work. I always loved it. I tried to learn as a teenager but didn’t have much success. I’ve been seeing so much more lettering around lately and I was reminded of how much I loved the way handwritten art looks. So I signed up for @ckelso ‘s better lettering course in November and just started practicing. And practicing. And still practicing.

 

What are your hobbies? (apart from lettering, of course!)

I am a potter in some of my free time and a meditator in other parts of my free time…otherwise, I think I spend more time than I realize driving my kids around!

lettering inspiration vol 1- interview with real letterers via Opinion9.com

Favourite art tools and supplies?

I have inexpensive pencils, markers, and watercolors from Michael’s (craft store) for most of what I’ve worked on in my short time learning–but I JUST GOT a set of Tombow dual tip brush pens this week and I am really enjoying how much easier it is to move from thick to thin lines with it! However, I still lack confidence with them so much more practice is needed!

 

Any people you look up to in the art / lettering / calligraphy field? Or just generally in life?

I’m new to handlettering and calligraphy and am mostly learning folks through instagram. Some of my favorite folks to follow on IG (and I know there are LOTS more!) for lettering are: @alejandro.olarte, @art.by.rim, @surelysimpleblog (of course!), @lilylanecreations, and the more collective @artoftype. For calligraphy I love to see what @thepostmansknock, @bienfaitcalligraphy, and @piecescalligraphy put up daily. I love that you’ve added the #surelysimpleart hashtag because I tend to lean more toward little illustrations rather than true lettering or calligraphy and my favorite IG to watch for that kind of stuff is @jean_jullien.

lettering inspiration vol 1- interview with real letterers via Opinion9.com

Any advice for lettering enthusiasts you’d like to share?

I’m still too much of a novice to offer anyone ELSE advice 🙂

 

Can you recall any memory that brings a smile to your face?

Of course! Isn’t that why we create?

 

Do you plan on pursuing art professionally, or is it just a hobby you love?

This practice, for me, helps me remember the human side of life–when I just work and parent and ‘to do list’ my life I’m just not very fun to be around. But when I take time to create–even if it’s not great–I find so much more pleasure and beauty in all my ‘to do’ lists. So, it’s a hobby I love because it helps me to love life right back.

instagram: @dustycolumbiae

….

DIANA

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

Looking back I can see that my passion for graphic design and typography began as a teen. Back in the day, I used to pore over teen magazines and study the contents of their layout designs cool words that were stylized and photographs. I then cut them out and staple the cutouts to my bedroom walls creating a unique collage or wallpaper. It was quite a site.. Oh, my mother just loved that –HA!

What sparked your interest in lettering? What do you feel about your progress?

I’ve always loved calligraphy and would practice from a calligraphy book I got as a birthday present. I tend to be an impatient person and feel that my lettering progress is slow, or rather not as fast as I’d like. I realize it takes time and really plan to hustle to practice drills and focus on my calligraphy/lettering in 2016.

lettering inspiration vol 1- interview with real letterers via Opinion9.com

What are your hobbies? (Apart from lettering, of course!)

Other hobbies include painting, photography, and I recently started a mixed media art class online that I am really enjoying.

 

Favourite art tools and supplies?

I have many favorites.. but I really love my brush tip markers. The Pentel Fude Touch Sign Pen and the Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen (soft and hard) to be exact. I like that they are small and very easy to control. I also like the Nikko G nib with a straight holder.

lettering inspiration vol 1- interview with real letterers via Opinion9.com

Any people you look up to in the art / lettering / calligraphy field? Or just generally in life?

I follow many talented lettering artists on Instagram. Some of my favorites are: Amanda Pel Arneill (@amandaarneill), Victoria Rothwell (@designhouseofmoira), and Bianca Mascorro (@biancamascorroart). These ladies have an IG account full of beauty.

 

Any advice for lettering enthusiasts you’d like to share?

My advice would be to not be afraid to put yourself out there to network with others. The lettering community really is a supportive one and are there to cheer you on. Another piece of advice is to not get discouraged it takes a lot of practice and remember that it’s going to take time to get to the level others are at.

 

Can you recall any memory that brings a smile to your face?

Whenever I am mentioned in a post or receive an actual comment on a lettering piece I posted always brings a smile to my face.

 

Do you plan on pursuing art professionally, or is it just a hobby you love?

For now I’m lucky enough to have my art as a full time hobby. I often get judged by some family and friends and it used to bother me, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to let their opinions get in the way of my happiness. 🙂

 

Social Media Links:

Instagram > @olive.blossom.design

Blog> www.oliveblossomdesign.com

Twitter > https://twitter.com/Olive_Blossom_

Pinterest> https://www.pinterest.com/Olive_Blossom/

Facebook > https://www.facebook.com/OliveBlossomDesign/

….

KRISTINE

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

I’m Mary Joy Kristine Rocamora, 25, married and a Mommy. I’m a 3rd year Psychology student but I’m planning to take up my old program/course, which is teaching.

 

What sparked your interest in lettering? What do you feel about your progress?

I got inspired when I saw some lettering posts on Instagram. I know that in constant practice, I will improve more.

lettering inspiration vol 1- interview with real letterers via Opinion9.com

What are your hobbies? (apart from lettering, of course!)

Aside from lettering, I also read books during my free time.

 

Favourite art tools and supplies?

I love my colorful pens! My collection! 🙂

 

Any people you look up to in the art / lettering / calligraphy field? Or just generally in life?

My father. He is really good at lettering, drawing, dancing, singing and cooking!

 

Any advice for lettering enthusiasts you’d like to share?

Just keep on trying and practicing. Look for inspiration!

 

Can you recall any memory that brings a smile to your face?

My elementary days. Whenever I think of those days, I can’t stop smiling. Those were the times when I used to join quiz bees and dance contests.

 

Do you plan on pursuing art professionally, or is it just a hobby you love?

Art is really just my hobby but I’m sure that I can use it more when I go back to teaching. 🙂

 

IG: @mjhappycorner

Twitter: @mjkristine

….

KATRINA

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

Hi! I am Katrina Andrea Ong or Trina for short. I am from the Philippines and I am a recent graduate of Bachelor of Science in Accountancy and a frustrated interior designer (since I wanted to take Interior Designing for college but I’m not that good in drawing lol).

lettering inspiration vol 1- interview with real letterers via Opinion9.com

What sparked your interest in lettering? What do you feel about your progress?

What sparked my interest in lettering is when my aunt joined a workshop just earlier this year and I saw how beautiful her works were and envied her so much, I wanted to be like her instantly! Lol. She influenced me to take some workshops too and now I’m hooked! Addicted is an understatement. Lol! My family thinks I have gained progress in this lettering “career” of mine but for me, I don’t really see the difference/progress. I feel like it’s just the same, haha!

 

What are your hobbies? (apart from lettering, of course!)

Apart from lettering, I love doing punch art. I used to sell those during my elementary years and earned so much from it since it was such a trend knowing how elementary students are given projects that often needs creativity and a bit of scrapbooking.

 

Favourite art tools and supplies?

I have about a hundred punchers and I am still continuing to collect them. I love collecting craft stuff like washi tapes, ribbons and other cute stuff that catches my eye. I don’t even use them now that I’ve graduated but the sight of them just makes me happy.

lettering inspiration vol 1- interview with real letterers via Opinion9.com

Any people you look up to in the art / lettering / calligraphy field? Or just generally in life?

I look up to my aunt (my mom’s sister-in-law) who has introduced me to this world. Her works inspire me to strive harder and aim for progress. Also, I look up to my (other) aunt (my mom’s sister), the interior designer who loves to explore and learn more about the world of creativity who, when she does, excels all the time. She really amazes me because he first time she has learned about calligraphy and took a workshop, her works seems like she’s been doing it for years now. Such a fast learner!

 

Any advice for lettering enthusiasts you’d like to share?

An advice I could give to those starting in lettering is that for me, I think it helps a lot when you have a calligrapher or someone in the same field who inspires you to pursue your career. Never stop learning about it and not just in learning but in loving it too. It’s such a stress reliever. I would not ever wonder if you get attached to it the same way I am!

lettering inspiration vol 1- interview with real letterers via Opinion9.com

Do you plan on pursuing art professionally, or is it just a hobby you love?

If only I could pursue this art professionally, I would. Fingers crossed!

instagram: @katscribbles

….

Watch out for volume 2- and hop on over to @surelysimpleblog to participate in the monthly lettering and drawing prompts. To see more of their lettering work, check out this link.

Continue Reading

Modern & Minimal Design With Kirralee & Co

Modern & Minimal Design With Kirralee & Co- an interview via Opinion9.com

Plants on walls are kind of a big thing nowadays. If you’re looking for fresh ways to add plants to your home- then you’re going to like Kirralee & Co. I discovered her work and was instantly drawn to the simplicity, the raw minimalism and the functionality in her creations.

Kirralee is also so inspiring! I really enjoyed getting to know about her creative process, and I think you will too!

Let’s hear what she has to say! Modern & Minimal Design With Kirralee & Co- an interview via Opinion9.com

Modern & Minimal Design With Kirralee & Co- an interview via Opinion9.com


Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

My name is Kirralee Robinson and I was born and raised in Brisbane, Queensland. I am happily 10 years married and we have 3 little munchkins aged 7, 5 and 2. My work life is a juggle of many different areas of creativity. I am an art installer, a gallery assistant, beginner framer and I am owner and designer of Kirralee & Co.

My Co. includes my husband who offers technical support on the hardware side of things; he makes jigs and shows me how to use the tools. I am also fortunate enough to be surrounded by creative friends who have offered their time, skills and encouragement along this journey. I honestly couldn’t do what I’m doing without them – support like this is just so vital for any new venture.

Modern & Minimal Design With Kirralee & Co- an interview via Opinion9.com

I love the minimal yet powerful styling in your work.

Thank you. It’s the ultimate compliment when people just ‘get’ what you were going for.

Modern & Minimal Design With Kirralee & Co- an interview via Opinion9.com

It’s so cool that you worked as a florist too. I find it rather interesting that you see the beauty in a single stem- in contrast to the number of plants/flowers that a regular florist has to add in an arrangement. Can you share a bit more about how your present style of arrangements at Kirralee & Co has evolved?

Floristry is akin to any other client-driven creative business. When it comes down to it, most days your own personal taste has very little to do with the end product. I think I became visually tired after so many years of bright clashing colours and always found a kind of peace in just the greenery – in particular, the lush leaves and the variety of textures found mixing them. We would go to fancy floral display shows and I remember test tubes being used there – there was a great appeal for me, probably because it was generally unseen in day-to-day shop life. In floristry, the customers always need to see value for money and there’s always a need to balance quantity and quality. In the places I worked for our customer base didn’t really value the intricacies of design so we rarely sold anything design heavy.

I think when you mix these experiences with the creative drive of an artist you would probably come up with what I make today. I feel like I can have a bit of creative control now over what goes on people’s walls. I also like that there’s an option now of displaying flowers in an elegant and simple way; you don’t have to be a florist to use these vases.

Modern & Minimal Design With Kirralee & Co- an interview via Opinion9.com

Modern & Minimal Design With Kirralee & Co- an interview via Opinion9.com

How do you maintain the balance between regular life and your work?

All of my daytime work hours in art galleries are really unpredictable and Ash is a paramedic so our family schedule is quite unique. We have to be really flexible but also very disciplined. I guess I’ve just learnt to take the time out for my creativity and give it 500% when it’s there. We maintain balance by being aware of everyone in the household (kids too) and their needs and each having something that is just our own, and taking turns doing this. Because of the shift work I may make nothing for a month, then only make and photograph for two weeks straight…and it’s all okay because we all love each other and have this common understanding that this is how we help each other to succeed.

Modern & Minimal Design With Kirralee & Co- an interview via Opinion9.com

What was the hardest (and easiest) part while starting your business?

I find the ideas part to be the easiest. Before Kirralee & Co, I used to procrastinate about finishing anything and to be honest this is the first project I feel like I’m really pushing through – mainly because I just love it. Photography and website related things were hard at the beginning and the financial part is really tough because it’s very new to me. But ideas are really easy.

Modern & Minimal Design With Kirralee & Co- an interview via Opinion9.com

What makes you the happiest in your creative process?

There’s so much that I love, like the grains in the wood and problem solving a new design- but mostly I find joy in creating something in my head and then being able to hold it in my hands – the faster between these two, the better. There is something really special about making the intangible a reality. Other people liking and buying it is just a bonus really!

Could you give us a glimpse in a typical day of your life?

We have a lot of regular things that get done, but never in the same order… My day always starts with coffee, then there’s housework and school / daycare, lots of playing outside. I have learnt to design in my head while driving or going for a walk with the kids. If I’m not doing something, I’m planning something so that the times I can get to the shed I’m very productive…. The nights that Ash is off on shift I try to use by either watching something inspiring, designing on paper, or sanding / finishing the vases.

Modern & Minimal Design With Kirralee & Co- an interview via Opinion9.com

Modern & Minimal Design With Kirralee & Co- an interview via Opinion9.com

What qualities are needed to keep up and also enjoy running a creative business?

I think vision is really important – being able to see an end result in your mind’s eye that others can’t see can really motivate you to keep going, even when it looks impossible. I find the easiest way to enjoy your own creativity is to spend time with other people’s creativity. I frequent movies, performances, dinners, and gallery openings … anything (legal) as long as I am trying new things and engaging my senses in new ways. This keeps my brain engine warm and the rest of my life fresh.


Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 8.17.47 pm

Where do you see yourself in a few years?

I have a bunch of very specific ideas on where I would like to end up, but I’m also really open to where life leads. I would be happy if any of these things happened: Buying a house, not buying a house, stocking Kirralee & Co in some national and international stores, owning an artist run space, landing a job as a gallery exhibitions officer, travelling with my art and/or design work, installing some great art shows around the world, travelling with my family, travelling with my husband, helping artisans in Mexico make some real money from their crafts, moving to Melbourne for a few years.

 Modern & Minimal Design With Kirralee & Co- an interview via Opinion9.com

What motivates and inspires you the most?

I believe that things can always be better no matter how good or bad they currently are and this is what really gets me out of bed each day (after coffee). Kirralee & Co exists because I believe there’s a simpler and more sustainable way of decorating our homes. And I make art because I have things to say that could be important to someone somewhere. On the days where nothing creative is going right, I usually turn on a documentary about another artist, doesn’t matter who, and hear the stories of their days that don’t go so well and the success they still have just from pushing through. Something usually stands out to me and I go to bed ready to try again the next day.

Modern & Minimal Design With Kirralee & Co- an interview via Opinion9.com

How long have you been interested in floral arrangements and home design? How did you think you could convert your hobby into a business?

My motivation for being a florist wasn’t because I particularly liked flowers but because I wanted a creative job I could do during my study. 10 years later, I can happily say that the more I work with flowers and foliage the more I like them. My interest in home design came about because I spent 2014 learning about ethics and sustainability in fashion and it motivated me to make some changes in our family, not only with clothes but everything we consume. I designed the first vases as an answer to my own question about how we could decorate more responsibly.

I had several of my friends say, “hey! You should sell these, I would buy one!” So I listened. I also signed up to an Etsy challenge where we were given advice on setting up an online store and given support and mentoring through the process. That was a real turning point for me.

Modern & Minimal Design With Kirralee & Co- an interview via Opinion9.com

What’s your favourite colour, flower and food?

Yes I know, it’s a shade, but, black. Always black.

Favourite flower changes all the time but currently hydrangea.

Mexican food, chocolate, cheese, wine, repeat.

Modern & Minimal Design With Kirralee & Co- an interview via Opinion9.com

What are some topics and trends inspiring you nowadays?

I’m really loving all the Palm Springs related Instagram accounts, @palmspringsstyle , @meganmckean, and @modernism_week, they have inspired a collection I’m currently working on. I’m also always interested in learning more about living sustainably / minimally / essentially, we have a long way to go there.

https://www.instagram.com/modernism_week/

(bright hues for Kirralee’s next project! ^)

What would an ‘ideal’ day be like for you?

Any day where I feel like I’m at least one step ahead of where I was that morning is good. BUT if I can indulge myself a little, ideally I would have a coffee, kiss my husband and kids, head off to a work shed / art gallery / studio and work hard with my hands while listening to good music, more coffee, get sweaty, complete something, come home and shower, put on pretty clothes then head to an event or date with my husband.

Modern & Minimal Design With Kirralee & Co- an interview via Opinion9.com

What’s the significance of art and design in your life?

As long as I can remember, I have been involved in making things, dreaming, crafting, thinking… My parents were wonderfully supportive of all my quirks and always taught us that being a [__name any suit job__] isn’t necessarily more important or significant than being an artist. I have tried to ‘give up’ being a creative a couple of times but I always come back. Even during the seasons of time, where I’m not able to get into the studio I find my cooking amps up in creativity (sorry family). I just know I will be working with my hands and in art galleries for the rest of my life. It’s part of who I am. Now it’s going next level as well with having three kids, all of whom are showing signs of being creative, I’m really looking forward to growing this with them.

https://www.instagram.com/modernism_week/Where do you source your plants and other elements in your work?

I have just started growing some tropical plants at home, which I’m sure will feature in my work in the future. Other than that I source the single stems from my garden, around my neighborhood and the work shed, as it is surrounded by a lot of gorgeous greenery. I also buy the occasional stem from my local florist, (particularly when I have a specific photo in mind).

The test tubes are sourced from a variety of places. Although I would love to make these myself this would increase the cost of the pieces significantly and there are plenty of people out there already making them. Apart from the factory few I have bought, a lot of them have been given to me. I’ve had a few people say things like this to me, “I’m a hoarder and I’m not going to use this, but it seems you will!”

Modern & Minimal Design With Kirralee & Co- an interview via Opinion9.com

What makes a satisfied customer?

A happy customer gets more than what they expected. Each order I send is gift wrapped with care and sent as soon as possible with a note straight from me. Wherever I can, I add in a stem of foliage so the vase can be used straight away.

Modern & Minimal Design With Kirralee & Co- an interview via Opinion9.com

What would you like to convey to a customer through your work?

I would like people to see that good quality design can transcend trends. It’s worth looking around for small businesses and makers because the service and quality is much more personal. I think having a home decorated with handmade items can fill a space with love and warmth and this is what I hope for my designs.

….

Find Kirralee and her work here on her website | instagram| etsy.

Continue Reading

Creative Instant Photography with Kate

Creative Instant Photography with Kate - an interview via Opinion9Hello everyone. Today we have an interesting feature- all about instant photography. Polaroids are definitely making their comeback, and have been trendy for a while now. So it was perfect to talk to Kate who clicks instant photos with a creative expression and also, as a welcomed distraction from her busy student life. However, I think it’s more than a mere distraction- just check out her gorgeous instagram feed! I like the consistency and the varied subjects she takes shots of, and it’s always nice to see a good polaroid photo in your instagram feed, isn’t it? Read on to her what she has to say!

Creative Instant Photography with Kate - an interview via Opinion9

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

I’m Kate and I’m a 20 year old student from the UK. I’m in my last year at University studying Computer Science and Business – which is a million miles away from my love of instant photography.

Creative Instant Photography with Kate - an interview via Opinion9

Creative Instant Photography with Kate

What sparked your interest in photography in general? How long have you been practicing?

I’ve always appreciated photography. I remember going to the Wildlife photographer of the year exhibition when I was little and enjoying reading the information about how the pictures were taken. I admired the patience and skill required to capture such a perfect shots. However, my interest in photography was amplified in June when my boyfriend Ben gave me an Instax camera for my birthday. I’d never specifically said I wanted one but he clearly thought I’d enjoy it and he was right. However, I think he is still pretty surprised at how big an obsession it has become for me!

Creative Instant Photography with Kate - an interview via Opinion9

I love how you capture moments exclusively with your polaroid camera! What interests you about polaroid photos?

I haven’t been practicing photography for very long at all, since I only got the camera in June. My camera – an Instax mini 90 neo classic has a lot more settings than a traditional polaroid camera. For example, you can adjust the light levels and take long and double exposure shots so there is lots of play with. It’s difficult to ‘practice’ instant photography on a student budget because the film is so expensive (75p/shot) so it’s frustrating when things go wrong. However, I do still experiment and I always keep the failed shots (which you wouldn’t if they were digital pictures!), although they don’t often make it to Instagram!

Creative Instant Photography with Kate - an interview via Opinion9

How do you interpret the presence and significance of photography in your lifestyle?

Until recently, photography wasn’t a very significant part of my life but now I’m also now constantly thinking of new things I can try. I get annoyed if I see something I really want to photograph and I don’t have my instax with me!

Creative Instant Photography with Kate - an interview via Opinion9

What keeps you motivated creatively in life?

Before University I had a pretty continuous creative outlet – I spent at least 10 hours a week practicing and performing music. I’m now a final year student on a science degree, and I no longer have time for music in the same way. Although, I didn’t realize it properly until I unboxed my camera- I think I was craving some creativity after 3 years of technology and business.

I think being given an instax camera reminded me that underneath the academic theory and coding, I’m actually quite a creative person and it’s nice to be reminded of that!

Creative Instant Photography with Kate - an interview via Opinion9

Creative Instant Photography with Kate - an interview via Opinion9Can you share a glimpse of a typical day in your life?

Well, I’m a student, so the majority of my day is taken up by attending lectures, waiting for buses and procrastinating – that’s where photography and ‘pix_of_polaroids’ comes in.

I got my camera and started my Instagram account during the summer holidays when there was a lot more time and opportunities to take photos, but I’m still managing to take some shots on the way back from lectures and on the weekends.

Creative Instant Photography with Kate - an interview via Opinion9

What’s your outfit staple, favourite food, fave flower and country and why?

I’m notoriously scruffy so probably not the right person to ask about my outfit staple! I do have a vast collection of scarfs though, so maybe that is my outfit staple.

My favourite food has to be ice cream – I recently started making homemade ice cream. It’s really fun and easier than you’d think. I like experimenting and trying to recreate my favourite Ben & Jerry flavours (I have the recipe book!). Some of the flavours I’ve made so far include Oreo, honeycomb, salted caramel and strawberry.

I think daffodils are one of my favourite flowers because I love the springtime and they remind me of Easter egg hunts in the garden when I was little.

Creative Instant Photography with Kate - an interview via Opinion9

What kind of photography themes and subjects are you interested in nowadays?

Initially, when I got the camera I was just enjoying taking pictures of my friends and family. I hadn’t been thinking about it in a particularly creative way – until I took a photo of a pier stretching into the sea on a beautiful sunny day. I started to experiment, seeing if I could line the instant photo up with the rest of the pier. It was fiddly to achieve because of the differences in scale, reflection, focus and of course, all the strange looks you get from passers-by. I was happy with the result though. When I got home, I started looking at shots other people had taken on Instagram and that inspired me to continue.

I like trying to seamlessly blend the retro instant picture into its digital surroundings. I try to identify things that I can line up, for example, the horizon or a building. The most effective shots are a result of perfectly lining the instant photo up with the background but this is difficult to achieve! I also try to make the background as interesting as the instant photo – I want to bring 2 interesting photos together to make an even better one.

I wouldn’t say I’m interested in a specific theme or subject, but I do look at things differently now – I’m constantly spotting potentially interesting shots to try out. I’d like to get into portrait photography – maybe an instant Humans of New York style series. If only I put this much effort into my Uni work!

Creative Instant Photography with Kate - an interview via Opinion9

What are your hobbies? (Apart from clicking polaroid shots!)

I play the flute and sing although not as much as I’d like to anymore. Lots of my best friends are musicians and some of my happiest memories are music related – singing in the middle of a square in Belgium flash mob style, singing Postman Pat in 4 part harmony and getting my grade 8 flute after years of work. As I’ve already mentioned I also enjoy cooking and recently started making ice cream.

Creative Instant Photography with Kate - an interview via Opinion9

Instant photography vs. well, not instant! Pros and cons? Anything you’d like to elaborate on which one (or both) you would choose?

Our lives our very reliant on digital technology. I’m a Computer Science student so I know this all too well. In a world full of Photoshop software and Google images there is something really refreshing and exciting about taking a unique, one-off picture and watching it develop in front of you.

There is nothing to hide behind- you can’t just delete it and take another without wasting film. Shooting film is a completely different experience to using a digital camera. When I’m taking digital pictures, I’ll take 10 to make sure I get one I like. Whereas, when I’m taking instant pictures, I’ll think really carefully about what I want to achieve first.

My computer is full of thousands of pictures of great memories and moments- but the pictures I cherish the most are my instant shots. I love the instant photos I have of my friends and family – they seem more real because it truly is a second in time rather than one of 15 shots we took to get just the right one…

Creative Instant Photography with Kate - an interview via Opinion9

Are you planning to pursue photography professionally or is it just a hobby you love?

At the moment, it’s definitely just a new hobby that I’m loving which has grown quicker than I expected. I’m very much at the start and I have a lot to learn about photography.

Creative Instant Photography with Kate - an interview via Opinion9

Where do you see yourself in a few years?

That’s a scary question for any final year University student! I will graduate in 2016 and plan on taking a year out before starting my graduate job in Technology. So, in one year I hope to be travelling more and taking lots of pictures but in a few years– who knows…if I’m happy, have the people I love around me and have a job I enjoy, then it’s all good!

Creative Instant Photography with Kate - an interview via Opinion9

You have a quite a few landscape nature shots in different places. A bit more on your travel experience so far?

This summer we went travelling around Croatia for several weeks as you can guess from my Instagram series #pixofcroatia. The landscape was beautiful and it was the perfect first big adventure with my new camera. I also went travelling round Europe (9 countries in 4 weeks) the previous summer, but sadly that was before I got my instax so all my pictures are very digital and mainstream! The coolest place I’ve ever been to is probably Moscow. I went to Russia on an orchestra tour a few years ago and it was amazing- I definitely need to go back with my instax – the architecture is incredible.

I’m lucky enough to live in a beautiful part of the UK where there is lots of natural beauty to photograph- such as beaches and moorland. It is getting a little more difficult to find things to shoot now that the weather is pretty rubbish all the time- although, I think it is encouraging me to be more creative. Notes: )

Creative Instant Photography with Kate - an interview via Opinion9

What are some qualities you think makes a great photograph?

I like photography that makes you think about something differently- or see something from a different perspective. I also really like pictures with great symmetry or interesting techniques. For example, after my recent experiment with sparklers and long exposures I’ve found some amazing long exposure photography on Instagram.

Creative Instant Photography with Kate - an interview via Opinion9

Do you think a photographer’s subject he/chooses somehow correlates indirectly to their own attitude and choices in life? Is that true for you too?

I’m not sure what my account says about me! People who know me, but don’t know about my photography, might be surprised by my pictures. To me, my account reflects a choice to start making time for creativity and fun, rather than everything being about my degree. I hope it also reflects a choice to explore and look at things differently.

I’ve always valued memories and experiences far more than things and I take pictures to remember moments. I think this is particularly true of instant photography.

Creative Instant Photography with Kate - an interview via Opinion9

Any nice memory that brings a smile to your face?

On Christmas Eve, every year my family gathers around the fire and listens to the original snowman audiobook on tape (even more retro than instant photography!). We’ve done it my whole life. I know every word and sound effect but Christmas wouldn’t be the same without it.

Creative Instant Photography with Kate - an interview via Opinion9

What do you think is the future of photography today and in the future?

I think photography is becoming more and more about ideas and concepts because high quality equipment is becoming more affordable. I also think it’s clear that instant photography is making a comeback from all the great new models of camera being released. A physical photo is a real novelty to us now. In an age where CDs are being replaced by iTunes and books are being replaced by Kindles, there is something satisfying about swapping out a digital camera for an analogue one!

..
Thanks for sharing, Kate! Find Kate on her instagram here.

Continue Reading