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.

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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.

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Moodboard this Week // Tranquil Color Washes

moodboard-3-11-15 // stuff that's inspiring me this week via Opinion9.com

I’ll be sharing a moodboard each week – my inspiration changes every week because the vast world of the internet has so many amazing things to share- ranging from art, beauty, interior design, food, intriguing stuff etc etc etc.

Clockwise from the top left:

1– watercolour and hair sketches! my fave.

2– i’m all about watercolour currently, and wow, when I discovered this amazing shop filled with wall hangings like this..makes me happy.

3– still feeling that fall feeling, so these copper painted leaves are nice and cozy

4– coffee, chocolate and a book. I mean, what else do you need? A pretty perfect shot, I’d say.

5– I’m trying to clean my room and studio space, so this image of a nice workspace is slightly motivating.

6– I don’t know why, but I really want some ice cream cake. Mint + ice cream cake = winner in my book.

Hope you liked this week’s inspo. Got plenty of nice stuff to share for moodboards, so stay tuned. See the previous mood boards here. – Aaria

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Sketch + Story 4 : Freya’s Story

Read this short story based on a drawing// Freya's story // OPINION9.com

So, for this sketch+ story, I thought I’d write a longer descriptive story on this admittedly random sketch I made a couple of nights ago. I draw a lot in the night, not really with a preplanned idea, but more for practice and it’s just enjoyable for me to draw without any planning at all. After looking at this quick freehand, I knew I could probably think up a story for it too. Naming her was a problem- but I finally settled for Freya, because somehow, she just looks like a Freya. Does that make any sense? Haha. Well, here’s Freya’s story, written by me.

FREYA’S STORY

The morning light flooded in through the windows. The bed near it was empty, sheets folded, pillows fluffed. Freya was already up. She was a normal girl- with a penchant for neatness. She couldn’t bear anything messy in her life, and everything about her was immaculate- her room, her nails, her neatly arranged bag. Funnily enough, she didn’t include her hair in her neat routine- it was always a natural quiet mess- and maybe she didn’t brush it to extreme neatness, because it was the one thing that didn’t have to be perfect.

Freya had just finished her degree, and she had no idea what to do next. Her life till now had been a quiet and simple routine of studying, library breaks, reading tattered novels, writing down anecdotes in equally tattered notebooks, sitting and staring at the green landscape outside her window. Now, she wasn’t sure of anything. She hadn’t applied for any job, like her friends had. She hadn’t even thought of further studies- it seemed pointless to consider anything when she didn’t even know what she wanted to do. So she had gone home and was thinking about what to do next.

Meanwhile, downstairs, her family were at the table, eating breakfast and getting ready to go to work. Her parents both went to office, and her younger sister was away at a school trip. She walked downstairs, and by the time she had reached the table, they had already gone. A stack of pancakes and bread and jam were laid out for her. Freya heaved a sigh. Her parents were kind, but always busy. She wished they would talk to her sometimes- but they had their own lives, their own work. And she had no idea about her life.

She ate her fill of pancakes, and switched on the TV. Then she switched it off, and grabbed a notebook, which was lying on the sofa. There were plenty of her notebooks strewn all over the house- another contrast to the neatness of her room. She started writing.

Read this short story based on a drawing// Freya's story // OPINION9.com

Well, that’s a little story! I might come up with more, because she’s kind of an intriguing character. Have you ever felt this way / like you have no idea what to do next in your life? I’d love to know! Stay tuned for more stories and sketches- find me on instagram (@opinion9) to be stay in the loop!

This story is the property of Aaria Baid. Please do not copy or repost anywhere else without my permission. Copyrighted courtesy of Opinion9.com. Thank you.

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