Meet the Artists: Bren Michelle

One of the newest artists to our fam at endemicworld is illustrator and pattern designer Bren Michelle. After several years working for Disney animating kids’ movies, she’s returned to NZ (welcome home!) to raise her young family, and is now turning her talents to pretty, vibrant and contemporary patterns for a growing range of art prints and  - coming soon – other products too!

Bren Michelle Designer

You were an animation artist for kids’ movies – awesome! What a dream job! Tell us about that…
That is my background, but not what I do now. I did a six month training course here in Auckland, then I learnt the rest on the job. The most exciting time of my career was when I worked for Walt Disney (then in Sydney.) I worked with some incredibly talented and fascinating people from all over the world. I got to work on some amazing films – mostly sequels to the classics – including The Lion King 2 and 3, The Little Mermaid 2, Lady and the Tramp 2, An Extremely Goofy Movie, The Jungle Book 2, Cinderella 2, and more. Yeah it was awesome, a dream job, but extremely demanding as the standard was so high and our output had to meet a quota of footage of film per week. I gained a lot from the experience and I am so grateful for it.

I met my partner there too and we came back to NZ together. I made the switch from hand-drawn to computer animation, and I worked for Flux Animation on a number of projects including The Adventures of Massey Ferguson and Puzzles Inc. Following that I moved to the children’s fashion industry to work with my sister. When I started a family I began working part-time from home doing pattern design – mostly for textiles.


What are you working on (with your own projects/art prints) at the moment?
I have just created my first lino print since school days! I’ve really enjoyed the print-making process so next year I would like to develop my skills in this area, perhaps using wood instead of lino. For my digital prints I’ve started a piece in the style of my Emerald Garden design, but I have a lot happening right now so I can’t get back to it for a while. Next year I expect to have much more time to indulge my own ideas and I can’t wait to see what emerges!

Bren Michelle Design Pencil Box

Bren-Michelle-Design-Sketchbook

A pretty page from Bren’s sketchbook

Which NZ artists/designers/creatives (of any discipline) do you most look up to?
In the pattern design industry it is critical to watch the European and US catwalks and trend-forecasting sites/blogs for inspiration. As a result a lot of my heroes are from abroad, but I do admire many creatives here too:

Fashion designer Karen Walker, Artist/designer Ellen Giggenbach, Illustrator Sarah Wilkins, Animation Director/Illustrator/Writer Raymond McGrath, and the artist Flox. I’m also hugely inspired by the amazing NZ women writers Charlotte Grimshaw, Emily Perkins and Eleanor Catton.

What’s on the walls of your creative space/home currently?
My favourite framed piece is a drawing by William Auerbach Levy of Victor Borge. But in my workspace I have an inspiration board covered in gorgeousness. It includes:

- Vogue covers from the 20s (Georges Lepape and Helen Dryden)
- Surface Pattern Designers/illustrators: Helen Dardik, Orla Kiely, Tom Schamp, Tove Johansson, Florence Broadhurst
- Artists: Koloman Moser, Angie Lewin, Inaluxe, Mary Blair, James Leman
- Fashion Designers: Anna Sui, Tsumori Chisato
…and a heap more!

Bren-Michelle-Design-Inspiration-Board

Bren’s right – her inspiration board is covered in gorgeousness!

Besides art/illustration, what else do you love to do?
My greatest love outside of art is reading; there are always teetering piles of books around the house, especially art and design hardbacks from the library. Other loves are creative writing, running, camping and tramping.


What would be a dream project/collaboration you’d love to do?

I would love to see some of my designs licensed onto stationery for a company such as Madison Park Greetings. I’m also interested in book cover design, and perhaps motif designs for ceramics. But soon I am moving away from pattern design and into the children’s apparel industry and I am really excited about that.

I am at my happiest when I am growing and learning. I can’t wait to be working under some talented designers and upskilling in that area, so right now I am very content with the path in front of me.

Bren-Michelle-Sketching

Bren at work in her home studio

Bren-Michelle-Artist

 Some of Bren’s art prints (available at endemicworld!)

What words of advice do you have to anyone looking to make art their career?
Be sure that it really is your passion, because it can be a difficult way to make a living. The people I have seen thrive are very confident within themselves and/or are willing to live outside of their comfort zone. They have high standards but can stop short of perfectionism, and they have an entrepreneurial mind or strong business skills. They also have bucketloads of passion and drive.

I think artists need to be very open to new techniques and technologies in order to keep themselves valuable in rapidly changing industries. And I think it is really important to seek out communities of similar artists – even if only online. I belong to a large Facebook group of surface pattern designers. We share inspiration, industry news, ideas, resources, and personal stories/insights. It is an incredibly supportive environment and benefits everyone.There is nothing more inspiring than connecting with people that share your passion.

Bren-Michelle-art-prints

Shop all Bren Michelle art prints here…

 

Artist Catch-Up – Greg Straight

What’s Greg Straight been up to lately?
Woah that’s too freaky – we wondered the same thing!
We caught up with our favourite surfing, drawing Dad/all round good dude to find out what he’s been working on…

It’s been almost year since we caught up, what have you been up to in the past 12 months?
Wow a whole year, that’s crazy! I’ve been pretty busy with illustration and design work, it started with creating the identity for The 48 Hour Film Festival and snowballed from there. I illustrated a range of farm animal collectable cards for My Food Bag and created a large second range of children’s stationery for Whitcoulls (to name a few).

I’ve also been getting involved with a few schools, I went into Birkenhead Primary for book week and for a careers day at Northcote College. That one was pretty full on, speaking for 3 one-hour sessions to teenagers with no internet and no projector. I had a sleeper in the first one, totally gone 15 minutes into my talk!

Greg Straight Art 48 HOUR-FILM-FESTIVAL

This year’s 48 Hour Film Festival got some Greg Straight pimpin’

Greg Straight Art MY-FOOD-BAG

Greg Straight Art MY-FOOD-BAG-2

Greg Straight Art MY-FOOD-BAG-4

Some of Greg’s super cute illos, used as kids’ collectables for My Food Bag


So what’s been happening in the world of Greg Straight?
The big news is going self-employed full time. I was working for a company for 7 years and 4 weeks ago I finally took the plunge to go it alone, so far so good.

Other news is my wife Hannah and I have finally printed our first range of kids tees for our label Mr & Sister, to be released shortly and together we are working on a range of open edition, more trend based art prints called GS Studio. The new ‘Gone Troppo’ prints are a part of this, which explains the more feminine feel to the range …

But I am still making the limited edition fine art prints (that are signed and numbered). The two lines will be quite different, both created by me but sold at different price points.

I’ve also developed some new artworks on wood (a couple can be seen in-store at endemicworld). Last year at my Endless Summer art show I exhibited a work on wood in collaboration with Matua, it was so popular I had to do more, however  I’ve been so busy its taken me almost a year to develop.

Greg Straight Art Mr-&-Sister-tees

Some of Greg’s designs for his (and wife Hannah’s) rad new kids’ tee brand, Mr & Sister!

Greg Straight Art WOOD-WORK

Greg’s artworks on wood are proving real popular… 


Tell us about some of your fave projects recently?
Earlier this year I was asked to create the cover for Idealog and 3 additional editorial illustrations that was pretty fun. Idealog interviewed me and asked the question ‘Should you work for free?” and the answer in short is – No!

A few months back I made a second artwork for Matua along with NZ Surf Life Saving for their Mad About Our Beaches campaign (launching soon). Matua are helping to clean up our beaches and as a surfer I am pretty passionate about that.

Another cool Matua project was creating a music inspired illustration that was used at three different music events in the UK. The artwork was blown up and made into a backdrop used on stage and on promotional posters.

I also just created a mural (and a bit of brand identity) for Tauranga based design company Family. They produce some great work and it was a real pleasure working with Trent and the team.

So it’s been a pretty busy year so far with my illustration work leaving not much time to produce new art! Fortunately, that’s all about to change now that I no longer have to juggle these freelance projects with another part-time job (and still try to fit in some quality time with my family). The past year has involved a lot of late nights…
Greg Straight Design for Idealog

Greg Straight Illustration for Idealog

Greg Straight illustration

Greg’s custom illustration project for Idealog magazine

Greg Straight Art MATUA-SESSIONS-1

Greg Straight MATUA-SESSIONS-ARTWORK

Greg’s artwork was used as a massive stage backdrop for a UK gig series (in association with Matua wines)


Any traveling?

No.


Been surfing?

No (insert sad face here).


Any big personal achievements?
I illustrated my first children’s book called While You Are Sleeping released at the end of last year, in March 2014 I won a Storylines Notable Book Award for best picture book and its now just been released in China.

My Chelsea golden syrup artist tin has just been selected for The Best Design Awards 2014, which I am chuffed about and the tin has also been featured on The Dieline and Packaging Of The World.

I’ve also had a couple of group exhibitions this year, strangely enough both in Nelson.

Greg Straight Art BEST-AWARDS

Greg’s limited edition Golden Syrup tin for Chelsea was a finalist in the 2014 Best Design Awards


What’ve you got planned for this summer?
A shed load of new art! I’ve got so many ideas that are collecting dust, now I have more time I am amped to get them all going. So, new fine art prints, new open edition prints and developing a larger range of prints on wood.

We plan to launch Mr & Sister in the next month (or two).

I have a few illustration projects lined up with some really big clients which is pretty exciting. I can’t really say too much just yet but watch this space!

I have also been asked to develop a small line of clothing for a German based surf company that I’m really stoked about and I’ve got new designs for reusable coffee cups, greeting cards, tote bags, cushions and tee shirts all being released in the next few months.

And I’m hoping may be even the odd surf between deadlines. Bring on summer!

Greg-Straight-Art-Print-NZ

Greg Straight Art Prints

Three of Greg’s newest art prints, 90% Fat Free, Good Times and Club Tropicana

 

Shop all Greg Straight art prints here

 

Styled: Blonde Wood & Brights – Baby Nursery

Inspired by the blonde wood and bright colours of our new You Are My Sunshine art print, we’ve dreamed up a colourful, contemporary nursery…

kids art print styled

From top:

 Affordable little balls of happiness! This cute felt garland is from Crave Home.

 You Are My Sunshine art print, by new endemicworld designer Bright Creative. This sunny little number is available framed or unframed, and in a range of sizes. This is one print in a whole collection that share a timber-and-brights aesthetic – so you can buy a themed pair or trio for your little sunshine’s room.

 Hang their cutest outfits on this light coat rack (inspired by an iconic retro design), from Collected.

 Designed by and for parents who appreciate contemporary design – the much-loved Oeuf crib is perfect for bubbas, but also converts into a toddler bed when they’re ready!

 Quality wooden worm friends, from Crave Home.

 This affordable round table (available in NZ from Se3) makes a handy cot-side table, and when your little beastie is at toddler age, makes a great low play table.

 A felt ball rug is oh-so-soft under little feet (and ties in perfectly with the balls of bright colour in the hanging rack and garland). Available from Collected.

 

bright creative art prints

Shop all these colourful art prints by Bright Creative here

 

 

 

Print Pairs – Art Prints and Interiors we love…

Our shelves and walls at endemicworld have welcomed loads of awesome new art prints lately. So here’s some of our favourite newbies, paired with the interiors we know they’d look amazing in…

Alisha Brunton art print and bedroom

A boho-style bedroom with minimal decorating is the perfect place for this Starve the Ego painterly art print.

contemporary design Inaluxe art print

Two awesome Australians – this designer Australian home is a party of colour and pattern, and so is our new Protea art print by across-the-Tasman artists Inaluxe.

pink living room and inaluxe art print

Pretty in pink! (and light grey, and pops of black).
This blush beauty is the new Soiree art print (shown here framed in white), also by Inaluxe.

interior and art print

Be still my beating heart – we love the serene style of this space, with it’s light blonde timber (big fans of the Wishbone chair!) and neutral decorating. We’d just love to see a little bit of colour peek through, though – and this new art print by NZ designer Bren Michelle. It’s colourful without being too loud, and the Scandi-style illustration teams in nicely with this Scandi space.

bird art print and interior

Don’t these two make the sweetest pair? We can just imagine the Sid art print sitting atop that gorgeous yellow vintage dresser.

bright dining room and art print

We love a personality-filled room that’s not afraid of colour, and the fresh flowers add another burst of it. This happy print by Inaluxe is a little like having a fresh flowers every week… on your wall!

 

 

Meet the Artists: Pete Cromer

Every now and then, an artist comes along that makes us stop whatever we’re doing to pen an email to them; asking them to join our print party over at endemicworld.  Australian illustrator and graphic designer Pete Cromer has that effect on us – his bright colour palettes, playful shapes and all-round abstract awesomeness just make us feel good. 

Pete Cromer and Bulmer

Pete and his best buddy, Bulmer

Pete Cromer art studio

A corner of Pete’s studio with one of his Black Cockatoo art prints.

Tell us a little about your artistic process?
It’s a bit all over the place, not going to lie. The idea always comes first. This is usually trapped in my brain until I let it out. From a technical point of view, I use stencils, spongers and cut paper. (The sponge is the texture king, it does wonders). Sometimes I do a whole piece or sometimes I do bits and cut and paste them together. Whatever gets me to the end result I guess. Once done and all scanned in, I do like to clean things up with my computer and bump up the colour too.

Pete Cromer work in progress

Pete’s painted works start with stencils and sponges…

What have been some of the best projects/highlights of your career to date?
Easily the collaboration “Enemies Yay” with Laura Blythman. We have worked together in the past for companies, but this project really let us explode in our style and love of colour and happy things.

Pete Cromer art prints

Pete’s inspo board is an artwork in itself!

What are you working on right now?

I’m working a few different projects. I like to juggle, that’s for sure. I am making a new range of work “future princesses” from paper. These are quite large colour and shape based art. I am hoping to release a series of original artworks and prints in around a months time. Fingers and toes. Also, I am making little rock sculptures called “Druids”. These guys have been in my head for years, so I’m glad they are finally coming out, they will launch soon too. That said my “to do” list is ever growing, which is a bloody good thing.

Pete Cromer pet rocks

Pete’s new ‘Druids’

Pete Cromer Artwork

We love Pete’s new paper artworks – this one is Princess Hana, she’s a work in progress from a new ‘future princesses’ series.

Fave music to create by?
This changes daily! Robyn’s Body Talk Pt3 has been on high rotation forever it seems. Peter Gabriel, Grimes, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti and Kendrick Lamar seem to get me in the swing of things the best. As I tend to mix it up a lot tomorrow it will be someone else, probably Taylor Swift :)

Pete Cromer framed prints

Pete says of these little illustrations: “These are stories that have happened to me in life; like little memories. These are scattered around my house.”

Favourite artist at the moment?
Hands down Mr Todd James. He currently has a show in Hong Kong called “Afternoon Delight”. His use of colour and shape give me heart palpitations. It’s such beautiful and awesome art. One day I will own one of his pieces. One day. #mancrush #yum

We love a good recommendation – tell us about something we should know about..
I would totally recommend crosswords. I find it the best way to calm my ever-thinking brain. It’s the best way to shut off. That or a champari (champagne mixed with Campari).

Pete Cromer art prints framed

Four of the Pete Cromer art prints available over at endemicworld – clockwise from top left:  Battles, Corals, Man o War, Whale

 

 

 

OE/14 wrap up

Here’s a few snaps of the recent group exhibition OE/14 we had in our studio space. Thanks to all who came along on the opening night, thanks to the artists for putting in the long nights painting murals and to Karma Cola for some tasty beverages.

Mural by Beck Wheeler

Mural and photogtaphic prints by Cinzah

Sculptors and lasercuts by Beck Wheeler

Installation by Gary Silipa

Mural and original  paintings by Sean Duffell

Mural by Thijs de Koning

Sketch Book, Photographs and Zine by Sean Dufell and Thijs Koning.

Space Beam Art Prints by Gary Silipa & Mini Character Prints by Beck Wheeler

Mural & Prints by Gary Silipa

Artist bios & travel stories

 

 

Meet the Artists: Alisha Brunton

Young New Zealand artist Alisha Brunton is one to watch. Her works include beautiful illustrations of wild animals adorned with intricate patterns, through to dappled, feminine watercolour text, all in lovely soft colour palettes. We especially love Alisha’s watercolour typographic art prints and their uplifting, positive messages. We caught up with Alisha to find out a little more about what makes her tick, and what’s keeping her busy…

Alisha Brunton

Alisha with her artwork for new illustrated guide to Auckland, The Auckland Book

You’re only a recent graduate, but you’ve already clocked up work doing commissioned illustrations for a number of NZ brands – can you tell us about a few of these projects?
The first project I did, in my final year of study, was a mural for Starship Children’s hospital. I worked with another girl, Andrea, and the mural was based on what the kids at Starship said they would like to invent. We basically ended up making the room look like the inside of a time machine, and through the windows you could see lots of imaginary flying animals. That project was really rewarding because the kids were so excited about it, and they came up with so many creative ideas!

I also worked on The Auckland Book, which has just been released. It’s a really playful, illustrated guide to Auckland. I loved working on that project because the illustrators were given so much creative freedom, and I got to visit cool places in Auckland to do research!

Possibly my favourite project so far has been working on a huge storefront piece for Lululemon in Takapuna. They wanted a big map of the North Shore, with all their partner studios on it, to honour their community. Being a yogi, I’m a Lululemon addict, and I love the values and culture upheld by the company. So this was pretty much a dream commission for me! I got to play with watercolours, bright colours and I drew lots of decorative patterns based on things from nature – pretty much all my favourite things to create!

Alisha working on a mural for Starship Hospital 

What are you working on at the moment?
I work full time as a Graphic Designer at the moment, so illustrating only happens on the weekends, or when I can squeeze it into my lunch break! I’m working on a few private commissions like logos, portraits and custom typographic prints. I also spending a lot of time feeding my growing addiction for brush typography. I’ve just released a small range of typographic prints, and I’m working on a few more. They’re all inspired by my love of yoga, and the belief that we all have the potential to live our dreams, we just have to believe we can do it. I hope that having some positive words on the wall can help remind people of this!

Alisha-Brunton-prints

A few of Alisha’s newest typographic works as art prints; a work-in-progress with gold paint (love!)


Which NZ artists (of any discipline) do you most look up to? (or, tell us about a person who inspires you)
Oh, there are so many! I love Kelly Thompson’s work, and have done since before I knew I wanted to be an illustrator. Her work is just beautiful. I also shamelessly stalk Sally Shand (Ragdoll Illustration) and Erica Harrison (Supercrafti) on social media. I think part of me secretly wishes I knew more about screen printing!

What/s on the walls of your studio/creative space/home currently?
My two prized artworks are an art print by Sandra Dieckmann (one of my favourite international illustrators) and my Peacock screen print by Erica Harrison. I fell in love with it at first sight (I think endemicworld may even still have a few… endemicworld note: yes, we sure do!)

My studio walls are covered in all kinds of things – polaroids, work my by classmates, a world map and even some prayer flags given to me when I was traveling. If I like it, it goes on the wall!

Alisha

A peek at Alisha’s lovely little creative space

Besides art/illustration, what else do you love to do?
Yoga! I absolutely love it, and I practice every single day without fail. It quiets my mind and challenges my body. I love that it’s not just a from of exercise, but a way of life. I’ve also found that you always meet the most lovely, open hearted people in yoga studios.

I also have a serious case of wanderlust, and have done since I was little. I’ll be taking my work on the road with me at the end of the year, to Japan, India and then to Europe. I can’t wait! It’s going to be be an inspiration overload. I love that I can work from anywhere in the world.

Finally, what words of advice do you have to anyone looking to make art their career?
The best advice I ever got was just to persevere. Keep making work and putting it out there, it takes a while to build up that first bit of momentum. This is something I still have to remind myself of every day.

The second best was to use your spare time to create the kind of work that you would like people to pay you for. I love typography so I do a lot of it in my spare time. People see that, and now i’m starting to get commissions for the same kind of work.

Lots of people will try to take advantage of the fact that you’ve just graduated by asking you to do work for free. By saying yes, you end up devaluing your own work as well as others in your industry. A job might only take a few hours, but you’ve worked for years to get your skills to where they are, and that’s worth as much as any other service. The exception to that is internships – they are a great way to learn and meet like-minded people.

Alisha Brunton art prints

Shop Alisha Brunton art prints here

 

OE/14 Group Exhibition

Join us and six incredibly talented artists as they take us visually and verbally through recent travels in 2014. Murals, photographs, stories and good times. So join us this Thursday from 6pm in our basement space!

Check out progress shots on our instaG.

Join the Faceboook Event Page