Meet the Artists: Chloe Sawyer

We’re so inspired by the work (and prolific work ethic!) of emerging ‘young gun’ and endemicworld artist Chloe Sawyer (aka Chloe Ruby.)  Chloe’s work is feminine, delicate and whimsical, inspired by her love of creatures great and small and Chloe’s sunny, uplifting outlook on life. We’re big fans!

Chloe Ruby

Chloe with one of her original illustrations – also available as an art print in various sizes (framed or unframed)

Chloe Ruby Art Prints

Chloe with some of the framed art prints available on endemicworld 

You studied down at CPIT but you’re now in Auckland. What did you study, and what are you doing now?
I completed a Bachelor of Design in Applied Visual Arts last year in Christchurch and moved up to Auckland at the beginning of the year. I had planned to find a part-time job while I got my feet started as a practicing artist but I was overwhelmed with commissions that I never ended up getting a side job!

My work ranges from commercial illustration, personal commissions for people and any spare time is spent on my own artwork.

hug art print and tee

Chloe’s ‘Hug’ illustration is available on this Sophie Jo tee, and as a sweet art print (with matching ‘Kiss’ print too!)



Where do you create?
I have a studio in my house where I work all day, but when I need to get out I’ll take my work to a local cafe and take advantage of a new setting around people (and countless long blacks haha).

Working from home is definitely a challenge. I have to been really self disciplined and motivated, but coming straight from uni has been great because i’ve brought all of my work habits with me.

Chloe Ruby Lino Cut

Chloe uses loads of techniques to get the look she wants for each piece – from pencil sketching to hand-carved lino cut stamps

What are you working on creatively at the moment?
I have just finished some big jobs for the clothing shop Pagani doing illustrations for their Spring campaign, and illustrating books for the Ministry of Education.

Chloe Ruby art for pagani

Chloe’s custom illustrations for NZ clothing brand Pagani – love!

Right now I am so excited to have time to prepare some new work! I am working on a range of affordable mini prints, my work so far has been quite expensive and it’s so important to me that my art is accessible to everyone.

So hopefully i’ll have work to suit every budget ready for Christmas…

Chloe Ruby mini art print

One of Chloe’s new mini prints – work in progress…

Which NZ artists/designer(s) do you most look up to and why?
A couple of years ago Hayley King (Flox) spoke in Christchurch and I was so encouraged to see a woman who has created a full time career as an artist and mother. Her motivation and drive is so inspiring and also the steady development of her work is awesome to watch. She is one of those courageous women who see no limits and just shine.

Tell us about a dream project you’d love to work on…
I love collaborating and I love doing things that I know are making a positive influence on the world. So I suppose I would love to do illustration for humanitarian organisations. It’s been so cool seeing my work on new surfaces so working for clothing brands who have a huge priority on fair trade is something that would excite me.

Chloe Ruby Good Day


Chloe creates a new piece of artwork every week (free download for your desktop and iPhone wallpapers) for NZ charities Live for Tomorrow and Little Lot 

Fave music to create by?
Music is definitely so important in my work environment. But at the moment i’ve actually been enjoying listening to audio books haha. It’s a bit geeky but I love it, time flies by when I draw and listen to books.


Chloe posts loads of new work and goodies to her Facebook page – go check it out!


See all our Chloe Ruby art prints over on endemicworld


Styled: Blue Boudoir

Deep blues belong in the bedroom – they’re romantic and luxe, moody and calming. Inspired by our Growing Up In Blueberry art print (by interiors magazine designer and artist Amber Armitage), we went hunting for beautiful blues for a dreamy boudoir…


Clockwise from top left:

  Have flowers in your bedroom every day of the year! (The Growing Up In Blueberry art print also comes in bold Blackberry, plus bright Raspberry and Wildberry colour palettes too.)

  A gorgeous candle is a must in every grown up girl’s space. We love the new range of Element candles from iconic international design brand, Tom Dixon (available in NZ from Simon James). The Water candle comes in a moody blue glass vessel with gold foil writing.

  The faceted Arnold Circus stool is contemporary in form, and timeless in colour. Love that steel grey blue. Available in NZ from Everyday Needs.

  This deep teal velvet bedding from Kip & Co looks – and feels – so luxe. Makes you want to get to bed early…

  New Zealand’s NODI rugs combine Italian design influences with traditional artisan Indian weaving techniques. Pictured here is the TRE design, handmade from just $370.

   Deliciously velvety pintuck cushions – from Urban Outfitters

  Continuing the velvet theme, this boho-chic style cushion, also from Kip & Co.

  Flowers above your bed, flowers beside it. Put them in this Storm Blue porcelain vase, by Danish brand Menu (available in from Simon James).


Sign-writing by Auckland artist Nigel Roberts

We love the hand-craft skill of sign writing, the old way, with sticks, paint brushes, eye-cometer and soul. Thats why we got local self taught sign-writing legend and artist Nigel Roberts to do ours. We grabbed this little footage to show you how he does it, enjoy!

We have also just taken delivery of one Nigels Roberts woodcut art prints too.


62 Ponsonby Road by Nigel Roberts aka Dagar from on Vimeo.


Meet the Artists: Johnson Witehira

Maori designer and artist Johnson Witehira (Tamahaki (Ngāti Hinekura), Ngā Puhi (Ngai-tū-te-auru), Ngāti Hauā) first came to our attention a couple of years ago, when he launched his graphic Maori Alphabet Blocks. Johnson is fast becoming one of NZ’s most recognised Maori designers, with a strong aesthetic that comes from combining traditional Maori form and pattern with ideas from contemporary graphic design practice. As Arts Advisor Katie Taylor-Duke describes, “his work is high impact, accessible and proudly asserts our cultural history”.

His work has been seen in Wellington galleries and Times Square, New York… and now it can be in your home – because the endemicworld catalogue now includes two limited-edition Johnson Witehira art prints.



Johnson with his artwork The Land of Tara; Johnson’s Maori Alphabet Blocks – available here

You created a huge piece of art which displayed in Times Square, New York. How did that come about?
The whole New York thing was a whirlwind experience, from creating the mahi to being in New York. It was a digital art contest run by Chorus. At the time I heard about it, I was teaching English in a tiny town in northern Japan. I spent my lunch-breaks creating the animation for my entry and a few weeks later I was in Times Square. The reaction from New Zealanders back home was, and still is, really positive. In terms of the audience there, people on the street seemed to be pretty fascinated. It was the first time that the screens in Time Square had ever been synced up like that, so that was enough to have people interested.


Johnson’s artwork lighting up Times Square!

You work in a lot of disciplines/media – what is your favourite?
I think anything with type. Whether it’s designing letterforms or creating typographic compositions, I find time just seems to disappear when I’m using type. My favourite media though is probably pencil and paper. I still work in A4 visual diaries for everything, you know the ones with the black covers you use at design school. I find it’s still the easiest way to develop my ideas.

Johnson Witehira Maori Typeface

Johnson created an original contemporary Maori typeface – Whakarare – creating new character forms from the ground up, while bringing in Maori typographic preferences (such as the irregularly high x-height). 

What are you working on at the moment?
I’ve just recently finished 3 projects, the Waituhi mural for the Wellington City Council, a series of window designs for The New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts and a book cover for Auckland University. I think working in a variety of media and contexts is important if you want to develop as a designer because each new project has very different challenges.


Initial sketch and digital design refinements for the new Waituhi mural (in Wellington City)


Johnson (and team) at work on the Waituhi mural

In terms of right now, I’m working on quite a big pasifika/Maori health project. The main challenge here is that I’ve had to extend my knowledge into the realm of pacific pattern and symbolism. As a health project, it’s nice thinking that the work will make a difference in some people’s lives. I’ve also been trying to develop Maori wallpaper with Massey, some new typefaces and a few exhibitions.

Who do you look up to creatively?
For the most part, I’m inspired by a number of Maori carvers and painters who have long since passed away. This includes Raharuhi Rukupo (Rongowhakaata), Natanahira te Keteiwi (Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki), Hone Taahu (Ngati Porou), Tene Waitere (Ngati Tarawhai) and Wero Taroi (Ngati Tarawhai). I’m moved by the level of sophistication in their work, the way they integrated new ideas and concepts into it, and the way that they combined Pakeha and Maori technologies to enhance their art. They set the precedent a long time ago I guess for what I’m doing now.

I’m also a huge fan of Robyn Kahukiwa. Her aesthetic is bold and the content is often in your face.

I saw an artwork by Lisa Reihana recently, in pursuit of venus, which also blew me away and made me realise I have a long way to go.

Fave music to paint/draw to?
When I’m designing, its drum and bass cranked up on a thousand. It might sound weird but I think the noise helps cancel out all the other thoughts going on in my head. When I’m drawing or painting it’s probably something like Donny Hathaway or Fat Freddy’s Drop. Something I can sing (badly) to.

johnson witehira artworks

Art Lightboxes in Courtenay Place

A row of lightboxes exhibiting Johnson’s work stand proud along Wellington’s Courtenay Place.

Tell us about a dream project you’d love to work on (in any discipline)
I’d love to make a Maori/New Zealand fighting game. Growing up in the Sega/Nintendo generation I’ve always had a fascination with these games, though I don’t have time to play anything these days. I’ve already started mapping out the game with all the characters and their stories. To make it how I imagine though would take millions of dollars. Who knows, maybe I’ll just be able to sell my ideas and have someone else make it – though I’d still want to be on the creative team.

Could you tell us a little more about the two endemicworld prints you have released – the Kuramarotini work, and the Tautoki work?
The prints are from my Land of Tara exhibition currently installed in the light boxes along Courtenay Place. Essentially, I was trying to illustrate the whakapapa of Wellington on the streets. Kuramarotini was the wife (or mistress in some stories) of the navigator Polynesian navigator Kupe. While Tautoki was her great-great grandson. Considering that our ancestors were Polynesian I created the works so that they progress stylistically from Polynesian to Maori. Elliot and I had been in talks for the last couple of years about getting some work on endemicworld so it was nice to finally get these up.

Johnson Witehira Art Prints

Johnson’s Tautoki and Kuramarotini art prints (limited edition of only 30); beautiful graphic details tell a story

See more of Johnson’s work and projects on his website, or shop his art prints on endemicworld here.



Nigel Roberts, Wood Cut Art Print Process

Nigel Roberts (aka Dagar) is the the king of typography. A multi-disciplined artist who racks up sleepless nights at his studio working on his art. Self-taught in the art of sign-writing, he is keeping a dying craft alive. Nigel is a co-founder of the Carwash Gallery and part of Young Gifted & Broke.

Browse Art Prints by Nigel Roberts


Meet the Artists: Joe McMenamin

Joe McMenamin’s work is a dreamy mixture of detailed drawing and painting. We love the intricate patterns Joe painstakingly illustrates, particularly his bird silhouette art prints, formed by thousands of tiny ink strokes. Joe also uses that highly-tuned artist’s eye in his day job as a photography teacher, as well as in wood-working (hand crafting all the plywood frames his original artworks are created on) and even knife-making. He’s a true talent who, it seems, is happiest when he is creating…

Joe Mcmenamin NZ artist

You’re a photography teacher as well as artist. How does each discipline influence/effect the other?
I make most of my art at school. I think it’s really important for my students to see me making authentic art, partly for my own credibility as a teacher but also so that they can see where art can take them if they pursue it.

While I don’t take photographs for my own work, the skills of composition, depth and contrast are similar in drawing and painting.

NZ Art Print New Zealand

One of Joe’s limited edition, screen-printed art prints available on endemicworld. 

Have you been drawing and painting at this level for alot of years (or is your art career quite ‘new’?) Tell us about some of the cool art projects/commissions/shows you’ve been involved in?
I’ve been making art for as long as I can remember. My current style, in particular my patterns, has been developing over the last 5 years or so. Other than a few exhibitions, the NZ Art Show has been my main outlet for selling work.

In terms of other projects, I have had heaps of fun working with wood and steel in my knifemaking hobby. I love making things with my hands, which is why I make all of the plywood frames that my original paintings are on.

As well a being a skilled knife maker, Joe crafts all the plywood frames for his original artworks.

What are you working on at the moment?
I am working on a new piece in my “dead or alive” series. This latest work features an elephant skeleton juxtaposed with a silhouette of Africa. I’m interested in the contrast of shape and line work, and how far I can push the detail. This work is also exploring the ideas behind life, death and the endangered African elephant.

NZ artist artwork in progress

The work-in-progress mentioned above - Joe manages to create incredible detail and dimension with a humble pen.

Who do you look up to, creatively (and why)?
My high school art teacher was Darryn George (he’s pretty famous actually) and he is the one who inspired me to go to art school, and eventually become a teacher. I remember his classes being really relaxed and fun, and he always had a big painting on the go. My own teaching is still influenced by the way Darryn taught me.

Fave music to paint/draw to?
Gang Starr, Arctic Monkeys and Fat Freddy’s Drop all get a lot of air time, although I mostly listen to Radio Active, the best radio station in Wellington.

art desk

Snaps from Joe’s creative home and work space.

Tell us about a dream project you’d love to work on?
I would love to illustrate a children’s book. I have three kids, all 6 and under, and I would love to make something that they could enjoy and get involved with. I already have a concept for the story, where my wife and daughter go away for the weekend, leaving my 2 sons and I at home having a boy’s weekend. If you knew my boys, you could imagine us getting up to some pretty crazy stuff!


bird art prints

Two more of Joe’s beautiful original artworks. (And there’s now only 1 of the 15 Blue Robin prints left!)


Fave Blogger Faves – Jen from Interiors Addict

We’ve been reading the super-popular Australian design blog Interiors Addict for years now. Blogger Jen Bishop is a former magazine editor with a seriously good eye for interior design, and ‘style without snobbery’.

We asked her to choose her top must-have art prints from endemicworld… here’s Jen’s picks!

Fave Blogger Interiors Addict Art Prints

From top left:

  This print says summer fun to me!

  I love the contrasting gold on black, the font and the message of this Shine print!

  I love this clever cocktail recipe print which plays on colour charts. I love a good Cosmo too!

  Who can go past Margaret Petchell’s birds?! Claris has to be my favourite. These prints are a great affordable way to get your hands on one of her striking paintings.

  I love the Art Deco vibe and the colours of this print, named after one of my favourite books (WAY before the Leonardo DiCaprio movie came out!)

  I love home, I love typography and I love gold. And this print will make people smile too!


Make sure you check out Jen’s gorgeous blog Interiors Addict – over here!


Behind your Screen, Behind the Scenes…

We do a lot of arty stuff here at endemicworld HQ. And to be honest, a lot of what we do and a lot of the art we sell doesn’t get seen by more than a handful of people. So we thought we better start showing you a bit more of what we get up to!

To kick it off, just this week we took delivery of four amazing hand-drawn original artworks from Cinzah. Just as were ooh-ing and woah-ing over them ourselves, a customer snapped up two of them! They look AMAZING all framed up in deep white box frames with mattes. Check out the pics below. We have two left ($500 unframed or $750 framed), which we’ll put online soon.

(Also, just today, NZ street artist Component dropped off a couple of artist proofs – going super cheap (ridic bargain at $50!). Will post those up in the coming days… plus you’ll have the chance to win one too!)







Details from Cinzah’s new original artworks. This guy is insanely talented.

Check out all our original artworks here.