Archive for the ‘Interviews & behind the scenes’ Category

Meet The Artists: Greg Straight

It’s been over 2 years since we have sat down for a decent chat with Illustration guru G.Straight, so thought we better let ya’ll know what this busy AKL creative has been up to!

NZ Illustrator & Designer Greg Straight

Walking downstairs to the home studio. Greg loves his Bones Brigade tee, “such an old school classic even if it does scare the kids at school pick up time.”

A selection of Greg Straights new art prints. You can view all of Greg Straights Surf & Skate inspired Art Prints here.

Tell us a little bit about these new prints? They appear a lot more hand drawn and monotone than your usual artworks?
I’ve always wanted to do a surf and beach inspired range thats a little more organic and freer than the hard edged vector illustrations people may know me for.

It started a few months back when I was commissioned to create a small artist range for a surf/bike/wake clothing company called ION based in Germany. All the graphics were hand drawn and focused on surf culture and these got the ball rolling.

I decided to make these new prints black and white because most of my other artworks have used a lot of colour and I wanted to do something different, wanted to surprise people. I did have a little concern that people may get confused as they are quite different, but if you know me and my interests and sense of humour I think you’ll get them. They are less mainstream and not Kiwiana which is quite refreshing.

Also I’ve been a surfer since I was 11 and theres a lot of humour in surfing and the way surfers talk, so I used this as inspiration for a lot of the art, like Fang Five, Death Set and Street Roller and reference movies like Point Break with my 50 Year Storm and Death On A Stick prints. Surfing is something I feel very connected with. When I started I became so obsessed with it I was totally hooked. I’ve made the best friends and had the best experiences with these friends all because of surfing.

Creative chaos, looks like things are happening. Sorting out artwork for a show at Curation a new surf shop in Papamoa opening July 1st.

Kettle drawings blown up to A4, ready for the light box to be cleaned up and made into prints. I call them kettle drawings as a lot of them started life as quick sketches created in the time the kettle boils to make a cup of coffee.

Do you see yourself living out your creative days in AKL? Or running away with family to that secret spot to surf & draw everyday!
I love Auckland its a great city. Yes the house prices are ridiculous and the traffic and public transport are shocking but I love being so close to the water and having both the East coast and West coast easily accessible. We have a lot of great friends and family (on my side) here but I definitely have a draw to The Mount.

My Aunt Hazel and Uncle Jim had a house at Papamoa, a stones throw away from the beach. My family used to spend all our summer holidays down there and I have so many fond memories from that time in my life. So that would be a place I’d love to be based at some stage and surf and make art all day, if I could in that order!

You are exhibiting some of these recent works at a surf shop in Papamoa, how did the show at Curation come about?
Gav the owner of Curation just moved his family from Maori Bay in Auckland to Papamoa, just around the corner to where my mum has moved too. We share a lot of the same interests and got talking on Instagram. He was really supportive of my art and I have always wanted to show some works at a surf shop but not a bogan type store somewhere cool. Curation is awesome, it has a cafe at the front serving All Press Coffee and stocks loads of solid brands. It has a really nice modern yet welcoming feel and is a place that wants to support the local community not just surfers and surfing but families as well.

The place I’d rather be! The Mount, if we weren’t in Auckland I’d want to be here, surfing and making art. Maybe one day!

Your IG feed is constantly flooded with new images, what cool projects for you been working on in the past 6 months?
2016 has been a big year for me. The projects and clients seem to be getting bigger each year which is great but it has at times been pretty stressful balancing work (clashing deadlines), family and general life. I started the year working with Grizzly a digital agency creating a couple of info graphics for Microsoft in the states, then I worked on a large campaign with Stategy Wellington for NZ Transport and ACC helping teenagers get their licence and teaching them to drive. Its called DRIVE (www.drive.govt.nz) and its going to be rolled out nationwide soon.

I also created a load of illustrations for a new development in Tamaki to regenerate the area. There has been quite a lot of other things going on too we redesigned my GS website (www.gregstraight.com) I say ‘we’ as my wife Hannah did most of it! My website hadn’t been updated for 3 years so it was a major job and I reshot most of the projects.

I’ve just completed 2 new ranges of Duett Design art prints, an inky, watercolour series and a super minimal black and white range. Also I was very involved with a children’s clothing label called Triangle, we are stocking over 40 stores both here in NZ and Australia but with all my other work commitments I couldn’t give it the time it needed so now contract to them. The summer range dropping in a few months is HUGE! And has a Venice Beach surf skate feel to it. Its original and super fresh, I only wish we could have done adult sizes.

There are also these new black and white prints and before that I did a series of circle kiwiana A3 prints on paper and wood. These are part of my A-Round New Zealand series and there are more to come. Lastly I was involved with a really cool exhibition over in Sydney curated by Eddie Zammit (of the rad tee shirt magazine T-World). It was called ReDrawn and celebrated 45 years of the Mr Men in collaboration with Ambush Gallery and darling Harbour. 8 Australian and 8 international artists were chosen to do their take on one Mr Men and Little Miss character. I was given Mr Tickle. The show has just finished and has had 300,000 visitors.

Thinking of turning some of the new artworks into tees. Here are 3 designs but I’ve mocked up about 20 and thinking of dropping them pre Xmas. Thoughts?

A recent cover I illustrated for Australian street / art magazine No Cure for their NZ Edition.

What’s your favorit meal?
For sure has to be Fish Tacos washed down with an icy cold Pacifico from Mexico with the family. Years ago I went to Baja California and travelled down the peninsula from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas. Drinking cold cerveza, surfing and partying along the way. Man those really were the days! I got hooked on Mexican food, like good street food not the Taco Bell rubbish. Love the whole look and feel of the Mexico restaurants too, all the art and the fit out looks so authentic and the food is great. Otis’s Lucky Taco is amazing too, only eaten there once but it was totally off the cheese board.

What “Golden Rule” do you live by?
Be nice and work hard. My wife Hannah says my golden rule should be – “Don’t do now what you can do later”. Thanks love.

Are you a Nutella on toast or organic paleo smoothy for breakfast kind of guy?
Busting out the big questions ay! Ha ha. I do have Paleo muesli sometimes but when that runs out I’m on Weetbix with Soy Milk. Do like a bacon/eggs fat boys breakfast once and a while too. Burp.

These two! Chloe and Leo keeping things fresh outside our local Beach Haven Dairy. A bit of a ghetto backdrop but I kind of like it.

A message from my daughter Chloe on the studio wall. I love being a dad, it’s not always easy but its totally worth it. Love her and little Leo so much.

What songs are you playing way too often?
Ive been heavily listening to Spotify and really digging their radio of similar artist. I’ve discovered a lot of new music this way, a band called Beach Fossils are sort of like the Drums are pretty cool. Ive also been listening to a lot of old punk rock like TSOL, Firehose, Ramones and Descendents., but also Hot Chip, Blood Orange and Jamie XX and reggae/dance hall stuff like Prince Fatty and ska band The Skints and some British indie like Babyshambles, Good Shoes and The Rakes.

Whats next for Greg Straight?
I’m off in about an hour with my brother Alex to Papamoa for the Curation Show, but once I’m back Ive got a big illustration for Fletcher homes to do, illustrations for Contact Energy’s annual report plus some other illustration work. I will also be creating more art prints and developing a range of mens tees based on the recent surf inspired artworks. Ive been asked to develop some more reusable coffee cup designs, a tee shirt range with Mr Vintage and a series of NZ wrapping papers for gifting and an artwork for the guys at REFOLD as a limited artists edition. Things are busy busy and thats the way I like it, but I still want to make time for my wife Hannah and the kids and hopefully sneak a few surfs in!

This is me at one of the worst skate bowls in NZ if not the world, Waihi. It’s lumpy and bumpy and rough as guts, if you fall the ground is like a cheese grater.

You can buy all of Gregs Art Prints online or in-store at 62 Ponsonby Road.

 

Meet the Artists: Amy Wybrow

As a painter crafts scenes with brushes and oils, fine art photographer Amy Wybrow wields light and colour, immortalising their dance in her lens. Her debut series of photographic art prints capture lush plant life, in a style that gives contemporary voice to the Victorian-era art of botanic illustration.

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Amy’s photographic art print series, available framed or unframed in a range of sizes, at endemicworld.


Tell us a bit more about your art print series – where (and how) were the photographs taken, what inspired you to turn these into art prints, and are there more botanic prints in the series still to come?
This collection of art prints is inspired by early botanical illustrations and photographic documentation of the natural world. Flora Conspicua by Richard Morris documents the history of a range of plants, detailing their medicinal uses, growth patterns and native origins. It is from this 1800’s work that I draw inspiration for my latest series of prints of curated flora and fauna, combining this with influences from early botanical illustrations and spending time in my grandmothers’ gardens as a child.

The photography series began with an interest in glass houses, beginning at the heritage-listed Cunningham House in Christchurch Botanical Gardens. I found that the architectural structure of glass houses created a structured contrast to the botanical subjects, the glass providing a muted colour palette and filtered lighting.
There are some further prints to come in this series and will be a matter of spending time on post production.

How would you describe your aesthetic, in 4 words?
Intimate, tranquil, sombre & sentimental.

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Amy photographing and exploring Christchurch’s spectacular Botanical Gardens

Is photography your full-time job, or if not – what is your ‘day job’?
Yes and no, I’m a Photography Teacher by day at secondary level so I am teaching Photography, and using my weekend time for my own work.

In terms of creative projects/new work, what are you working on right now?
I am working on a series of photographs which will be titled – Structure in Nature. This will look at the delicate symmetry of plants and will also be a play on the theme of plants being housed within a man-made structure. As a glass house is an ever-changing world and always evolving, I expect to keep drawing inspiration from these places.

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Amy at work in her light-drenched home studio

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Tell us about a few creatives (from NZ or international) you are personally inspired by?
I have recently discovered the work of Botanical Photographer Daniel Shipp, from Melbourne. I draw inspiration from well known NZ photographers Di ffrench, and Wayne Barrar. One of my favourite photographers would have to be Fiona Pardington for her distinctive portrayal of the natural world.

What would be a dream collab/project you’d love to do?
A dream project for me would be travelling to places like San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers, and the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew London to collect images and develop ideas.

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Styling and photographing her framed print – Flora Conspicua No.1 – in her home studio space 

Your prints make our walls look good. What’s on your walls at home?
We have a very diverse collection of works, ranging from dark moody Jason Greig prints to beautifully executed floral paintings by Mary Mulholland. I have a collection of Di ffrench photographs that I was lucky enough to work on with her and some Peter Cleverley works on paper. My husband paints and my son photographs a bit, so there is always plenty around.

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Amy’s photographs bring the freshness and femininity of lush botanics into any space (pictured: Something Forgotten framed print)

Shop Amy Wybrow photographic prints here – with free NZ shipping until 30 November

 

Meet the Artists: Lisa Baudry

Lisa Baudry is an Auckland-based creative who, after many years as a successful graphic designer and design studio director, has rediscovered her love and talent for tactile creation. She now works out of her own amazing backyard studio cottage, exploring and developing her style through painting and stencilling, and turning her folk-style art into stylish art prints. 

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Can you tell us a little bit about your process – from concept to the finished print?
For most projects I’ll collect images to create a concept board. I am always pinning to Pinterest or saving on my computer so I have a big image bank of stuff I find inspiring in look and feel.

From there I may make a list of things I want to draw/paint. I have my laptop set up in front of me and usually get my reference straight from the internet using google images. I paint/draw everything as icons that can be scanned into the computer.

This is where my music comes in. It takes a while to get into flow when painting and I need to paint for quite a long time to get familiar with the subject matter. I have to get quite lost in it to paint well. Eventually I’ll have elements that I think I can use. I scan the stuff I like and then play around in Adobe Photoshop to compose an image, or trace/re-draw elements in Illustrator then adjust colours until I’m happy with it. The composing on the computer can take a long time for me!

I like the look of hand-painted work but the flexibility to edit on my mac.

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Scenes from Lisa’s studio – creating painterly elements for a new artwork 

What are you working on at the moment?
I took an online course last year to develop my artwork, there were ten assignments altogether which lasted a week each. I am part of an online group who are re-working their assignments at their own pace, with another year of growth we are seeing if we can improve our work. The one I’m re-doing at the moment is a cover illustration for the Aesop Fable, The Tortoise and the Hare.


What has been your most exciting/inspiring/rewarding creative project to date?
One of my projects this year was to paint directly onto a cross-section of wood. I had to design something that worked for a circular format. I looked at a lot of chinoiserie plates (willow pattern). I love the ultramarine blue, but I wanted to create something that had local imagery. I had been up at Bastion Point for Waitangi Day and out in the Waitemata Harbour that summer sailing so those experiences were woven into the design. What I painted for that assignment became the background for the Kaimoana art prints that I now have at Endemicworld.

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Two of four from Lisa’s Kaimoana series of art prints

Beside art/illustration, what else do you love to do?
Sew. I love to make things with my hands, and sewing is something I learnt as a child that I always loved doing. When I had my daughter, five years ago I started sewing again. I use vintage patterns mostly but have just started learning pattern drafting which is really interesting for me.

Getting outside to explore and roam either at the coast or in the bush. Camping and cooking on fires outside in summer is a love. Probably my idea of fun is to light a fire, sit around, sing and tell stories. I think I belong to another time sometimes.

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Two of Lisa’s sweet little sewn creations

What would be a dream collab/project you’d love to do?
I have lots! Wallpaper! Textiles! Ceramics! Collab with an established design houses. My own exhibition.
Food illustrations for a recipe book that celebrates home-cooking from scratch or outdoor cooking in the wild.

When are you at your most creative?
When I’m well rested.

I’m learning how valuable time away from the work is, probably equally as important as time working on it. I need fresh eyes and a fresh mind to see what I’m doing. It’s been a long journey to learn the importance of self-care as an artistic person. Getting enough sleep, getting outside, having a good routine and staying positive are some of the self-care stuff I have to keep coming back to.

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Lisa is lucky enough to now have her own studio, recently built  in her backyard. Inspired by NZ’s iconic back country camping huts, it features recycled windows and doors and has wooden floors and whitewash walls inside.

What’s one thing you couldn’t do without when you’re creating?
Music.

Creatives give the best recommendations: Tell us about a good movie to see, a book to read, a website to check out, somewhere we should visit…
It’s not a recent one, but the wonderful Bright Star by Jane Campion. Poetry, Love, Sewing. Unbelievably beautiful and moving story of John Keats and Fanny Brawn.

Last year I churned my way through so many books on food and diet. The ones that stood out were Michael Pollan’s. He’s a US food intellectual who speaks powerfully about eating what he calls ‘real food”, the stuff that you’ve cooked yourself from scratch, respecting food traditions and avoiding scientific reductionism in regards to what we eat. In Defence of Food and Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation are amazing reads.

This Ivy House  is a beautifully curated site which the creator describes as: “A haven for faded beauty, artful neglect & stylish dilapidation.”

Somewhere to visit: The Antique Textile Fair. I go every year – it’s a buzz.

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Lisa’s latest series of folk-style kitchen art prints are inspired by her love and respect for good wholesome food.
Both designs are available in two colourways (we love that!)

Explore all Lisa Baudry art prints at endemicworld

 

 

 

Photography by Vernon Rive and Lisa Baudry

 

 

 

Meet the Artists: Keryn Sweeney, Photographer

From the age of just six, Keryn Sweeney has loved taking photos. She’s a collector of moments, be they precious family moments (in her full-time business as a wedding and family portrait photographer) or moments from her own life, captured in catalogues of photographs of friends and travel experiences. A few years ago, Keryn also began capturing special scenes – both found and styled – for reproduction as art prints. 

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Keryn beginning work on a floral series (in her studio)

Tell us about yourself – your background in photography, your day job, etc…
I have two sister companies. One being CAPTURED by Keryn which focuses on weddings, editorial and Fine Art prints the other is CAPTURED by Keryn KIDS which is my family photography side of things. I love them both, I approach photography the same way for each – just the moments are different. I have a candid documentary style when it comes to people.

I was gifted first camera when I was around six, and got right into it from around intermediate age. I have an endless amount of glorious photos of my friends posing for me and trees, lots of trees. I decided when I was fourteen I would become a photographer and only really started taking photos I would show people once I started photography classes in 6th form. I studied photography in Dunedin and have been a full time photographer for 10 yrs now.

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As well as having a small workspace inside her home (top), Keryn has a standalone, contemporary studio at the front of her property.

What do you shoot on?
My go-to is my Canon 5d mark 111, but I recently inherited some cameras my great Grandad took to WW1 so have just got them restored for upcoming personal projects.

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Keryn’s trusty Canon, and inherited cameras from her beloved Grandad 

What’s your favourite thing to capture on film?
I would have to say travel, there is nothing I love more than walking around the streets taking photos. Chatting to new people ( I’m quite chatty) and taking their photographs. I have had a few experiences where I meet people in my passing and gone on a little photoshoot with them, neither of us understanding each others language but everyone knows the universal sign for can I take your photo. It’s always a really beautiful experience.

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Keryn is inspired by travel – this documentary-style snap was taken in Bali, during a morning walk 

What are some of the fave things you have on your own walls at home?
Probably the stencil art my little brother made for me.

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Keryn’s work in her own home (how good do they look grouped like that!)

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One of Keryn’s framed art prints in her niece’s bedroom

What would be a dream project/collab you’d love to do?
Ha, anything to do with travel. I’ve been pretty obsessed with the idea of a Route 66 shoot for a while. I’m also wanting to branch out into more editoral work.

Tell us about a few creatives you are personally inspired by?
I have been a long time fan of the likes of Annie Leibovitz, Helmut Newton and Mario Testino. We have a ridiculous amount of talent here in NZ though, photographers Danelle Bohane and James K Lowe are producing incredible work.

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A sneak peek at Keryn’s newest series of moody, fine art photographic prints -
titled (from top) Morning, Ranunculus Focus, and Red Anemone. This series coming soon to Endemicworld…

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Two of Keryn’s photographic prints shot in the stunning New Zealand landscape, available at endemicworld

Check out the full range of Keryn Sweeney photographic prints here

 

 

Meet the Artists: Makus Art

Raised in a family of artists, days spent at the skatepark with her brothers, it’s no surprise that NZ’s Justina Maku Bisset – or Maku, as she’s known by her friends – would grow up to be a visual artist, inspired by and working within skate and surf culture in her craft. Maku now lives in Melbourne, and illustrates for some of the world’s best fashion and lifestyle brands, as well as producing her own works for exhibitions and art prints.
This interview has some real gems for the budding creative… read on!

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The gorgeous Maku (Justina Bisset) in her home studio

You live in Melbourne and design and illustrate for fashion brands – what was the journey to this point for you?
I have never done any formal art training, when I left school, I got straight into teaching but I was always drawing and painting on the side. I was lucky enough to have some friends in the skate/snow industry who saw potential in my work. They encouraged me to start putting myself out there and put my work onto social media. Within the first month of starting my instagram account and only 100 followers I was approached by Rusty who wanted to use one of my pieces. This not only gave me street cred, but it gave me the confidence boost I needed to take my work seriously.

What are you working on right now?
I have just come back from a hugely successful solo show which I was lucky enough to host in New Zealand. I am straight back into work getting designs ready for a super exciting project. Unfortunately I am not allowed to disclose who it is for at the moment but think snow, skate, travel gear!

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Working on summer-vibe illos for an upcoming project

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Maku at one of her recent exhibitions

What has been your most exciting/inspiring project to date?
I have been able to work for amazing brands, but think one of my favourite projects was the mural I did for a store owned by my good friends in Melbourne. The store was opened to give back to the homeless community in Melbourne, for each item sold, an item of clothing is donated to someone experiencing homelessness. These guys do so much for the homeless community and I felt really privileged to be able to put my work up in a place that’s got such a good purpose behind it.

What would be a dream collab/project you’d love to do?
The tomboy street art side of me would LOVE to collab with huffer. To design a skateboard would be ultimate. The feminine girly side of me is dying to create a fabric for a whole fashion line… some ethereal watercolour billowing fabrics for Ted Baker.

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Alot of Maku’s work juxtaposes edgy with feminine, like this work in progress

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The walls of Maku’s Melbourne home are dotted with prints and other artworks

What words of advice would you give to someone wanting to make art their career?
Find yourself first! Make sure even your subconscious is you. This is what changed things for me, when I knew with every bone in my body that my art was me, all of me and I wasn’t trying to be like anyone else.

What’s one thing you couldn’t do without when you’re creating?
Wine! or if its not quite 5pm then some good music will do.

Creatives give the best recommendations: Tell us about a good movie to see, a book to read, a website to check out, a place to visit… For any of you ladies who have not introduced yourselves to the amazing man who is Dylan Rieder, I suggest you watch This is Dylan Rieder, it’s only 10minutes long but you won’t regret it. My favourite movie would be The Royal Tenenbaums. Anything Wes Anderson is gold.

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Watercolours and geometry are hallmarks of Maku’s style

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Framed art prints from a recent series of six new blue-hued works – Deep and Wave

 

Shop all Makus Art art prints here

 

Meet the Artists: Duett Design

Recently, popular NZ illustrator Greg Straight and his wife Hannah joined forces on a new print brand – Duett Design – and dayymmm is the Scandi-geometric Duett aesthetic proving popular! 

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Two of the prints in Duett Design’s debut range – Directions and Align (look awesome in a bold black frame!)

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Hannah and Greg discuss ideas in their regular Monday meeting – at a fave neighbourhood cafe

We already know lots about your husband Greg Straight (being one of our fave endemicworld illustrators and someone who’s been with us since we started). But tell us a bit more about you, Hannah – and how you came to join forces as Duett Design?

I’m probably Greg’s biggest fan. What a talented guy! I’m also a real interior design enthusiast and have wanted to collaborate with him for a few years now, using him as a kind of medium to get my ideas down on paper. My own graphic design skills are very basic but I have a good eye for design and can spot a trend a mile away, so together we make a great team.

We didn’t really start Duett very intentionally. It all began because I wanted some custom artwork to fit with our living room décor. We started playing around with some geometrics and came up with our Deco Gold print and Mint Maze print, this was the humble beginning, but we showed them to a few people and they all seemed to really love them so we spent a few more long evenings sitting together at Greg’s desk building up a collection. The ideas just seemed to flow, I’d be researching colours, shapes and texture and Greg would interpret my ideas. Sometimes, they would end up quite different from my original concept but I loved that it was a real combined effort. Before we knew it we had an online shop and were getting great support from bloggers and retailers (Endemicworld being the first) so the momentum had built up enough to keep this baby going.

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Tell us about a few creatives/designer you are personally inspired by?
For art, I’m a big fan of Inaluxe’s abstract shapes, composition, colour and texture.

I also love furniture designer Tim Webber for the clean lines and simplicity of his pieces.

There are heaps of interior designers and stylists that I get inspired by every day on Instagram. If I named them all it would be a very long list but I’m going to give a special mention to two… Emma Flint from Raw Styling – I wish I had her talents in the product styling department, I think I’d sell a lot more prints. To me it’s just perfection. And of course Michelle Halford (The Design Chaser), her photos are always beautiful and rekindle my love for Scandinavian design each and every time.

What are some of the fave things you have on your own walls at home?
- Our Greg Straight ‘Tikitastic’ screen print – an all time classic, we hung onto the last one in the edition.
- Our three custom Duett prints in natural frames
- Ikea picture ledges, I love to change up how prints are displayed from time to time and these make it so easy!
- Drawings by our son Leo (this boy has his Dad’s skills)
- A photo of our daughter Chloe, when she was about 2 years old
- Our wedding photo – we only have one on our walls but it’s a goodie.
- My round Tim Webber etched edge mirror

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Super on-trend and fun decor at Hannah’s workstation

What’s coming up for Duett?
We’ll soon be revealing our new direction for spring/summer. Our minimal, scandi-style prints have been really popular and are reflective of one of my favourite interior styles, but we are not afraid of a bit of colour, especially in the sunnier months. I’ve been really inspired by some beautiful watercolour art lately so we are bringing a touch of that into our new range whilst still remaining true to our geometric foundations.

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Exciting little sneak-peek at a few ‘coming soon’ styles from Duett Design!

What would be a dream collab/project you’d love to do?
I think our designs would lend themselves perfectly to homeware. I can see some of them working well as rugs, cushions, throws, blankets, duvet covers, pillowcases etc. So yeah, if Freedom wanted to hook up, that would be kind of cool! But seriously, something along those lines, an in-house range with a credible brand such as Citta Design would be amazing.

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Hannah and Greg spend Monday mornings working (and being caffeinated) at their favourite local, Manna Cafe


Designers always give the best recommendations – Tell us about a good movie to see, a book to read, a website to check out, a place to visit…
This is a tough question for me! We’re a bit behind the eight ball on TV & movies as we often work in the evenings after the kids go to bed (for example we’ve only just started watching Suits on Netflix).

A website I’m enjoying these days is the Australian version of Houzz www.houzz.com.au (which also covers NZ). It’s a bit like a never, ending copy of Your Home & Garden. The photos are nice and big; there is a good mix of stories covering interiors and architecture as well as a bundle of useful articles full of advice and tips.

There’s also a great new little café in our hood called Manna Coffee & Bread Store (Birkenhead). The décor is scandi-cool (with sidekick stools from Paper Plane), the owner-barrister knows his coffee and the menu is tasty and healthy with many sweet-tasting-but-sugar-free options, I’d really recommend a visit, its been very well thought out. Maybe we’ll catch you there as we’ve chosen it as our ‘Monday morning meeting’ venue where we plan out what needs to be done in the week ahead for Duett Design, Greg Straight Art and another little venture we’ve started working on.

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Reflections art print and Assembly art print (available in a range of sizes, framed or unframed)

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For lovers of Scandi-monochrome, Hannah and Greg have designed a range of black and white art prints.

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We love us some gold foil action!  Nordic Sunset and Deco Gold art print (shown in the yellow colourway, also comes in a mint with pink).


Discover the full Duett Design print collection here
(with even more coming soon!)

 

Meet The Artists: Jenni Stringleman

Our current collection of Jenni Stringleman art (prints and original works) - with their paint-blurred hydrangeas, roses and other blooms – remind us of a summer daydream, like the feeling of slowly falling asleep in the afternoon sun. Jenni says that her art is an expression of joy – and we reckon you can feel that joy, leaping off the canvas in movement and colour. Perhaps part of it is the delight at having recently returned, after many years building a successful career in animation, to her childhood love of painting. It just goes to show – it’s never too late to do a 180, and change directions to follow your passion.

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Describe your work in 4 words for us….
Alive, painterly, joyful, thoughtful

You arrived to a painting career after a long and successful background in graphic design and animation. What made you take that leap of faith to pursue something you love, and are you now full-time with your art?There were two things I absolutely loved growing up, art and music. I always thought I’d paint after hours while I worked at a real job, but time proved that to be incorrect! I also thought I’d play the sax in David Bowie’s band, but as of yet that’s not happened either:) I’d lost a couple of people close to me, people who were in my stage of life, and I just had this growing, undeniable feeling that I had to do something more with my life. I wanted to paint some pieces as a legacy to leave to my kids as well, it was really that simple. Joining a local painting group was SO nerve wracking! I really felt sick to the stomach when I had to go that first day. But Robert Campion, (the tutor), and all the other people in the group were so welcoming. Robert taught me so much practical stuff about painting, and gave such encouraging advice that it very quickly become the highlight of my week. I’m a stay at home mum, so I just work off my dining room table, but I’m in a great position now with daycare and school to be able to commit about 30 hours a week to the cause!

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What would you say to others wanting to make something they love to do into a full-time career?
Sometimes you can’t for practical reasons. But my feeling is if you get any opportunity don’t wait for the studio, or the gallery. Just create in your own place with the best quality tools you can afford. For me it’s been a very lucky and happy process that some of what I painted people wanted to buy, which meant I could paint more, and it just took on a life of it’s own. And most importantly, I have the support of a good fella and kind friends and family who helped make it possible. But yes, listen to that inner voice nagging you. You have one life, so if you need to create something, you probably should. It is so good for you! My best advice is don’t get yourself into a position when you have heaps of overheads and pressure to perform.

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Describe your favourite/ultimate environment in which to paint (music on? time of day? place?)
Music is ALWAYS on, I find a quiet house very freaky! I listen to lots of old 90′s classics like Faithless and Massive Attack when I want to tune out (I know all the words haha), gentle classical if I’m feeling grown up or working on a portrait, and George FM for whole days at a time. The best environment for me right now is at home. I do fancy the idea of a studio, but I don’t need it yet. This way I can jump in and work for an hour here and there if I get the chance. Often with my daughters behind me now, painting their own masterpieces on toilet rolls and shoe boxes!


What has been the highlight of your painting career so far?

Being in the window at Endemic in Ponsonby has been so cool. I get a big grin on! Selling my first piece out of my local cafe (Vauxhall, here in Devonport) and meeting new people from it was lovely.

 

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What are you working on at the moment?
I was just totally into life drawing and painting nudes when I started my career, but my mum asked for a hydrangeas painting, and I thought ‘geez, ok.. just for you mum’, but guess what!? Haha I am now floral queen. I LOVE my flower paintings, which started off fairly realistic, but painterly. Then about 9 months ago I tried something more abstract once Endemic World Gallery got behind me. Their customers are really groovy and love the bright layers of colour, hot neons peeping through the cool greens and blues. It feels like I’ve really found my niche. Some of my current work is created with the palette knife and I’m totally digging it. They’re like deconstructed florals. I usually have a commissioned portrait or two simmering away too. They’re little heirlooms for the families, oil paintings to last for many generations.

What would be a dream collab/project you’d love to do?
ANYTHING with Andrew Salgado would be a dream. He’s a Canadian legend working out of East London. I’ve been lucky enough to get a bit of an online friendship going on, and I just love his work. He was talking of running a residential course out of Venice, that would be amazing.

I’d like to play the sax for David Bowie.

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Original Hydrangeas oil painting by Jenni; art print reproduction of the original work (we love how the colours look in a black frame)

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Pink Hydrangeas art print; Abstract Hydrangeas art print

Discover all Jenni Stringleman art prints and original oil paintings here 

 

Meet the Artists: Sean Duffell

Sean Duffell’s massively intricate, symmetrical, saturated-colour murals grace buildings and walls around New Zealand (and now the world) – a bit like giant mandala, radiating vibrancy and soul into grey urban streets. Sean answered a few questions for us from Bangkok, on his way to create his next city-scale artwork…

Did you always want to be an artist? How did you get to this point? What has been the career and life journey to this point?
I always drew as a kid and was obsessed with skateboarding in my teenage years. The visual culture around skateboarding became the catalyst for my artistic endeavors, and as I continued to get older the more art overshadowed skateboarding. Melbourne in 2002 was hugely inspiring – street art wise.

Is art a full-time job for you now?
Yeah, I have been a full-time artist now for almost two years.

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Them streets is lucky.

What piece/project you working on right now?
I always have multiple projects are on the go at once and am constantly thinking about what the next one will be.

Right now I’m about to go paint a freestyle wall in Bangkok but have 3 hand painted original works up in various group exhibitions around New Zealand (Auckland, Wellington x2, Napier and Christchurch). I am currently curating a handpainted typography show for September in Wellington, have 3 Street Art Festivals in NZ lined up for Sept – December, have a series of prints to release in August, two more group shows and several commission murals also ready for when I return from South East Asia in late July.

Fave music to create by?
Music is always completely dependent on my mood therefore I listen to quite an eclectic and diverse range.

Anander ShankarBlawannBonobo, Clap! Clap!Eb and SparrowEl PLemmy KillmiesterKing KrulePickachunesRun The JewelsSyd BarrettThe Gaslamp KillerWilliam Onyeaboy and so many others!

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Sean’s work in endemicworld’s OE14 exhibition; Sean’s other passion is skateboarding and he’s designed many decks


What has been your most exciting/inspiring project to date?
I’m continually working on different projects with different mediums which is always inspiring and challenging but nothing beats kicking back and painting a freestyle wall with friends. I’d have to say the Tuatara Wall was easily the most challenging project I’ve had to date and really pushed me physically and mentally. Painting voluntary walls is also the most rewarding and humbling when I get to meet people from all walks of life and give them a wall they can also take ownership of and enjoy. Public engagement is a huge part of what I do and why I continue to create works in public spaces.


Who are your personal favourite artists (and why)?
I stopped looking at other artists for inspiration and really just follow my friends, contacts and local NZ artists I admire. Living in a country thats so geographically isolated I used to find myself feeling insecure when following international artists so I stopped and looked at nature for my influence and inspiration. NZ is such a young country and as I personally don’t have a history or a culture I feel I’m directly connected to (being an adopted child who grew up in a single parent family in the far farming south island) my aim in my artwork is to create my own personal culture and show others that they can too. I feel saddened when I see so many NZ youth imitating america’s consumeristic, fake pop culture for influence when either they already have a wealth of culture in their family history or they’re too scared to venture forward and create their own. Be yourself not somebody else.

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Sean’s work is in demand at music festivals – this piece was done for Splore 2015

If money, time and permission were no object, what wall/space or place would you love to paint and what would you paint there?
Ultimately I’d love to just travel to all the small towns across NZ that are totally off the beaten track, talk to the youth, paint a wall and connect with the communities there. Coming from small town NZ I know how hard it can be growing up in an insular environment. Also of course more international travel!

What words of advice would you give to someone wanting to make art their career?
Be prepared to work extremely hard for the first few years just to get your name and style out there. Theres a lot of groundwork to do to establish yourself and can be very off-putting and tiresome but if you are a true artist you will always create work no matter what and making money shouldn’t be the main aim of why you make art. For me it’s a sanity saver and an outlet of expression and I also don’t know what else to do with my life, haha. I never set out to make this my career it just out-grew my day job which I am truly thankful for, and humbled that so many people believe in me and appreciate my work.

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Artworks on wood – painting hand so steady you’d swear these were stickers…

We love a good recommendation – tell us about a good movie to see, or a book to read, or a website to check out, or a place/spot to visit…Dunedin’s always my home so I’m biased… the untouched architecture is amazing. Miss you Duds. But travel is my drug of choice. I’m currently in Bangkok, on my way to Cambodia and just love the the culture and food here in South East Asia. A friend and I cycled from Bangkok to Phuket last year and was absolutely fantastic (and surprisingly easier than expected!) Always on the road, always meeting new people – and being positive and open to absolutely any opportunities that may arise is definitely a soul cleanser. Seeing beauty in everything and realising that there is no yin without yang, so never stress the bad stuff as it will always be there to balance out the good. Negative experiences make you stronger, so relish them and never fight them.

Oh yeah books and movies… Mad Max was brutal, BirdmanMelancholia… I tend to watch more docos and true accounts of history etc. Learning’s more my cup of tea – Adam Curtis is amazing as far as documentaries go. No TV or mainstream media for me… Last Week Tonight with John Oliver is the best journalism out there as well as Charlie Brooker. I read The Cosmos by Carl Sagan recently, Kurt Vonnegut’s books, Catcher in the Rye, some Phillip K Dick, Stephen Hawking and a bunch of others I can’t recall at this point.

 

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Untitled Character art print – by Sean Duffell

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Pirate art print by Sean Duffell 

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Deco Daphne art print (available framed or unframed)

 

Shop Sean Duffell art prints over at endemicworld, plus check out more of Sean’s commissions, exhibition pieces and outdoor murals on SeanDuffell.com.