Archive for the ‘Interviews & behind the scenes’ Category

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.



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!


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.


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.


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.





Untitled Character art print – by Sean Duffell


Pirate art print by Sean Duffell 


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


Meet the Artists: Rowan Oswald

Recently back from a huge overseas adventure, we caught up with full-time teacher and part-time typographic artist Rowan Oswald. From his letterforms to his outlook on life, we love this guy’s style…

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NZ artist and designer Rowan Oswald


You’ve just been overseas – where did you go? Tell us some highlights from the trip!
We were lucky enough to travel to LA, NY, London, Paris, Venice, Rome, Gallipoli, Cappadocia, Istanbul, Kusadasi, Samos, Athens, Amsterdam and Tokyo.  It was a whirlwind world tour as we have our first little one on the way.

It is so hard to decide on a highlight! Each place was amazing in its’ own right. I would have to say NY/London, Athens/Rome and Tokyo.

I always love going back to NY as the city has so much character! I hadn’t been to London before and I saw a lot of similarities between New York and London – in each you can hop on the subway, pop up somewhere new and it feels like you are in a whole new city. We also had the chance to catch up with old friends and family in both places. Cycling around Manhattan was definitely a highlight.

Athens/Rome were awe-inspiring. Walking amongst the ruins in the footsteps of giants, touching the marble and seeing everything I had read about blew me away. My wife often found it quite hard to drag me away from key areas like the Acropolis and the Roman Forum.

Tokyo and Japan are a home away from home for my wife and I. There is such a great mix of old and new, the future and the past. The people are so kind and helpful and all the little quirks fit perfectly with my personality. Japan is always a highlight!

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Art Prints_by-artist-Rowan Oswald

Checking out Rowan’s sketchbook…

What’s your ‘day job’?
I am a full time Teacher of Classics, History and Social Studies as well as an Assistant Dean. Being a Husky owner is part of the day job too, with the dog walks required!

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Rowan’s rad home studio and best fur-pal

We love your typographic art prints. Describe your style in 3 words?
Personal, dramatic and stylised.

When you’re not sketching/coming up with ideas, what else could we find you doing?
Something in the outdoors! I try to get outside as much as possible and explore. This could include dog walks, rugby (playing or coaching), going to the beach, hiking or even the odd farmer’s market! I take up any excuse to get outside.

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Getting a little inspo from nature…

What’s your favourite font at the moment? How about of all time?
My favourite font at the moment would have to be the original Times New Roman. While in Italy and Greece I was able to see the carvings of the font up close and I’m baffled by how they were able to get the lines so crisp and clean! They were perfect.

I don’t have a favourite font of all time but I do like the old school signwriting style that you see at the circuses and festivals.

I also love imagining walking down the streets 100 years ago and seeing all the names of the stores hand painted in different colours hanging above the entrances or in the windows. It must have been really beautiful.


Tell us about a couple of creatives/designers you are personally inspired by?
Casey Neistat: Film maker and daily vlogger. The guy just has the most positive outlook on life. He is so determined and makes me want to work harder.

Shepard Fairey: Street artist, designer and mastermind behind Obey. He has a strong image, made the transition from the streets to the galleries and is an outspoken cultural, political and rights activist.

Tadashi Yanai: Founder of UNIQLO in Japan. UNIQLO is easily my favourite store and I routinely spend all my money there while in Japan. The store has such a rad mix of retro and new clothes and a great brand mentality.

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Never not sketching!
What would be a dream collab/project you’d love to do?
Clothing wise: A collaboration with UNIQLO. Designing shirts that would be sold in their stores would be a dream come true.

Art: Anything big and in the public eye. I’d love to work with other artists and the council to beautify our environment with either art or nature.

You’re drawing and you’re totally in the flow – Where are you? Who (if anyone) is with you? What are you listening to (if anything), what are you sipping/snacking on?
I like to draw whenever I get the chance so it could be at a bar, at the beach or more recently at an airport. However, I am usually at my desk with my laptop open either watching a movie/tv series or listening to music. I listen to a variety of music such as Tool, Enter Shikari, Brand New, Alexisonfire, City and Colour, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Mumford and Sons, Bloc Party and NZ’s own Nature’s Best collection. At my feet will be my husky Loki as he very rarely leaves my side. You’d often find me sipping on orange juice and snacking on potato chips, squiggles or green tea Kit Kats from Japan. Super healthy!


Friends art print (available framed or unframed) by Rowan’s Art on

What inspired your ‘A small group of friends can change the world‘ print?
A lot of my work is inspired by what I see or hear. Songs that I can relate to influence my work a lot. A small group of friends can change the world is inspired by a song from the British band Enter Shikari. It is a positive message and an inspiring quote. It is a nice thought to think that a small group of friends can make a difference and it encourages me to try every day.


rowan oswald art prints

Constellations art print and Drunks & Lovers art print


Photography of Rowan thanks to the talented Brijana Cato.


Meet the Artists: Cristina Viscu, Wild Wagon

We’re considering ourselves lucky that professional photographer and artist Cristina Viscu has decided to call New Zealand home. This talented illustrator has a style like no other we’ve seen recently – with a bold, graphic vibe yet still a feminine edge. As well as her growing range of art prints, Cristina has just launched a range of gift-wrapping paper and greeting cards. It’s all part of her exciting young brand, Wild Wagon. Definitely one to watch!


You and your partner moved here earlier this year – where are you from? And are we treating you well so far?
We are both from Chisinau, Moldova, however, I have called Nashville, New York and now Auckland home. We have been here a little over 6 months and loving it so far!

You’re also a professional photographer. How do you think your photography practise inspires or influences your painting, and how do you think your painting informs your photography?
I think it is good to have knowledge of both but in my practice one doesn’t really influence the other. I shoot all the images for Wild Wagon’s Instagram as well as our catalogue and I think that it is a good skill to be able to take nice, styled product shots as it is vital in our day and age. It is definitely great when you can use your own resources but it can quickly become an overload of tasks so you really have to prioritise.



Cristina does all her own styling and photography for Wild Wagon

What are you working on at the moment / What’s coming up for WildWagon? (I heard something about stationery?)
Wild Wagon Co is a stationery brand but my vision for our future is not just stationery. I am currently creating and adding new types of products like gift wrap, journals and cards to our product line.

I think the most exciting thing for us right now is that we just launched our official online shop ( this week!


Gift wrapping paper and greeting cards by Wild Wagon (and hello, gorgeous styling!)

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Cristina has been hard at work launching the new Wild Wagon website

We love a good recommendation – and creatives give the best ones. Tell us about a few things we should totally check out…
Because Wild Wagon Co is highly influenced by eastern european national patterns and colours, and an appreciation for nomadic cultures, I would definitely recommend watching this movie by Emil Loteanu, a Moldovan director. It is definitely in my top favourites (though I do not vouch for the english translation) and what influenced our branding and vision.


Gypsy babe’n – a screenshot from one of Cristina’s favourite movies

What has been your most exciting/inspiring project to date?
I think there have been many projects professionally speaking that were exciting and interesting, but as a whole they always lacked perspective and a long term vision. Wild Wagon Co is only 6 months old but I already have future collections in mind and a brand vision that I am really excited to share over the months to come. This is the project that I am investing 110% into so I hope that our followers can identify with our vision and our products.


Cristina in her Auckland home. On the wall are two of her new wrapping papers, used as art prints.

What words of advice would you give to someone wanting to make a career from being an independent creative?
I think being an independent creative means a lot of discipline and dedication. It means you need to very be self-motivated, eager to learn and not take failure close to heart. I’d say setting goals is very important for an independent creative as well as their character and how they present themselves and interact with others.

My all time favourite quote about artists is by Samuel Butler.
He wrote, “Every man’s work, whether it be literature or music or pictures or architecture or anything else, is always a portrait of himself.”

What’s on your desk?
Never any less than two cups of coffee, piles of never-ending to do lists, painting brushes, sketches, notebooks and my macbook. It’s really never ever tidy, but I think many artist can relate to a short attention span and a need to have everything close at hand.



Cristina at work…



Four of the art prints in Wild Wagon’s tattoo-based series – clockwise from top left: Lover to Lover; Hold Fast; Rabbit Heart; Hold On


Cristina’s work is also inspired by botanics – Jungle One and Flower Bouquet art prints


Shop all Wild Wagon art prints here…


Meet the Artists: Philippa Riddiford

Melbourne-based NZ artist Philippa Riddiford has the kind of irrepressible style that can’t be taught or imitated. She started her creative career working in fashion, then moved on to run her own successful brand for many years, expressing her bold and playful signature aesthetic through the design of jewellery. But with her passion for drawing and painting, for experimenting with colour and shape, it was only a matter of time before she made the leap into full-time fine art creation.

Artist Philippa Riddiford

Philippa in her home studio

For years you worked in retail & wholesale as a designer, stylist and buyer of your own successful costume/fashion jewellery business. How and why did you make the switch to fine art? What inspired you to take this step and what would you say to others dreaming of making a career leap to follow their artistic passions?

I made the change to fine art after I wound up my retail business. I made the decision that I wanted to simplify my life and I decided I wanted to work from home. Working from home meant that I could develop my painting, drawing and other skills without the expense of working from a studio elsewhere. For those wishing to take a career leap to following their artistic passions…I say organise yourself and just do it. Do the maths and go ahead, it is never too late to make a change; passion, determination, perseverance and a desire to follow ones dreams… and never give up!

Can you tell us a bit about your process – from inspiration to finished piece, including what techniques you use to achieve your aesthetic…
I am inspired by everything around me but I mainly gain inspiration from my imagination. The techniques I use to create my work are many and varied but they start off with and can include acrylic, spray paints, drawing with pencils, crayon and textas (or vivids as they say in NZ). I also love playing around with cut outs of different shapes, patterns and colour. These raw creations are then photographed and loaded into a computer graphics program to be worked on further.

Artist Philippa Riddiford in her studio

Australian Artist Philippa Riddiford

Philippa working (playing!) with card cut-outs and then spray-painting these in her backyard.

Describe your work in 4 words:
Contemporary, whimsical, colourful, playful.

Where do you create? Do you play music while you work? What inspires you?
I create in my studio at home; I generally like a quiet environment when I am working, this way I can fully concentrate on the job in hand…so to speak. This allows my imagination to run amuck! I find contemporary artists working in many mediums inspire me; I have always preferred artists who push the boundaries and are not afraid to experiment. A couple of these whose works I love are Amy Sillman’s and Sarah Boyts Yoder’s work, I love the way they play with abstract shapes and colour.

What are some of the favourite things you have on your own walls at home?
For starters I have many of my artworks framed up on my walls (I have been working as an artist for 10 years) plus also an eclectic mix of other artist’s works that I have picked up over the years.

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Philippa uses a huge variety of mediums in her work; a happy explosion of colour, shape and pattern

What would be a dream collaboration/project you’d love to do?
I would have loved to have lived in New York City in the 60′s when Andy Warhol and his team were gaining momentum with their work and events. It was a truly revolutionary time and it would have been enormously stimulating & fun to have been there then. I always saw NYC as the epicentre of all things new and creative. I still wouldn’t mind spending a year in NYC renting a studio and just going for it! I might just do that if I can persuade my husband to come along too!

Tell us about a good book to read, a website to check out and a place to visit…
I am a huge reader of novels; I love mostly contemporary writers, Anne Tyler’s ‘A Spool with Blue Thread‘ which has just been published I found delightful to read.
A website I feel is worth checking out is We Heart.
I am a great fan of NYC should certainly be a must for everyone to spend time in at least once in their lifetime. I spent many years going there for my business and found it a most inspiring, exciting and stimulating city… and very easy to get around! There is always something going on in New York!


Four of our fave Philippa Riddiford art prints – top row: With Flying Colours No. 3 and Gambadobottom row: Hubble Bubble and Hang Low. The full range of Philippa Riddiford art prints are available unframed, or framed in black or white box-style frames.



Meet the Artists: Justine Hawksworth

Auckland’s Justine Hawksworth has been creating her most recent works on wooden board and even vintage oars. The backdrop for each piece is an old marine map showing a part of the New Zealand coastline, overlaid with intricate imagery that Justine paints with amazingly fine detail, each one taking many many hours of quiet focus to complete. A collection of these seriously beautiful paintings have been produced as art prints for endemicworld – so you can have an affordable rendition of the original artwork on your walls. Yes please! We had a chat to Justine and a wee look around her studio…

NZ Artist Justine Hawksworth_art

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 loved drawing and making things as a kid. I took art at school and had a great college art teacher who encouraged me to keep taking art and then apply for Art school. I gained a BFA at Elam majoring in Applied Design and then did my years Diploma at Teachers College. I taught Art and Design at Macleans College up until I had my kids. When the kids were little I tried to paint while they were asleep, and as they have got older its become a more full-time thing.

artwork by NZ artist Justine Hawksworth

One of Justine’s superbly intricate artworks, combining the writings and imagery of a historical explorer with the femininity of lace, all painted on a vintage oar.


More of Justine’s oar artworks. She also uses aged copper (see gannet oar at top) and other mediums in various pieces.

What other creative projects have you worked on that endemicworld fans may not have seen?
I have another side business that I have started with a friend – The Bach Book – is a journal for recording the history etc of your kiwi bach, that we designed while on holiday over a couple of glasses of wine! This has now spread into a range of stationery items – visitors books, journals and cards.


The Bach Book – awesome gift idea for the true-blue-bach-loving kiwi!

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Justine’s produced her own line of notebooks, cards, coasters and other gifts from her artworks (available here)


Intricate paintings on rocks – love these

New Zealand seems to be a real muse for you. What is your favourite spot in the whole country?
NZ is a real inspiration – particularly our love of the kiwi bach and all the memories they create for us. We have a family bach in Whanarua Bay on the East Cape. It’s a mission of a drive from Auckland – 6hrs! – but so worth it when you arrive!! Gorgeous views, great fishing and sea life, beautiful bush and birds. The bach is a no frills classic with no cell phone coverage or TV so very peaceful!

Beside art/illustration, what else do you love to do?
I love to go fishing but I suffer from sea sickness which slacks me off!

What are some of the fave things you have on your own walls at home?
A huge and very cool underwater photo by my niece Jenna Smith, an old whaling oar that we found washed up on the beach, and a turquoise ‘kina’ sculpture made from cable ties by Andi Regan.

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Scenes from Justine’s home studio

What words of advice would you give to someone wanting to make art their career?
Don’t be afraid to start small and to ask advice – you’ll be amazed at what you can learn from another artist!

You’re drawing and you’re totally in the flow – Where are you? Describe the scene…
Most drawing for me happens at my studio table – generally I’m on my own with just the sound of the washing machine or the dishwasher keeping me company! But if I am in need of music – U2 live at Slane Castle or a bit of Ella Fitzgerald. Sipping? – probably just water but I would prefer it to be a large glass of Shiraz – possibly not a good idea at 10am!!

Justine Hawksworth_Artist

Who would you love to create a piece of work for (or where would you love to see your work)?

I still get a real buzz out of selling a painting and its always been a goal for me for my prints and paintings to stay affordable so that lots of people can own them. I’d love to be asked by a winery to use an image as a wine label – I’d even take wine as payment!!



Two of the Justine Hawksworth NZ art prints we have available over at endemicworld – Bay of Islands, and Taupo Tui



Close up of some of the delicious detail in Justine’s work.

See the full range of Justine Hawksworth art prints here


Meet the Artists: Yhodie Hendra Zaldi of Yhodie Design

Born in Indonesia and now calling New Zealand home, Yhodie Hendra Zaldi recently graduated from Yoobee School of Design. As he works on growing his career as a freelance designer, he explores his craft and style through a series of graphic art prints under the brand name YhoDesign. His most recent collection features wild animals created from hundreds of geometric shapes in graduated colours, giving a faceted, almost 3D appearance to the prints. 


A self-portrait of Yhodie (we love how this shows both the process and finished style)

Is art a full-time job for you now, or if not – what is your ‘day job’?
Oh… I wish this was my full time job, but unfortunately no. My daytime job is a fitness instructor, but mostly I do freelance jobs as a graphic designer. Hopefully one day, I will be able to pay all the bills with my art, hehehehehe.

You graduated from Yoobee School of Design – what was one of the most important things you learned about creativity during your time there?
The most important thing was pushing myself more every project and never being satisfied with the first result. (We also explored our own style by seeing other artist’s works… which helped me to see some great artists out there.)

Fox framed art print on wall

Framed art print by YhoDesign

YhoDesign art print framed

New art prints by YhoDesign (Yhodie Photoshops his finished art prints to mock up how they might look in situ)

Can you tell us a little bit about your process – how do you go about creating your awesome faceted artworks?
The process is from Photoshop by tweaking the images; colour, brightness etc…then I transfer them into Illustrator and start to work on the reference image. After it’s finished, I push it back into Photoshop to add some texture or background – depending on how I feel really, sometimes it’s finished in Illustrator, sometimes in Photoshop. (See below for more details…)


These ‘in-progress’ and ‘almost completed’ versions of a new art print show the design process. Often working from a reference photograph, Yhodie first turns the animal form into hundreds of geometric shapes of various sizes, that are then individually coloured (in graduating shades), to create the illusion of shadow and contour. After painstakingly creating each animal, Yhodie will often bring the finished flat vector artwork into Photoshop to add textures or background, etc.

Tell us about a few creatives/designer you are personally inspired by?
I really like Gareth Pugh (fashion designer ), I know he is not a graphic designer or illustrator but I get lots of inspiration from his work. When it comes to illustrators, I’m inspired by (Indonesian artist) Wedha Abdul Rasyid, designer Andreas Preis, and Andy Westface. They all have different influences on my art.


Illustrations by Andy Westface and Andreas Peis, two of the artists who inspire Yhodie

You’re creating and you’re totally in the flow – Where are you? Who is with you? What are you listening to?
I work by myself in my room (I call it my studio, which is just in the corner of my bedroom). When I am working, I listen to all sorts of music, from hip-hop, RnB or even classical, depending on my mood and what I am working on.. If I am drawing it’s mostly classical, if I’m making my faceted art it’s mostly hip-hop or RnB!


Yhodie loves his adopted home of NZ and it inspires much of his art. These two prints are available (framed or unframed, in various sizes) over on


Tell us about your creative space/office – what’s in it, what things you do love to have around you as you create?
LOTS OF BUNNIES….Yes I have bunny everywhere in my studio also some of my arts hanging and COLOUR CHART, they are handy to have in front of me and of course flowers or terrarium..I made them and I love it as its make it more nature look.


A new art print Yhodie is currently working on; a dedicated creative space in his bedroom

Shop all YhoDesign art prints here >


Meet the Artists: Kate Hursthouse

Not to play faves, but this has got to be one of the most inspiring interviews we’ve done in a while! Artist and calligrapher (and qualified architect!) Kate Hursthouse shares how it’s never too late to follow your passion… How about we let Kate introduce herself?

Kate-Hursthouse-NZ-print artist

Did you always want to be an artist? What has been the career and life journey to this point?
I think I was always meant to be an artist, I just had a bit of a convoluted route getting here. In high school I spent all my spare time in the art department drawing and painting but somehow a careers councillor convinced me that I should pursue architecture school over art college. I am still not quite sure how that happened, probably the usual “an arts degree won’t make you any money” spiel.

I spent the best part of 10 years studying to be, and then practicing as, an architect in both New Zealand and Australia. I worked on a whole range of projects, the most fun being new schools where I got to play with a lot of colour and graphics. As much as I liked being an architect I didn’t love it, I think a couple of years went by where I barely picked up a pencil. After taking a couple of short courses in art and illustration and picking up a few small freelance projects I realised just how much I missed it and how much I loved it. It wasn’t too long after that I made the decision to take an early retirement from architecture and go to design school in Melbourne.

After finishing design school in Melbourne I made the move back to New Zealand. I have been based in Auckland for the last 2 years and have been freelancing full-time for the last 6 months. Now I use pen, pencils, ink, brushes and create everyday, I feel I have come full circle to my days in the art department in high school. It only took 10 years!

Kate-Hursthouse-at her studio desk

art studio Kate-Hursthouse

NZ Artist Kate-Hursthouse

Kate at work in her home studio; supplies at her fingertips

What are you working on right now?
I have quite a variety of client work on at the moment from branding and custom illustrations to the design of a vodka bottle. The range of jobs keeps things interesting.

I am also working on some new personal projects and artworks. I think the projects that I am experimenting with now are some of the most interesting I have done. I am focussing on calligraphic and lettering based works and am looking at working on different textures and with different materials. I have been experimenting with gestural calligraphy since doing a workshop in Italy last year and am prepping some pieces for an upcoming exhibition with the New Zealand calligraphers.

Kate-Hursthouse-ink calligraphy


Kate’s exquisite calligraphy, work for an upcoming exhibition

Fave music to create by?
I am a big Spotify fan, I like to create playlists by the seasons that reflect what I am enjoying at the time. I am still hanging onto summer so favourites artists from that playlist that I am still listening too include Carmada, Klingande, Kygo, Alex Adair, Jamie XX and Kid Koala.
What are some of the fave things you have on your own walls at home?
A limited edition screenprinted poster from a gig I went to at Red Rocks in Colorado, USA. It was Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros with the Alabama Shakes, it has the date of the gig as part of the design so when I look at it I always remember that experience.

An ‘Alice in Wonderland’ themed artwork by kiwi artist Veronica Green who I spent some time with in Venice last year where she how lives and works fulltime as an artist.

A print by Melbourne illustrator Renee Carmody which has all these key icons of Melbourne and reminds me of the 4 years I spent living there.

art prints on wall
Some of Kate’s fave artworks – a piece by fellow NZ artist Veronica Green (left), a Melbourne-city inspired print that reminds Kate of her years spent there

What has been your most exciting/inspiring project to date?
I have been lucky to work with artist Michel Tuffery over the last 6 months on the design of a bottle for a new Samoan coconut vodka called Koko Aulo.

Michel produced the artwork and I have undertaken the branding and bottle design. We recently went to Samoa with our client and I was able to experience first hand where the produce comes from and discover all the amazing hand painted lettering there is in Samoa, on their buildings, signs and public buses.
Tell us about a few creatives/designer you are personally inspired by?
Everyone on my Instagram feed!! There are so many talented people out there, it is both inspiring and overwhelming at times.

Inspiration comes at me in all shapes and forms. I get a huge amount of inspiration from friends and colleagues in the industry who are doing their own thing, pushing boundaries, carving their own path and producing really great work.

In the calligraphy world I cannot get enough of Luca Barcellona, Niels Shoe Muelman and Pokras Lampas who just produce the most ridiculously beautiful work that is a mix of traditional and contemporary techniques.

Kate-Hursthouse-artwork close-up

art pens

artist supplies

More of Kate’s work close up; tools of the trade

What would be a dream collab/project you’d love to do?
A group exhibition with other artists I admire and respect. I would love to get a group together, who operate in different mediums and have different strengths, and assign a common theme to the exhibition. I think it would yield some really unexpected and exciting results.

What words of advice would you give to someone wanting to make art their career?
Some of the best advice I was given was to do work everyday and put it out in front of people. No one will ever discover you sitting in your studio.

A quote I like to live by is: “Do what you love, and don’t stop until you get what you love. Work as hard as you can, imagine immensities, don’t compromise, and don’t waste time. Start now. Not 20 years from now, not two weeks from now. Now.” – Debbie Millman

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Shop Kate Hursthouse art prints (framed and unframed) here >



Meet the Artists: Carmel Van Der Hoeven

NZ artist Carmel Van Der Hoeven

This friendly face belongs to one of our newest artists, the beautiful Carmel Van Der Hoeven. A full-time mumma of two, Carmel also runs a small lifestyle block in the Waikato with her partner, leaving stolen moments in the evenings (or when her youngest is napping) for Carmel to paint and draw. Along with commissioned works and personal art projects, Carmel also produces a collection of affordable art prints under the brand George Sand Studio.


What are you working at the moment Carmel?
As of this moment I am working on some commissioned illustrations for individual customers. Plus, prints of ladies I think are cool (Frida Kahlo and Nina Simone with more to come) and a series of contemporary plant art prints.

When i get tired of doing illustrations I return to my personal project – 100 original nudes, which are mostly large ink illustrations/paintings. This project is good for my soul.

And then I am going to pottery night classes, whew! I don’t really have one set style, I like to learn and expand myself and if i can make something for peoples homes, something they can love, enjoy and afford then I’m happy.

Carmel loves to paint portraits of women she admires – her Frida Kahlo and Nina Simone art prints are both available at endemicworld


Two of the sublime works from Carmel’s ongoing personal project, 100 Nudes

Fave music to create by?
Ah music… I like the Hozier station on Pandora at the moment, I get a great mix of indie, folk, blues and soul.

Tell us about a few creatives/designer you are personally inspired by?
In Fine Art, I like a mix of artists like Matisse, Penck, Hockney and Elizabeth Peyton and in regards to pottery, I think the work Wundaire and Houston design Co do with pottery is out of this world cool!

Artist Studio art prints on wall

Carmel’s dedicated creative space in her Waikato farmhouse

What are some of the fave things you have on your own walls at home?
My mother gave me the old NZ bird print that we had on our walls growing up, funny I see they have started reprinting this particular piece of art but I have one of the vintage ones. I think its pretty special.

I used to do a lot of painting before George Sand (Carmel’s art prints brand) and I have this glittery primitive canvas that I love.


One of Carmel’s favourite possessions – a vintage NZ bird print that was in her childhood home

NZ Art by Carmel Van Der Hoeven

One of Carmel’s own favourite earlier paintings

Beside art/illustration, what else do you love to do?
Besides art I love to cook, haha – cliche I know. I’ve found I can’t do both art and elaborate cooking on the same day, it’s like I only have enough creative energy for one of them… so some days the kids are getting spaghetti toasties, and other days I’m cooking up venison with a red wine jus or Chinese crispy duck plum sauce and homemade wontons.

We love a good recommendation – tell us about a good movie to see, or a book we should read, a website to check out, a place to visit, etc…
I have an old all time favourite movie Baz Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom. If you haven’t seen it it’s a must! The Australian accents, the glitter and ‘Fran’… it’s perfect!
I don’t really read books (no time), but I do thoroughly enjoy the articles in Smith Journal though I’m one of those information sponges where I can spit out intense facts in a conversation but never remember where i got them from!

A selection of Carmel’s George Sand Studio art prints – these and more available, framed or unframed, over at endemicworld