26.04.2017

True Collaboration – Seed Ceramics


You know how much I love a collaboration. And this one is a clever little threesome, combining the delicate illustrations and simple aesthetic of young creative and slow-living proponent Abigail Bakker (find her on Instagram here) with the handmade earthenware ceramics of JS Ceramics, and the ethos of design store Paper Plane.

The beauty of handmade ceramics like these are in the mindfulness of the makers. Every piece requires patience and presence to be realised. The Seed Collection at first glance may seem simple, but each little detail is completely unique to that piece, and has taken time and complete focus to create. (The metaphor for nature isn’t accidental…) I also love how subtle the sage green watercolour pattern is, it still lets the form of the ceramics shine.

The Seed collection includes a tea bowl, small dish, spoon, pasta bowl, dinner plate, and platter. Available exclusively from our friends at Paper Plane.

22.03.2017

Fearon Hay’s Faraday Street Studio


One most exciting things about Auckland city in recent years has been the move to transform its historic buildings. The Imperial, Seafarers, City Works Depot, Amano… there’s been a rebirth of relics all over the city. Two of the architects responsible for creating this new-old Auckland are Jeff Fearon and Tim Hay. They were, at first, just looking for a new office for their practise, but decided to go one further – to purchase a dilapidated cluster of old warehouses (1940’s wool stores), and turn them into a new office, hospitality and retail precinct. They saw past the roller doors and painted-over windows to see what the old sheds could become – a pocket neighbourhood from which they could not only headquarter Fearon Hay, but grab coffee during the day and a drink after work.

And here it is – the new (and already award-winning) Fearon Hay digs, with the feel of a sexy loft apartment and the functionality of a high-performing work space. The office is essentially a massive mezzanine that floats above the original carpark, an open plan office that celebrates the bones of the old building, and introduces a pale poured concrete floor, huge communal pin-up surface, very sophisticated black-tiled bathrooms, and perhaps the best-looking meeting room I’ve ever seen.

The crowning glory is of course that exposed gabled ceiling – anyone with eyes can see why Tim and Jeff would want to design themselves working as close as possible to those huge, rough sawn, criss cross beams. What an inspiring place from which to design other inspiring places.

Special mention to that broodingly handsome steel stairwell.
 
 

Photography by Auckland photographer Michelle Weir of Studio:Weir
Michelle specialises in shooting interiors, architecture and fashion.

14.03.2017

At Home and Work with… Penney + Bennett


Loren, and Sarah

 Testing out their own range of sleepwear (which is coming soon)

 

Choosing materials for an upcoming (secret squirrel) project

 

Tweaking details for their upcoming display at Auckland’s INEX (interior design exhibition)

Lunch stop at little vietnamese joint, Try It Out – the girls often order this in if they’re working late
(Try It Out? Best English-as-second-language name ever! How good does this look?) 

 

Back in the studio – time for some emails and phone calls (Oh, and a baben portrait)

 

Planning the roll-out of the new collection 
Wrapping and boxing orders for retailers and customers
Refining patterns for linen house slippers – coming soon!
Penney and Bennett art prints have hand-applied gold leaf
Penney and Bennett sleepwear – coming very, very soon…
End of the day – bread, red wine, good cheese – that’s all the food groups.
 

Sarah Carson and Loren Marks first met at Whitecliffe College of Art & Design, where they collaborated on a few projects that combined their varying fine art practises. They found a shared passion for homeware, fabrics and furnishing, and during breaks between lectures they’d go to cafes and drink tea and talk about how they could turn their designs into beautiful textiles. After graduating, they each went into the workforce for a year, but kept meeting up for those chats over tea. The informal cuppas soon turned into more serious meetings on evenings and weekends, as they began to design and develop what would become Penney and Bennett.

Today, Sarah and Loren are both 26 and Penney and Bennett is almost three! And they’re about to launch their third collection, Guardian. Inspired by New Zealand’s native forest, it’s a moody, botanic direction, with a palette of deep greens and autumn shades.

Each surface pattern is created using a media mix of photography, painting and digital design, then printed onto metres of beautiful quality linen, cotton and silk, and transformed into cushions, pillowslips and bed linen, throws and more. Their range also includes table linen and large scale art prints.

Sarah and Loren live at opposite ends of Auckland, so sometimes before a big work day, they have a sleepover at one of their houses. It’s a chance for them to make the most of the day, starting with some early morning exercise to get the brain humming. (On this day, they went for a walk around Auckland’s Te Atatu Peninsula boardwalk). Days are spent getting orders of their dreamy printed textiles out to their customers and an expanding fam of retailers, and developing new collection prints and new products. Specifically, on the day Jonny visited them, Sarah and Loren were choosing materials for a whole new product line, checking the progress of their display stand for an interior design expo (INEX – happening in Auckland later this month), testing a new pattern for their linen house slippers, and finalising details of their new sleepwear range – a full range of pyjamas, which will come in plain linen, organic cotton and printed cotton.

Watch out for their new 2017 collection of cushions and throws, Guardian, in-stores very soon.
 
Explore the Penney and Bennett catalogue here:

 

 
Thank you Jonny!
Follow Jonny’s Narrative of Love Instagram here.

15.01.2017

Studio Visit – NZ Illustrator Loryn Engelsman


 

Loryn fills sketchbook after sketchbook with everyday-weirdo characters and observations on life.

 

One of many editorial illos Loryn has created for NZ’s Metro magazine
Loryn’s workspace is an old Victorian-era commercial building
that she shares with a group of other Waikato creatives
 
Do Your Work. Don’t Be Stupid.  (How did you know, Loryn?)
You can buy sticker packs of these motivational ladies and dudes on Loryn’s Etsy store.

 

Photography by Dan Hilson for Fancy
 

Guys, meet Loryn Engelsman. Loryn is 24, and a full-time illustrator. From a old Victorian-era commercial building in Hamilton (a studio she shares with a crew of other young freelance creatives), she creates hand-drawn type and character illos for brands, organisations and NZ magazines. Let’s just hand the rest over to Loryn, shall we?



What’s been your journey to becoming a full-time illustrator?
I am lucky enough to be able to say that drawing has always been a passion of mine – from a really young age I was an avid sketchbooker. Inspired by the illustrations of Quentin Blake, particularly his illustrations for Roald Dahl’s – The Twits, I only wanted to draw hideous people because they were so interesting to draw! This passion filtered throughout my schooling and I loved the way that I could draw something and get a laugh out of people or get an ‘ah-ha I can relate to that’ response.

I applied to The School of Media Arts at Wintec, not quite knowing what direction I would go – just knowing that I wanted to be a visual artist of some description. I ended up majoring in painting and throughout my studies I focused all my assignments on illustration.

During this time I was following other artists from all over the world, and I came to realise that most illustrators were freelancers and that this was the creative career I wanted to pursue.

I was lucky enough to receive a few design and illustration commissions while I was studying. Just before I graduated, I took a part time job to supplement my income while I started in the freelance game. I then spent the next few years working part time and taking on whatever freelance illustration and design jobs I could get.

In the early days I had massive doubts about whether or not this illustration career would ever work out. I then came to know Angela and Jayden Keoghan from illustration studio The Picture Garden. They helped me so much in these early years with advice, encouragement and answering the million questions I had about freelancing. I have been so lucky over time to have met more and more illustrators working as freelancers to get advice from, be inspired by and now call good friends.

Now, over time (with a lot of hard work) I have entered the realms of being a full-time creative.

 

Loryn is illustrating a free desktop/iPhone wallpaper every month for this year. Here’s January’s – go here to get one for your computer, laptop or iPhone

 
What challenges have you pushed through on this career journey? 
Working hard, but not overdoing it. I would send myself into burn out all too often because I didn’t know when to stop working and take a break.

Learning how to organise myself and use my time working efficiently so that I could have a life outside of work was a great lesson to learn. For me, using some apps (mostly free) apps online such as Toggl, Trello, Xero and Slack to keep track of my work and finances has helped so much in achieving the elusive work/life balance.

What have been some of the working highlights of the last year in terms of projects?
Early 2016 I was in Wellington visiting some friends and I had an afternoon to myself so I ended up filling a whole page in my sketchbook on how I saw Wellington city and posted it on Instagram, and it proved to be hugely popular. I then carried on making these based on different situations, topics or things that I have seen and putting them on the gram. A happy discovery that has opened up some new doors in my work already. I hope to make many more of these in the year to come!

Super cute wordmark for Waihi Beach cafe, Oliffe & Franks


What are you working on at the moment/what’s coming up for you in 2017? 

First off this year I will be carrying on with my collaboration with the Live For Tomorrow project with Zeal where I will be creating a whole lot of illustrated content to increase awareness, encourage and inform young people of mental health issues.

Also, I am wanting to set aside more time to develop a range of products such a tees, patches, prints for my online store. And I have started working with some very talented design friends on some super exciting branding projects that I can’t wait to share with everyone!

So much to look forward to already this year!

Love this little piece Loryn did for the Live for Tomorrow project

 
What does a typical working day look like for you? 
Up early, coffee, cycle into my shared studio space in town, set up for the day, check the news, prioritise tasks for the day, send emails and do some suuuper fun admin work, more coffee, get hyped from second coffee and get distracted by memes, distract studio mates with memes I have found, then launch into working on projects for the day, stop for lunch with studio mates, work all afternoon and into the evening on projects before a cycle home and spend the evening cooking and browsing the interweb.

What helps you be at your best creatively? 
For me it’s all about keeping my eyes open to find inspiration everywhere. Sometimes brilliant ideas seem to just seem to strike as I am just watching the world happens, so carry a sketchbook and pencil case with me everywhere I go. I also try to regularly set aside some time where I can experiment, this involves having a slightly cynical attitude, my sketchbook, all my drawing tools close at hand and no pressure of coming up with any necessarily ‘good’ ideas.

What advice would you give to any one dreaming of becoming a career illustrator? 
The way that you communicate ideas is totally unique to you so figure out early on exactly what your voice is and own it. For a long time when I started out I would try approaching briefs in the way I imagined some of my favourite other illustrators would. I would start sketching out all these super serious illustrations that would look fine, and do the job, but was not authentically my voice. Once I had identified and owned my voice as an artist I could approach new projects with confidence. For me figuring this out was a matter of getting some portfolio critique from peoples whose opinion I trusted and taking on board their advice.

Also, keep reminding yourself how lucky you are to be drawing what you love for a living! It’s amazing.

Finally, some quickies – what are you currently…
 
Listening to: 
My Spotify mix of top songs from 2016, it’s mostly a tasty mix of D’Angelo, Tame Impala, James Blake, Last Shadow Puppets and Kendrick. Also, the new Leon Bridges, Coming Home album is really good!

Clicking on:
ItsNiceThat.com – everrryday.

Reading or watching:
Reading – The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton.  Watching – Brooklyn Nine Nine and Last Man On Earth.

Eating:
Sriracha sauce on everything, always.

Doing:
Stretching more, sweating in the summer sun, getting sunburnt, watering plants, swimming, creating unrealistic wish lists on The Book Depository, trying to stay off Pinterest.

Daydreaming about:
A trip to America this year. Also, being irresponsible with my finances and purchasing the unnecessary amount of books on my book depository list.

 
 

Loryn’s website / portfolio  ~  Loryn’s Instagram
 
Photography by Hamilton-based Dan Hilson for Fancy – we’re big fans, Dan

© The New

theme