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.


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.

Sriracha sauce on everything, always.

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


Hello, Studio – Wellington’s Of Noble Nature:

ONN candles – these are white sage and sea salt – with a embossed leather band

Tools of the trade alongside one of ONN’s test-tube flower hangers with leather strap (on right)

‘Gram Level: Expert

Katie heads off to deliver weekly goodness to Wellington’s Sweet Bakery

Of Noble Nature is 27 year old Katie Rosati and 33 year old Lizzie Watson. They have an awesome friendship and professional partnership, that’s recently included setting up their first dedicated studio. This dreamy little space you see here is actually a stand-alone building on Lizzie’s 1/2 acre property, and the pair did all the work on it themselves, making benchtops from the original beams from the ceiling, painting, sanding and generally being kick-ass ladybosses. Katie and Lizzie felt a new, more permanent studio was the next step in levelling-up their floristry brand, as well as allowing their business to be moulded around work-life balance (Lizzie is a mum of three, and Katie’s keen to start a family soon).

ONN offers a bunch (see what I did there? #notsorry) of pretty things – including wedding and event floral styling – but their main focus is affordable flower delivery within Wellington, and a monthly floral subscription service. ONN also has a few of its own homeware items for sale, including the hand-poured candles and hanging test tube vase that I pointed out in the pics above. And I know you’re going to ask me who did the girls’ awesome navy oilskin and leather aprons… it’s Katie’s leather-working partner Carl Rosati.

Of Noble Nature   online store and floral orders   /   Instagram

Images thanks to Wellington photographer Meg Wyper
for Fancy NZ Design Blog

(Meg is a lifestyle blogger at Meg & Lou, or follow her on Insta @megandlou)


Talking to: Blink Boys

Blink Boys’ studio signage – inspired by the latest Kayne album
Blink Boys share their studio space with jewellery label Walter Crow

A place of work isn’t really a place of work until you have old school lockers.
I’m jealous of your exposed beams, guys

Look at these fresh faces with their fresh whips. Good mates since school, and now running their own marketing agency in Auckland. For a change of blog scenery, I thought I’d ask some questions and let the Blink Boys tell their story for themselves…  

Who are the Blink Boys?
At its core the Blink Boys are Andrew Slane (26), Tim Slane (25) and Asher Walker (27). We went to Dilworth School together and have been in each other’s pockets ever since. Bigger than the Blink Boys is Blink Ltd, our ‘official’ company. We’re lucky to have some awesome people who work with us and a network of experts that we can call on. 
How did Blink Boys come about? 
The Blink Boys came about after a tropical holiday in the Perhentian Islands. Having always had a desire to do our own thing and over one too many piña coladas Andrew and I decided to leave our work and go out on our own. Andrew had been the general manager of a print company and I had been working in advertising. When we returned, we teamed up with our good friend Harrison Burt who was a freelance web and graphic designer and Blink was born.

Originally we focused on building websites, design and running social media campaigns. Nine months later, Tim who had been working at a print and signage company joined us to start the signage side of the business and as they say the rest is history. Harrison’s moved on to some other projects but we’ve been lucky to nab designer Gabi Lardies to fill his shoes! 
What do you offer as Blink Boys?
We focus on creating value through a range of digital and signage solutions. We work on a broad range of projects, from brand architecture and strategy to signage design, print management and installation. We’re fortunate to have a great set of clients and be able to work on some really fun briefs. 
What are some of the projects you’ve done recently?
We’ve recently finished up doing all of the signage for this year’s Art Fair, paper cuts for Trelise Cooper’s latest lookbook and reception (printed wallpaper and vinyl) and have been working closely with South Studio on a few of their client’s signage requirements. Branding wise we’ve been working on a new Rum brand which has been super fun and we’re looking to launch the new Public Library website in the next month or so.
Tell us about your space – where is it, who do you share it witf?
The ‘Blink Factory’, as we’ve nicknamed it, is tucked away on Exmouth Street in Eden Terrace. After spending a year working above the Golden Dawn on Ponsonby Road, in a small corner office that overlooked the busy street, we plucked up enough courage to take on a bigger space. The space was formerly a dance studio so we lucked out with the polished wooden floors and high ceilings. Up until recently, artist Henry Christian Slane rented a room from us. He’s moved out so we’re currently converting the front area into a space where anyone with great ideas can hot desk and a smaller area into a photography studio. It’s exciting being in a place that has so much potential. 
And two of you also run the jewellery brand Walter Crow?
Andrew and Asher run Walter Crow with another friend we went to school with. Part of our studio has been converted to a showroom for Walter, we’re looking forward to using the space for more activations for the brand. Watch this space.
What was the scariest part of going out on your own and did that fear turn out to be founded? 
The scariest part of starting Blink was venturing into the unknown. We started with one small client and had no idea whether we were going to make enough money to even pay the rent. When starting something new, there’s always going to be the fear of failure but you’ve just got to keep moving and push on. It definitely wasn’t all smooth sailing to begin with but we’re not bogged down with too many commitments so our lifestyle adapted! 

What other NZ brands or creatives (individuals) inspire you?

We’re inspired by the young people around us doing rad stuff in Auckland, no matter what the field – people like Connor and Charles from Ceremony/Homestead, the guys at I Love Ugly, Angus from Angus Muir Design and the team at Think and Shift

What’s some of the best and worst parts about being in business with good friends? The line is definitely blurry between on and off the clock. It can be hard to switch between the work and friend zone, we’ll be out for dinner with our partners talking about projects that we’re working on. Safe to say we’ve been given the hard word that Blink work doesn’t happen over pad Thai on a Friday anymore. The big bonus is we don’t see our best mates once a week, we get to hang out everyday! 

What’s one golden piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to start their own thing?

There’s no time like the present. Just stay focused and remember that people are the most important thing. 

Blink Boys  website   /   signage microsite  /  Instagram

Photography by Josh Griggs for Fancy
Check Josh’s work out on Instagram.

© The New