Mag Square

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ivanhoe wrap up

Here are some lovely images (all by Sarah Wood Photography) of our show at Ivanhoe a couple of weeks ago.  It was a huge success and well worth the very early start.  We had close to 3,500 through the doors over 2 days, an overwhelming response from Ivanhoe and its surrounding areas.  We look forward to coming back in 2012.

The show was a tribute to colour, can you tell! The pink items tumbling down the stairs are the handiwork of Heather Nette King and Jane Hall.  We were very happy with the razzle dazzle lighting!

This is me, Nic, looking a little exhausted after the 4am start that morning.

A birds eye view ...

Tissue paper pom poms and lanterns were a great way to show colour en mass.

Heather kindly lent us her bentwood chairs; these were used most recently in a shoot for dulux - most of Heathers possessions, including these chairs have seen many coats of paint in a myriad of colours.

Ahhh some magnolia's ... very appropriate.

Fitting very nicely with the colour theme is the pom pom rug and garlands 

green hat workshop had the kids completely under control in our foyer

 new retailer m2matiz won the visual merchandising prize for their superb stand set up ... 
fabulous products, expect to see them again hopefully this year

colourful jewels at allouette

just like the sign says .... from ellis benson

silver with a tribal flavour at banjarra

cuteness at studio antic

new retailer black milk candles ....

ella sanders knitwear

my mad and crazy sister Danni from typekey ...

Friday, August 19, 2011

a creative couple

I recently saw the very sweet Mara Girling from PRINTSPACE at tradeshow Life in Style and was so impressed with how busy her and hubby Nick had obviously been ... so many new products and a fabulous stand to boot.  This weekend we have them at Mag Square and we couldnt be happier ... such a lovely couple!

mag square Adelaide November 2010

Mara tell us your career history ...
We began Printspace in 2006, and at that time we were producing artwork on canvas. It wasn’t until 2008 that we began working on paper and started the Printspace you see now. Both Nick and I studied graphic design, and Nick also runs our graphic design business. I worked at a variety of smaller graphic design studios when I graduated and my last job pre children was working as a graphic designer in the marketing department of Country Road.

Printspace is you and your lovely husband Nicholas Girling. How do you make it work smoothly?
I think we are actually very lucky, our taste is very similar, and where it differs, it is usually complimentary. While we approach art differently we are heading towards the same place. Also when reviewing new works, we both need to approve the art for it to become part of our range.

Printspace has a lovely modern aesthetic. From where do you draw inspiration for the designs and the colour palette? 
We are inspired by the design of the Modernist Era, not just the graphic design but also the textile and product design, Inspiration also comes from vintage posters and art movements such as Russian Constructivism and Cubism.

Describe the creative process (from concepts to finished design). How long does it take to complete one new illustration?
We sit down and have a brain storm and discuss what we want to achieve with a new range. Then Nick and I go away and come up with a selection of rough concepts, sketched in pencil. From there we talk about the ideas and work out what may work or not work.

From this point on we work differently, I work quite methodically on a few illustrations at once developing them as a group. Nick works more spontaneously on individual pieces by inventing and exploring textures and shapes. Once the drawing and refining has taken place on paper, we sometimes move on to the computer for the last little details and colour. This can go on for several months until we are both happy with the illustrations.

You have recently expanded your range, tell us about that? 
We have a million ideas on the boil, and so many things we want to achieve, so its really exciting when one happens. We have created a small range of posters that are bursting with Printspace colour and characters, which will be available early September. Nick has produced a Modernist inspired set of Australian Animal Posters and Info based posters. I have created an Alphabet Poster (which we have had many a customer ask for) and a Jungle Animal Poster in 2 colour options. We wanted to create art on a bigger scale that was still affordable.

What piece is your best seller?
With over 60 prints in the range, that is almost impossible to answer. It constantly changes but I would have to say that the print of the moment would be: “Lovely Day”.

Advice to a creative person wishing to start their own business ...
Research your idea. Start off small, and build and learn as you go. Ask lots of questions. Most importantly I would say, choose a career in something you LOVE and are passionate about. It is a lot of work and the hours can be long so it really does need to be something you are committed to. But that’s what makes it so rewarding.

Where do you see printspace in 3-5 years time?
This is a really hard question. If all goes to plan, bigger and better, with a lovely mix of products to compliment the illustrations.

Describe your personal style.
I naturally think of my ideal home. A love of all things Modernist and Scandinavian. Simplicity in design. Nothing too fussy or heavily detailed. One (very large) object I’d like to own is The Woodway Residence by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Photos by architectural photographer Nic Lehoux.

What do you read?
Habitus Magazine, Grain Edit blog & The Design Files

For more PRINTSPACE ....

Thursday, August 18, 2011

sweet paula

Today we are talking to one of Magnolia Squares most loved artists, Paula Mills of Sweet William.  Paula's unique style permeates through all aspects of her life, right down to the red front door of her beautiful new home.  Paula has won our visual merchandising prize at least 4 times now for her quirky, pretty & colourful displays.  Make sure you pop past and see her this weekend at the Ivanhoe show.

Paula in her lovely new creative space
Tell us about your new home …
We have bought a little cottage in the woods in Warrandyte. The favorite part of my home is the view - our living room and deck over looks a canopy of trees and so even if the house feels a little on the small side the amazing out look gives a sense of space.

Brief career history from high school …
I grew up in a creative enviroment in many beautiful parts of the world. I studied commercial art in Cape Town and started my career as a junior art director in advertising. I went to work as an art director in London for 8 years. I then traveled the globe, had 3 babies and found myself dabbling in freelance graphic design. 

I was soon led back to my paints and pens and have at last, found my home in illustrating. Now based in Melbourne, I have had some wonderful opportunities to work for a variety of clients as well as the chance to start my own creative business called Sweet William.

First memories of yourself as a creative person
My very first childhood memory is of me painting a bright yellow sun besides a swimming pool; I have been drawing and painting for as long as I can remember!

 Paula (on the right) with her big sister Shelley

Paula if you were a typeface, which one would you be? 
Oh that's easy - I would be a hand drawn font! I love the waiver in a hand drawn line and I have hand drawn the alphabet many times!

Sources of inspiration …
When my kids were very young and I wanted to do some thing creative I found Illustration Friday very helpful - they post a theme every week for any one to illustrate. The site was started by a very talented illustrator called Penelope Dullaghan and I often turn to her work for inspiration. I am addicted to interiors magazines and can't go with out the UK Elle Decoration, Living etc, Red online, Frankie, Inside Out and Country Style to name a few I love the styling work of Emily Chalmers and have most of her interiors books including her latest one Modern Vintage Style which is wonderful!

I am constantly looking out for creative work that inspires me and one of my latest creative crushes is on Olaf Hajek - an amazing illustrator! Besides from all of that I follow a huge amount of blogs, some of my favorites are: frolic; lobster and swan; design for mankind; poppytalk; modish; design files; pikaland; design sponge; design is mine; sfgirlbyday; creature comforts; hello friend; fine; design squish oh I could go on and on.... 

 cover art by Olaf Hajek for the London magazine THE HUB

Describe your style and design aesthetic 
My style is eclectic and I have always been drawn to all things vintage (I had a vintage tin collection in a granny hat box as a teenager!) I love old things and hand made things so my drawings incorporate all of that - I draw on old vintage paper by hand. I like quirkiness and imperfection.

Tell us about some recent projects / new work ...
I've recently had lots of fun with a bunch of wild flowers, bought at a farmers market, my water colors, ink and brushes. Some of the flower studies are of proteas, which are amongst my favorites.

They remind me of my sunny homeland, South Africa, where they grow wild all over the place. They seem to grow very well here in Australia too, I will be sure to plant some protea bushes in our wild bushy garden. These prints are available in our etsy shop and for the very first time at Magnolia Square on the weekend.

Are your children creative?
My kids are constantly drawing and I am inspired by their wonderful naive stlye - I wish could have more of that in my own work. At one the markets a lady picked up a coloring in book for sale on my table and was amused to find the inside front cover had been inscribed by my daughter Rosie who had also decided to colour in a few of the pages herself! 

Paula's 3 little girls (Lia, Rosie & Liberty) might just have their mothers creative talents!

What are you currently loving? 
I am currently loving all the wonderful stationary and paper goods around and wondering how Sweet William's stationary range can be expanded - it is pretty tricky competing with all the amazing products that are being massed produced abroad but I am determined to offer a unique, locally produced small range some how... 

What are you tired of? 
I am tired of the Union Jack - I have a lovely vintage flag from a flea market in London but when you see something being plastered all over every surface printable it's time to move on... (along with the 'keep calm and carry' motto and the bus roll posters!) 

I am happiest when …drawing 

Love Paula's style - want more? Check out these links ...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

creative & colourful guests at our next show (part 2)

We'll have a star in our midst at Mag Square this weekend.  Veteran actor and TV presenter Jane Hall is also a decorating whizz and it is in her new role as Salvation Jane that she will join stylist Heather Nette King at our show. 

The girls will stir up a storm of colour and prove that creating unique & contemporary looks in your home can be done inexpensively by working with pieces you already have.  Jane and Heather will be avalable to chat between 11am-3pm on each day ... so please don't be shy, have your questions ready or better still bring a photo of the object you would like to salvage!!

Brief career history from high school …
I studied Fashion Design at RMIT, regrettably never completing my degree, as my acting career really took over. I have bounced from role to role across TV, film, theater and radio, most recently appearing as Rebecca in ‘Neighbours’. ‘Salvation Jane’ was formed in 2010, and I hope to be able to combine my design and acting careers in this next phase of my professional life.

First memories of yourself as a creative person…
I have been drawing and sewing in my spare time for my whole life. My mother was an art teacher, so creativity was always encouraged!

so cute!

Sources of inspiration … 
I devour all the good interiors mags, my favourites being ‘Living etc’ and ‘Habitus’. I read millions of blogs, my favourites change daily, and I try to keep my eyes open to see the beauty everywhere I go.

Describe your style and design aesthetic …
My style is ecclectic and varied, I don’t believe anyone should be governed by a ‘style’, I just think you need to surround yourself with stuff that you love. If I have one great design aesthetic, it would be that I embrace colour!

Is your daughter creative?
My daughter draws beautifully. She has sketchbooks full of character based cartoon style drawings. She spends hours at her little drawing table, lost in the world she creates!

 Lucia's room (via the design files)

What are you currently loving?
COLOUR!! The blossoms exploding, the scent of jasmine in the air and my bright new ‘Salvation Jane’ range of bedlinen, due out in spring.

What are you tired of?
Design snobs, bad manners, litter bugs, conflict, dog poo and admin!

I am happiest when … I am in the sun.

I am cranky when … I am tired!

Tell us about your involvement in the next mag square event…
Heather and I adore collaboration, especially when it involves working with colour and its amazing ability to ‘save’ stuff! The opportunity to create a display for an event as classy as ‘Magnolia Square’ is both an honour and a challenge.

Want more?
check out Janes blog, and her recent interview & house tour on the Design Files

Monday, August 15, 2011

creative & colourful guests at our next show

We are very excited to be joined by two creative, clever and colourful characters at this next show. Heather Nette King, a freelance writer and stylist whose work features in the pages of Australia's best home titles including Real Living & Country Style and Jane Hall, who has graced our television screens since the tender age of 13 and has now turned her creative eye to a new venture called Salvation Jane. Today we chat with Heather and tomorrow with Jane.  Do pop back.

 Heather Nette King gets in the shot

This is Heather's own bedroom - wallpapered with the pages of a book!  Her husband is very obviously very supportive of her work!! Bless him!

Brief career history from high school …
I studied PR at RMIT, then worked in the entertainment industry in production and PR – artist management, concert touring, theatre production, then a very long stint at network TEN in publicity. All that time I had a stash of interior mags under my desk, and dreamed of breaking into styling one day. When I moved to Sydney with my family in 2005 I decided that as I was in the magazine capital of Australia I would have to finally follow my dream, and started getting a folio of work together. 

the cover model couldn't make it so the stylist (aka HNK) steps into the frame! What a multi tasker!!

First memories of yourself as a creative person 
Making furniture for my Flatsy dolls from old matchboxes and mum’s wallpaper scraps. 

Sources of inspiration …
OK, this is in no particular order – Elle deco UK, Living etc, all of the Aussie home titles, Maison Francaise, I have a blog list of literally hundreds that I love to lose time wandering through. And Grace Coddington. 

 Grace Coddington (left) former model and the creative director of American Vogue magazine pictured with Anna Wintour, editor in chief of American Vogue.

 Describe your style and design aesthetic...
Um...capricious? My style changes all the time. The constants though are colour and detail. I love to look at something then discover hidden layers. And I am definitely not a minimalist! 

Are your children creative?
Yes, my eldest daughter Annebelle is 14 and she’s devoted to her tumblr page. I think she has a great eye for fashion (and she has about four times the followers on her page as my own little blog does!) Alexandra is 12 and is more the creative homebody – her room is full of doll real estate that is constantly getting made-over and renovated. Neither are shy of giving me their opinion on my work! 

What are you currently loving? 
Indoor plants. Lush greenery. 

What are you tired of? 
Union Jack’s and tram scrolls. Lovely, but over.

I am happiest when …
(aside from the usual when I am with my family answer) - when I have a shoot that day 

I am cranky when …
products don’t turn up for shoots. When shopkeepers and staff are rude (luckily it doesn’t happen often in Melbourne though). 

Tell us about your involvement in the next mag square event … 
Jane and I are putting together a bit of a before and after display to show how we love to save the existing pieces of furniture in your home by using creativity and colour. 

 Heather & Jane "save" some fabulous cane chairs with COLOUR  ... 
the champagne makes this job all the more enjoyable!!

Colour forms and big part of my styling work, and I love nothing better than to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Jane is so clever at this that she has made a business out of it (and still manages to be a mum and a busy actor - phew). Visitors to Mag Square can come and have a chat, ask us anything – maybe even bring in a photo of something they would like to do up, but don’t know where to start. We’d love to share our ideas. See you there!

Read more about the daily happenings of a stylist and writer at Heathers blog ...