Archive for the ‘Art & Design’ Category
Happy New Year! We hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. 2013 is set to be an exciting year. In the past two months there has been a huge change here at Mint Style Studio with the departure of my full-time position as a visual merchandiser to breaking free and going solo as a full-time freelance stylist and writer. In only a matter of weeks I have picked up some fantastic regular work writing for two local publications (which I regularly post on Facebook), regular national travel with visual merchandising, and professional blogging and a bit of graphic design for New Zealand fashion boutiques, Head Over Heels, Lynn Woods, and Ruby!
Brimming with my insatiable appetite for exciting developments in the year ahead, I was up before the birds making grand plans! International travel is on the cards as is some exciting career opportunities. Portfolio’s (yes, plural – there’s one for each area of expertise like digital styling and graphic design, editorial styling and visual merchandising, writing, and photography) are being designed, tweaked, and up-dated ready to be sent out very soon. Mint Style Studio is in the process of getting a grown-up logo and business cards too!
To begin the new year with a fresh start is this decidedly fresh interior design spread inspired by sea spray hues of blue and blue-grey.
1 Designed by Norm Architects for Scandi design company Menu, the Bottle Grinder comes as a pair in Storm and Cloud // Simon James Concept Store 2 Karen Walker’s paints for Resene in Powder Blue and Taupe Grey // Resene 3 Ceramic ware by New Zealand artist Stephen Bradbourne // Everyday Needs 4 Steel coffee table/bench by New Zealand furniture designer Nathan Goldsworthy // Corporate Culture 5 ‘Comback’ chair in grey blue by Patricia Urquiola for Kartell is available in a choice of four leg types and several colourways (seen here in cement) //Backhouse 6 Thoughts of Putin artwork by supremely talented Cantabrian artist John Badcock // John Badcock Gallery.
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On a day like today with unrelenting torrential downpours, it may be hard to believe that spring is just around the corner, but these punches of acid yellow and turquoise are bound to lift your spirits and have you day dreaming of warmer, brighter days to come.
Clockwise from Top Left – Green Canary #1 photographic print by Luke Stephenson //The Photographer’s Gallery / Faceture resin vase by Phil Cuttance //Douglas & Bec / Ikea pendant light //Ikea / Audley open-toe heels also available in orange and fushia //Head Over Heels / ‘Tab’ stool by Nadadora for Sancal //UFL / Helen Cherry Liliana dress in Calypso (pictured), Ballet, or Ink //Workshop 7 Orla Kiely Tarpaulin Print Tillie Bag //Small Acorns 8 Scribble powder-coated stainless steel brooch in Turquoise (pictured) and assorted colours //In Sync
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In 2007 Endemic World launched its on-line design store, specialising in New Zealand design products. A few years down the track, what made Endemic World stand head and shoulders above the masses, was now gone; the on-line market for New Zealand only design was now completely saturated. Hence the need for a shift in focus to art prints. Handling all things aside from the design aspect, Endemic World’s Director Elliot Alexander works with a crew of three others on and off throughout the year who’s skills include photography, design, video production, curating, planning, PR, and customer service. Happily co-existing with its graphic design parent, Studio Alexander, the family run company is helmed by his father and sister. There’s a natural crossover between the two businesses, Elliot explains, in both passions and talents even giving all 15 designers at Studio Alexander a hand in curating Endemic World’s portfolio of artists. “Both companies share resources and are in the same space. Its super fun to say the least. Family businesses not working out is a myth.”
Although they have culled some of their design products, it’s made way for an exciting line-up of new New Zealand artists like Ruby Watson, Hamish Thompson, and Russell Frost, whom sit side by side the familiar kiwi artists we’ve come to know through Endemic World. Elliot barely curbs his enthusiasm for the addition of international creatives like Inaluxe from across the Tasman and New York’s Swissted. ”We didn’t want to sit inside that little “NZ only” positioning,” Elliot says, “so we are really happy to be the first to break out of that. And this is just the beginning.”
The methods as well as styles of art work are equally diverse; ranging from letterpress to stencils, from bold graphics to detailed illustrated works. Bringing affordable artwork to your door, Elliot’s motto to “Save blank walls one print at a time” will surely add character and life to your home or office.
New York based graphic design studio, Swissted, creates bold, graphic band posters
To be in the running for your choice of three framed art prints, just visit their website Endemic World. It’s as simple as that. The only catch is you have to do it before midnight Monday 23 July. Get clicking!
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I’m afraid the last solid week has put me MIA deep, deep under my duvet covers with a dreadful bout of the flu. Hence, being a one-woman show, I have had no trusty off-sider to step in while I’ve been religiously administering drugs, vitamins, rehydration, in between lengthy periods of sleeping and fighting off intermittent spells of boredom. While in the unrelenting clutches of the lurgy, I did venture from my death bed twice; once to complete a window installation for french fashion 2012 at Ballantynes, and the other to purchase two extremely important anti-boredom devices, 1 an iphone and 2 an ipad.
As the rest of you know, who have effortlessly joined the 21st century long before myself on this front, there is much needed additional paraphernalia required to go along with these sexy gadgets. One simply needs the cases and the covers to protect our investments and it goes without saying they must be stylish. After spending many hours surfing the net from the absolute comfort of my bed, with ipad in lap, I finally decided on the understated chic diagonal stripes from New York’s Kate Spade (above). With the world of retail therapy at my fingertips and nothing but time on my hands, I admittedly indulged in a few on-line purchases. Along the way, a found a few gorgeous and interesting things I’d like to share.
I found this handsome, angular ‘Geo’ thermos from Normann Copenhagen which is available in six bold colours from Normann Copenhagen.
If you happen to be in Manchester between now and the end of September, there are a host of sixteen fascinating artists’ works which draw on the theme of “Flights of Fancy” for Tatton Park Biennial 2012.
In search of something with an air of understated chic for my ipad protector, I decided on Kate Spade’s black and white diagonal stripes, from Papier D’Amour in Sydney.
If ever in search of a stunning resin piece of jewellery, look no further than Dinosaur Designs.
British illustrator, Diane Boyle, makes intricate drawings of buildings all over the world including this one of an Oamaru 19th century hotel turned Victorian pub in Southland.
The one thing I love about this gorgeous rug by Charlotte Lancelot for Gandia Blasco, is the illusion it casts from afar as a well-worn heirloom piece of tapestry, but at close quarters, it has been meticulously cross stitched to appear just so! Enquire through Matisse in New Zealand.
This photograph comes from an award winning photographic series, ‘Abandoned’, set in post-apocolyptic Dubai. This personal project of British photographer, Richard Allenby-Pratt, explores ”the fragility of our economic systems and the desperate need for us to live in harmony with the other occupants of our world”. To enquire about prints contact Richard here.
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At a mere 25 years of age, Brighton based designer, illustrator, and set builder, Kyle Bean has already amassed an astonishing portfolio including installation work for London’s top department stores Liberty and Selfridges, international luxury brands Hermés, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Peugeot, and editorial work for acclaimed publications Wallpaper*, Financial Times, New York Times, and GQ. What distinguishes Bean from the rest? His highly conceptual art is well formulated, distilled down to one simple idea, infused with a generous dollop of humour, and executed with utmost panache. I had the opportunity to ask Bean a few burning questions I had about the cache and pressure of working for world famous brands, adapting to the life of a freelance artist, and working with a team of Tim Burton’s animators on a 30 second piece of stop-motion animation for Peugeot.
Landing a commission for Liberty is pretty impressive, and even more so, as it was your first fresh from university. Can you tell us how this opportunity came about and describe the process involved working on this particular project and what it’s like to work with one of London’s most prestigious department stores?Yes it was a very lucky break. I got the job during my degree show exhibition in summer 2009. The visual merchandiser from Liberty had come to see the show and came across my work on display. We met and he told me about a possible job which was a collaboration between Liberty and Hermes. I obviously expressed a lot of interest and then a week or two later we met in London to go over the details. I made three installation pieces to sit inside Liberty’s scarf room. Each piece depicted a Victorian contraption made entirely from orange Hermés packaging boxes. Although it was a little daunting for a first commission, I had plenty of time to work on it so I did not feel the time pressure that I have with most jobs.
The five window installation “The law of matter cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed” for Selfridges, resulted from your response to their call for artists’ submissions. As a visual merchandiser for a department store here in Christchurch, I’m innately curious as to how their VM department works – talk about dream job! Are there any insights you can share from behind the scenes? I don’t think I will ever have the luxury to work on a job like this again. It was completely out of the blue and I had so much freedom. Selfridges have a long standing tradition of collaborating with outside artists and designers to work on their displays. They came to my agent (Blink Art) and asked me to pitch an idea to them that would run across their five windows. The budget was quite small and the time frame quite tight so my idea had to be very manageable and yet creative. They briefed me with the simple title ‘Object of Desire’. From that I developed this idea that each window would showcase one object, but show it in different forms, whether that be deconstructed or reformed into something new. Selfridges loved the idea and so we got to work pretty quickly. I designed each window and worked on the construction of the had crafted elements, such as the fairytale castle made from books and the cardboard chair. Selfridges have a small team of engineers to construct the steel weighing scales and visual merchandisers who helped source all of the other props that I required. Selfridges sought sponsorship from Honda for the two motorbikes that I wanted, as we did not have the budget to buy two motorbikes outright. It was a great experience being part of a big and exciting project like that.
Of the five windows the deconstruction of the motorcycles must have required detailed preparation. How did you go about organising the different parts and dealing with the logistics of hanging each part? Yes. So once we had Honda on board, they had a specialist to take one of the bikes apart into all of its components. They then delivered the two bikes. The engineers at Selfridges pre-assembled the scales with the hanging mobile ‘plate’ that was to hold the motorbike parts. I then spent a whole day with assistants in a live installation to hang all of the individual parts on the scales. Passers by could see the installation take place.
As Art Director for the recent ‘Paperwork’ stop-motion ad for Peugeot, you had the fantastic opportunity to work with experienced animators who’ve worked on some of Tim Burton’s feature films. Stop-motion animation is a laborious process which I imagine requires great patience and absolute attention to the tiniest detail. What did you find to be the greatest lessons you learnt during this project? With this project it was very much a collaborative process and one that I loved. With the majority of my work, I’m usually only working with a photographer, but on this occasion we had a big team consisting of producers, animators, riggers, a DOP, lighting specialists, prop makers and a pre-vis artist. I worked closely from day one with the director, Joseph Mann. As art director, I was in charge of designing the look of the commercial and working out how all of the physical elements,both still and moving, were to be made. As Joe worked on his storyboards, I worked on tests to make the paper car and various paper elements that you see in the advert. By the time the storyboard and pre-vis was approved we were already working with a big team of model makers to help me make all of the paper models and sets. It was indeed a very time consuming process. We worked for two months on the job in total. One month was spent building the models and sets. It took us over a week to animate everything for the 30 second advert. I learnt a great deal from everyone involved and made me realise how important collaboration is. (Check out the making of the ad here – facinating! ed.)
Are there particular people or brands you’d love to work with that you haven’t yet? I’d like to work with some interesting museums such as the V&A as well as the Science Museum. I’d also like to maybe work with a couple of publishers to work on a book cover or two. I would also love to work on another exciting window display project soon, as I have mainly been focused on editorial work recently. I like to mix things up a bit.
What’s the great advice or lesson learnt thus far in your career? Firstly, I believe it is important to do personal work from time to time. I have often got very interesting projects as a direct result from working on new personal work which pushes me into new directions. Secondly, I have found that staying curious about things is most invaluable in terms of coming up with ideas. It might sound strange but I think that sometimes it helps to see things like a child would!
What has been your most satisfying project thus far? Commissioned work, it would have to be my Selfridges windows. Personally, making my chicken out of eggshells was a big achievement too as it was so tricky to make!
“What Came First?”, one of Kyle’s more challenging self-initiated projects which have led to a commission for CUT magazine.
Who in your related fields do you most admire and why? In general I am just very excited by anyone who has a real passion for working with their hands and are able to communicate interesting ideas through craft. People such as Peter Crawley, Sarah Illenberger and Craig Ward are good examples of people who consistently excite me with what they produce and their approach to design.
Are you familiar with the Sydney based paper engineer, Benja Harney? I know he spent many years working a full-time graphic design job and squeezing in time for his artwork every other waking moment, before being able to finally quit his day job and dedicate all his energies on his number one passion; paper engineering. Some would say you’re in a privileged position to have the luxury of working full-time on your art, I remember struggling in my early freelancing days with the isolation of working alone, time management, and maintaining a balanced lifestyle. How do you find the world of freelancing? Yes Benja and I have spoken via Twitter. Twitter is so good for discovering people in your creative field I find! It helps me feel much more connected and knowledgeable about our industry too which can only be a good thing. I don’t know much about how Benja started, but for me it was certainly at the end of my degree that things kicked off. I stayed working part time at a job for about six months after graduating, but I quit once I realised that my income from freelance work was just about sustainable and I could pay all my bills etc. It was a hard decision, and some months I feel like I could still do with a part time job, but I have gotten used to freelance ups and downs now!
I read at the beginning of this year that you’d received interest in your ‘Mobile Revolution’ Russian Dolls you made for your final degree show. Have there been any developments with producing these? It’s a tricky thing. I never intended for the phone nesting doll to get manufactured. It was always more of a ‘conceptual model’ – an illustration for how technology has evolved. I looked into possible ways of producing it on a larger scale, but I have more or less decided not to peruse that one further. However, I am certainly considering looking into larger scale production for future projects. I have always had an interest in product design and having produced a pop up card for the Design Museum in London it has whet my appetite for working in this way.
What are you currently working on? I am just returning from a European Inter-railing trip which was good fun and very inspiring. I’m working on more editorial work at the moment and a couple of exhibitions of my work in agencies in London as well as preparations for a festival in the summer. I’m hoping to work on some more personal work this summer too.
To see more of Kyle’s impressive work visit his website Kyle Bean.
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I was flattered when Annah Stretton’s Her magazine approached me to be interviewed about my work as a visual merchandiser and blogger of Mint Style Studio. The June/July issue has just hit bookstores this week! In addition to the article they asked me to curate my favourite art and design items, eight of the ten (above) made the final cut and to compile my top ten tips for “How to Fall in Love with your Home Again”. You can read the full article by subscribing for free on-line here, or you can buy the magazine from your local news agent (only available in New Zealand and to Australian subscribers).
Christchurch based photographer, Guy Frederick, a regular contributor to Life & Leisure, North & South, and NZ Home & Garden, who also happens to be a very good friend of mine, took the portrait of me (below), which I styled, for the article (which can also been seen here at Mint Style Studio).
1 While living in London I often retreated from the hustle and bustle of city life to Fowey, a charming seaside village in Cornwall. My first commissioned piece of art by the talented British artist, Sophie Levi, is a treasured possession.
2 New Zealand father and daughter design duo, Douglas & Bec from Workroom, are creating beautiful, modern, handcrafted lighting and furniture like this wood and powdercoated steel Angle Table Lamp.
3 Yankee textile designer, Alexander Henry’s ‘Heath’ is a great design for smart bedlinen, blinds or cushions. Available from Bolt of Cloth at The Colombo, Christchurch.
4 Libri, designed by Michael Bihain for Swedese, are modular components which can be used singularly lent up against a wall or in tandem. Available from Simon James Design.
5 Every coffee table needs a coffee table book like Jane Ussher’s beautiful photo essay which explores the Antarctic huts of Scott and Shackleton. Beautifully styled shots accompanied by engaging text. Available from any good bookstore.
6 I love the juxtaposition of the high gloss and matt textures in these ceramic vessels from Brooklyn based stylist and ceramicst, Michelle Michael of Elephant Ceramics, who creates limited edition tableware every season.
7 I adore quirky touches to the home like these ‘family dolls’ using fabric remnants all the way from Timo Handmade in Israel.
9 Design with a touch of humour always appeals like the ‘Bin Bin’ by Danish design company Essey, which also doubles as a planter. Available on-line from Mondegreen.
10 Designed by New Zealander Patrick Morris, The Sky Planter is perfect when space is at a premium. Hang singularly, in a line or a cluster. Available from Simon James Design.
Feature about my work as a visual merchandiser and blogger of Mint Style Studio, including my creative tips for your home and my favourite art and design picks. In this month’s June/July issue of Her magazine.
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The fact that Jaime Hayon’s designs launch me head over heels IN LOVE is no exaggeration. Hayon’s work exemplifies great design; functional, innovative, creative, and playful, plain and simple. The astonishing breadth of Hayon’s work encompasses not only product and furniture design, but art, fashion, and interiors. This year Hayon showcases his astounding talent at Salone Milan with his many collaborations including three exclusive worldwide launches.
Clockwise from top left: An artist’s impression of Spazio Hayon at Salone Milan.
Jaime Hayon seated on his Favn sofa for Fritz Hansen.
The Arpa Chair is just one piece from Hayon’s Collection II for London based design house, Sé. Inspired by musical instruments and insects, the signature piece of the collection, inspired by the harp, reinterprets the classic wing chair form with refreshing modernity.
The Candy Light for Baccarat returns to Salone following its debut at the 2011 Milan Furniture Fair. With its elegant crystal shade and porcelain base in three finishes; platinum (pictured), white and gold, its bold design sits equally well in a modern or traditional aesthetic.
The playful ensemble of trays and dishes, from Hayon’s FORMA collection of tableware, is produced in collaboration with Japanese porcelain producer Maruwakaya. This collection uses traditional Japanese craftsmanship to execute Hayon’s exploration of the relationship between food, culture, and tableware.
These curvaceous, multi-purpose chairs designed by Hayon for Copenhagen based design company, &tradition, make their first appearance at Salone Milan. Ergonomically designed, both function and comfort are catered to with a choice of finishes from the naked shell to Kvadrat’s quality fabrics or even leather.
Hayon goes to town with his imagination with this little trio of whimsical animals for Baccarat. Half porcelain, half crystal, they are a playful take on the traditional sweet jar.
Hayon makes his first foray into the technological realm with his new company, Orolog, which designs and manufactures innovative Swiss made time pieces with luxurious Hermes leather straps.
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It’s been an epic week in the world of design at Salone Internazionale del Mobile di Milano. I’ve kept my ear firmly pressed to the ground for the latest and greatest to share with you. I was interested to learn that many of the world’s leading design schools have the opportunity to showcase the very best of their students’ work alongside the elite designers of our time. I was impressed with the quality as much as I was with the means and methods used in the production of their designs.
The three projects which impressed the most were London’s Royal College of Art‘s (RCA) “Paradise” project, Israeli collective “TVL Express“, and the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (AAAD). As part of their 175th anniversary celebrations, RCA students address three subjects: the exploration of personal dreams and desires; questioning the fabric of the everyday; and speculation on the direction of our future. One of the most thought provoking designs came from a group of Design Engineering students’ (Nick Paget, Emile de Visscher, Christophe Machet, and Audrey Gaulard) development of a micro-manufacturing machine which transforms plastic packaging, using the principles of a candyfloss machine, into a playful new material. Aptly encapsulating the project’s ultimate goal: “Rallied by the desire for change and compelled by dissatisfaction with the present, (these) students will author their own atlases of paradise, landscaped by different paths in the quest for a better future.” Other highlights were Kihyun Kim’s super light 1.3 Chair inspired by a British wooden bomber aeroplane, is made from compressed balsa wood and weighs a mere 1.28 kgs. Winner of the 2012 Designs of the Year Award, in the furniture section, at the Design Museum in London, Kim’s design talent is definitely one to keep an eye on, as is German design student Pia Wüstenberg whose Stacking Vessels (pictured above) have already been snapped up by discerning stockists in London, New York, Germany, Brazil, and Sweden.
‘Balls’ by Asaf Weinbroom and ’Baladi’ cups by Galia Tammuz (Photos via Core77)
A group of young Israeli designers comprising of recent graduates from the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, TVL Express Collective, present an array of lighting, ceramics, furniture, and textiles which aim to illustrate their exploration of design through experimental investigation of materials and technologies. Specialising in handmade lighting, Asaf Weinbroom brings his new lighting designs (above top image) which blur the boundaries between materials where corian is disguised as marble and formica is mistaken as granite. As a lover of unique vessels, I was drawn to the clay cups by industrial designer Galia Tammuz in which the cooperative principal of sharing food and a sense of community is translated through extrusion,a simple and cheap technology, creating long units, which are then cut into pieces.
The AAAD in Prague thoroughly prepares their students for the real world by working closely in collaboration with leading manufacturers within the Czech Republic. Bata, the Czech founded, global footwear manufacturer and retailer, joined forces with a group of students from the Studio of Fashion & Footwear who redesigned the iconic 60s Bata Bullets with wicked results (see below). Dan Gonzales returns to Salone Milan with a new lighting series and Studio of Furniture and Interior Design alumni Zbyněk Krulich presents his ‘Mikado’ project including a shelving system (pictured below) and sideboard. All in all, the AAAD has nurtured a crop of hot house talent.
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1 Seeing Double With clever use of double exposure, graphic design student Dan Mountford has created a stunning series entitled The Worlds Inside of Us.
2 Bowerbird ‘Birdstick’ is a multi purpose storage unit perfect for keeping your iphone and car keys, mail, or general bits’n’bobs. Created by Dane Kristina Kjær Hansen.
3 Stacked Against the Odds ‘Cairn’, an ensemble consisting of sculptured wooden boxes that can be assembled in awkward positions as if by magic, ie. with the help of unseen magnets, by Constance Guisset.
4 Cut and Paste New Zealand artist Bayley Collins, aka Birdinabunnysuit, who uses collage to mix and match animal parts, is now part of Auckland design store’s whare textile range at Essenze.
5 Understated Style Designed by New Zealander Carrie Cooper and made in Italy, these boots embody the effortless “boyfriend chic” Beau Coops are renowed for. New to Head Over Heels in Re:Start, Christchurch.
6 All Stitched Up East End London textile designer, Naomi Paul has created these crocheted pendant lamps from surplus luxury textiles from the fashion industry. Available soon exclusively through Douglas & Bec.
7 Dry dishes 80s style Australian based studio, Dubbleyou, has created a series of pop inspired tea towels for your drying pleasure at Foxes.