I definitely have an evolving relationship with social media. I feel as though I am on the cusp of an age group where Facebook is sort of in, but Snapchat and Instagram have passed some by, I have struggled with Twitter and decided that’s it not for me… I like pretty pictures too much. If I evaluate all the good things social media has brought into my life then I am currently on the winning side. I have made some amazing acquaintances from around the world through the sharing of images on my Instagram @florist.stylist and when I feel uninspired there is nothing like a quick scan through some beautiful work to get me racing to the workbench and picking up my tools.
One such round-about introduction was with Bonnie of Studio Bon. I had been planning all the details for the opening of the studio and I wanted an address card with the something of the studio on it, I had been thinking a sweet little doodle of the Art Deco facade would be perfect and that same day I came across a gorgeous illustration of perfume bottle on a bedside with some flowers and I thought… yes! Something pretty like that was exactly what was needed. So I tracked the illustration back to Bonnie and set up a coffee date and fell head over heels with this lovely Wellington gem.
Are you from Wellington? I’m originally from Queenstown, born and raised there for 16 years before my family moved to Nelson in 2011. Two years later I crossed the strait and moved to Wellington to study, and have called it home since.
What’s your favourite part of town?I’ve been living in the suburb of Mount Vic for the last couple of years and I love it! It’s the perfect combination of being close to everywhere but is still right amongst nature and near the beach.
What’s a Wellington secret that more people should know about? Certainly, not a secret if you follow me on Instagram but my local café Tomboy, which dangerously is next door to my house. Because it’s a little out of the way it’s a real hidden gem. Not only do I think, perhaps a little biased, that it’s the best coffee and cake in Wellington, but Kate and Dave are so welcoming that it feels like having coffee at a friend’s house.
What’s missing in Wellington? I’ve spent a bit of time in Melbourne over the last couple of years and I fell in love with all their laneways. I would be really excited to see this grow in Wellington in the future, having studied architecture this is where the urban design nerd in me comes out, and there is such huge potential to enhance the city through development in this realm. Also, a longer summer would be nice, but I might have to take that one up with Mother Nature!
What do you do outside of work? I’m currently studying full time and running my own business which is a bit of a juggling act! Asides from that I drink far too much coffee, although I’m not sure I can count that as a hobby? I try to get outdoors and run as much as I can or switch off with yoga.
Where and how do you find your inspiration? My work is very inspired by fashion, florals, and the female form. Social media has been a massive inspiration for me, and the ability to see how someone is working in New York, or London, while I’m here in Wellington is incredible. I try to stay up to date with current fashion trends as a motivation to be constantly sketching, but in a broader sense, I find my inspiration through other successful women. It’s so important to celebrate and encourage each other’s success and so the Studio Bon muse is encouraging, stylish in her own way and not afraid to be different.
Describe your what you do and how you want people to see it? At this stage, StudioBon is an illustration and design based business. It has a distinctly feminine style, and so my work often lends itself to beauty and fashion work. I’d love for people to look at my work and feel inspired by it.
In future, I would like to start using illustration as a tool to address bigger issues. Fashion is fun and a great motivator but I’d love to find a way for my work to give back in some sense.
How did you start a business? I’m lucky in that I just sort of fell into creating a business. I was sharing my work on Instagram and getting a positive reaction which in turn motivated me to continue to create more. Earlier this year I began to be approached by different brands and businesses about custom work and it’s taken off from there. When I finish up studying at the end of this year I’d love to jump into my work full time and see where it takes me!
In terms of what I want to achieve, is it too ambitious to dream of Vogue? Ever since a child Vogue has held such an illustrious place in my mind, you don’t even want to see my magazine collection. The creativity of their art direction, not to mention the designers they work with is insane and I would love to be involved in any capacity. A little closer to home I would love to work with New Zealand Fashion Week coming up with a range of illustrations inspired by our talented NZ designers.
What achievement are you most proud of so far this year? I’m proud of all my work and having the ability to work with a variety of New Zealand brands. However, the work I created for The Daily Edited stands out to me. Being approached by an international company to create artwork for banners used in a department store in Singapore was the first indicator to me that I could turn my passion into a full-time career.
If you could share one piece of business advice what would it be? Don’t get complacent. Particularly in creative fields, it’s easy to stick to a style that is already working however it’s much harder to be continually experimenting. My work follows a unique style but I’m constantly trying new methods or ways of working and hoping for new results. More often than not things fail, but it’s important to keep on innovating.
Oh, and set aside enough time for taxes.
Tell us about keeping true to your brand? That’s a hard one, as my brand is still developing. Before I take on new work I think about if the business or brand has similar values, style, or approach to me and this helps me to determine if I would be the right fit to create work for them. This approach allows me to really consider if taking on new work will be fitting with my own brand and enables me to create the best work I can for another brand.
And here is the commission Bonnie did for me and will feature on our new address cards arriving to the studio soon.