Monthly Archives

September 2014

stories

MICHAEL and COURTNEY – Barun Fox

29/09/2014
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FEATURED CREATIVES: 

BARUN FOX

Courtney Louise and Michael Glaser

Courtney and Michael are the dreamers, creatives and the inspirational individuals behind the design studio Barun Fox. After graduating from design school in Canada, they decided to avoid the generic 9 to 5 jobs and embarked on a grand adventure across the globe (Japan, Melbourne, England, Paris, just to name a few places!). Since travelling, Courtney and Michael have collected stories, documented their travels and continued to design and create, not for monetary gain but for genuine people and for their stories. We met these special friends in Japan last year and since then, have met in Melbourne, Leeds and finally in Paris.  

Having a great empathy for people, design and humanity, Courtney and Michael are incredible individuals who will leave you inspired, full of life and full of hope. We talk to them about designing from the heart, pushing away the dollar sign, the importance of design benefitting the world and dancing to the song of your own heart.

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So, to start off, you decided to go travelling for more than 14 months, what motivated this epic journey?   

Courtney: I think it was about staying fresh. When a lot of people get out of school they have a ‘conquer the world’ personality and it’s a pretty quick reality check that the real world is sitting in an office behind a desk. That’s not really what we signed up for as designers. We thought we were signing up for more opportunities. Michael and I started our company right out of school. We thought, “let’s do it differently, let’s do everything from our heart, let’s not “shmooze”,let’s not “network”, let’s work for people that we love, that we are happy to work for”. Travelling is helping keep that idea alive. We found ourselves falling into routine in Calgary, and we wanted to snap ourselves out of that and keep things true to our hearts. Put the money, and everything aside, and you know, be real about it.

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When you were travelling you had a couple of different clients. Who was your most memorable client that you worked with? 

Courtney:  Jude was this woman we ended up trading a logo for accommodation in a tiny little beach shack on the ocean in a town close to Noosa. She was this awesome surfer lady and she had this amazing surf shack, everything was beautiful and inspiring.

Michael: Yeah, it was so nice.

Courtney: : More than what we could ever have wished for. Jude was partnered with this woman who was a journalist and they were working together to write and publish people’s life stories. They needed a brand, a logo and we were really stoked on their idea. Overall we just really wanted to help. We got to live in the house and use her surf boards in exchange for helping them create their logo. That was the first logo we designed on the road. It was really memorable because it ended up having more of a story to it. She ended up discovering she had cancer while we were there, and it was quite advanced. It was an emotional time and it ended up being a logo that was no longer for the company but for her. It ended up being a symbol for her struggle and achievement and something to keep her going — which was so much more than a logo for a book company. It was kind of her life story because we were designing it around so much of her, who she is, and how she was so inspired and strong.

So that was really, really cool.

Is she better?

Courtney: Yah! We’ve been in touch with her family and friends and she’s in the clear now, which is really, really exciting! That’s one example of things we just love doing. We would have never had that opportunity if we always had a huge price tag and didn’t remain personal and connected with the people we collaborate with.

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If you were to phrase your mantra for your company or for you design, what would it be?

Courtney: I think it’s something like, “designing from the heart” Also, it would have to be about not limiting yourself. Maybe “working without limitations”

How has travelling influenced your creativity?

Michael:  I don’t know. I think for me, I haven’t actually drawn that much while we have been travelling. I’ve mostly been observing, I think I’ve been taking a lot in. It’s nice to take a creative break sometimes. After working for five years straight, it’s nice to take a step back and write in a journal and take a lot of photos because normally, I would work on big scale paintings, or do thumbnail sketches next to working on the computer. I think I’ve grown so much in so many ways, other than design and drawing. Creativity in food has been such an inspiration. We’ve eaten so much really good food everywhere we have been and learnt a lot about where what we eat comes from.

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Would you guys encourage people to take that year out of uni?

Courtney: Ah, I think a creative hiatus kind of thing is really important. If you get out of uni, or if you freelance, take a year for yourself. If you are able to, take any chance you have, because to have that time to allow yourself to be able to be a kid and to be creatively open without the feeling of being boxed in in the real world, is so nurturing. It is important to just take a break and realize that instant fame doesn’t matter, that I don’t need to be blogged about, I don’t need to be a painter or a graphic designer, I don’t need to define myself with this title, and that I can be more than one thing. That’s something that people don’t do enough of and people need to take a break to see that.

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There are things that stop me from being creative. What are the top three things that help overcome your limitations in creativity? 

Michael: I don’t really know what I do to get over my creative blocks. For me, it changes… sometimes it can even be as simple as going for a run, or talking with Courtney for my ideas to flow.

Courtney: A big thing that gets Michael and I off our creative block, is that we have to be loud. It’s great to be surrounded by people who understand that you need to draw and outwardly express yourself, and be collaborative and crazy at times, and to giggle and laugh. We can’t just email someone and comment back and forth, we need to have that really hands on connection.

M: Or dance in the studio.

C: Lots of dancing, you need to be able to roll around, to cut out paper. [Laughs.] You have to be a kid.

M: You can’t lose the hands on.

C: And also, I know for me, the most hindering thing for inspiration is going on Pinterest or going on a blog. A big part about working as designers has a lot to do with constantly being exposed to the Internet, it’s like our subconscious is being bombarded at every moment. So I think the times I am most inspired is when I am far away from my computer, when I am just in nature, or when I pull myself away from comparison. Just always reminding myself to do what is true to my heart. Really, if you are going to be an innovator, it has to stem from the heart. I don’t think you can do it looking at other people.

M: Yeah, our real hiatus starts tomorrow. It will be like, our first time when we don’t have our computers. That will be like the longest time.



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Do you think people stop themselves sometimes in terms of creativity? Because they thing money is the biggest thing that stops people?

Courtney: Yeah, definitely. That’s why we didn’t go and get big jobs in big agencies. That’s why we decided to do things by ourselves. We could have learned a lot of things at big agencies, but they would not have been the same lessons we decided to throw ourselves into. We kind of like the hard knock way. I really respect the old design, where people actually had to hand paint signs, or they might not have hand painted signs, they might have been whittling things, multi talented!

Michael: A lot of times we tried to Robin Hood our way through. We would work for a big company and that would allow us to do something for free or for a low price for a smaller company.

C: Ultimately we would love to work with parks or be contracted with an outdoor company. Something that is aligned with our values and how we live our lives.

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 How important are stories in your design?

M: Oh, that is so, so, so important, especially today where mass produced logos are becoming a thing. To be able to create a brand story, a story that translates across all medias and speaks to an audience is what separates the one-off logos from the logos with legs and those are the most rewarding, I think.

C: I think that’s where the value lies – in working from your heart as well. You are not able to tell a story of things you actually haven’t experienced. Well you can, and people do, but it won’t be as honest as the story you have actually lived through and can honestly relate to. That’s the pigeonhole that a lot of designers get in. They end up working for money and faking things. rather than working for the love of their job. Who says you can’t love your job?

I mean our goal isn’t to sit at a computer for the rest of our lives. If that means I need to do hands on design — to work at a permaculture camp for a bit to get a feel for what I am branding at that moment that’s a great new opportunity, because it creates a story that can be used then and in our future design.

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What are your top three things that a creative person should be conscious of when designing?

M: I think who you are talking to is so easily overlooked but understanding your audience is key. What makes design so powerful is when it’s speaking straight to you. To be able to really get that is to really understand your audience. I think that’s something that we have learnt while travelling as well. You meet all these amazing people and staying with them in their homes, at the place where they spend so much of their lives, and you get to understand them, so being able to talk to them becomes easier.

C: I also think honest innovation. In the sense that you are being truly innovative, like how we talked about, trying to not be subconsciously affected by all these different things we see. I think that’s a huge one, no matter what you are doing creatively to be able to tap into your inner self. Whether or not this means retreating to a hermit cabin in the woods to be like Beatrice Potter or to throw yourself into a new adventure. Keeping those gears going is so, so key.

 

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M: I think for us too, working on projects where we are really conscious about what the message is that we are portraying. Design has the power to manipulate people’s viewpoints of what’s happening behind the scenes. It’s so important to understand how much power, comes with really good design and to be able to use that in a way that you are actually benefitting the world, and not only perpetuating consumerism.

C: And that might mean that an energy company isn’t bad, They could be working on sustainable stuff, like putting more money into solar energy. It doesn’t mean you don’t work for a large company, it just means you work for a company that has its values aligned with yours.

So the three things you are conscious about are: 1. Knowing who you are talking to, 2. Honest innovation, and 3. Being consciously aware of your design?

C&M: Yeah! Totally!

Location: Belgrave Music Hall
Editor:
Kellianne Wong (Http://www.kelliannewong.wordpress.com)
Photographer:
Valerie Bong

BARUNFOXBARUN FOX -Graphic Design Studio 

Barun Fox is a Canadian based design studio run by Courtney and Michael, two incredibly talented graphic designers as well as world travellers. Focused on creating design that is both thoughtful and purposeful, their work touches the heart and touches the soul in their intimate design and natural aesthetic.

Website/Tumbler

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VALERIE BONG   –  Photographer and Writer 
Val is an Arts/Commerce student currently based in Melbourne. As a photographer and documenter she loves celebrating the beauty of the world. With her love for capturing special moments she specialises in fashion, wedding, family and event photography.

Website Twitter / Linkedin 

 

 

design, graphic design, illustration

BURSTING WITH BEAUTIFUL THINGS

23/09/2014
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Model/Makeup: Livia Lai
Photographer: Valerie Bong
Illustration/Art Direction: Vanessa Bong

“Every day I discover more and more beautiful things. It’s enough to drive one mad. I have such a desire to do everything, my head is bursting with it.” 
-Monet

The days that we engage with are filled with simple pleasures. The warmth of sunshine, the rolling sounds of rain. If nature doesn’t get to you, maybe it’s the smile of a loved one, the beauty of a shadow, the smell of tea. Just those little things that capture your heart and take your breathe away. If you look really closely, you can feel the beauty in every little thing. Sure, we mostly see beauty in large grand works of people, in art, architecture, in film. But the type of beauty that you see everyday, is simply for you to see. Why, because you will enjoy it.

“Life is a big canvas, throw as much paint on it as you can.”

Once the enjoyments of life are readily observed, that’s not the end of it. The witness of beauty is not meant to be hoarded, but the beauty of life and love grows in the midst of sharing and expression. We each have colours in us,bold, bright, joyful colours. Tones that are manic, full, expressive, almost frightfully passionate. Inward, these colours feel overwhelming, but once expressed, these colours feel complete.

Thank you so much to Livia Lai for being my model, collaborator and muse in this editorial. You can see her pictures over on her blog at L is For Olive. Thank you Val for shooting and working hard to create a studio in our backyard. And thank you Lord for your ultimate beauty in everything we see.

As you look at the world’s glorious beauty, we’re excited to see the canvas that you create and the art you will make.

With Love

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liviaLivia Lai 
Multi talented Livia Lai is a model, stylist and make up artist living in Melbourne. Lover of snap chat, online shopping and brunch dates she is in her final year of a  Bachelor of Science at Melbourne University.
Instagram 

 

vess copy squareVANESSA BONG   –  Founder & Content Executive
Vess is a writer, graphic designer, illustrator and creative director based in Melbourne, Australia. Passionate about design, art, fashion and story telling.  She has worked with a number of well known clients including the Melbourne Zoo, Kelly Thompson Illustrations and currently holds a position at SMASH enterprises as a junior designer.  Website Instagram

 

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VALERIE BONG   –  Founder & Content Executive
Val is an Arts/Commerce student currently based in Melbourne. As a photographer and documenter she loves celebrating the beauty of the world. With her love for capturing special moments she specialises in fashion, wedding, family and event photography.

Website Twitter / Linkedin 

 

design, graphic design

TAKE INSPIRATION WITH YOU FREE WALLPAPERS

16/09/2014
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Talent
Graphic Design: Vanessa Bong  
Photography & Styling:  Valerie Bong

Hello there beautiful friends of Big Picture Stuff!

This month has been filled with encouragement and risks! We’ve shared interviews with you, poured words of encouragement over you and shared scripts of motivation on our instagram. All fuelled from our desire to see you achieve your dreams, hopes and ambitions.

But that’s not enough for us.

We want you to remember that you can do everything that you have dreamt and imagined. Those desires you have for that dream job, that hope you have to make a difference in the world, the ambitions you have for your studies, that big risk you have to take, they are all within your grasp! As you go through the grind of everyday and lets admit our realities often look so different to our dreams, we want to help remind you that you will be able to take that step of faith and take yourself to that place you’ve always imagined.

And what better way to do it then with a phone wallpaper?

So here’s the deal guys, now every time you go to unlock your phone, or reach to answer that whatsapp message, or even to check how many likes your smashed avocado got on instagram, you’ll be struck with the truth that your life is an adventure in the making, a legacy being weaved. When the days pass and you’re tired from the all that work and effort, we hope that when you see your wallpaper, you’ll hear our voices yelling:“Your dreams and passions are important! Just keep going!”

With love!

Val and Vess

p.s Please feel free to share on instagram and facebook and use the hashtag #bigpicturestuff ! We love seeing you guys inspiring those around you too!

vess copy squareVANESSA BONG   –  Founder & Content Executive
Vess is a writer, graphic designer, illustrator and creative director based in Melbourne, Australia. Passionate about design, art, fashion and story telling.  She has worked with a number of well known clients including the Melbourne Zoo, Kelly Thompson Illustrations and currently holds a position at SMASH enterprises as a junior designer.  Website Instagram

 

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VALERIE BONG   –  Founder & Content Executive
Val is an Arts/Commerce student currently based in Melbourne. As a photographer and documenter she loves celebrating the beauty of the world. With her love for capturing special moments she specialises in fashion, wedding, family and event photography.

Website Twitter / Linkedin 

 

portraits

One Design Office: Arkitube

10/09/2014
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FEATURE CREATIVES: 

ONE DESIGN OFFICE

Samson Tiew and Jon Liow 

Arkitube creators, Samson Tiew and Jon Liow are the brains behind the holistic design studio, ONE DESIGN OFFICE (ODO).  With a high set of credentials under their belt; architects, designers, visionaries and entrepreneurs, these guys are on a steady path to greatness. We sit down with Samson and Jon to discuss; design, taking risks and pursing your passions in their Richmond design studio. 

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In regards to your kickstarted campaign, who came up with the idea of the Arkitube? 

Sam: That was Jon.
Jon: I came up with the idea, maybe 6 months ago when, I’m always looking for ways to make things look nicer and improve the styling of products. And I remember going to undergrad carrying my drawings in that plastic tube and I always thought they were really ugly and annoying and that’s kind of what sparked the idea.

So, a focus on better aesthetics. 

Jon: Yeah, better aesthetics and just making things more beautiful if we can. 

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So let’s begin with a little background about yourselves, what degrees did you guys study in uni?  

Jon: I started off doing finance for two years, then I transferred into industrial design, did four years of that. And now I’m doing my masters of architecture.

Sam: I have three degrees which was all part of my course. I did my first undergrad in architecture, and then I did my masters in architecture and bachelors in copy and construction. It was all concurrent, so I spent 7 years in uni. 

In terms of architecture, was it always your intention?

Sam: I’m the third generation in my family that’s involved in construction. My grandpa was a carpenter and my parents are in the building industry. Growing up and playing up with toys like Lego and looking at construction sites, it sort of became the only thing that I was comfortable with. So I was sort of eased into doing Architecture. 

Jon: I guess I started looking into architecture after I finishing my degree. When I was contracting out as an industrial designer and I found that my scope of projects started to blend into doing architectural projects. I have always been inspired and interested in spaces and experiences and that’s what inspired me. And Samson inspired me as well. *laughs*

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Is it hard to stay motivated to stay in this field?

Sam: I think it you’ve just got to keep your eyes on the finish line.

What is that finish line? 

Sam: The finish line is to see something built. If you see it as having enough importance, it will push and motivate you to keep going. In terms of architecture as a business and profession, you’re not going to make it to the Forbes list. But it’s fulfilling career when you see something built, and when you make something from nothing. But it’s more about the passion in designing buildings versus trying to get rich. But here, we’re trying to make both things work. 

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So how do you juggle the client’s needs as opposed to producing interesting design? 

Jon: Design is always very objective. The client always sets the parameters and there’s always things going to be budget and constraints which will always limit how creative you can really be. But I guess that’s true of the whole industry, like industrial design or graphic design, you’re always going to be limited by certain factors. But that’s the challenge of being creative in those constraints.
But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s reality.

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So, ODO (One Design Office)  how did it come up and why?

Sam: While I was working at Make Lab I was working at an architecture firm and doing projects on the side and there came a point when the architecture side projects were becoming overwhelming. So I thought let’s finish up with the firm and become a full time freelancer. During this time I came into contact with Jon and we came across a design competition which was to design a pod for “glamping” (glamour camping). So it’s was temporary structure which needed to be easily assembled and provided shelter for tourists in East Gippsland. As we started working on the project, quite good work synergies formed between us.

What do you mean by that? 

Sam: I like looking at the big picture type of things and I don’t get caught up in the detail, maybe I’m not gifted in that area of detail, but that’s where Jon would pick up a lot of the details in the joints and begin to resolve a lot of things.And that’s where our strengths and our synergy formed. After that, we talked about potentially setting up a design studio to keep that design relationship going. It sort of went more serious in July, so here we (are) two months later officially setting up the firm and we’ve had quite a few projects come in and now we’re always on our toes trying to churn the projects out. 
And we ended up winning the people’s choice award for the glamour
(glamping) comp! 

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Jon, in pursuing ODO, did you have to move away from your Industrial Design Freelance work? 

Jon: I wouldn’t say I quit freelancing, we were both contracting and freelancing and we decided to combine our services under one umbrella. It’s almost like merging our two seperate freelance work. And that’s something that inspired us, because when you’re a freelancer it can be quite removed. But really working together we’re able to bounce ideas off each other and share different projects and push each other creatively. I think that’s what really inspired us and bring something together. It also gives us the ability to give a full service.
That was our vision, we both love architecture, we both love products, we both love branding, graphic design. We didn’t want to be like a company that designs nice buildings but really lacks in the area of representing themselves visually. We wanted to present a company that can do that whole scope and understands everything. 

And why is cross-disciplinary thinking important in terms of design:

Sam: I think cross disciplinary thinking is important in the sense that you find new ways to do things. Even in our short time of working together, we’ve actually referenced a lot of our own individual work and individual methods and techniques. So, I think that way, through applying cross disciplinary practices we can come up with the best outcomes possible. 

Jon: I think that it’s very important, when you work by yourself you discover very quickly how much you don’t know. It’s almost like you think that you are quite capable until you work by yourself. It’s really hard to work by yourself, even if you’re very skilled. So especially in the creative field so many people have different strengths and I think that’s what our vision is to grow. We also want to hire the best creative talent out there. We both teach in university and some of the young guys out there just know and grasp so much more than we did at that age. So as we get older and technology gets better and better there’s so much strength and knowledge that lies in individuals.

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How does this cross disciplinary thinking apply to One Design Office? 

Sam: With One Design Office, it’s birthed out the idea of strength in numbers. It’s all about how we can begin to access each others networks, skills and ideas. So that’s how we thought two freelancers coming together could become a scalable business. We’ve actually developing that further to see how we can implements systems and work flows that will allow us to scale in time to come.
We also don’t doubt each others capabilities and fields and we try to look at ways to implement our personal skills and strengths. But the main thing in setting up ODO was to eliminate the personal sense of ownership by directors. Under directors, we feel that it’s hard for future staff and future collaborators to jump under the same vision if there is that continuos notion that they are always working for someone. So we wanted to build a vision and a company that anyone can jump on to and grasp the same vision and intent. And in the future, even part ownership 

Jon: That’s why we refrain from calling it company something to do with our names. Cause when you do work for someone who does do that, it is hard to feel like you’re contributing something.

Sam: The name was important, because it enables us to scale the business in years to come. As a business we’re looking to scale to Asia and potentially Europe and so we’re just trying to lay the foundations of that now. Doing it right form the start and it enables us to grow.

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That sort of answers our next question, where do you see your self in the future?

Sam: It’s hard to single up one ambition, but in an overall big picture sort of thing, we want to be multi-national in the years to come. And by doing so, I had a talk with Jon about the sense of relinquishing ownership and control, because that’s the way to train up new guys and empower new people to take on your previous responsibilities. That’s the type of direction that we’re heading into, and we started already doing that, we’re two months in and we’ve worked with various contractors and we also hired part time casual staff. And we’ve also got a graphic associate that’s on board at the moment. So from going to a two person form at the start to a work force to five, the growth is quite quick I would say. 

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Were there any risks involving in starting? 

Jon: There’s always going to be risk, like nothing’s easy. But if I think, if you’re passionate about something, like Sam said, we’re not just trying to get rich over night. It’s something that you pour your blood sweat and tears into and it has to be a long term sort of thing. You have to get that motivation and vision behind, this is why we got into it.

Sam: There is that sense of us wanting to achieve our vision, but there is also the constraints that we are trying to make things work financially. We’re always trying to achieve that balance between, are we pushing the company in the right direction with the right ideas, versus are we becoming a casual based business? If you solely become a casual based business, it might be good for that point in time financially. But if you want to look at expansion, then you have to look further than what we see in terms of present cash flow. So there is that risk, but you have to just jump out and believe, that everything is going to be okay.

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What’s a last piece of advice you would give to other people looking to do what you’ve done? 

Sam:  I think that it’s important to have good mentors to guide you along your way. To have good support, to know you have someone to fall back on. It’s about connecting with people who’ve done it before and learn from their mistakes.

J: Maintaining inspiration I think is good, to always have things that you go to that inspire you. Whether that’s people or other work or when it’s raining, it’s those things that when you sit there and when you look at it, you go, wow, this is why I really got into it. IMG_4100_1

 

Contribute to their kickstarter HERE, Less than 9 days to go!

As seen on DeZeen Magazine  and Design Boom 

ONE DESIGN OFFICE 

One Design Office (ODO) is a dynamic, interdisciplinary design firm that melds expertise inSpatial Design, Product Design, and Branding to create complete user experiences.

Facebook  / Website / Instagram / Twitter 

 

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ARKITUBE 

 Designed to bring dignity and professionalism back to the culture of presentation, Arkitube is an aluminium presentation tube used for transporting architectural drawings, project plans, posters, or artwork.

Kickstarter 

 

 

portraits

EMILY TOONE

08/09/2014
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FEATURED ARTISAN

EMILY TOONE

An amazing creative, photographer and inspiration, Emily Toone, is an up and coming star in the photography world. Just nineteen years of age, Emily’s work can already  be seen gracing the pages of prominent fashion journals from Melbourne to New York, as well as a number of fashion blogs across the web. Val manages to catch this very busy lady at the Adair Boutique Art Meets Fashion event where this rising star was seen shooting down the runway. 

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We’ve seen your work around the interweb for a while and you’ve just sky rocketed! How long have you been pursuing photography for? 

My passion started during high school when my family first bought a digital camera and a video camera. I remember being obsessed over taking photos of everything in my bedroom, pencils, pens etc and being able to put them straight onto my computer! 

I then studied photography as an elective at high school, and further more throughout my VCE studies, which is where I fell in love with the art of photographing people and documenting the human form and emotions through conceptual art ideas. Through my studies I was introduced to many famous photographers, one being Annie Leibovitz whose large scale commercial fashion shoots inspired me to get into the fashion industry and study photography further as I am now halfway through my three year Bachelor of Photography at RMIT University.

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What’s motivated your passion being photography? Especially as it’s an area where so many people want to excel/succeed in?

It’s always hard to stay motivated, especially since leaving high school as I had such a strong support base there. Being constantly creative and building a name for yourself is challenging at times. There are so many people within the industry that constantly tell you that you can’t achieve your dreams, especially with wanting to work in fashion. I can’t count how many people have criticised my work to an extent that I almost gave up pursuing photography, and I’m still at University! I have learnt that if it’s your dream you cannot give up on it, you have to take the negative words as learning curves and improve on where you went wrong, you always have to go above and beyond what you have done before otherwise you will never improve, and you cannot stop!

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You have an exceptionally extensive body of work how do you go about organising and art directing these shoots?

Oh why thank you! I think from the start I have always had very extensive visions. When I get an idea it generally takes the form of a very elaborate Tim Walker style shoot which would need a HUGE creative team to make it work. Which in ways is not a good thing because I’m not Tim Walker, I do not have Vogue US backing me up and providing me with everything I need…. Yet.

I find that networking is one of the most valuable if not the most valuable tool you need when you are a photographer. Without extensive hours of networking I would not have been able to form the creative teams that I work with today! When I have a shoot I generally instantly write down the idea and start finding reference imagery/creating mood boards that can more clearly help define what I want to achieve. I then approach fellow creative whether it be specific designers, stylists, hair and makeup artists, assistants etc. To pitch the idea and build a creative team, which I then pitch to modelling agencies to book a model. Depending on the situation, sometimes an agency will approach me asking me to shoot for them and I have to come up with a concept and a team on the spot! 

In terms of Art Direction, I always have a vision in my head for the particular mood and style of the shoot. I always look at certain reference images in fashion magazines etc to help me direct the style that I want to create. I bring these images with me onto location incase of a creative block, but I’m usually running around like crazy acting out these outrageous poses for the models to create!

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Do you draw inspiration from a particular place/ person or thing?

My inspiration doesn’t come from any one particular thing. Honestly it can come from anywhere and at any time! I find I usually get brilliant ideas when I am about to fall asleep or in the shower, in which case it’s always a scramble to write it down before I loose it! 

I draw inspiration from magazines, songs, movies, art, and literature. A lot of my concepts have been inspired by a single quote or sentence or maybe even a colour combination I see in an art piece or a movie. I have even been inspired by the way the sunlight catches a certain location at the right time of day.

Inspiration is everywhere to me, you just have to open your eyes and see!


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What is your greatest dream right now?

Well, anyone who knows me would know that I am in LOVE with NYC! I haven’t been there but the obsession has been growing for years. (I am actually going next year which I am way to excited about if I start talking about it I wont stop) So my ultimate dream right now and really has been for a few years now, is to become a successful fashion photographer, living in NYC, married to a handsome businessman flying all over the world, creating art. I want to be Mario Testino in woman form being invited to photograph Haute Couture week in Paris and taking selfies with Karlie Kloss. Is that too much to ask? Haha I find this quote quite explanatory.. I have tweaked it a bit.

I want to move into an apartment in Manhattan with white floors and big windows. Drink Coffee in central park with my best friend and gossip about that girl yesterday. Work at a fashion house or magazine. Go to a restaurant downtown with all of my friends on the weekends. Wear my boyfriend’s shirt at home, but extravagant clothes when I go out. And last, but not least – I want to be the type of person, people turn around on the streets and go “she’s someone”

Where will we see you in a couple of year’s time? 

You will hopefully see me in NYC! 

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Contributors

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VALERIE BONG   –  Photographer
Val is an Arts/Commerce student currently based in Melbourne. As a photographer and documenter she loves celebrating the beauty of the world. With her love for capturing special moments she specialises in fashion, wedding, family and event photography.

Website Twitter / Linkedin 

 

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EMILY TOONE –  Featured Creative
Emily is a Melbourne based internationally published  photographer who shoots predominately fashion, alongside food, events, weddings and portraits. In 2014 she founded “The Fashion Photography Collective” a creative network which aims to bring together creative dreamers who live and breathe within the fashion industry.
Website / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter