Posted by Brooke Fairgray

If you don't know her already, we are sure you'll know her work; Seen in the pages of Habitat by Resene, Remix, Homestyle and more. We are working with Amber on our AW18 campaign (watch this space!) and couldn't help but be inspired by her relaxed yet considered approach to style.

Art director, stylist, homeware designer, print maker, (so does that make you a photo-taker too?)… Generally speaking everything you touch turns to a wee piece of magic! Which practice resonates the closest and can you tell our reader exactly what it is that you do….

Well I started my career as a graphic designer and then moved more into styling and art direction. I love all of it, mostly I love the variation and the freedom to transition between each practice. Realistically it is a similar creative process for each, come up with an idea, work out how you can pull it together and then make it happen.  

Let’s back it up one step to before all this, can you give us a quick low down on your back ground? I studied a Bachelor of Design at CPIT, then worked for a few years at homestyle magazine in Christchurch, moved to London for a few years - then moved back to find an opening back at my old job. After the earthquake in Christchurch the magazine moved up to Auckland and I was wanting to move back home too - so it was perfect timing.  

How did you take the step into flying solo? After 8 years working at Homestyle magazine, it was time to take the plunge and go solo. I had made a few contacts along the way and locked in some regular work straight away, so I found the transition relatively smooth. I also worked from the dining room for the first year so keeping my overheads low took the pressure off.  

Was it scary/easy/challenging/rewarding? It was all of those things  

Pros’/Cons of freelance? Cons - Doing your accounts, no one likes chasing overdue invoices but it’s also just part of business. Pros’ - It’s awesome, I work hard when there is a lot of work and I can take a break when things are a bit quieter, you also reap the benefits of the energy you put in and get to steer the business in whatever way interests you.

I also get to collaborate with so many other amazing creatives and businesses - like Saben.

 

Is there a turn point or influential moment you could share with us that you feel has shaped your career thus far? Not really one moment, I think learning to back myself and what I am capable of has been huge. Also moving into a beautiful office space full of other creatives that are killing it in their fields has been a massive game changer.

What have been some of the biggest learning curves? Running the business (invoicing, meetings and accounts) is just as important, as doing the creative work! You have got to keep all the plates spinning at the same time which can be a juggle but once you find your rhythm it all balances out.

In your experience, is there a difference between working with big clients and small ones? Which do you enjoy more? Why? They are both great and offer different things, sometimes with smaller brands and smaller budgets you are pushed to be more creative with the limited resources (which is great) and then with the bigger brands I get to do things on a bigger scale (which is also great)

What are you working on right now, what are you in the process of dreaming up? I am always working on a variety of projects and shoots, from editorial (I regularly shoot for Remix magazine and a few home titles) to collaborating with brands like Resene, various homeware brands and starting to branch off more into fashion - (like a very fun shoot I did with a special handbag brand) haha. I also have a few personal projects ticking over in the background, maybe a new range of art prints, a little style renovation to my little house.

I’m always thinking up new ideas - it’s just part of the process.    

What is your ‘OMG I might die of excitement’ project? I have always wanted to design a textile fabric for Marimekko or collaborate on a homewares range.

Thank you for sharing your home with us, do you work quite a lot from here? Or prefer your office space? (AND what does your ideal work space have to have)  I have the best of both worlds, the office is amazing buzzing with ideas and other creatives and then home it also nice to be able to work at home with the sunshine and the quiet - so I do both. I also use home to do a few smaller styling shoots with a makeshift studio utilizing natural light. 

Outside of work… what are your interests? What do you do to relax and recharge?  I love being out in nature (walking and sometimes taking photos) either the beach or the bush. There is also nothing better than jumping in the car, grabbing a coffee and going on a little road trip to somewhere new.

Any Morning rituals or night routines?  

I can’t do anything until I have my first coffee

Made on a little stovetop espresso and always in my petal pink Budgie cup (from my old ceramics range)    

 

Style files:

In three words how would you describe your home style: relaxed, evolving, considered

Does this differ to your work space? If so – hit me with three more words: I didn’t design our office, but I would say it is all of these things too!

How would you describe your personal style? Simple silhouettes with a pop of colour

What you look for in a handbag? Function and fun

Do you change them out per-occasion or are you an all-in-one kind of girl: I have my “work” bag and then a few fun and colourful going out bags

What current Saben style are you thrashingThe Go Tote, easy to throw everything in and (as the name suggests) go

Which one are you lusting after: I love a mini bag for summer when you want something to throw in your beach bag - the Indie Pouch in Porcelain would be perfect!

We LOVE the Big Sis Tilly on you! (How great is the brushstroke textured leather?) What drew you to this style? It’s the perfect size for heading out and I can also throw it in my bigger tote (full of all my work stuff, laptop etc) It’s so functional, (the size, all the pockets and looks good with any outfit) and then also fun - with the brushstrokes, and texture.    

 

FAST FIVE:

YA CAWFEE: Flat white or Long Black - Currently trying to change from a flat white to a long black

YA COLOUR: Pale or Punchy - Pale wall colours and punchy lipstick

YA JAM: Jay Z or James Blake - Jay Z

YA BAG: Carry-all or Cross-body - carry all

YA BOY: Brains or Brawn - still trialling

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