CREATIVE FLAIR : 24

 
Creative Flair : Stephanie Mitchell | InBetween the Curls

Flair |fler| 1. A special or instinctive aptitude or ability for doing something well.

Happy first day of December! Always the most exciting time of year! With that said, we're going to kick-off with a lovely Creative Flair ;) World traveller and designer, Stephanie, tells us a little about her trek in the freelance world and her adventurous aspirations. Talk about traveling envy! 


In a few sentences describe yourself and what you do. 

I’m a graphic designer. from Australia but currently living and working freelance in the UK.

Creative Flair : Stephanie Mitchell | InBetween the Curls

How did you first get into design + marketing? What’s your favorite part about it?

I just loved Art in school, so studying design at University seemed like the natural choice, and introduced me to all the ways I could channel that same creativity into different career paths. I actually think it’s too good to be true sometimes that I get to do something so fun as a job.

Do you have any creative heroes that you admire & have inspired you? Who & how?

It literally changes every week, every corner of creative industries has inspired me at one time or another. Some days I’m inspired by other designers, illustrators and typographers from around the world. Then the next day I’m completely in awe of some tattoo artist I found on Instagram, or even my barista that whips up a wicked latte art.

Creative Flair : Stephanie Mitchell | InBetween the Curls
Creative Flair : Stephanie Mitchell | InBetween the Curls

What is your favorite piece of work you have done and why?

One of my first freelance projects was designing a wine label for a friends home-grown vintage. The concept involved using the old comic style drawings that one of them had drawn as a child. I loved it because those drawings were done such a long time ago, and I bet their artist never expected them to even leave their sketchbook. So it was essentially like collaborating with a person and an idea from the past, which is a wacky concept that made it really cool.

Having moved from Australia to the UK, has this influenced your work?

It’s definitely broadened the possibilities. Some days I wake up with a crazy idea about a photo project I want to do in a random city in Europe… and then I realise, I actually can just jump on a plane and make that happen.   

Creative Flair : Stephanie Mitchell | InBetween the Curls
Creative Flair : Stephanie Mitchell | InBetween the Curls

Describe a normal workday for you.

Right now I’m working on my photography exhibition which kicks off next February back home in Australia. So it’s planning and organising at this stage. I’m glued to my macbook and trying to get in touch with people back home during waking hours thanks to the ridiculous time difference. But in a few weeks I’ll be spending my days exploring the different cities I’ve chosen to focus on and trying to capture the perfect picture!

You are a very successful freelance designer, any advice for those wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Haha I’m definately not that successful yet. I’m proud of a lot of things I’ve done so far but still have big goals to reach. So the best advice I’d give (to myself included) is to just keep doing what you’re doing, and in the end hard work pays off.

Do you have a dream/goal that you wish to aspire?  Having my own exhibition has been a dream of mine for a while, so  right now I’m just aspiring to pull this off. Then I guess the next dream is an even bigger and better one!

Creative Flair : Stephanie Mitchell | InBetween the Curls

If you could live and work anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

I’m actually living that dream right now! I’m off to Morrocco next for a short break and then Italy for a month, to finish collecting photos for my exhibition.

Early bird or night owl?

Sometimes both? And a shameless daytime napper.

Creative Flair : Stephanie Mitchell | InBetween the Curls
 

CREATIVE FLAIR : 10

 
creativeflair_micklyn

Flair |fler| 1. A special or instinctive aptitude or ability for doing something well.

I discovered Micklyn on Society6 (if you haven't been over there - it's a must!) The term Superwoman never became more defined than when I interviewed Micklyn. She truly is one inspiring, humble mom and artist. It's so refreshing to meet someone that does it all, and does it so well. I for one want all of her pieces; especially the sunflowers ;) 

P.S. I'm thinking South Africa needs to be my next big trip. You will see why...


In a few sentences describe yourself and what you do. 

I'm a full time artist and simultaneously a full time mom. I draw, wipe noses, buy groceries, paint, make patterns, fold laundry, design new work and sweep floors all on the same day. My life is so full and busy, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I have ten children (which I highly recommend) and home school them, too. I couldn't do what I do without them. They inspire and motivate me. Also, they help me with the housework...

How did you first get into illustration and photography? What's your favorite part about it? 

When I was three years old, if anyone asked me, I wanted to be an artist when I was 'big'. I studied Fine art, majoring in photography and painting, but really began working seriously when my 9th child was born, at first focusing more on photography, later on illustration and finally on pattern/surface design. My favorite part about it is that I get to play with colors and shapes all day long, and get paid for it at the same time. 

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Do you have any creative heroes that you admire and have inspired you? Who & How?

My grandmother was a full time artist, though she lived on a farm in Zimbabwe, far away from the fancy galleries and city life. She rose daily and painted faithfully throughout her life, doing incredible landscapes, still lives and portraits in oils, charcoal & watercolors. During my childhood and teen years she painted me no less than 7 times in oils, incredible portraits showing skill and incredible talent. I treasure those works. She showed me how to be an artist, how to show up every day and work on your art whether you had a deadline, a showing, or no reason at all except the incredible drive to create. 

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What is your favorite piece of work you have done and why? 

I love my Painted Protea Pattern because it is a work that came at a time when I was feeling low, lacking in energy and inspiration, and I prayed about all of it and asked God for an idea, and felt his leading to pain the Protea flowers that grow naturally in the Western Cape of South Africa, where I live. I felt like he carried me through the (week long) process of creating the work and helped me every step of the way. He was my co-creator and I couldn't have done it without him. 

What inspired your design for pattern illustrations? 

I seriously love color and pattern, I feel like the world is bursting with inspiration, from the plants in my garden, to the sky, the mountains nearby, people, literature, fashion, music - there is no end to the inspiration. 

Do you have a dream/goal that you wish to aspire? 

I actually feel like I am living my dream - I get to paint / draw / create full time, I earn good money from it, every day is a new chance to create something wonderful. I don't know if it gets any better than this! 

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If you could live and work anywhere in the world, where would you go and why? 

I happen to think that I live in one of the most beautiful places on the planet. So, I'm not sure I would to go anywhere else...except maybe Japan. I think the people of Japan have an incredible sense of aesthetics, and I would love to visit, even if I never get to live there. Plus, one of my favorite cousins lives there, and is married to a beautiful Japanese lady, whom I would love to meet. 

Early bird or night owl? 

I would love to say 'night owl' (it's what I always thought I was before I had children) but it might just have to be 'early bird'... I can get so much done if I get up in the morning before my children do!

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Thank you so much for sharing Micklyn!

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You can follow more of Micklyns' creative flair below

[society6 | instagram | facebook

 

CREATIVE FLAIR : 02

 
CreativeFlair_SophieDavis_Photographer

Flair |fler| 1. A special or instinctive aptitude or ability for doing something well.

Today on Creative Flair we have Sophie, apart from being a really good friend of mine, she always manages to keep me on my toes with her risqué work - I love it! Nothing is more inspiring than having an artist unafraid to push those boundaries that makes some of us jaw-drop. This gem of a lady knows her stuff, and has a real eye for creating cringe-worthy ideas into beautiful pieces of work - that's talent!


In a few sentences describe yourself and what you do. 

I’m a London-based photographer specialising in fine art photography and alternative image making. I have shown work at the UK photo biennale and working towards an exhibit in October. I am currently assisting the Artist Mat Collishaw with his photographic project for BBC Arts .

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How did you first get into photography and what's your favorite part about it? 

I first got into photography when I was around 18, quite late. I studied art at school but then specialised when I went to college (equivalent to U.S. high school) and then onto the London College of Communication. It was tough, but it was fantastic for growing and exploring. We were taught by practicing artists and photographers, which was an invaluable experience.

My work is more art-photography based, which allows me to feel a lot freer with what I produce. I have a lot of interest in alternative processes like Van Dyke, Cyanotype, and Liquid light. There are so many different avenues with photography as a base; breaking down the layers before the final image is produced is what I enjoy most. It has a lot more qualities than people realise, and is not limited to image taking but image making.

I’m currently working on a new project - screenshots of erotica that I re-photograph, paint onto, and then transfer to a digital negative. It is total control over the image, which is interesting when it comes from something already so controlled.

Photography is a fantastic tool in the creation of art, but I also like it in its purest form - it’s a connector. We are all naturally voyeuristic; photography feeds our image saturated culture.

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Since you moved to London, do you think the city has influenced your photography style & how?   

Moving to London influenced my photography not only from where I studied, but the friends I hung out with and the people I've met along the way. The amount of private views and exhibitions you have access to is amazing, which can quickly build up relationships with others in your field. It's really important to keep going to functions and networking with others to talk about your work; London makes it easy for one to do that. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else for pursuing my career. 

Do you have any creative heroes that you admire and have inspired you? 

In terms of heroes I would say Chris Von Wagenhiem and Helmut Newton were my first big influences. I was obsessed with the glamour of the ages in which they worked- the 70s and 80s, Studio 54 eras, decadence and strong women. 

When I was in University, I was mentored by photographer Esther Teichmann, whose work is just stunning. I really like pictorial photographers; Henry Peach Robinson and Emerson. They were able to construct a scene, and use the medium like a form of alchemy.

Sally Mann will always be a big influence- stunning large format work; a morbid and melancholic undertone to her photographs that is hard to ignore. I can’t escape the fact that I am drawn to the unsettling, images like Antoine D’Agata’s - a Magnum photographer whose body of work encompasses shooting galleries, brothels, and the extremes of drug use in Cambodia. It is some of the most shocking and disturbing stuff I’ve ever seen- it's both repulsive and beautiful to say the least. 

Top of the list would be the artist Mat Collishaw, who has had a significant influence over my practice- assisting him is a total dream. I’m fascinated by what interests him; the dark and the taboo. It’s very exciting being around someone whose mind works in that way. The best line I got out of him was, ‘when I see a beautiful flower I just want to give it gonorrhea!’ It’s that desire for corruption, pushing boundaries that interests me. Work that grabs you by the neck and won’t let go. I like artists that make you feel something, force you into being. That is what art is about. 

Alongside established artists, I get most of my inspiration from my friends; what they are doing now. A lot of them still work on projects. I find that exciting - it’s very current.

CreativeFlair_SophieDavis5
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What is your favorite piece of work you have done and why? 

This is tough, but I think my favourite is my 'Momento Mori' portraits of young girls. They are shot in the style of Victorian death portraits and printed by Van Dyke; an old process using silver nitrate, which creates beautiful sepia toned images. They slowly fade over time, so it’s the element of attempting to capture both youth and beauty. I also like my family series, ‘Before You Were Mine’ - it’s very personal work that is distant and emotional.

Overall, I’m hoping my current work will be my favourite. It is a still life based on ideas of debauchery, desire and greed- basically sin.

Do you have a dream/goal that you wish to aspire? 

I want to continue to make images and to be known for my work, whether it be a form of creative consultancy or photography/art in its own right. I also enjoy the curatorial side and knowing what people are working on; being a part of developing their practice alongside my own. I would also like to end up having a photo book - I think that's every photographers' dream at the moment! 

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As a travel junkie myself, if you could live and work anywhere in the world, where would you go and why? 

Either stay in London or go to San Francisco - I’ve never been, but I imagine I would love it!

Early bird or night owl? 

 

I enjoy working really late into the night- 1AM is a really good creative time for me, sadly it's now been refined to only the weekends. 

Creativeflair_nightowl

Thank you so much for sharing Sophie!

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You can follow more of Sophies' creative flair below

[website | instagram]