To kick off the day, I aim every day to eat my breakfast sitting down - usually on the floor. My sister tells me it is very ‘yogi’, but I just think it's good for me. It’s less about sitting on the floor and more about actually thinking about what I am eating.
I mostly work from home, and in the changeable autumnal weather, I sometimes sit with the door wide open so I can observe the Newtown suburb in all its hilly, ramshackle glory.
I head out to the Forest Studio once a week, and sometimes finding a cafe to work in is nice too. Newtown favourites include the vegan custard slice from Pranah and the raw Bounty slice from Black Coffee.
I wear multiple hats on a daily basis: designer, illustrator, project manager, animator and video producer. My jobs for the day depend on the projects we are currently working on as a studio. Most of my experience is in illustration, but variety is the spice of life.
I was recently at a workshop for the Ministry for Pacific Peoples doing live illustration. It was fantastic to contribute my skills to an organisation doing such important mahi, not only for Pasifika peoples in Aotearoa but also holding space for disabled people as well.
After lunch I switch onto some digital illustration work, in this case illustrations for a Ministry of Health e-learning module. Online learning is a design space that has really taken off with the greater need for distance learning, and it has been exciting to dip my toes into instructional design and e-learning software.
My next task is to help with a video proposal. As a studio, we have been doing more and more film work, and I am often the producer. We recently created a series of videos and photos for the New Zealand Red Cross first aid courses. After finding the actors, bringing together the crew and putting all the other pieces together, it was a delight to be on set and just observe the magic happen.
In the afternoon, the southerly has died away and the day is warming up, so I go for an afternoon walk. I am a kaitiaki of a shared garden about 8 minutes walk from my house, and on the way the birds sing and the sun shines and it heals the soul. Today there are blackberries to eat along the way, and I meet a cat that I share some scritches with.
When I get back from my walk, I wash my collected vegetables and get stuck back into work for another couple of hours before dinner. It is wonderful to have the flexibility to work when it feels right. Creativity sometimes cannot be forced, but we can do our best to gently coax it, and sometimes in my wandering, I think of something I had missed, or a design concept I have yet to try. Given flexibility, there is no real reason why the way you work can’t be a creative flowing process in itself.
Cafe illustration style inspired by collective member Pippa Keel.