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Floral Craftsman – Janine Vermeulen

Being amazingly creative in many fields, Janine found a niche in styling florals and blooms, and does an amazing job at it. Living in the beautiful city that is Cape Town, Janine has this true knack for putting beauty together, be it in bouquets, or table decorations, or making creations for styled shoots.

NAME OF YOUR COMPANY – Foraged

WHERE DO YOU RESIDE CURRENTLY – Cape Town, RSA

WHAT IS YOUR TITLE/JOB – Floral Stylist/Foraging Florist

WEBSITE LINK – http://www.foraged.co.za/

FACEBOOK LINK – https://www.facebook.com/Foraged-451874391664631/

INSTAGRAM LINK – https://www.instagram.com/foragedbeauty/

Did becoming a floral crafter, find you? I have always had a love for nature. My aunt is a florist and my grandmother owned a flower shop when I was growing up so it was always in front of me, I just never knew that it was something that I want to pursue.

After working in the wedding industry as an Editor and Stylist a few years back, I became more aware of all the different service offerings in the industry and becoming a service provider in some regard has always been in the back of my mind, but it was actually a more recent conversation with a wedding photographer friend of mine that influenced me to consider becoming a floral stylist. And here we are.

Would you say your style is specific – do you follow a trend in particular? Is this something you would advise people against – following anyone, or anything in particular? I think that everyone copies concepts from either Instagram or Pinterest, but in the end make it their own.

I follow many florists online and they all inspire me, but it’s very hard to perfectly replicate something someone else is doing with flowers. Botanicals are just too unpredictable and it all comes down to the relationship between the types of flowers, the textures they create, their overall movement when structured together. These and many other rules determine the final outcome.

I would say that my style is whimsical, loosely arranged, messy with a real down to earth feel. I try to keep it classic. Floral trends are constantly evolving and I am sure that I will be experimenting a lot along the way.

Would you like to still be doing what you’re doing until the end of time? How do you keep your style authentic? Is it an ever-evolving trend, or do you make every arrangement fresh, based on a new idea or brief, or even just personal preference? I really think that I’ve found my ‘thing’, my place in this world and I doubt I will pursue anything else again. For now, I also work as a part-time social media manager, sometimes décor stylist, and a soon-to-be mom.

I’m still learning every day and every project is different, but I think good floral design is the result of good planning, having a vision of the outcome, keeping in mind the objective of the work, the person it’s for and creating form and beauty with your own unique stamp on it.

Why working with your hands specifically, and flowers….? And the pieces you make, where did the idea for it start? Many years ago my husband and I were still dating and living in different countries. We would pluck leaves on our daily journey to our destinations, press them and post it to each other. Since I have pressed so many botanicals, but never really did anything with it.

In 2015, I started playing around with possible ways to cache and preserve dried plant material and after a few pieces of broken glass and framing issues, I finally found a way to assemble and treasure these beautiful organic samples of nature. And now I can’t stop creating Pressed Botanical Art.

It just made sense to combine this craft with a floral styling service. The great thing is that I never waste any plant material.

Is art alive still, in the way you would like for it to be? What future does it have? What place does art hold in design, if at all, and how do you incorporate it? Design is very thought-through where art comes from within. I think that the beauty of working with flowers especially is that you can combine the rules of design with the natural process of creating with an organic material that is very unpredictable.

Art is very much alive and will always be. I do however think that everything has been done. If you look around you, you will notice that almost everyone is copying someone.

With access to the internet, it’s hard to know where an idea originated from.

If you were to sum up the current artistic, creative climate in your country, what would you say it is, or how would you describe it – is it a bunch of artists working together on projects, or everyone more for himself? Has this too, changed over time? Do you WANT it to be more collaborative, or do you prefer going at it on your own? The world has evolved in such a way that everything is collaborative. Collaboration is something that is just part of the way we live. The internet connects us all, we all work in collaborative spaces, whether it’s working in a shared studio space, managing a project for a client, working on a film set, running a restaurant, organizing events or whether you share your work online with others. We all share what we do with each other in some way or another. We are all dependent on each other’s likes, following, support and partnership.

If it is independence that you choose it’s okay, but I do feel that you can develop by working with other creatives. You can feed off each other’s ideas and share the recognition together. We all need each other. Especially in the wedding and events industry.

Yolandi

Read more about Janine, and Foraged here:

https://www.theprettyblog.com/house/organic-samples-of-nature-may/

http://www.luxelove.co.za/portfolio_page/foraged/

http://iwantthat.co.za/decor-lifestyle/lust-haves/foraged-is-fabulous/

Photographer Natalie Field

Natalie Field is a conceptual portraiture and fashion photographer based in Johannesburg, South Africa, and she makes art of commercial commissions. Her brand is focused on fashion, beauty and commercial commissions.

NAME OF YOUR COMPANY – Field Photography cc T/A Natalie Field Photography

WHERE DO YOU RESIDE CURRENTLY – Sandton, JHB

WHAT IS YOUR TITLE/JOB – Photographer & Digital Artist. Also Art Director, Stylist, Retoucher, Business Manager, and the list goes on…

WEBSITE LINK – http://nataliefield.photography

FACEBOOK LINK – https://www.facebook.com/NatalieFieldPhotography/

TWITTER LINK – https://twitter.com/fieldfxs

INSTAGRAM LINK – https://www.instagram.com/natalie_field_photography/

What is your story on how you became a photographer? If anyone inspired, you significantly who would that be/were they? I did art at school and always felt it was my calling. When it came time to study at university level I was concerned about the stereotype of being a “poor, struggling artist”.

Photography seemed like a good option as it is a craft that can be practised both artistically and commercially. So I went for a tour of the photography department at the NMMU I Port Elizabeth. The lecturer showing me the campus told me that I would have to be prepared to spend a lot of time on my own both shooting and developing (this was still in the film days in 2000), and that I would spend even more time working in the dark with chemicals and that my hands would go yellow! Not having really experienced photography before this all put me off and I decided to do Fashion Design instead.

What was I thinking? I am terrible at sewing and hadn’t done a relative subject since grade 7. I did however enjoy drawing the designs and developing the characters. After three weeks the department had the option of opting out of the course at no cost to you, and I took the opportunity to quit while I was ahead. Instead I went to the UK to do the 2-year working program, and ended up spending 3 years backpacking around thirteen countries. During my travels I fell in love with photography and when my money finally ran out I returned home to study… you guessed it… photography. I had come full circle, and ended up in that same lecturer’s class in my first year. And I loved it.

What is your favourite genre, and in what type of photography would you consider yourself great at? My favourite genre is conceptual portraiture, I enjoy the narrative of such images, and the questions (or answers) that they leave the viewer with. I would say it is my greatest strength. For me it is a platform to express my emotions and the thoughts I ponder upon. Recurring themes in my imagery revolve around consciousness, metamorphosis (change), evolution and the transmigration of the soul.   

Your biggest goal when shooting would be? To evoke the mood of the narrative and create a moment that will resonate with the viewer. All of the elements (subject, styling, hair, make-up, location, lighting and posing) need to be captured perfectly in camera, as I prefer to spend time creating rather than fixing in post-production.

Would you like to still be doing what you’re doing until the end of time? How do you keep your style/ imagery authentic? Time is a sparse commodity and I fear that mine will be up before I have created and achieved everything I have dreamed of. My art and interests are continuously developing as I grow as a person, so I don’t think I will be doing things this way forever, but I will always be a visual artist.

Would you say you run with a pack in regards to competition, or are you marching to your own beat? Most of my friends are photographers and I am affiliated with several photographic groups and initiatives, so I am always learning and sharing with my peers. However, I don’t care much for what is trending as it too will be a passing phase. I believe that if you can find and cultivate what makes you unique as a person and pull that through into your work, you will be successful.

She is pretty cool. Yolandi

Read more about Natalie Field here:

http://sacreativenetwork.co.za/2015/08/digital-manipulation-by-creative-photographer-natalie-field/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtQ9GbxrGsc

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/send-natalie-field-to-arteles-artist-residency-photography#/

High-End Fashion Photographer – Ingrid Alice

One of the most friendliest women, Ingrid Alice is full of talent. Her images are just breathtaking, and makes for pure beautiful, visual art.

“Creatives may not be Drs but we save lives and create jobs in a different way and are equally as important.”

NAME OF YOUR COMPANY –Ingrid Alice Photography

WHERE DO YOU RESIDE CURRENTLY – Jhb – However I have just bought a Beach Cottage in Kommetjie – where I will be spending a lot of my time – and will set up a studio there.

WHAT IS YOUR TITLE/JOB – Creative Director & Photographer

WEBSITE LINK – www.ingridalice.co.za

FACEBOOK LINK – @Ingrid Alice Photography

TWITTER LINK – @bigcitylifemag

INSTAGRAM LINK – @IngridAlicePhotography

If you had to describe your favourite thing about photography, what would it be, and also, your least favourite thing?
Favourite:

It’s late at night. It’s pitch dark outside, and I am happy and tired from a busy day of shooting. I am probably sitting on the floor, definitely with a cup of tea in my hand, in a huge mansion, or a basic bungalow. I’m surrounded by the my entire crew. We are chatting about the day, laughing about what went wrong, and what surprised us. Breaking down what went surprisingly well, and planning tomorrow, where we will be lucky enough to do it all again.
Least Favourite:
Choosing final selects. I am a Libra and a Wood Rabbit –  so you know the most decisive of all. I can sometimes get 500 shots down to 200, but how do I choose the best 12 for the editorial? Let’s do a book instead. Or maybe a few books…

How much of your life is filled with only photography? Is it a passionate passion, or more of a hobby, or does it give you more nightmares than it does good for you…Photography is part of my creative box of tricks. I think of it as the scarlet and pink crayons that I have in my arsenal. Everything intertwines. I work mainly in brand building, so the concept generation part will be the Creative Direction role, which would symbolise the initial drawing stage – as all good stories, begin with “Once Upon A Time”, and the photography will be the colouring-in part of the process.

In actual % I would say its probably 50% of my work load currently. I also have been involved in fashion recently – but I see that as brand building. 

Photography is my passion. I always promised myself that I would stay true to this creative craft as it is my main source of inspiration, fun and it’s also my escape.

This choice has at times kept me up at night – as my style is very different to what is expected from a South African photographer.

I believe if you are true to your style and craft, that the clients who resonate with you will seek you out. Thankfully this has become my reality, and the clients I work with are drawn to my work because of  their own emotional connection to the images.

I think it is a fallacy that work cannot be your passion. We are taught to believe that growing up. I am rebelling against that. I think we spend too many hours at work for it not to be fun! Sure you can have stressful days, that may not go according to plan – but it must always be your passion, as it makes those days easier to deal with.

What is your favourite genre, and in what type of photography would you consider yourself great at? How did this come about...
I consider myself to be at the very infancy of this craft. I think my skill lies more in the idea of an image. I am on a continuous learning journey. I am rather a nerd though – so I love the lighting element of a shoot – and can spend hours tinkering with different lighting set ups and compositions. I also think my skill lies in mixing artificial and natural light – which is why I enjoy location work so much.

If I had to say the word “great” – would absolutely be “great” in selecting my team. I am great at hunting them down and stalking the best people who I then beg, borrow or persuade into working with me.

What I do – it’s not about me – it’s about my team. I work small – even though it looks at times like a large production. It never is. The team I have on set is a make-up and hair artist – which is one person, the stylist and the model. I may have someone to help me carry lights if we are walking up mountains – but they will not be responsible for anything other than that. As I am super OCD with my lighting setups and always do them myself.

Then there will be my amazing work partner in crime, Philippa from Purple Raindrop. She and I have been friends our entire lives, and she will keep everything running smoothly and make sure we are all safe and don’t do anything too stupid hopefully. She is pure Project Management SUPER POWER!

Photography is all about team work. Who you have at your back, front and centre is the difference between a good photo and a great photo.

I would love to get more involved with film one day – when I grow up :)!

Would you like to still be doing what you’re doing until the end of time? How do you keep your style/ imagery authentic? And do you feel it ever-evolves?
My style is definitely ever-evolving. Although the more I shoot – the more I am discovering what makes my heart tick. I suspect that there may always be a trend of story telling and fantasy worlds – I like make-believe. I believe going with the flow is vital to any creative craft. My work from as recently as a year ago I can’t recognise. So I suspect that I will continue to try new things and evolve as time passes.

How creative would you say you get in your particular field, and how…
Creativity for me is everything. I literally imagine I have no budgets or no constraints and then figure out how to make it happen. The idea is everything. The implementation is a process. The photography is the fun part as you get to go on an adventure.

Is art alive still? What future does it have?
Art is alive and well.!It is breathing in the soul of every city and in the hills of faraway African countries. It is literally heaving through the pixels of all our smart phones and computers. It may have changed in a traditional sense – but the only thing we have that is constant in this life is change – so that is ok.

I believe in the future, we will see even more cross-pollination of the creative crafts – you can feel it already happening – just from Design Indaba this year. Food is cross processing with science with design with photography – it’s all combining in an amalgamation of ideas.

There has always been art – and there will always be art. The important thing is to not lose our personal reasons for why we ventured into this. Design / Photography / Food / Architecture whatever your choice. I think whole heartedly that the people who go into these fields are motivated by an innate need to change the world in some small way. It may just be as important as making one women feel beautiful as Sue Bryce does, or it could be as big as Christian Benimana who builds sustainable hospitals in impossible locations – whatever it is – don’t let the world beat it out of you. Stay strong and as you say – march to your own drum beat.

If you were to surprise us, do you have something you could share, like a photography/ editing tip, or something you swear by, or something that might have happened to you which was life-changing or had blown your mind? 
My life changing tip – prime lenses. LOVE! I battle to shoot on anything more than 1.8. I have to physically make myself change the dial. Give them a try  – they are AMAZING!

Lighting is easy. I was so stressed about this when I started. It’s easy – it’s so easy – like easy, easy. I think people way over complicate it. Learn your lights – your world will open up to you in ways you can’t begin to imagine.

70-200 is a seriously versatile lens. It was the last one I ever experimented with. It can be life changing if you are in a stressful shoot and you need to get great images in a small time-frame.

Creative Live – totally changed my life. There is so much access to so much information there. I am always trying to learn – from everyone.

If you had anything else to add this, something you want this audience to know, please include below… Just do what you love, find your tribe – the money will come. Don’t be so impatient. We live in such a fast society – it’s like you have to have instant success over night or else you are a failure. It takes years and years to learn and find what it is you are all about.

Get business savvy. You can be the best creative in the world – if you don’t know how to market yourself or price yourself correctly you are stating on a loosing streak.

Find your tribe, always feed your soul by doing work you love. Stay away from the negative stuff.

“Everything you can imagine is real”.
Pablo Picasso

Ingrid, is an awesome. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it, and her. Yolandi

Read more about Ingrid Alice Photography here:

https://www.behance.net/bigcitylife

http://www.thephoblographer.com/2016/04/08/ingrid-alice-fashion-portraits/

https://photographytipsandnews.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/ingrid-alice-creative-high-end-fashion-portraiture/

Instagrammer – Adriaan Louw

Quite the traveler, and an all-round fun guy, Adriaan Louw is an Instagrammer, and a very skilled photographer, jumping from rooftop to rooftop in Pretoria, getting some epic pics.

NAME OF YOUR COMPANY – I founded Louwkul for all my creative endeavors but my photography mainly happens under my name Adriaan Louw or @adriaanlouw on Instagram

WHERE DO YOU RESIDE CURRENTLY – A proud resident of the Moot in Pretoria

WHAT IS YOUR TITLE/JOB – Architect | Photographer | DIY enthusiast

FACEBOOK LINK – www.facebook.com/adriaanlouw1

TWITTER LINK – @aalouw

INSTAGRAM LINK –@adriaanlouw

Would you say you run with a pack in regards to competition, or are you marching to your own beat? I am struggling, but I am attempting a healthy balance, photography is a personal thing to me. I have a tight group of friends whom I go take photos with but I have found if you spend too much time looking at what others do, you end up a spectator not a photographer.

Would you say your style is specific – do you follow a trend in particular? Not at all, I have no idea what I am doing. I think my photography is probably inspired by geometry, architecture and what I find visually stimulating on a day to day basis. I unwillingly do follow some trends because of Instagram but I try to stay intuitive.

What is your most prized possession? I can’t hide it, I love my 1995 Land Rover Defender Tdi but my most sentimental possession would be my 1971 Olympus OM-2 inherited from my grandfather. He actually took a very primitive version of a selfie with it on the Twin Towers in New York during the late 70’s, I have the negatives of it.

What is your story on how you became a photographer? If anyone inspired you significantly who would that be/were they? My first camera, at the age of 4, was a colourful Kodak 110 with a disposable flash. So effectively I was cooler then but I have always approached photography very intuitively and through the years just kept snapping away. I really only started putting in more effort during my architectural studies. There wasn’t any great inspiration but I now get inspired by my friends and fellow photographers. The likes of @alessiolr, @timmee, @samdave69 to name some.

What is your favourite genre, and in what type of photography would you consider yourself great at? Being critical I won’t consider greatness but I most enjoy urban exploration and street photography. Whether in my own town, Pretoria, or while traveling I am naturally drawn to cities. I enjoy just walking and seeing what I can get.

If you were to surprise us, do you have something you could share, like a photography/ editing tip, or something you swear by, or something that might have happened to you which was life-changing or had blown your mind?

I can maybe admit to this as some sort of advice; TAKE LESS PHOTOS! Yes, sometimes just put down your camera and experience life, space or moments without trying to capture them. This might seem counterproductive and I still struggle with this but seriously. I first realized this in the Vatican a few years back after trying to take photos, illegally off course, and being caught. I was ushered out and had to delete everything, only then I realized, not only did I not have any of the shoddy secret photos –  I also didn’t even take the proper time to just be there and experience the space. Some things are better left un-photographed.   

Yolandi

Read more about Adriaan Louw here:

http://editeurplus.co.za/tag/adriaanlouw/

Photographers – Jason & JoAnne Marino

From Las Vegas, WPPI speakers, and all-round genuine people, Jason and JoAnne are such characters. What a fantastic, bubbly, lively couple! These two are still clearly in love – and are SO good, at what they do. Together they are Imagine Photography, specialising in weddings and portraiture, and also providing workshops for the education of photographers.

NAME OF YOUR COMPANY – Imagine Photography

WHERE DO YOU RESIDE CURRENTLY – In a small town just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada USA

WHAT IS YOUR TITLE/JOB –Photographer

WEBSITE LINK – www.imaginephotoaz.com

FACEBOOK LINK – www.facebook.com/imaginephotoaz

TWITTER LINK – www.twitter.com/imaginephotoaz

INSTAGRAM LINK – www.instagram.com/imaginephotoaz

If you had to describe your favourite thing about photography, what would it be, and also, your least favourite thing? 

JoAnne: I love people watching. I love watching and waiting for that amazing moment to happen so I can document it, and freeze it in time, for my clients to cherish. My least favorite is actually having to talk to people. Ha! I’m kind of joking but not! I have a little bit of social anxiety that I’m working on. Thank goodness for having Jason around, he is helping me come out of my shell 🙂 Jason: My favorite thing is meeting new people almost daily! I’m a huge people person so this really resonates with me. My least favorite thing is doing the business end.

What is your story on how you became photographers? If anyone inspired you significantly who would that be/were they? 

JoAnne: I took a photography course in high school. I figured it would be an “easy A”. I slowly fell in love with playing the the camera and seeing the different images I was creating. My husband was the one that years later inspired me. He wasn’t a photographer at the time. He saw potential in me and started working along side me and pushed me. Together we have worked to achieve a whole new level of creativity. Jason: I became a photographer after meeting JoAnne and watching her create amazing photographs for clients. She definitely inspired me to get involved as her second shooter, and it’s all grown from there.

How much of your life is filled with only photography? Is it a passionate passion, or more of a hobby, or does it give you more nightmares than it does good for you…

Jason: Photography encompasses a huge portion of our lives, and we are photographing either professionally or just day to day life each day.

What is your most prized possession? Would you give it up for any reason though?

JoAnne: I would consider my family as my most prized possession. Everything I do is ultimately for them. When I create images there is a selfish reason but I also want my kids to see me succeed and know that they can achieve their dreams as well. Jason: Hmm….That’s a tough one. I’m a musician and I own some cool guitars and guitar amplifiers that I absolutely love, but none of those things matter to me more than my family.

Would you say your style is specific – do you follow a trend in particular? Is this something you would advise people against – following anyone, or anything in particular?

Jason: I definitely have a specific style of photography, and it comes from getting to know myself better. I don’t follow the path others take, but I do find inspiration in their work. I try to seek out those I admire, and learn from them, but not copy them. I definitely do not follow trends. Trends come and go, and when they go, the style looks dated. I prefer timeless style.

What is your favourite genre, and in what type of photography would you consider yourself great at? How did this come about. 

JoAnne:I’ve always enjoyed photographing weddings but lately I’ve realized that I really love documenting families. I guess this makes sense because I enjoy people watching and seeing how families interact with each other. I may not be that great at it at this point but would love to explore it more in the future. Jason: We work most in weddings and portraiture, but we also enjoy working in commercial and documentary photography. I definitely wouldn’t consider myself great at any of them, but I would say I’m most capable with use of light when it comes to photography.

Would you say you run with a pack in regards to competition, or are you marching to your own beat? What IS competition to you, does it even exist for you? 

JoAnne: I have a tough time with this. I am constantly competing with myself, well maybe my husband too. I see our current work and compare it to our earlier work and I know we are always improving, but I always want more. There is so much to learn and so much more to improve on. I love that our work can always evolve. Jason: I feel competition doesn’t exist. Why? Because we are only trying to better ourselves, and there is no real measuring stick for if we are better than another photographer. I don’t want to be better than anyone else, I just want to be the best I can be.

Why specifically did you choose the images you had sent through at that point in time?

Jason: These images best represent our style of work.

How do you keep your style/ imagery authentic? And do you feel it ever-evolves?

Jason: I definitely can see myself doing this until the day I die. As far as being authentic, I just stick to being myself and that helps keep things authentic. I definitely evolve in my skill-set, I’m learning daily, and that does help my style evolve or become more refined.

Your biggest goal when shooting would be? So every time you go out and shoot, you hope to get what…

JoAnne:A true reflection of our clients personalities is always something that I want to be a part of the final results. Jason: For us we just hope to provide images that are on par with what our clients expect, and if we can exceed that, even better.

How much would you say creativity is a part of you and the decisions you make within your field? 

Jason: Since we are photographers, creativity is a huge part of what we do. Sure, most of what we do is run our business, and we are only actually photographing a small percentage of the time. But if we aren’t pushing ourselves to be creative we will fail our clients and ourselves.

Is art alive still? What future does it have?

Jason: Not only is it alive, it’s ever-changing and often becoming retro. For instance, print is making a huge comeback. People are beginning to realize that this is a forgotten generation. As soon as Facebook and Instagram disappear in a decade, all of the images we’ve all taken will disappear with them unless we get back to what our parents and grandparents did, which is print albums and wall art to display in our homes, and hand down to our children.

In 5 years from now – where would your mind have wandered, and what would your ultimate goal for then be?

Jason: I’m hoping to be doing more and more education for other photographers, helping to shape the next generation who are just starting out in the business.

If you were to surprise us, do you have something you could share, like a photography/ editing tip, or something you swear by, or something that might have happened to you which was life-changing or had blown your mind? 

Jason: Travel, see the world, get out of your comfort zone and experience new things. You will come back a much better person for doing so.

If you had anything else to add this, something you want this audience to know, please include below…

Check out our workshops and education for photographers at www.redhotworkshops.com

What great people! Yolandi

 

Read more about the couple, and Imagine Photography, here:

http://offbeatbride.com/arizona-and-las-vegas-photographers/

http://www.fearlessphotographers.com/photographers.cfm?photogID=991&jason-marino

https://mywed.com/photographer/marino/

http://imaginephotoaz.com/blog/author/admin/

Illustrator – Audrey Salomon

Audrey Salomon from the Netherlands has her own children’s clothing label called Molly, Polly and Jackson, and illustrates and designs the comical character for them, herself.

NAME OF YOUR COMPANY – Molly, Polly & Jackson

WHERE DO YOU RESIDE CURRENTLY – Utrecht, The Netherlands

WHAT IS YOUR TITLE/JOB – Illustrator

WEBSITE LINK – www.mollypollyandjackson.com

FACEBOOK LINK – https://www.facebook.com/MollyPollyandJackson

TWITTER LINK – https://twitter.com/MollyPollyJacks

INSTAGRAM LINK – https://www.instagram.com/mollypollyjackson

If you had to describe your favourite thing about working as a designer, what would it be….and are there cons to it as well? My favourite thing, is the luxury of working with creative people & to divide your own time. There are no cons, because it is a super profession.

Would you say your style is specific – do you follow a trend in particular? Is this something you would advise people against – following anyone, or anything in particular? The Molly,Polly & Jackson characters are very specific. I do not follow a trend. But sometimes if I am working as an illustrator I need to follow trends. Just drawing what the client wants. By creating, you will find your own style. Do not be a copycat.

Would you say you run with a pack in regards to competition, or are you marching to your own beat? What IS competition to you, does it even exist for you? Sometimes I am in competition with myself. To make more cool drawings.

Do you look back at earlier work and think it has completely changed from what you do now… Yes,  I always like to develop new work. In the ‘90’s I was a lingerie designer.

Why design specifically….? Because it is lot’s of fun creating things. As well as hand-drawing. So you can make a mess. And with digital drawing you can keep your workspace clean & easy to take with you when you travel.

How much would you say creativity is a part of you and the decisions you make within your field?  Would you say it takes a great deal of creatively actually to keep your work fresh? Is a lot of actually technical? Hmmm, I think one part is in yourself. So creativity comes within & by lots of hard work you can develop your own style. You can learn the technical part but the creative part you need to develop yourself.

Is art alive still, in the way you would like for it to be? What future does it have? Yes on the web you can find a lot of cool art. Like Juxtapoz, streetart, galleries, on blogs. You see clothing brands working with artists. It’s really cool what is happening.

If you were to sum up the current artistic, creative climate in your country, what would you say it is, or how would you describe it – is it a bunch of artists working together on projects, or everyone more for himself? Has this too, changed over time? Do you WANT it to be more collaborative, or do you prefer going at it on your own…

The creative climate is collaborating but also independent. I think both has changed due to the economic crisis. Artists & companies are more collaborating to create something new. I prefer collaborations so you have also a different input.  I am not so focused on my own country but more what’s happening internationally.

If you had anything else to add this, something you want this audience to know, either about yourself, or just to add, please include below… Molly, Polly & Jackson is open for collaborations & live drawing.

Audrey was a darling to speak to.

Yolandi

Read more about Molly, Polly & Jackson here:

http://www.lesenfantsaparis.com/molly-polly-and-jackson/

http://www.orangemayonnaise.com/webshop/kids/molly-polly-jackson/ws-ca/ca43-br70

Couture Designer – Hendrik Vermeulen

The very talented, very friendly couture designer, Hendrik Vermeulen, believes in supporting locally South African made products first. Hendrik has showcased internationally with his stunning designs, such as New York and Rome. In South Africa, he says there are many artists, and even if you’re struggling, it can be the one thing that challenges you enough to really put your creativity to work.

Hendrik again confirms, how in the art-fields and industries, collaboration is amazing, bringing different sets of skills and talents together. What a great inspirational man.

NAME OF YOUR COMPANY – Hendrik Vermeulen Couture

WHERE DO YOU RESIDE CURRENTLY – Simon’s Town, Cape Town

WHAT IS YOUR TITLE/JOB – Creative Director

WEBSITE LINK – www.hendrikvermeulen.com

FACEBOOK LINK – https://www.facebook.com/Hendrik-Vermeulen-Couture-10642585965/?fref=ts

TWITTER LINK –

@HendrikVCouture

@SimplyVermeulen

INSTAGRAM LINK – @hendrikvermeulencouture

If you had to describe your favourite thing about working with fabric and material, and do you have a least favourite thing…? My favourite thing about working with fabrics and material is the “almost” endless possibilities available to manipulate and work the different types of fabrics (Wool, Silks, Linen etc) and material like the leather, rubber, plastic and more…  I see material as “clay” and I’m always trying to sculpt the material like I would do with clay. The least favourite thing I have about fabrics? They sometimes don’t LISTEN!!!

Did you become an artist by chance? Was it something you always tried and had talent for, or did it find you in an odd way…? No, I did not become an artist by chance; it has been a long process since I was 6 years old… I have always pushed myself further than expected and have accepted the challenges that life presented me as opportunities to grow and develop myself…

Is designing, or working with material- and fabrics, an everyday practise for you, does it fill up your life? I don’t know if all artists are the same, but I live through my art; I have hobbies that I enjoy; I write songs and I play music, I love having people over for a braai… But, yes… It is a passionate passion that I have for the art of couture! A passion fuelled by the response from my fans and clients, by the challenges that I impose to myself almost on a daily basis… My drive to perfection is perhaps what led me so far…

So every time you stand with uncut, new fabric in your hands – where does your mind go…how does it get from mere fabric to something you’re proud of, what makes it beautiful, for you? What makes it beautiful is the art of working the fabric to achieve the most beautiful “tombé” (fall) or to manipulate it in a way never yet done. The more elaborated the process, the more contentment is felt. Though, the most simplistic looking dresses are always the most difficult to achieve perfectly.

Would you like to still be doing what you’re doing until the end of time? I wish that I will be able to create exceptional garments to the end of my time; I will do my best to keep true with my ethics and to remain authentic. When asked to look back, I can see a clear progression in my style and my approach to the realisation of garments yet, I do not deny any of my previous work. I am simply evolving…

What is your most prized possession? My most prized possession is my talent and as much as I am keen to share it whenever possible; I wouldn’t part myself of it.

How alive is art still? To me, the art of couture has to be recognised and honoured since it is no longer essential for anyone to have garments “made to measure” except in certain unfortunate cases. It is therefore time to recognise Couture as an art form. Fashion is boring, so much so that it has to change every three months. Couture makes people dream and that is in fact priceless.

In 5 years from now – where would Hendrik’s mind have wandered, and what would your ultimate goal for then be?  My partner, Jean-Daniel always reminds me that art cannot be confined into one place; so, I guess that we are now dedicated to a worldwide audience and clientele. I wouldn’t be surprised if in five years from now we would have established another atelier somewhere in Europe. Though, I know that I will keep my headquarters in South Africa for as long as I can for I am proudly South African.

Do you believe in collaboration, WOULD you like to collaborate in the future with other artists? In South Africa, we are blessed with so many artists; artists that are struggling without knowing that the struggle is actually forcing them to go beyond the expected unlike in developed countries where comfort has killed the creativity. Things are changing fast and more and more young artists are proudly coming to the surface; it is both refreshing and encouraging. We are pro collaboration and have already had several joint ventures with other artists; collaborations work very well with like-minded people.

If you had anything else to add this, something you want this audience to know, either about yourself, or just to add, please include below…

As much as one can and provided that the quality required is delivered, please always support first the Made in South Africa products. This will help our economy to grow and it will keep our country as the leading one in the African continent.

Yolandi

Read more about Hendrik, and Hendrik Vermeulen Couture here:

http://whoswho.co.za/hendrik-vermeulen-24598

http://www.moneybags.co.za/article/south-african-fashion-hendrik-vermeulen-couture/

http://www.hungup.co.za/blogger-monde-mtsi-the-renaissance-man-sa-2/

http://womanonline.co.za/Fashion-detail/sa-fashion-designer-hendrik-vermeulen-at-new-york-fashion-week

Actress – Anel Alexander

I’ve known Anel for a couple of years – and since then she has been someone who helps carry the South African film- scene on her back, and helps promote good quality South African films. An absolute raw beauty, and always friendly- and helpful, I treasure the relationship with Anel, I’m proud of her and what she helps produce, and she makes for such great viewing. Anel answered her questions according to her recent role in her movie “Sink”.

WHERE DO YOU RESIDE CURRENTLY – Johannesburg, South Africa

WHAT IS YOUR TITLE/JOB – Actress, and producer

WEBSITE LINK –  www.scramble.co.za

FACEBOOK LINK –

https://www.facebook.com/Anel-Alexander

https://www.facebook.com/sinkfilm

TWITTER LINK –

@AnelAlexander

@sinkmovie

INSTAGRAM LINK – @anelalexander1

What is YOU favourite thing about working in filmmaking, and are there any cons to it as well? James – my husband, and I always say it often feels like we are working in the ‘circus’! The entertainment industry is this wonderful, weird, dysfunctional family, but it is family none the less and I truly love the people.

Every now and again we also get to do really cool stuff and meet interesting people. I might not be a millionaire (yet!), but I’ve had the opportunity to walk down a red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival, go on a cruise, travel through SA and all over the world, meet and interview some of our country’s top actors, musicians and artists …. All because of what I do.

The worst thing: Other than still getting paid what we got paid 10 years ago? The most frustrating thing for me is not getting to do excellent work in SA. A lot of what we do is very mediocre or just ‘good enough’, mainly because of money constraints. Time is money and in SA we never have either of the two which often means that people work their asses off to shoot at triple the time just to get a job done, rather than get a job right.

That being said, it is still amazing what South Africans in the arts get done considering our budget and time constraints, but I hate that we often have to supplement a statement about our work with: It is good…for a South African film/theatre piece/art work.

Did filmmaking, or acting find you? I have always been fascinated by the magic of theatre and film. I was that child that was writing my own theatre shows and rallying the neighbour’s kids to be in them since I can remember.

I also wanted to become too many things when I grew up: an astronaut, a veterinarian, the first female president of SA, and as an actress I get to pretend I’m all those things.

But more than that, I really believe in the power of the medium of media. Whether it is TV, film, radio or theatre, media is an incredibly powerful tool to tell stories with and challenge audiences.

That’s why I do what I do. I believe that  if we as artists use that power for good, we can change the world.

Is producing films, or acting, an everyday practise for you, does it fill up your life? Our job is our hobby and our interest as well, which is the best and the worst thing. It just means that you unfortunately never switch off, because what is seen as ‘relaxation’ for most people (watching TV, going to the movies or theatre) is actually work for us.

Producing is also an incredibly time consuming job. Once I’m on a project, it pretty much consumes my life. I’m a passion project film producer so I throw my heart and soul into every film I do. My latest film ‘Sink’ is my newest ‘baby’ and although I don’t have kids, I think it’s a pretty accurate comparison. It’s a 24hr job, very intense in the first 2-3 years after which you kinda get a life again, but the movie-baby is always there. Also, just because you’ve had 1 movie-child, doesn’t necessarily mean that the next one will be easier. Each movie has it’s own personality and challenges that are unique to it.

Is there a certain trend you follow, and is competition a concern at all for you? I am probably the most uncool person I know, so I generally only find out something was/is a trend by the time it is long gone. But as film producers we were very much at the forefront of re-birthing the SA independent film industry and in that sense I guess we were definitely trend setters. More by default than intent, simply because there weren’t any trends to follow. When we made ‘Discreet’ in 2007 I think we were one of only 3 SA films that were produced that year. ‘Semi-Soet’ set a trend in the Afrikaans film industry, showing audiences and filmmakers alike that it was possible to produce local films in other genres than slapstick or with aids or apartheid as subject matter. And now with ‘Sink’ I believe we have raised the bar once again with what local and international audiences can expect from SA films.

Sink’ was nominated for 9 awards and won 5 at the recent Silwerskerm Film Festival, we were part of the official selection for the 40th Atlanta Film Festival, won Best Film at the Afrikaanse Culture Festival in Amsterdam and won the Jury Life prize at the Mexico International Film Festival. It has been really encouraging to enter the international market with an SA film and receive the kind of feedback we have.

I think if we as SA artists can find our own voice and truth in the work we do, our industry will become a force to be reckoned with internationally. At the moment we are still copying American or European trends, which I guess is natural since our industries are so small, but I really believe that if we become fearless in our work and the subject matters we tackle, rather than being so PC all the time which dilutes our stories, we will start producing work that will make the rest of the world sit up and notice.

Would you like to still be doing what you’re doing until the end of time? The scary thing about being an actress and a film producer is that your work is there until the end of time, into perpetuity and in all of the universe on all mediums existing and still to be invented (this is a genuine clause from our contracts!) for people to look at whenever they please. When I watch some of the acting stuff I did early on in my career I want to hang up my acting shoes for ever and go work on a chicken farm!

But I would like to think that as I mature as a person my work in front and behind the camera also evolves.

I love what I do and I know I will always be involved in media in some shape or form, whether it is through acting, script writing, producing or I’d love to branch out into journalism, I am a story teller and will always be one.

What is your most prized possession? Other than my husband and my two ridiculous doggies? I have produced 3 movies which has been the hardest but most rewarding thing I’ve done. Looking at the posters for, or holding the DVD’s of ‘Discreet’, ‘Semi-Soet’ and now ‘Sink’ in my hands is a cool feeling. A lot of blood, sweat, tears and sacrifices have gone into getting those 3 films made and the experiences and end-products are definitely close to my heart.

How alive is art still? Art will always be alive. Whether it gets appreciated is another story.

For the longest time we struggled to just get a film made in SA. Now we are making films. Lots of films. I would love to see us make better films now. Quality vs quantity.

Do you believe in collaboration, WOULD you like to collaborate in the future with other artists? I love the collaborative effort that film making is. Every time I do a film I marvel at what a huge team effort it is to make a film and that it is actually a complete miracle every time we get it done. And then if you get it right as well, it’s an even bigger miracle! Every thing, every element has to work at that exact moment in time for a shot or scene to work. The actor needs to give a good performance, the camera man has to do his job, the sound has to work, the make-up and hair needs to be just right, the lighting, the location, the props etc etc. Everything has to come together during development, principal photography and then in post production for the end product to work.

So one of the biggest lessons I’ve learnt as a producer is: Surround yourself with people that make you look good and force you to up your game.

In the film industry collaboration is everything.

What do you feel, completes an amazing entertainment event, or episode?  I am a big fan of excellence. People doing what they do in an exceptional way, whether it is playing tennis, driving an F1 car, making a vase or dancing a pas de deux. I love seeing people do what they were born to do. Usually it is effortless and even more appealing when done with a humble spirit which is often the case with people that are truly talented.

As a performer myself I am naturally critical of other people’s work. The way I know I’ve just witnessed something amazing is if I can immerse myself in a movie or theatre show without starting to dissect the product. If I become aware of a certain element not working whether it is the script, an actor’s performance, the way a film has been edited or a singer being off pitch, then you’ve lost me.

Anel….is amazing. She answered these so honestly, and even though maybe my blog, hasn’t reached the audience yet it should, her produced films have reached much further beyond, and as a country we can so proud to call her our own.

Yolandi

Read more about Anel, and “Sink” here:

http://www.sarie.com/bekendes/het-jy-gehoor-bekendes/anel-alexander-neem-haar-nuwe-fliek-cannes-filmfees-toe/

http://maroelamedia.co.za/tag/anel-alexander/

https://www.jacarandafm.com/news-sport/entertainment/video-sink-movie-premiere/

http://kyknet.dstv.com/2016/03/04/sink-anel-alexander/

http://huisgenoot.com/vermaak/flieks/anel-alexander-fliek-vat-afrikaanse-rolprente-na-nuwe-hoogtes-met-internasionale-aantrekkingskrag/

http://www.rooirose.co.za/ons-gesels-met-anel-alexander-by-cannes/

 

 

 

Designer – Shovava Clothing

Roza Lee is a designer who lives in Australia, with a very successful Etsy store, and well-known for her beautiful scarves she creates, mostly themed with wings, or birds. Shovava is the name of her brand and design, and owing a Shovava scarf myself, I know how stunning they are. They are used in interesting shoots by people all over the world, and Roza’s friendly service when ordering makes it a joy to work with her.

WHERE DO YOU RESIDE CURRENTLY – Byron Bay, Australia

WHAT IS YOUR TITLE/JOB – Artist, designer, illustrator

WEBSITE LINK –  www.shovava.com

FACEBOOK LINK – facebook.com/shovavaclothing

TWITTER LINK – https://twitter.com/shovavalee

INSTAGRAM LINK – @shovava 

What is YOU favourite thing about working as a designer, and are there any cons to it as well? I think that creative people are luckiest people in the world. There is a saying “ if you do what you love, you won’t have to work a day in your life”.  I’d say, sharing the beauty I create, is my favorite thing. I have  always wanted to create pieces that will uplift people, even change the way they hold themselves. Can’t think of cons at the moment.

Did design find you? Not sure it found me, since I was pretty much born into it. Both of my parents are artists and I started creating before I could speak.

Is there a favourite thing you like to try within this industry, when approaching projects? I love experimenting with colors. Color is a huge part of my art – I work with it in every possible way, and I am always searching for new experiments and tones. I get really excited when just 2 -3 colors go just that perfectly together.

Is designing and illustrating, an everyday practise for you, does it fill up your life? It is my everyday practice. Even during breaks, my mind is in creative mode.

Is there a certain trend you follow, and is competition a concern at all for you? To be honest, I was never concerned with competition. Healthy competition can be fun and add a sense of necessary challenge.  However, when people start blatantly ripping your designs off, it can be quite disheartening.

Would you like to still be doing what you’re doing until the end of time? Yes, I would like to keep doing what I am doing in some shape or form.  Authenticity comes from your inner essence, and each artist should be able to let it shine through. Of course there is a natural progress in my work and it is changing constantly, my medium, my style. I feel that I keep outgrowing certain tendencies in the art that I create.

Getting creative is key – or is it? Luckily I can get as creative as I want in my field and because I combine traditional illustration skills with computer technology, there are almost no limits. It can get quite technical in terms of knowing computer programs, so knowing your “tools” is quite important.

How alive is art still? Of course its alive, I guess it depends on how one defines it. I wouldn’t have a clue about its future – all I know is that the universe is generally going towards some greater complexity.  I personally don’t always separate the two: art and design, the lines can be quite blurred.

Do you believe in collaboration, WOULD you like to collaborate in the future with other artists? I’d say Australia has both: artists working on their own and collaborating. Of course it;s changing over time. With the Internet ever present in our lives, artists are able to connect more and more and work on projects together. I would like to collaborate with other artists as well as work on my own projects.

Roza is a joy to look at, her designs are exquisite, and she is such an amazing, inspired artist.

Yolandi

Read more about Roza, and Shovava Clothing here:

http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/roza-kamitova-shovava

http://www.featherofme.com/roza-khamitova-shovava-wing-scarves/

https://www.behance.net/gallery/6819967/Art-for-Shovava-Clothing

http://laughingsquid.com/designer-creates-a-line-of-beautifully-detailed-scarves-that-feature-the-majestic-wingspan-of-owls/

 

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