Skip to content

Category Archives: Interviews

Matthew Langille – Artist

matthew-langille-003

Matthew is a New York-based artist. His work has been shown at galleries around the world and featured in numerous publications. He has created images for many global fashion and design houses including Marc Jacobs, Adidas and Swatch.

Hailing from an artistic family – it was no surprise that Matthew followed in their footsteps in the pursuit of finding his own artistic path and unique drawing style.

Aside from the art, Matthew also runs his own full service design firm (Matthew Langille Design) – specializing in graphics, patterns, drawings, and prints for global fashion houses, design firms and fortune 500′s.

Matthew’s firm also provides any and all design needs such as art direction, consulting, brand identity development, corporate identity development, logo development, and all areas of graphic design.

Check out some of Matthew’s work here – http://www.matthewlangille.com

matthew-langille-001

matthew-langille-002

Q&A:

1) You reside in New York and have been working with an amazing bunch of clients from around the world over the years. Your work for Swatch was pretty epic. What has been the most creatively rewarding (or successful) project you’ve done to date?

I have some things in progress, which may compete, but Swatch was epic. I mean I was 29 and the watch release coincided with my first wedding anniversary and the Swatch Artist Series was being launched in Venice Italy. So they flew my wife and I both out first class and put us up in the Hotel Danieli, which was amazing. Upon arriving they had a private boat take us to our hotel. When we got to the Island of Venice there was a huge ad for our collection in the Piazza San Marco, which just blew me away.

So for me that whole event, the size of it all just blew me away. I had to do over fifty interviews and a Press Conference in front of global media which was streaming to over ten million people and to which the President of Swatch came up to me after and asked if I was okay cause it was seriously transparent I was so nervous. That’s just the tip of the iceberg but we’d need a radio station for me to explain it all. Oh… and they rented out a small island off of Venice for the after party… no big deal.

It was a project I will never forget and to be honest the most amazing thing to happen to me to date. Having billboards with my name on them and my designs in every country was just surreal. I even had a billboard up in Times Square. So that was insane.

2) Who have been some of your greatest creative influences whilst growing up?

My family really. They are all artists. My mother is a well-known fiber artist judylangille.com and she was, and still remains to be an amazing art teacher and now a docent at the amazing Princeton University Museum.

My brother Jesse is such a talent and he is constantly setting the art bar of excellence that I always strive so hard to reach. His paintings are amazing jesselangille.blogspot.com

And then my grandfather, Harold Krisel, who passed away when I was only 13, but really influenced me, and even more so after his death. Harold was the person who made my mother and Aunt into artists; and my brother and I followed only having my oldest brother depart down another road where he is now an attorney. BUT, it’s good to have one grounded individual to help us out of binds – haha.

With all that being said my parents always exposed us to culture and museums and traveling etc. I know about so much art because it was instilled in me growing up. This gives me a huge advantage in many senses so I certainly credit my family completely for my being artistic.

3) How would you describe your particular creative style, and do you feel it has changed over the years as you’ve grown as an artist?

Changed? Haha Oh yes it has changed! I was a glassblower studying Venetian glass from age 11-19. Glass and ceramics were my passion. Until I was in college and I stopped blowing glass because all the guys in the program were kinda dicks and all the cute girls were in the printmaking classes so I cleverly switched gears. haha and eventually I met my wife in the design department. So good move on my part.

But around my junior year I really had an ‘ah ha’ moment and I realized I wanted to make images. Being a gregarious kidder and class clown I had no shortage of ideas. My work started with silhouette works being influenced by Kara Walker’s work. I designed birds with added appendages, chickens with penises, dogs going after cats etc. Then I began to draw.

I embraced the fact that if I drew a person they were not going to look like a person. Their hands were not going to be shown because I was, and still am terrified of drawing hands. Once I embraced my style and the naive childish look of it I realized that this was it. This was the direction I needed to take it. Screw being able to draw like everyone else and be a ‘typical illustrator’. I still don’t know what I’d call myself. I was gonna run with my odd characters and Egon Schiele lines and color them with crayons and print them huge on 30×40 inch Arches paper.

And lastly, I was gonna put my images on everything I could. I printed tees, on underwear, curtains, you name it and people responded to the point that daily kids around my college would be rocking my designs.

So I went from a glassblower to a designer with a focus on drawing. I marketed my drawings and they worked because everyone else’s work did – and still often does look the same. So my shirts looked different from all the others etc.

4) You have worked with some pretty major fashion and youth labels. One being Marc Jacobs. Did you get to meet him? And if so, what was he like? If not, how did this collaboration come about?

Never met him but went to a couple of shows were I saw him – haha. But that wasn’t a thing for me. If I did meet him what would I say?

This collaboration came about because someone in the design department liked the feel of my drawings and threw me a bone. I didn’t do loads of work with Marc-by-Marc Jacobs in the end but enough to get some traction for a business.

5) What do you love most about your work? / What are the biggest challenges for you as a graphic artist?

What I love most is the humor of my work. The light heartedness. I HATE intense graphics. I love simple stuff. Like Burton, Seuss, Oldenburg.

I HATE SKULLS and I don’t care if the world knows it. They repulse me and I simply will often refuse to draw them. I don’t get that shit do you?

Biggest challenges as a graphic artist is watching my ass. Making sure I’ve crossed my i’s and t’s in a business sense. I am often a collection agent part time too because it’s not easy to get paid in a timely manner as a freelancer. So that is a big challenge.

And then it’s just about staying fresh and inspired which takes time.

6) What are some of your favorite hang outs in NY for good food / coffee / music / fashion / art? As a New Yorker, can you share any insights into any hidden local gems that an outsider may love to experience that otherwise they could miss as a run of the mill tourist? (Cultural, touristy, food or other)

Heavy question: I will do a list:

Best Pizza Ever: Lombardi’s in little Italy

Best Burgers: JG Melons and Corner Bistro

Best Team: NY KNICKS (not this season)

Best Steakhouse: Peter Lugars

Best Gallery: Neue Gallery close to the Metropolitan

Best Tip: While visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art and some other Museums pay attention because you can pay what you want to get in even if it is lint and a penny (I have done this). The payment for a ticket is only suggested. I see huge families coming from other countries who are shelling out hundred of bucks to get their whole family in and they could just kick them 5 bucks and be in.

Best Neighborhood: SOHO Walk around and check out Fred Perry, Paul Smith, Adidas Originals, Issey Miyake etc.

There’s more but you have to buy me a drink to get anything more.

7) What do you do for kicks and leisure when you’re not working?

Love Basketball, movies, friends and leisure really aren’t that common as I have a two-year-old boy!

8) As a creative person – who and what inspire you or are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about everything. Instagram is inspiring me now actually a lot! Follow me! But it really gives you insight into what is trending and what is cool. You can follow some amazing artists and have a really intimate look into their work.

Richard Prince inspires me. Stupid, silly and amazing movies inspire me like The Flintstones, Pee Wee’s playhouse, anything Burton and old Dr. Suess movies . . . all that stuff.

9) If you could work on any brand, creative project/collab in the world – what would that possibly look like for you?

Another heavy question – haha. So I will name a few: Prada: Louis Vuitton: Paul Smith: Hermes: Chanel…

Are my standards too high? haha. I’d see my fun designs on their garments. I’d see rolls of fun fabrics with lavish patterns and clever imagery. I’d love that.

10) What next – any other interesting projects or collabs you’d like to plug/mention?

I’m releasing work with The Shrunks as we speak theshrunks.com who make awesome inflatable beds for toddlers and kids.

I’m designing prints for recycled leather goods for paperthinks.com out of Hong Kong and London.

I’m designing new characters for zuny.info out of Taiwan.

I’ve been designing the whole collection of graphics for a pretty big company now but I can’t disclose whom – but it’s been fun.

And I have just finished a website for my grandfather Harold Krisel – Haroldkrisel.com

I’m sure I’m missing stuff but hey, it’s close to holiday season, and my mind is shot! Looking forward to 2014!

Follow me on instagram http://instagram.com/matthewlangille

Join my Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Matthew-Langille/102019924272?ref=nf and check out my website now and again.

I’m actually gonna revamp it over the holidays if I can get my son to stop jumping on me.

Damian Costin – Agent

damian-costin-001

Damian (Damo) Costin has already clocked up over 20 years in the music industry and he’s not even 40 … Having started out as the drummer of seminal Australian rock band Motor Ace in the late 90’s, he performed with bands like the Foo Fighters, Oasis and Blink 182; he also proudly points out that he once met Joe Strummer from The Clash!

After 7 years, 3 albums and countless tours both in Australia and overseas Motor Ace finished up and Damian immediately hit the ground running in the industry – on the business side of the fence this time.

Damian worked at Premier Artists – one of Australia’s largest agencies for booking and touring contemporary recording artists as an artist booker for a bunch of years – learning his craft on the job. Like most creative people I know – there is no better way to become great at what you do other than through experience and actually “doing”.

I’ve always personally been an advocate for just having belief in yourself and your abilities and putting in the hard yards. If you put in the work – the results will come. And just sometimes – and especially in creative pursuits – (and just like Damian points out below) – those results and successes are so close you can almost touch them…

Success is only one song, one artist, one movie, one show, one album, one collection, one script away from making all of that hard work worthwhile … I guess the hope that greatness is indeed tangible is the exact reason we all hang in there and continue to strive for what we believe in and are passionate about in our work.

Over the years, Damian has worked across media, music, commercial content, sponsorship and integration. He is not only highly motivated and a seeker of challenge, he has a natural talent for making the impossible possible through an approach that involves determination, great ideas, teamwork and project management know how.

Being in the music industry on the booking/management side of things not only requires great people skills, it also requires a degree of empathy mixed with creativity and the ability to realize commercial opportunities. Damo has all of these attributes in spades.

Damian is now a Director / Agent of 123 Agency (his own business), booking some of Australia’s most exciting acts including Stonefield, Kingswood, Owl Eyes, BONJAH, Ella Hooper, Calling All Cars, Way Of The Eagle, Stillwater Giants and Sun City.

damian-jack-black

To check out the talent that 123Agency looks after in greater detail – visit some of the sites below…

Website: www.123agency.com.au
Facebook: www.facebook.com/123AgencyGroup
Instagram: www.instagram.com/123agencygroup
YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/123AgencyChannel
Twitter: www.twitter.com/123AgencyGroup
SoundCloud: www.soundcloud.com/123agency

motor-ace

Q&A:

1) You have been in the music biz for quite some time now – starting out as a drummer in your own band – Motor Ace – back in the late 90’s, then working at Premier Artists as a booking agent and more recently setting up your own agency – also as a booking agent. Tell us a bit about your journey and learning’s to date and how you got to this point in your career.

The journey has been varied and an absolute roller coaster. I’ve been consumed by music since day one. It’s been the one thing that has been a constant. Sounds like a cliché buts it’s ultimately true. I’ve learnt to follow my instincts and be surrounded by like-minded people.

It’s a tough business and I’ve been lucky, but I also think I’ve worked hard to get to this point. Opening up the agency has been one of the hardest but ultimately most rewarding experiences ever. I’m also trying to tell myself to enjoy the process, which has been difficult at times.

2) The music industry has changed substantially in recent years with the advent of digital music downloads affecting traditional album sales and the industry as a whole. Do you feel this shift in how we purchase music has provided a greater opportunity for your end of the business re. Live touring, and how has your side of the industry had to change or adapt itself to stay relevant and connected with a younger consumer?

No one is quite sure if the opportunities are greater just yet. The industry is still in a massive state of flux and consumers have changed their behaviors in regards to how they want to listen or buy.

Streaming seems to be the way forward but it still has a very long way to go before artists really get return for their recorded music. Festivals are struggling and tickets are hard to sell for breaking acts but I think generally change is a good thing and the industry is definitely hurting across the board. The old model has certainly gone though, and signing long-term deals aren’t relevant.

In the live touring sector, we need to be able to offer more to the consumer at the point of purchase to get them through the doors. We need to offer something else other than just a ticket. Punters still want great shows in great settings. The cream will always rise to the top and the artists who think outside the square and are innovative always make the most noise in this climate. It is possible for acts to have worldwide success quickly, but the trick is to sustain it. It will be interesting to see if Lorde can sustain a long career with her current success. I’m hoping she can…

We like to think we have acts in this domain and we are happy to work along side them to be able to do that. As we find our feet, we are doing more to enhance this end of our service by working with partners who think similarly.

3) Do you feel that being a musician yourself has given you a greater insight and understanding into being a better booking agent than someone not necessarily from a musical background? / What do you feel makes a great booking agent?

Yes definitely. It helps to be able to relate to how hard it can be as an artist and understand on that musical level; and there is an affinity there. I’ve been very lucky to be surrounded by some great people and I’ve studied them to take away the best elements in terms of ‘agenting’. Great agents make careers, know how to create a vibe and will work tirelessly. It’s a key role in an artist’s career and I’m very proud to represent my acts and I will walk over hot coals for them. If we are on the same level, we can relate and have a partnership and do great things.

I’ve lost some acts along the way and it’s been for the best. Sometimes it’s a thankless role, but great artists know how we much we do, if they don’t, then we aren’t meant to be together! Great artists make great agents too btw!

4) What do you feel has been your biggest career achievement or highlight to date?

There’s been many…. Building 123 Agency for sure. To make it successful will hopefully be another as we move into our first 12 months of operation.

Representing all our acts and working hard to bring them as many opportunities as possible is another ongoing achievement.

Playing in Motor Ace and touring internationally, having a No. 1 record was just crazy in hindsight to achieve. I’m extremely proud of those records we made as well.

5) Who or what are your favorite bands or acts at the moment and what is the best gig you’ve ever been to?

Arcade Fire, Ngaiire, Kingswood…. So many! How long have you got? I recently got to see Bruce Springsteen at Hanging Rock and that was simply incredible. Motor Ace once supported Foo Fighters at the Hi Fi in Melbourne and I got to sit on the back of the PA during the show. Words don’t come close… I had Calling All Cars on the ACDC Australian tour which was great as well, and getting to see ACDC at arms length was really something special.

6) As a creative person – who and what inspire or motivate you? / What are you creatively passionate about? / What do you love most about your work?

People around me inspire me. My partner, my colleagues and our artists, they are what motivates me. I love marketing and ideas – looking for innovation… Crazy but tangible objectives.

I love that we have no rules and we can be the masters of our own destinies. I love knowing that we are only one song, one artist or one second away from greatness. I do believe if you work hard enough you will get your just deserves. Success is motivating as well and I want that for everyone we work with.

7) Working at Premier Artists over the years, you would have met and dealt with some pretty interesting acts over the years. What has been the biggest / wackiest or more interesting tour or artist you have been involved with? / Is it at your end of the game that you deal with band riders? And if so – can you give us a sneak peak into some of the more interesting requests that you’ve had?!

The biggest tour was ACDC by far. It was the biggest/largest grossing tour in Australia ever, and was presented by Garry Van Egmond. To be part of that was incredible…
The scale is just enormous. To see so many fans singing those tunes from the top of the stadium was mental.

We’ve had some crazy rider requests from garden gnomes to the positioning of toilets being requested to be no more than 5 meters from the dressing rooms. I’m not going to name names…

8) What do you enjoy doing in your time off? Do you ever still get on the kit at all, and could you ever be tempted to join a band again?!

I love hanging out with my girl, my dog Eddie ‘Teddy’ Vedder, driving to the coast in my car and listening to loud music at festivals. I love hanging out with friends and family and enjoying our lives journeys. Dumplings and pizza and margaritas! Who doesn’t?

I’m not tempted to play ATM… But never say never. I’d like to record again sometime and make a great record with some great tunes. Maybe … One day!

9) If you could work on any creative project or with any band/act in the world – what would this look like or whom would it be with?

I would give my left nut to play with Pearl Jam one day. Maybe play with Tom Petty or make a record and just be in a studio with Radiohead. Maybe produce a record for David Bowie… You can dream! I’d like to record in LA back in the 80′s when everything was big and over the top and witness the hedonism first hand!

10) What’s next for you? Any other interesting projects on the horizon/collaborations or future goals you are yet to achieve?

The future is bright and there is a lot on the agenda. To have the chance at creating something like 123 Agency and being able to drive it is mighty exciting. We have some announcements and partnerships we’ll be launching next year and we are excited to be bringing them into the spotlight. We’ve built our team and now we need to focus and start kicking into our plans into gear. We’ve got some world-class talent and we intend on bringing them to the world. We wanna be the best so we are working with the best! See you at the top for bubbles!

Fox Fagan – Musician

fox-fagan-02

Photo: Genie Sanchez

Fox Fagan is a talented Melbourne artist – now living and working in LA – pursuing (and living) the dream.

Fox is a damn good musician whose specialty (or first instrument) is bass, however like most supreme talents, he can play most instruments super well and does a pretty mean vocal as well.

Playing the Melbourne rock scene for much of his adult life with bands such as Electric Mary, Jon Stevens, Rob Mills as well as English performer – Sophie Ellis-Bextor; Fox moved to Los Angeles 5 years ago to take his music career to the next level and to work and write with some of the best muso’s in the world.

Since moving to LA, I’m not going to lie and tell you it’s been an easy path. It rarely is for most creative types. It takes years of hard work, networking, meet and greets, lots of broken promises, random opportunities and just dumb luck. (Talent is a given). But you’ve got to be in it to win it right?!

fox-fagan-01

Photo: A Horse With No Name Photography

Having known Fox for quite some time, it’s been exciting to see him land some pretty cool session work with some of the biggest names in the music industry and to start to make in-roads in to what is a bloody tough industry. It takes balls to take your talents to the world in the most competitive market of them all…

For the last few years he has also been on a world tour with Wilson Phillips. (For any youngsters out there that have never heard of them … the girls come from music royalty with their fathers having formed the legendary 60′s surf/rock band – The Beach Boys and The Mamas & The Papas respectively)

Wilson Phillips are multiple Grammy Award winning and chart topping artists in their own right however. They also famously appeared in a cameo in the hilarious 2011 film – Bridesmaids – performing ‘Hold On’, which I (along with many other chicks around the world I’m sure) have mimicked countless times since…

Fox also continues to gig and write with his own band – Teleskopes, as well as do his own solo work. I would urge you to keep an eye (and ear) out for his sounds.

http://www.facebook.com/teleskopes

http://www.soundcloud.com/foxfagan

Q&A:

1) You are a session musician for some of the biggest bands/acts in the world. Give us a bit of a background on how you got to do this sort of session work in LA / who you have worked with and what genres you are drawn to?

I just kinda turned up in LA really… only knowing one person. Went for an audition and got the gig. Immediately after I was offered to go and rehearse/audition with another band playing most of the spots in LA. Coincidently, two of the members from that band became my partners in Teleskopes.

That summer I ended up gigging at a lot of the popular clubs in LA as a bassist, and even managed to play The Roxy and The Viper in one night which seemed huge at the time.

For the next 3 years I played with various different artists in town and put out a solo EP on vinyl, in which I was lucky enough to record with the people who mixed and engineered songs from ‘In The Key Of Life’ by Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson’s – BAD. I was tripping.

One day after being turned down for a job at the counter of Whole Foods, an Aussie mate who’d been here playing for a while called me and said that we were gonna try out for Wilson Phillips, whom I immediately Googled and realized the amazing families I was about to be involved with.

Living here for 5 years has definitely evolved my taste buds – genre wise, and has taught me versatility in my writing, playing and production for which I am very grateful for.

I find that I’m drawn more towards roots with cerebral flavors, and seesaw between being completely bare-boned and doing the full wall of soundscaping that we create in Teleskopes.

Another cool guy I got to work with was Dave Stewart, playing bass for a beautifully voiced artist he was working with out of NYC called Jihae. It was just amazing to see him come in and understand in a split second the relationship between the artist and the audience you are about to play in front of, and know how to convey the message in the best possible way. His guitar was loud as fuck on stage, and it was awesome.

2) You’ve had some pretty crazy experiences since living in LA. What has been the most rock n roll moment to date?

The most rock n roll experiences, I can’t really say…

But it feels like something is going on here where you’re just actually in it. You’re part of it. You’re creating what it is that’s actually happening and you just need to live your life and enjoy every moment of it.

3) What do you feel has been your biggest career achievement? / What’s the biggest show you’ve played so far?

We played a 20K seat arena in Manila with Wilson Phillips, but I don’t think it was as important to me as meeting and sharing the stage with Brian Wilson.

Then again, the club shows that Teleskopes are playing in LA are just as exciting. I can walk off stage at The Viper or Harvard & Stone and feel like it was the biggest show.

4) What do you feel are your biggest challenges as a musician or creative person?

There are many. I’ve definitely learnt how to be patient but also not to just sit back and hope everything will fall in to your lap. There’s a delicate balance of being open to receiving opportunity, remaining productive and also making sure you can keep your lights and phone on. Most of all, it’s creating something that you like, which isn’t always the case, but that doesn’t mean that others shouldn’t get the chance to enjoy it.

5) You also write and perform your own original music with your own band. How would you describe your personal sound and how this has grown over the years / what are you working on right now?

Teleskopes is definitely a main focus right now, we’ve been building it up live in LA and it’s starting to feel like people might have heard about us. Our sound literally came from us being a band and jamming in the room, then writing songs from there. It’s basically a wall of guitar loops and delays and really kinda noisy with disguised pop songs in there somewhere.

We posted some of our first recordings on facebook.

No official release yet but we’re working on some self produced recordings right now and will hopefully get them out early in 2014.

I’m always constantly writing by myself and with others too… I’ve taken to posting very early demos for people to listen to on my soundcloud page. www.soundcloud.com/foxfagan

6) As a creative person – who and what inspires you? / What are you creatively passionate about? / What do you love most about your work?

I’m constantly being inspired and re-inspired. It comes in waves and circles. I feel as though the inspiration is always there, it just depends on your openness and antenna to be able to channel it in some way.

Lately I’ve simply enjoyed putting on old Bill Withers records and just playing along with them. Still the most satisfying thing is to finish writing a song, the first draft is always the one I’m most excited about.

I love working as a musician, whether it be as a bass player, a singer, the writing the producing… It’s nice being able to wear a few hats for sure.

7) If your life were a soundtrack or song – what would this be?

Haha um… No Pussy Blues, Grinderman.

8) What do you enjoy doing in your time off?

I love going to shows and museums and art openings and events. Hiking on the mountains and swimming in the ocean.

I try to keep fit and relax with a book. I’ve been cooking a lot of roast dinners lately; I’ve pretty much mastered Yorkshire Pudding…

9) You are a true muso – playing many instruments as well as writing music. Is bass still your fave and if you could work on any creative project – what would this like or who would it be with?

The more I get into bass the more I’m loving it. It’s never gonna get old. But singing is a huge passion for me and very gratifying to do live on stage. I used to dread the singing part but it comes far more natural these days.

I would love to play bass for Gary Clarke Jr – that would just be a very cool gig.

Collaborations with Dan Auerbach, and Elvis Costello or Danger Mouse are some definite bucket listers. There’s really so many people that would be fantastic work with. But how about Dan Auerback, Gary Clarke Jr, Quest Love and me on bass. Yeah, that’d be dope!

10) What’s next for you? Any other interesting projects on the horizon/collaborations or future goals you are yet to achieve?

Continuing work on Teleskopes material. I have plans to make a video for a song I just wrote called The Grateful Song. I’m really hoping to put out some vinyl next year with Teleskopes and some of my own stuff. I’m totally open to whatever comes along.

Kane Skennar – Photographer

kane-skennar-01

Kane Skennar is an Australian born photographer, raised on the northern beaches of Sydney.

His strong conceptual style spans high fashion and portraiture to lifestyle, swimwear and surf labels.

Kane’s strong affinity with surf, music and travel allows him to shoot this subject matter with a sense of both authority and ease, and it is easy to see his love for these specific genres come through in his work.

I have worked with Kane on a few swimwear shoots over the years. He is definitely a master at capturing and setting up a moment that, as the end viewer of the shot, has that critical balance of being sexy, yet commercial, with a slight edge or unique point of view. I have always loved Kane’s style of work. It has a certain rawness and honesty to it – much like Kane himself.

His work has seen him travel all over the world on assignment for various magazines such as Harpers Bazaar, Marie Claire, Instyle, Madison, Grazia, Cosmopolitan, Esquire, GQ, Rolling Stone, Belle, Men’s Health, Karen, Follow, Oyster, Black, Surfing America, Surfing World, Stab, Waves and Tracks.

Kane has also shot for major advertising campaigns such as Toyota, Motorola, Mavi Jeans, Tallow Gallery, Work Out Life, Saxony, Alias Mae, Bonds, Mikoh, Wrangler, Von Zipper, Bassike, Jeans West, Ksubi, Ksubi Eyewear, Kitsune, Jag, Davenport, Table Eight, Supre, Running Bare, Tree of Life, One Teaspoon, Yeojin Bae, 2 Chillies, Heaven, Aqua Blu, Roxy, Arnette, Reef, Quiksilver, Billabong, Insight and General Pants. Phew!

Kane currently works between both the States and Australia and is also working on a few film projects that will be exciting to see come to fruition in the not too distant future. With Kane re-locating to LA in the new year, I look forward to seeing his new body of work with the fresh inspiration and opportunity from his new surrounds.

To view Kane’s work visit – http://kaneskennar.com

kane-skennar-02

kane-skennar-03

kane-skennar-04

kane-skennar-05

kane-skennar-06

kane-skennar-07

kane-skennar-08

kane-skennar-09

Q&A:

1) Give me a bit of a background on how you got to where you are today in the fashion photography game i.e. Did you study photography or learn on the job as an assistant? What do you think you may have been if you weren’t a photographer?

I started my journey in photography as an assistant when I was 18 and straight out of school with fashion photographer Adam Watson. He was great at body, lifestyle and swimwear and this is where I got my first experience in what it was to create images in different locations.

I stopped for a while, and then started again at 21 – assisting the late Richard Bailey who I assisted for the next 5 years where I learned and experienced what got me to where I am today.

I was also playing in a heavy rock band while I was assisting and recorded an EP and made rock videos that were on Rage, but I realized that it was a hard slog to make it in music in Australia.

2) How would you personally describe your photographic aesthetic? / do you feel this look has changed over the years as you’ve grown as a creative person?

I’d say my style is very relaxed, portrait based and always observing my subjects in a very personal way.
I like to capture images that move me and that show the deep sense of someone or a certain style. I’m sure my style has refined itself over the years but I still come from the same place visually.

3) Do you have an all time favorite photo that you’ve taken and what’s the story behind it? Do you have an all time favorite photo shot by another photographer?

Ah that’s a hard one… I have a lot of great shots that I favor still, but recently I like the shot in B/W of the subject at the bottom of the waterfall. I shot that for an exhibit for an Australian based label called Saxony. Anyway it was an exhibit image for them and I was given free reign to shoot whatever I wanted. I happened to be in Bali at the time that I wanted to shoot this, so I got a great model friend of mine (Fa Empel) who is very adventurous… We trekked 2 hrs down into the jungles high up in the north of Ubud, Bali to get this shot and it was a pretty powerful moment… I really loved the image. Especially printed at 2mx3m!

4) If you could work on any creative collaboration or job in any country in the world – what would this dream project or shoot look like?

I’d say a shoot where I got to go to some remote island or jungle to shoot either something very cinematic or grand for a fashion label or of some celebrity. I just love traveling to exotic places to create great images of people in them… It’s the processes of getting there, the person you are working with and the overall look and feel of the work that’s new, creative and breathtaking.

5) Who have been your biggest (creative or other) influences in getting you to where you are today?
i.e. Other photographers / designers / artists / editors etc.

I’d say it’s the photographers whose books I have collected and inspired me, and the people I worked for, or with for sure. (Peter Beard, Helmut Newton, Mert & Marcus, Annie Lebowitz as inspirers. Richard Bailey as my mentor and guide. Mark Vassallo as a stylist who encouraged and gave me opportunities…)

6) As a creative person – who and what inspires you? / what are you creatively passionate about? / what do you love most about your work?

I’m inspired a lot by life, travel, meeting people, looking at art, movies and books. I love to create images that feel timeless and inspiring as well! I love to just see the process in which I go on to create the images, where I travel to, who I meet, who I work with and how it is printed or published.

7) What are some of the biggest challenges that you face today as a photographer and how have you had to adapt your business as a consequence, if at all?

I’d say that the digital age has allowed so many more people into the industry and also the financial downfall of the industry and world climate has seen the cheapening of the art form and the lack of quality all round.

People are shooting things they shouldn’t be, and clients are pushing us to shoot more and more at the cost of quality. To me it seems like a disposable industry now that is more geared in Australia towards an online catalogue more then anything. The art form is really dying here for me… So seeing that – I am looking at other markets and places to work as it doesn’t seem like a very supportive industry anymore.

I’m interested to see all the young photographers who are out there at the moment make it long enough to create more then just a cool website for themselves. i.e. buying a house, car, equipment and a life! haha.

8) What do you enjoy doing in your time off?

I love to travel, surf, do yoga and eat very clean food and meet different people. I’m interested in information and life more then ever so it’s interesting to see as I get older.

9) You’ve worked with many well known models, personalities/celebrities and clients over the years – who have been some of the more interesting that you’ve shot and worked with?

Hmm – Definitely an interesting one that. I’d say Lady Gaga was really interesting as she’s so humble and quiet, but so positive and great at her art for what she has to work with.

Joel Madden was awesome. I thought he would be hard, but he was a legend. Jermaine Clement as well – one of the funniest guys in the world but also the most intelligent and musically talented. As far as supermodels go, I love working with Catherine McNeil. She is like a cat. So cool and just a great mover…

10) What’s next for you? Any other interesting projects on the horizon/collaborations or future goals you are yet to achieve?

I’m moving to LA soon, as there’s so much more going on there and more interesting projects that I can be involved with. So I’m looking forward to that. I’m actually in LA right now and it’s very inspiring to see how much is going on here. I’ll be back in Aus for Xmas which I will enjoy, and then maybe Bali as I have some work to shoot up there as well. So I’m always moving around…

I’m shooting a documentary at the moment on a famous world champion surfer so I’m moving also into that field which is fun and I’m going to be working on some other projects that involve the movie world so that’s exciting.

I’m still enjoying shooting fashion, but I’m diversifying, as I get older!

Silvana Lovin – Model / Actor / Artist

silvana-lovin-001

Silvana Lovin is a highly sought after, vivacious, passionate model and up and coming actress from Melbourne, Australia.

Romanian born, Silvana’s exotic looks have gained her the reputation as the model that never takes a bad picture who is even more beautiful in person – both inside and out.

Most recently Silvana moved to San Diego in the States to further pursue her acting career and be closer to her new husband – Australian Tennis Champion, Mark Philippoussis.

Silvana is currently working on a few acting projects. She has recently been cast in The Muppets…Again Movie in Hollywood and shot for Wilfred The US TV Series alongside Elijah Wood and Jason Gann. She has also been cast in The Holcomb brother’s movie PINBALL; a Melbourne based crime drama, which is a bold
re-telling of Cain and Abel.

Dominating the most prestigious runways and magazines in major cities all over the world, Silvana has worked in New York, Los Angeles, Panama, Auckland, Singapore, Shanghai, London, Hong Kong and China.

silvana-lovin-003

Silvana has shot with some of the biggest names in Australian fashion including: J’Aton, Sass & Bide, Camilla and Marc, Scanlan & Theodore, Collette Dinnigan, Toni Maticevski, Lisa Ho, Allanah Hill, Bettina Liano, Josh Goot & International labels such as Oscar De La Renta, Louis Vuitton, Giorgio Armani, Versace, Gucci, Hugo Boss & Chanel.

Definitely a go-getter, Silvana is currently working hard on her first art exhibition. As she points out below, painting is actually her first creative love. I can’t wait to see this other side of her career develop.

To check out some of Silvana’s artwork in the meantime visit her site:

http://www.lovinart.net

silvana-lovin-004

silvana-lovin-002

silvana-lovin-005

Q & A:

1) You’ve had an interesting and blessed life for such a young woman. It’s been great to watch, and well deserved. You’ve had a successful modeling career and more recently have made some inroads into acting. Which creative pursuit is your biggest love and what has been your biggest success or career achievement so far?

My biggest love and creative pursuit is art. Not many people know this about me but I’ve been painting my whole life! I studied art as a young girl but for the main part of it I was self-taught. This is a career move I’ve only recently started pursuing. Until now I’ve worked as a full time model/actor.

My biggest career achievement so far would have to be shooting a campaign for Oscar Del La Renta in Panama as well as being cast in the Disney classic ‘The Muppets…Again’ movie.

2) You now live in the States with your new husband (a big congrats!) Give us a run down of your new life in the States. A week in the life of Silvana – and do you feel this has changed your creative path and goals? Tell me a bit about this new life experience.

I’m currently living in San Diego, which has a beautiful relaxed vibe to it. It’s a perfect lifestyle for an artist as there’s just so much beauty here. I’m constantly inspired.

I spend my days listening to music & painting as I’m working towards an art exhibition and have also recently started my own little boutique eco friendly greeting card business, which features my artwork. I’m also still modeling/acting. Exciting times ahead. Stay tuned!

3) How would you describe your particular creative style, and do you feel it has changed over the years as you’ve developed as an artist/creative person?

I’d describe my style as simple/classic/elegant. I tend to stick to the rule that less is always more.

4) You’ve recently been producing a bit of artwork – is this a new career path that we should expect to see more of in the coming years? Are you self-taught in this field? / give us a run down of your artistic style in regards to this creative medium.

I’ve recently picked up painting again, a passion that I’ve had since childhood. It’s my number one priority at the moment as I’m working towards my art exhibition. It’s in my veins so you can definitely expect to see a whole lot more of my work in the coming years. I’d describe my style as abstract with a childlike quality. A little like my personality!

5) What do you love most about your work? / What are the biggest challenges (and new opportunities) for you as a model and up and coming actress in LA?

I love the creative process that’s involved with any job I do. Whether it’s a photo shoot, or runway… It’s always inspiring to watch creative artists working together.

I think the biggest challenge I faced as a young model starting out in the industry was learning to embrace my individuality and to accept that I wasn’t conventional looking and make it work towards my advantage.

I’ve been so grateful to have had some amazing opportunities come up for me as a model/actor in LA starting off with shooting a campaign for Oscar Del La Renta, to a Wella Hair Campaign, to constant work for La Perla and Urban Outfitters. Most recently, being cast in the Disney Classic ‘The Muppets…Again’ movie and filming a part on ‘Wilfred’ the US TV Series. I’m also excited to say that NEXT Model Management as a model/actor/artist now represents me! Exciting times ahead!

6) Mark has recently launched a fashion label called Phlip Apparel. Do you have any creative input into his label as well/help him out with it? Can you give us a bit of a run down on the style and feel of the product and brand and where we it will be stocked.

PHLIP Apparel was officially launched in January this year and has come a long way since then. The label is stocked in some of the most prestigious stores in the US and is growing so quickly! We look forward to launching it in Australia in the near future. I’m so proud of Mark and what he’s achieved. I love being able to support him & love being a part of the creative process too. We’re a team! “PHLIP” is a luxury lifestyle brand designed & made in California. The products are just beautiful!!! I live in my T’s & sweatshirts!

http://phlipapparel.com

7) What do you do in your down time? What are you creatively or ethically passionate about?

My downtime would include long walks along the beach, as it’s the perfect way to unwind. It also includes watching my favorite TV show: Shark Tank. I don’t watch much TV however I haven’t missed an episode of this show since I’ve started watching it! Its Marks favorite too.

I’m ethically passionate about recycling. I’m a huge advocate for preserving natural resources for future generations. Did you know that 1 recycled plastic bottle would save enough energy to power a 60-watt bulb for 3 hours? Or that 70% less energy is required to recycle paper compared with making it from raw materials? Every little bit counts!

8) Living in California must be a dream lifestyle. Do you see yourself coming back to Melbourne in the future to live, or are you guy’s there for the long haul do you think?

Living in California is definitely a dream lifestyle but Melbourne will always be home. We look forward to moving back there to live sometime in the future. Home is where your family is after all… For now, we’re just making the most of the opportunities we’ve been given here.

9) What’s next for you? Any other interesting projects on the horizon/collaborations or future goals you are yet to achieve?

More modeling mixed in with a little acting and a whole lot of painting. I’m currently working on my art exhibition so keep an eye/ear out for that! I’m also excited to say that I’ll be collaborating with a notebook company to have my artwork featured on their covers and where 5% of all profits will go to charity. I love being able to help in some way. I’ve also recently started my eco friendly greeting card business, which I mentioned earlier, featuring my artwork on the front. You’ll be able to purchase them all via my website at Lovinart. Life’s exciting!

Simplesime – Tattoo Artist

simplesime001

Simon Moody (AKA Simplesime) is a Melbourne based tattooist who has been working in the game for the better part of 16 years. Simon has recently set up his own private tattoo studio in Richmond, but has worked with some of the better known studios in Melbourne throughout his career.

As most people would have noticed – getting a tattoo has become de rigueur and I’ve certainly seen both bad and amazing tattoos over the years. (Simon only does the latter)

Tattoos have become not only more sociably acceptable – they have become somewhat of a fashion accessory and in many instances a work of art.

Simon is indeed an artist and is looking to also get into commissioned mural works in the not too distant future, in addition to his usual design and tattooing.

Simon’s style is predominantly fantasy, religious and Chicano, but he also likes to mix in oriental and color realistic applications. It really depends on what he is requested to tattoo at the time.

simplesime002

simplesime003

Having been formally trained as an illustrator in the early 90′s, his style draws from all mediums and is influenced by other artists worldwide.

Simon’s graffiti influence comes across in his work and his previous education in photography also helps with his shading abilities.

In 2012 Simon ran the inaugural Ink Dots Black Spots Exhibition – showcasing artworks from an invited (and talented) bunch of leading tattooists from around Australia. This year Simon and his crew are again running the exhibition on November 28 at The Aviary in Abbotsford, Melbourne.

Both exhibitions kindly donating raised funds from sales of the works to chosen charities. Last years cause was The Cancer Council Victoria and this year is the RSPCA.

simplesime004

Be sure to head down at the end of this month and support a great cause along with some emerging artists to boot. The show is open to the public on the opening night from 6pm and will be open until December 8.

To view Simon’s work visit:

http://simplesime.com

http://simplesimetattoo.com


Q&A:

1) How did you get into the tattoo game? Did you have to do any formal training or did you learn on the job? Did you always want to be a tattoo artist?

Right place, right time really. That’s the measure for most of life I suspect.

I’m not aware of any formal schooling, it’s all done on the job, and there is so much to learn… it takes time and building experiences to draw from over that time. Each tattooist has had his or her own journey.

Becoming a tattooist wasn’t an option when I was younger, it was a very closed industry, very different to now. Luckily, as mentioned – right place, right time. I thought I was going to be a vet, photographer, or a truck driver (when I was under 10 y.o)

2) How many tattoos have you got yourself?

I’d consider my tattoos one big one… so one.

3) Who have been some of your greatest creative influences whilst learning your trade? Do you feel your creative style has changed/grown over the years? What are the key elements of a good tattoo?

All of the people I’ve worked with have helped shape where I’m at; Geordie Cole, Owen Williams, William Yoneyama and Sean Jackson have made me push myself by keeping the standard high…

Currently overseas, I’m really influenced by James Tex, Grime, Steve Moore, Jeff Gogue, Filip Leu, Terry Ribera, Logan @ Barracuda and on and on and on…

My creativity and style have both improved. It’s been a long time so it had had better improved. As a tattooist – styles change, subject matter trends differently, culture and fashion dictate different taste, so requests change and you adapt accordingly.

A good tattoo stays in your skin & looks solid, not scratchy or faded looking lines – that’s the basics. But it is very different for each artist and client… so many styles to choose from and so many that artists are trying to achieve, but for basics – words need to be spelt correctly and eyes in portraits need not to be crossed or cocked! The rest is open to interpretation.

4) You would have had some pretty interesting clients (famous and otherwise) come through your studio over the years… Who has been the most famous client/celebrity that you’ve ever tattooed and what did they get? Did they bring in the artwork themselves, or did you work on it with them beforehand? Were you extra nervous about doing the work?

Every client has been interesting in their own way. Some of the celeb/sporting people have been cool to work with; they normally have had a fair idea of what they wanted, like most clients. I really can’t say who would have been the ‘most’ famous, that’s relative to the viewer. Some might not care for the athletes or vice versa but I’d love to tattoo Jennifer Anniston if she wanted one… I’d certainly be a little nervous!

But having worked with people like Michael Klim, Nathan Jones, Lynden Dunn, Koen De Kort, a few Olympic gold medalists, models – Helen and Chrissy Cauchi, Tom Pelley, Chris Davidson, Lindsay ‘The Dr from Triple J’ and plenty of other musos – certainly exposes me to an extended audience.

5) Tattoos have definitely become a bit of a trend and fashion accessory over the last few years. How have you seen your clientele change over the years and has this changed the nature of the industry as a whole through making it more mainstream?

More girls… not that I tattoo that many. Most of my work is greyscale and girls tend to lean more to color work – but definitely more women are being tattooed which doubles your audience. The taboo attached to tattooing has definitely dropped away. They are no longer just for bikies, crims and sailors anymore.

6) What do you love most about your work? / What have been the biggest challenges for you in your career so far, if any?

I can sleep in… I can work shorter hours and still make enough money to survive. The most rewarding part is the feedback. It’s immediate and everyone leaves with a result better than what they expected. (Which is weird because they’ve seen my work and I would think they should expect the same results, but I guess people just can’t ‘see it’ until it’s right in front of them)

The challenges are gaining exposure. This industry is a word-of-mouth one where you need to work hard and make sure you keep producing the best result because your business card is walking around on someone’s skin. Popularity also. Tattooing is becoming more competitive, with more artists and at higher and higher standards – it’s lucky there has been such an influx of people wanting to be tattooed.

7) Do you have an all time fave tattoo that you’ve ever done on a client? What is your fave tattoo on your own body? Tell us a bit about both.

Too many to consider… Getting a portrait ‘right’ is very rewarding and also very personal to the owner, so probably some of them would be my faves… but then there are some pieces, which are my original illustrations and are rewarding as well.

My favorite tattoo on me would most probably be my Kirin back piece – it’s so big, epically impressive. I can’t believe I’ve got it sometimes! Thanks to Geordie! (Tattoo Magic)

8) Have you ever had the situation occur where you got to the end of a tattoo and the client changed their mind/regretted getting it?! Do you ever try and talk a client out of getting a bad tattoo (ie. if you feel the artwork or idea is a bit lame), or do you have to respect their creative brief?

No. By the time their booking comes around they’ve had time to think about it. Most people are already considering the next one whilst I’m doing their tattoo.

I’m forever talking people out of positions, “not there, maybe consider this, or try it there”… There is always plenty of bad artwork, which you need to delicately work around, but if they insist and I’m not convinced, I’ll recommend someone else to tattoo it.

9) As a creative person – who and what inspires you / what are you passionate about?

So many people inspire me, that’s an interview in itself! Passionate – that’s odd, when I was at University they drilled into us to be passionate – and at the time I wasn’t – but now things are different. I’ve got so many interests that I love, but basically I’m into technical execution, no matter what media or style. I’m into efficiency and logic in process, in relationships, in society, in technology. This is also its own interview!!!

10) What’s next for you? Any other interesting projects on the horizon/collaborations or future goals you are yet to achieve?

Long list – there are plenty of goals and projects in the pipeline, but in the near future there’s Ink Dots Black Spots – an exhibition which I’ve curated and worked closely with Megan and Chris from Dangerfork to showcase Tattooist Artworks. We wanted to level the playing field and help the viewer see that most tattooists are illustrators, artists, and creatives in their own right. So this exhibition is an opportunity for those who may never have a tattoo to own tattoo artwork (of course people who have tattoos can buy them as well). Each artists print is screen printed in one color at 18′x24′ in a limited edition of 25. The results are so great. Last year was the first year for this exhibition and it was a great success for all involved, and we are hoping this year will be bigger and better. Last year we worked towards and reached a donation goal of $5,000, which we gave to The Cancer Council Victoria. This year we are aiming for more to give to the RSPCA. The theme for this year is ‘animals’, decided by each artist and what their initials are… So my ‘Ss’ is a swan and seahorse. You’ll have to come to the show to see it… See you there!

For more info on the upcoming exhibition, please visit http://inkdotsblackspots

Glen Moriarty – TV Presenter / Producer

glen-moriarty-001

Glen Moriarty is a Melbourne based presenter and producer of the popular Victorian travel program – Postcards on Channel Nine. He is also the host for Collingwood Football Club’s own digital show on CTV and hosts their Foxtel program ‘The Club’. Also acting as MC for Collingwood home games for AFL Media – Glen is one busy guy.

Glen started out in the 90’s as a model and is widely known around the industry as a top bloke (what you see is what you get). He is a real salt of the earth guy with a super friendly personality, so it’s been awesome to see his career go from strength to strength over the years.

I would have to say that I reckon Glen has one of the best jobs going. He is a great example of making a career out of of what you love doing. If you figure out your passion, this usually leads you to your purpose in your life’s work and then it doesn’t feel like work at all. One of my fave sayings is “doing what you like is freedom. Liking what you do is happiness”. Based on this – I reckon Glen is one happy man.

http://www.visitvictoria.com/Postcards-home

glen-moriarty-002

glen-moriarty-003

glen-moriarty-004

Q & A:

1) You’ve been in the TV biz since roughly 2005 when you joined Post Cards as a presenter. Did you always want to be in TV and how did you get into it? / Did you have to do any training to improve your presenting skills, or did you just learn on the job?

I loved doing drama at school and was always interested in stage & screen. I did acting classes when I was 18, but my break came at 19 years old when I was working at the Saloon Bar in South Yarra, helping one of the owner’s friends with his white goods business. One day I was delivering a fridge & the lady whose house it was asked me if I’d done any acting or modeling. I thought she was a lonely housewife who was cracking onto me! As it turned out she was a casting agent named Maria Efthymiopoulos (now owner of 2 Divas Casting). She cast me for my first commercial and said I should get an agent. I signed with a model agency and it went from there.

I started getting regular work on TV commercials, photographic & fashion shows. Then one night when I was working at the Saloon Bar one of the regulars who came in was a producer from Grundy’s who worked on Channel 9′s Sale Of The Century and said one of the models on the show had quit and that I should come into Grundy’s to meet the casting director for the show. He told me to “shut up and do what I say and the job’s yours”.

I worked on Sale Of The Century for a few years and traveled to Europe working in London and Milan. I returned to Australia and studied acting part time at Victorian College Of The Arts, which really helped with auditioning for acting roles. Unfortunately Sale of the Century got axed, but I kept modeling & worked nights as a doorman in a few different clubs.

I also worked with my Dad in the family business, but it wasn’t for me. I got my first acting role as a guest on The Secret Life of Us and then scored my first hosting role on Search for a Supermodel in 2002. Acting was my main focus, but at nearly 6 foot 5″ it was always going to be a challenge. I was tall in modeling terms but in acting terms I was a giant! I kept plugging away and in 2005 I started with Postcards. It’s the dream job and I pretty much got thrown into the deep end with both roles as a presenter and producer learning on the job with the help of the team around me. I’ve been really lucky to be involved in such a great show and work at Channel 9 with some great people.

2) Apart from the TV presenting – you also work as a model, freelance photographer, producer …
Who have been some of your greatest creative (or other) influences whilst growing up?

My Mum always encouraged me to perform, whether it was dancing around with her in the kitchen or making her laugh with my Frank Spencer impersonations from Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em.

One of my greatest creative influences was working as a photographer’s assistant for photographer Alex Donnini. He taught me a lot and encouraged me to start shooting. Earl Carter was another photographer who I really looked up to and I was really into photography before putting it on the back burner when I started working on Postcards.

Photography taught me all about lighting, exposure and framing and those skills transferred into helping me understand how film and television cameras work. My regular cameraman on Postcards Rob Trezise has been a huge influence on me and has encouraged me to get behind the camera, which has now lead to me shooting everything from television, commercials, documentaries and film clips.

3) You have recently landed a gig with Collingwood Football Club as their MC as well as helping out with their in-house TV platform called – CTV and The Club. Being a huge Collingwood fan his must be your dream job… Give us a bit of a run down on this gig, how it came about and what it entails for you on weekly basis in footy season.

I grew up barracking for Collingwood and was never good enough to play for them so working for the club is a dream come true. I was asked to MC some events for them and then progressed to doing post match interviews for CTV our digital TV show. In 2012 I was asked to host their Foxtel show “The Club” and also be the on ground MC at Collingwood home games for AFL Media, which is a great gig. There’s nothing like being on the MCG when there’s nearly 100,000 people at the game, which for the pies is nearly every week.

My role on The Club includes shooting stories for the show, which is another part of the job I really enjoy. It’s a great insight into the player’s lives and everything that happens on and off the ground at the football club.

4) You’ve met some interesting people and have got to travel to some pretty cool destinations as part of your work with Post Cards. What has been the stand out destination/story or most interesting situation you’ve covered for the show so far?

It’s so hard to pick just one place that stands out and we get to travel around Australia and the world. So many of the best places we visit are right here in Victoria.

As a surfer I love the Great Ocean Road and some of the amazing places to stay on the coast.

We did a trip to Hawaii recently, as a surfer it was a place I fell in love with. I went to Antarctica Earlier this year, which was probably the most amazing place I’ve ever seen. A recent trip to Marysville was very inspiring. We filmed with a guy called Bruno Torfs who owns Bruno’s Art & Sculpture Garden. Like most of the people from Marysville he lost everything, but he rebuilt his studio and the sculpture garden so people would come back. It was a heartening experience.

5) What do you love most about your work? / What have been the biggest challenges for you in your career, if any?

My job combines all the things I’m passionate about. I’m involved in the creative process from start to finish working with some very talented people and the end product is something I’m always so proud of. With Postcards, I love the fact that I get to travel to beautiful places and meet so many great people, plus everyone is always so grateful to have us come and film their businesses for the show. The feedback we get from the show is also very encouraging.

My job with Collingwood is really unique. I’m a fan of the club like all the other supporters, but I get to be involved in day to day life at the club, the highs and lows of match day and to create content that allows all the supporters to have an insight into the club. It’s something special.

The biggest challenge is the landscape of the television industry with the advertising revenue slowly drying up. Without advertising the industry will struggle to survive and that’s a worry for everyone involved.

6) What’s the best or worst of career advice you’ve ever had?

I’ve had all sorts of bad advice over the years, mainly from people who try to get you to be more like them or someone else they’d prefer you to be, but it’s always important to be yourself. There’s also been a lot of the “Melbourne is just a big country town and the industry is too small” … “You’ll never make enough money to survive from the entertainment industry here” Blah blah blah… Just your typical small-minded nonsense.

7) What do you do for fun or fitness in your down time when you’re not working? (apart from eating Andrews Hamburgers!)

HA! Well, I do love Andrews Burgers, they’re definitely part of my health regime! I grew up surfing and still try to get in the water a couple of days a week or I go a bit crazy. I kick the footy twice a week with a bunch of guys in St Kilda and walk my dogs every day. I love sports, but I’m not really into exercise and I’ve never been a gym person, so I like anything that involves the outdoors.

8) As a creative person – who and what inspire you or are you passionate about?

Film, theatre, music, art, nature and travel are all things that I’m passionate about that inspire me creatively, especially when you can combine them for the ultimate adventure. Spending time in the ocean is both cleansing and inspiring.

9) As a proud Victorian/Melbournian and having the opportunity to get out and see more of this great city of ours than the usual Joe Blow – can you give us some of your fave hot spots Re. coffee/food/music/secret gems or other …

Coda and Tonka are my two favorite places to eat in Melbourne. For the best desserts in town Le Petit Gateau.

Goldilocks bar or their rooftop and awesome cocktails.

Danny Colls is still doing Melbourne’s best coffee at his newest venture Hawthorne Common. The Wye River General Store is a great place to stop on the coast and of course Andrews Hamburgers in Albert Park!

10) What’s next for you? Any other interesting projects on the horizon/collaborations or future goals you are yet to achieve?

I’ve been doing charity work for the Royal Melbourne Hospital Music therapy program putting together video clips of the songs the patients do – and I love it.

My role with the Collingwood Football Club keeps growing and they have big plans for the media department and Collingwood TV, which is really exciting.

I’m always working on new ideas. I’ve started filming a pilot for a TV series I’d like to try and get funding for and develop further. I’m also working on my first script for a feature film. Stay tuned!

Simon Lamb – Documentary Film Maker

simon-lamb-005

Simon Lamb is a Melbourne filmmaker who has just completed his first documentary due for release in November. Simon’s been working in and around the fashion industry for years – shooting at various corporate parties and events and so it’s been great to see this personal project finally happen for him and all involved after so many years of involvement.

It shows that if you’re determined and one minded – it’s possible to get whatever creative project it is that you are truly passionate about off the ground.

Simon’s story below on how his documentary came about in the first instance is super interesting in itself – so take a read and be inspired.

Simon has created a documentary around both his love of surfing and story telling in bringing us the amazing true story of Tony Hussein Hinde.

Simon has interviewed many of Australia’s surf industry legends and really highlights what makes surfers tick. Surfing is not only about catching the perfect wave; it’s about finding the perfect wave – wherever that may take you around the globe. Half the fun is getting there. It’s about adventure and discovering the ultimate surf destination, and in this instance – keeping that destination a secret for the better part of 10 years.

I guess this is one of the many examples as to the reason why this blog has come about. If you have a creative dream – go and do it. If collaborating is your thing – speak to people. People may doubt what you say, but they will always believe what you do. So go make things happen.

It’s all possible, and when you start to share this way of thinking with other like-minded folk, it’s great to see the creative energy flow and positivity come about.

I wish Simon all the best with the release of this film and look forward to his next project coming together. Hopefully in less time than 6 years next time!

To find out more take a look here at http://www.serendipitymovie.com or to keep up to date with Simon’s other upcoming projects – keep an eye out on his site at…

http://www.blacklamb.com.au

simon-lamb-001

simon-lamb-002

simon-lamb-003

simon-lamb-004

Q & A:

1) You’ve been working as a filmmaker, videographer for some time now and have recently finished your first doco after 6 years in the making (A big congrats!) How did you get into film/documentary making? Did you study film? Tell us about your upcoming film release and how this particular subject matter came about?

I grew up in Melbourne but went to a boarding school for most of my education and luckily they had in the curriculum the opportunity to surf 2 times a week. I was so stoked to get waves at such a young age, so I was hooked and loved the feeling of surfing. I wanted to surf my whole life and be able to travel making money and doing the things I loved and getting paid for it! My passion for travel and extreme sports became my life. I felt that photography was great fun but it didn’t offer enough for me as far as story telling went. I needed more to satisfy my urge to tell stories, so I picked up a video camera and started filming all of my trips overseas with the intention of some day making my stories of travel into a book or a feature film. Not that I’m that interesting but the people I met along the way were more the subject on my camera. I came back to Australia after years traveling and I found myself working on feature films building the sets. I worked on Charlotte’s Web, Rouge and many more… I went back to Uni and got an honors Degree in Film and TV at Swinburne University. After that I went through life searching for amazing characters, which lead me to the story on Tony. I had no idea who he was when I went on my trip to the Maldives; it all just fell into place. I was serendipitously in the right place at the right time with my camera…

The story behind the story …

This film came about through sheer fate. It was March 2008 and my girlfriend and I were planning a two-week boat trip; the first week of which was to be spent in the Maldives, the latter a tour around Himmafushi Island. Shortly before we were due to leave Melbourne, I received a call from our travel agent advising that the boat tours had been cancelled due to low numbers. They suggested a trip to Chai Island as an alternative, and, not having much choice at the time, we decided to go for it. Besides, as a keen surfer, I remembered hearing about the famous surf break, Pasta Point – just off Chai Island. Within the first few days spent surfing Pasta Point, I met an American guy. Spotting my camera (I like to take my film gear with me, just in case anything interesting happens), he asked me the purpose of my trip. I told him I was looking for a story, to which he responded: “You’ve come to the right place, my friend.” He proceeded to tell me the amazing story of a man who was shipwrecked in the area in the 1970’s. In the years that followed, the man – who turned out to be Tony “Hussein” Hinde, went on to discover the local surf and name all the breaks. Even as the American spoke, I was thinking to myself, “Here’s my story”! Not to mention what could potentially be an awesome opportunity to meet with Tony himself.

Shortly afterwards, I was once again out in the surf at Pasta Point. It was six foot and clean, and the smell of freshly cooked crayfish was traveling out to sea. I saw a large figure cutting up a mean wave. Approaching the guy on the board, I told him I was in search of some amazing waves and happened to mention that I was also in the process of finding my story. Shrugging his shoulders, he said, “Well, good luck my friend.” It was only later I learned that this humble guy was the legend Tony himself.

I approached Tony while he was sitting in front of the ‘Mojo tree’ – touched by all surfers to get the wave Gods to deliver the goods! I asked him about his story and if he’d agree to an interview, but again he shrugged his shoulders and said, “I’m the shy type… I don’t like being filmed, I just love the surf”. Fortunately I persisted in winning Tony over. I asked him for an interview over dinner and this time he agreed. He gave me a few magazines with articles on himself to read and I set about learning more about his story, and how he came to be in the Maldives. I was instantly in love with his tale; the sailing trip from Sri Lanka, Captain Bill and his monkey, the shipwreck… As I was reading, I couldn’t believe the amazing part in history he’d played. After learning that his adventure started in Sri Lanka, I couldn’t help but think that it was pure serendipity that had brought Tony and I together (Sri Lanka was once known as ‘Serendip’ and is the etymology of the later coined word ‘serendipity’)

I filmed my interview with Tony, however it only went for about ten minutes and I knew it wasn’t enough. I wanted more material to work with. Walking around the island with my camera, filming various locations, I made my way back to the lookout point and the Mojo tree, where I found Tony gazing out at the surf. With the camera rolling I began asking him more questions about the boat trip and the shipwreck. This time, with Tony in his element, looking out at the waves, relaxed and just being himself, I ended up with a beautiful piece of film. I now knew I had a story. But there were a lot of other people I needed to speak to if I was going to document the whole incredible tale.

The first person I chased up was the legend of surf films, Albe Falzone. I met Albe at a secret local surf break near Coffs Harbor. As it happened, I had no idea I would be surfing that day and I didn’t have a board or any shorts with me. Albe was kind enough to offer me both and as we headed to the break and breached the crest of perfect, six-foot waves, I was happy to be in the company of a living legend. It was also the perfect way for me to honor the second anniversary of my brother’s death.

It was at this point that I found out about Tony’s tragic death. The first person I spoke to after the sad news broke was Ian Lyon, Tony’s business partner. I told him I had interviewed Tony and had some footage that I could give to the family. I also mentioned that this was part of a documentary I was pursuing about Tony, with his agreement, but Ian didn’t want to know about it. I know how hard it is when you lose someone close and I didn’t want to harass him, so I left it. After a year of no contact, I decided to call Ian again about the film. Coincidentally, when I got in touch, Ian had been just about to call me! Knowing Tony had agreed to my initial interview had given him confidence in me, so it was here that I restarted the journey that was to consume the next four years of my life.

Mark Scanlon was one of the first people I spoke to after reconnecting with Ian. I tracked him down after reading one of the articles Tony had given me in the Maldives: Serendipity by Shawn Shamlou. Mark had been the closest person to Tony, as it was he who’d been shipwrecked alongside Tony so many years ago. We chatted for a bit at Mark’s house near Maroubra, before heading down to the beach to film the interview. Mark proved to be an epic character, full of stories, and I wondered if I had brought enough tapes with me to capture everything! After meeting and learning so much from Mark, I was excited to meet more of the crazy characters involved in Tony’s story.

I had been trying for a year‐and‐a‐half to get an interview with Rabbit Bartholomew, to no avail. He’d told me he didn’t think he could add any value to the documentary, as he had never met Tony personally. I had told him that he could just touch on surfing life and the like, but he remained determined not to get involved. I had almost given up when, heading back from South Africa after shooting a documentary on black empowerment, I saw Rabbit sitting in the Qantas first class lounge. Seizing the opportunity, I approached him and asked the question one more time. Much to my astonishment, he agreed to the interview. I guess the personal touch did the trick! A week later, I flew up to Brisbane to lay it down on film. As he was around in the early days, Rabbit had a lot to offer the story, telling us a lot about searching for the perfect waves without crowds, the vibe of the ‘70s, the short board revolution and being enlisted to fight in the Vietnam War. By this stage, the story was really coming together.

Thanks to his constant traveling and surfing, Tom Carroll was always a hard man to get hold of. I’d had a few phone and email conversations with him over the span of around eighteen months but I could never secure a concrete meeting with him. When I heard on the grapevine that Tom had recently broken his ankle in the Edie Ikawa Big Wave contest, in Waimia Bay, I finally saw my chance. Sure enough, he was chilling at his Sydney home when I called. In our interview, Tom touched on the subject of finding a secret wave and the importance of keeping it quiet in order to surf alone, without the crowds.

Gary Mortimer was the next to be filmed. I jumped on a plane and headed to Lennox Heads, where Gary had organized a lunch with Tony’s sisters and immediate family. We had a huge feast before I got into some interviews with the family. It turned out that Gary had all these wonderful old hand‐written letters dating back to when he visited Tony in the Maldives. Reading the letters, you could picture yourself living over there, with no‐one in sight but the natives. These were epic tales of crazy surf and amazing adventures that made you yearn for a life of doing nothing but surfing un-chartered waters. I could feel my story was now picking up momentum. After many phone calls I got onto one of Tony’s good mates, Ken McNicol. He actually paddled into the ‘Honky’s’ when Tony named the waves after himself. I found myself flying over to New Zealand to interview Ken. He told me a few stories that I can’t repeat; without a doubt they would have added a whole new dimension to the film but I promised to keep quiet! Next I got a referral about a guy called Doug Spong, ex‐owner of Billabong and Cult Clothing. Doug was one of the many crew who’d frequented Pasta Point and he had become a great mate of Tony’s. Doug was a cool, old school dude with many stories to tell about Tony and how he used to live.

After filming as many people as I could find who had come into contact with Tony over the years, it was time to make the trek to Colombo and the Maldives; this time with a crew and actors to retrace and recreate Tony’s epic adventure. I found our main actor in a Port Melbourne coffee shop. I looked at this guy behind the coffee machine and thought, “Fuck me! He looks just like Tony in the early days. I wonder if he can act?”

As fate (or serendipity) would have it, this guy, Paul, was a legitimate actor and the coffee‐making was just a side gig! After hearing the story of Tony’s epic journey, Paul was inspired and more than happy to pack up shop and head overseas with Andy and me. Before we left we decided to pay a visit to the legend himself, Bob McTavish. We wanted Bob to make a replica of Tony’s board from the 70’s. Bob searched through his old templates and found the classic pin tail, single fin Blue Bird surfboard, which would have been Tony’s best friend. We now had the right gear for the job! The trip didn’t start off too well—our cameraman, Andrew Richards, had the runs and almost missed the plane! Fortunately he made it through, as he had an amazing eye and invaluable knowledge of the equipment. Colombo was amazing; driving through completely un-commercialized areas, bursting with rich colors and vibrant happy people, all smiling from ear to ear, was an eye‐opening experience. Going through mangroves and tiny towns, all the way to Gal Harbor, we retraced Tony’s steps to the point where Tony and Mark met Captain Bill. In the Maldives we did the same, taking time to enjoy the surf and to immerse ourselves in culture that had been such a big part of Tony’s life. Filming this documentary was almost as big an adventure as the story itself. There were so many people who helped to make this film what it is today, and many more people who missed out. To all of you interviewed, that aren’t mentioned here, I owe a big thank you. I hope you enjoy the finished product as much as I do.

2) Who have been some of your greatest creative (or other) influences over the years, and what motivates and inspires you to keep getting out there with your various projects and being entrepreneurial?

At a young age I worked for my father who owned his own business, so I saw and learnt how to run a company through him. I always liked the idea of working for myself and building my own empire, so I started up Black Lamb, which is a film business that has ventured into other products such as hair and beauty, clothing and apparel. I found a few of my lecturers very inspiring and interesting while I was at university along with all the people I worked with in feature films from the art department to the DOP’s and Directors. I think you learn most of your trade when you actually work on a film set rather than in school. I want to wake up every morning with a passion and be able to say I love what I do, you can dream about it or go out and make it happen. So I went out and made it happen.
I had this burning desire to inspire a generation into going out there and putting what you dream about into massive action. I’ve never been a “gunner man”. I consider myself a “doer”. You always get people saying “I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna do that”… Just get off your ass and make it happen.

It may take 6 years like it has with my first film Serendipity, or 10 years for Black Lamb but the reward is success and success smells good to me! I think what also helps is teaming up with like minded people who can help you make your dreams a reality. People that can mentor you in life and business. I’ve teamed up with Margie Clayton and Craig Delmo from Instant Rockstar and having them involved in my company helps me move forward creatively. I now have 3 brains working on my master plan! I’m loving bouncing creative ideas off them and seeing the results. Margie and Craig have been in the hair industry for 10 years now, so they know what they’re talking about. I’m blessed to have a great team now.

3) You’ve filmed some pretty crazy events for corporates over the years. What have been some of the most memorable gigs that you’ve done for clients?

Well, I’m a massive motivational reader. I read any books that can make me a better person so I would have to say Michelle Bridges is one of the most inspiring people I have worked with. She has such great energy and it rubs off on you. I’ve also filmed a lot of the Oakley product launch parties which are always great fun and I’m also a fan of all the surf pro’s that I get invited to, so I get to meet them as well. I was filming at the tennis one year and I got to film Nadal just after he won the Australian Open, so that was quite cool. I’ve hung out with Bono, Madonna and looked after Snoop Doggy Dog one night. That was a lot of fun! The list goes on. I film a lot of red carpet events so I’m sure that I’ve filmed half of the Australian celebs.

4) What would be your dream gig, or if you could work on any creative project without any limitations – what would this look like? / who would you most like to work with etc?

My plan is to keep making documentaries for now but the bigger dream is to write a book that I can then make into a feature film. I have some crazy stories to tell from my life, which I think could make a great read and an even better feature film. I want to call the book Memoirs Of A Black Lamb. The film will tell my story of hardship, drugs, sex and ultimately one individual’s success. The book will also talk about the rise of Black Lamb the brand!

5) What do you love most about your work? / What have been the biggest challenges for you in your career, if any?

What I love most about my work is the fact that I’m not actually working at all. This job I do is my passion, I love telling stories… I love interviewing crew and then making what I call art! I suppose the hardest thing about following a creative path is the fact that no one else is going to make your career except yourself, so you have to spend years doing work for free until you have enough of a portfolio to start charging clients. It’s the same with making a documentary – at least for your first one. I just can’t go up to an investor and say I want to make a doco, give me money. They’re just going to say what have you done before? So, the hardest part was getting people to believe in your dreams and get them on some sort of deferral payment so you can fund your own project. I’m sure now that I’ve done my first one the rest will be a lot easier.

6) Like most creative people – you have several projects on the go at the same time. Out of all of these projects, do you have any major loves amongst them, or are you equally excited and passionate about all of them?

I’m equally exited about all of the creative things I do, but one project which is close to the heart is another documentary I have in the vault called Muse …

Muse is a documentary about Peter Churcher – a realist painter who was appointed the Official War Artist to paint the War against Terrorism. He was situated in Melbourne before being given a grant by the Australian Government to paint in Barcelona, Spain. He now resides in Spain and has been there for the past 2 years.

During his time in Melbourne however, I worked with him and became both his muse and the subject matter of many of his paintings during that period. We worked together in this capacity for close to a decade.

We will see in-depth discussions on Peter’s development of a painting; giving the viewer a detailed educational look at an artist’s point of view. It will put the viewer right in the middle of the exhibitions, giving a detailed description of the paintings by Peter. It will touch on Peters being appointed the Official War Artist in the war against terror. It will show the beauty of Barcelona and the beauty of his work. It will appeal to a wide audience from art lovers to the normal Jo Blow who wants to know more about how painters paint and the relationship that they have with artist models. This film gives an interesting insight into the art world through the muse’s eyes. 


7) What do you do for fun in your down time when you’re not working?

I’m into all sorts of extreme sports… I like kite surfing, skate, surfing, and motorbike riding. Basically anything that goes hard and fast. I just recently made a pact to myself to get fit and healthy so I’m training in the gym most days after a two-year break… I look at some people my age and they’re fat and un-healthy. I could see myself heading that way so I now have the gym as my passion project outside of work.

8) What is your favorite film and or documentary?

I like all the old films like Scarface, Easy Rider, Blade Runner, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, Prometheus just to name a few… Doco’s by Michael More are always a win. Oliver Stone films rock too.

9) What does success look like for you?

Success is measured in so many ways! Is it the money? Is it the achievements in your field of work? I would have to personally say it’s a combination of all of the above. My film has now been shown in every country around the world and is currently on Qantas. So, for me that’s success… I’ve made something out of nothing with my own bare hands! No one can take that away from me.

10) What’s next for you? Any other interesting projects on the horizon/collaborations or future goals you are yet to achieve?

It’s all about moving forward in your career, so feature films, books and my major love – Black Lamb the brand, which will be coming 2014. I’ve got another doco, which is in the can so to speak. Well it’s at least shot and it’s about Black empowerment in South Africa. Stay tuned.

simon-lamb-006

simon-lamb-007

simon-lamb-008

For anyone wishing to see the film later this month – there will be a special screening in Melbourne on November 28 at OneSixOne @ 161 High Street, Prahran at 6pm Sharp. Tickets are available for pre purchase from Oztix below or contact: info@onesixone.com.au

http://tickets.oztix.com.au/?Event=38746&utm_medium=Website&utm_source=OzTix&utm_content=GigGuide&utm_term=SERENDIPITY__

JR Reyne – Musician

jr-reyne-001

There is no denying that JR Reyne (Jaime Robbie) is one talented (and it cannot be denied… very good looking) young man. He comes from good stock after all. Reyne’s parents are rock singer James Reyne (Australian Crawl fame) and model/stylist – Kim Ellmer. (Further evidence of talented genes running deep is – Reyne’s grandmother – Mrs Reyne, co-incidentally happened to be a senior English teacher at my school whilst growing up. I have a strong memory of her being in the staff choir as the lead. She was an amazing singer with an operatic style voice)

Reyne started out early on in his career as a model, and with various theatre and television appearances, including a role on Neighbours in 2002 also under his belt, based on these stats alone you could probably assume that he was born to be in show business and to perform. However as most of us in creative fields know all too well, success comes from years of hard work and determination. So it’s great to see that this is exactly the path that Jaime has chosen to take in carving out his own niche on his own terms.

Jaime has been solidly performing and touring with various bands since he was 20. Most notably as founding frontman and founder of Rushcutter. The band was signed to Mercury Records/Universal and worked with legendary producer Niko Bolas – long time collaborator of Neil Young, Keith Richards and Warren Zevon. Rushcutter went on to release a critically acclaimed debut album titled – ‘Call High Water’ – which was recorded at Melbourne’s famed Sing Sing Studios.

JR has since released and toured solo efforts ‘Remember To Breathe’ throughout Australia & the US to glowing reviews and has played at festivals such as A Day on the Green, St Kilda Festival, Manifestivus, Hot BBQ, Queenscliff Music Festival, Australian Country Music Muster and Rock For Relief. He has also shared stages with Pat Benatar, The Bangles, Gotye, Brett Dennen, Paul Kelly, Cloud Control, The Waifs, Loon Lake, & Canyons to name a few.

This year kicked off with the release of ‘Surrounded By The City’ – produced at Kent Ave Studio, NYC which features Jon Graboff (Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Ryan Adams and The Cardinals, Willie Nelson) and Jeff Hill (Shooter Jennings, Rufus Wainwright, Joan As Police Woman), as well as contributing his version of The Rolling Stones classic ‘No Expectations’ to the 50th Anniversary Tribute (Halcyon Records).

Having recently relocated to Los Angeles, Reyne now spends his time jetting across the Pacific, having only recently returned home to perform at the Melbourne Spring Fashion Festival last month as Levi’s musical brand ambassador, as well as headlining DJ-sets at Melbourne hotspots such as Prince, The George and Seven Nightclub.

JR recently performed at the legendary Abbot Kinney Festival in Venice, California and launched his new single “My O My” at LA’s House Of Blues. JR Reyne will be returning to Australia next month to perform at the 2013 Melbourne Cup and will be returning to Australian shores once again this Summer for further shows to support his forthcoming release.

Look out for info on JR Reyne’s upcoming tour dates here and go support home grown talent who are really out there giving it a crack. Be rest assured that we will be seeing a lot more of JR Reyne in the years to come.

http://www.jrreyne.com

Q & A:

1) You come from a creative family. Do you think you were destined to follow in your Dad and Uncle’s foot steps by also becoming a muso? Did they ever try and talk you out of it?

I don’t think I was necessarily destined to do anything specific, however I was definitely destined to do whatever I wanted to do as I was lucky enough to be brought up in an environment which allowed me to do so. I have my mother to thank for that, as she and my god-mother were definitely my main influence for music – Sade, Van Morrison, Ry Cooder, Roxy Music. You name it, their music was always floating about the house growing up.

2) Do you think people have greater expectations of you as a consequence of your surname, or do you find you are judged on the merit of your own creative direction/sound?

I don’t know if people have greater expectations necessarily, but I am quite often compared to my father in Australia, which is totally natural. Here in the States though I’m definitely judged on the merit of my own stuff as there isn’t that association.

3) Did you study acting or music / or teach yourself? Who have been some of your greatest creative influences whilst growing up?

I did study growing up – guitar lessons, choir, played double-bass in the high school orchestra – but I also taught myself a lot from playing along to my favorite records as a kid. When the album Nevermind first came out, I definitely wanted to “be like Nirvana” – haha… and would actually draw little sketches wherever I could of how I’d want “my band to look like when I grew up”.

4) How would you describe your particular musical/creative style, and do you feel it has changed over the years as you’ve grown as an artist?

My musical taste is so varied and I think, and I hope that comes through when I play and record. I guess my music has changed over the years. As a teenager I played in garage bands, and was also djing at clubs around town, before really getting stuck into songwriters like John Prine and Gram Parsons, and also players like Junior Kimbrough and RL Burnside who took me off in a different direction. My old band Rushcutter however were definitely trying to marry a Tom Petty feel in writing and performance with Australiana references, so I guess it just all depends on what you’re feeling at that stage in your life. At the end of the day, good music is good music, and genre is pretty irrelevant.

5) What is the best and worst career advice you’ve ever received?

Where do I start… the best advice I’ve probably received was to go and play and write as much as possible, as there really is only one way to get good, and that’s to just keep doing what you love and to always keep on top and practiced, as you are always, always learning. The worst advice I’ve ever been given was definitely from labels telling us you to alter what you naturally feel is right, to fit more into a current market. Never a good idea, and people can smell fake a mile away.

jr-reyne-002

6) You are currently living in LA. What prompted the move to the States and how are you finding the career move? Have you found yourself living amongst other Aussie ex pats?

I’ve wanted to come to the States for as long as I can remember, so when the opportunity came to come over to the US for work (back in ’08 with then band ‘Rushcutter’), I fell in love. Growing up in Australia, the US feels so exotic on one hand, but also extremely familiar, so it does feel like home away from home. LA’s also great, as although it’s far, it’s still only a single flight back to Oz, so I’m able to fly back to do shows, and whatnot when I can. Aussies here do tend to congregate towards each other here naturally, and strangely enough, some of my closest Australian friends I befriended whilst here in the States.

7) What do you love most about your work? / What are the biggest challenges for you as a musician?

The thing I love the most about my work is that I never really know exactly where tomorrow it’s going to take me. I never know what tomorrow will bring. Conversely, the biggest challenge is that I never really know where exactly tomorrow it’s going to take me – haha.

8) What are some of your favorite hang outs in LA for good food / coffee / music / fashion ?

Tough one…Old Style Guitar Shop, H.O.W.L., Black Cat, Nick Fouquet Hat Co., The Echo, Kapital, Deus, Gjelina, The Satellite, Aust., Chucks Vintage, Wacko Soap Plant, Figaro, 4100 Bar & Stories.

9) What do you do for kicks and leisure when you’re not writing or performing?

Hmmm, pretty much just waste the days trolling through Instagram.

10) As a creative person – who and what inspires you or are you passionate about?

Anything can be inspiring really… big and little bits and bobs along the ways. The smallest occurrences and things you hear can sometimes make for the best tunes.

11) What’s your all time favorite song? and fave band/s? What is the best gig you’ve ever been to?

I’d have to say Sexual Healing by Marvin Gaye is the perfect pop song… perfect production and I’ve loved it for as long as I can remember… The Race Is On by George Jones too. My favorite band’s probably the Police and the best gig I’ve ever been to was Prince in Melbourne around 3-4 years ago.

12) What next – any other interesting projects you’d like to plug/mention?

I’m currently working on a collaborative project here in LA with an ace producer from Ohio, Clay Schmitt. I’ve also got a new record coming out over Summer in Australia, which we’ll be launching and touring in Oz first.
I’ve got solo shows coming up at House of Blues and Aust. here in LA, as well as a performance for Spring Racing Carnival back in Melbourne, plus DJ sets in Australia including a set with my buds Generik and the Bad Cats which’ll be ace.

James Vegter – Actor / Writer / Director / Producer

James-Vegter-01

James Vegter is an Australian actor, screenwriter, director and producer from country Victoria. He’s acted in Australian and Chinese film and television and is currently working with Indian and American film associates. James happens to be a good bloke too.

From a young age, story telling was always a passion for him and there is no doubt James has made it his journey to turn this childhood passion into his life’s work as an adult.

James has been working super hard over the years; honing his skills as an actor and appearing in numerous television and film roles, whilst also aspiring to do his own thing with his writing, directing and producing.

Like most creative people I know, James currently has at least six projects on the go. Being busy and juggling is what keeps crew like James alive. It’s inspiring to see such home grown talent working away at making their mark on the film industry abroad without much fanfare, and all in the name of just doing good work that might make a difference to someone out there who wants to be moved or to possibly have their mind stretched just a tad. This is all any creative person really wants to do at the end of the day…

Make stuff that matters… And hopefully from a commercial point of view – someone wants to pay for that “stuff” to keep their creative work viable and ongoing.

To see some of James’s work, visit the interwebs here. Or keep your ear to the ground for the name James Vegter, for in the years to come I reckon we might be be lucky by unleashing another successful Australian film maker into the world. Now wouldn’t that be cool…

James-Vegter-x3b

http://www.jamesvegter.com

Q & A:

1) Did you always want to become a film maker? Describe your passion for your work and what do you feel makes a truly great piece of film?

When I was young, I would constantly act out stunts from favorite movies, mess around with film cameras and build worlds and war games around me to pass time. I was often living in my imagination, even though my father was calling for me to work on our farm. During secondary years and University, I was heavily involved in sport and trying to work out exactly what I wanted to do. After traveling abroad for many years soul searching and luckily working on television commercials and photography shoots domestically and internationally, my passion was found again. Since then, I haven’t stopped trying to learn and tell stories through acting and filmmaking.

My passion is story telling. My thoughts on a good piece of filmmaking, is something that makes you think, question humanity and believe.

2) Did you study film/acting? Who have been some of your greatest creative influences?

I’ve done a degree in Commerce Marketing and Business Music at Vic Uni and I have studied with various acting teachers in Sydney, Melbourne, LA and New York for the last nine years developing my acting and film making skills. If I’m not working, I’m constantly studying and working at my craft. The exciting thing about acting and filmmaking is that you are constantly learning and evolving as an artist. Al Pacino always says, “I’m still learning.”

My number one creative for acting, film making and story telling is Clint Eastwood. Other influences are Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Marlon Brando, Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro and Daniel Day Lewis. I’m also a big fan of Alfred Hitchcock, Danny Boyle and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu as Directors. In terms of acting methods, I’m an advocate of Alexander, Strasberg and Stanislavski techniques. The list could travel further down this paragraph. It’s not just actors and filmmakers that inspire me, it’s stories of people, questions of humanity and philosophy. Everything is art to me.

3) How would you describe your particular creative style, and do you feel it has changed over the years as you’ve grown as an artist?

If I did have to describe it, it would be layers of rawness, morality, truth, street wisdom, mysticisms, philosophy plus edgy filmmaking and acting. Over the years I have found a huge shift in my acting craft. I feel this is largely due to filmmaking in writing, direction and producing. Each story has something new to learn an offer. I believe each story will have its own creative style.

4) What has been your biggest achievement to date? Where do you see yourself in 5 and 10 years time?

My biggest achievement to date is acting in the Chinese feature film ‘Lovers’. No it wasn’t porn! This film succeeded in China and at various International film festivals and I played the lead as an Australian photographer. The story had a similar feel to a 1970’s French silent movie.

In 5 to 10 years I see myself set up in LA and working through American, Australian, Indian, and Chinese markets. I’ve developed my craft and business networks to prepare myself for achieving this.

5) What do you love most about your work? / What are the biggest challenges for you as a young (Australian) film maker? / Do you have any plans to pursue your career overseas?

LOVE: I’m inspired to work with creative people that are open to collaboration and passionate. I’m obsessed to learn and be the best artist I can be. Working with other people on this same journey only lifts me to a higher level.

CHALLENGES: I’ve faced numerous challenges over the last five years developing my acting craft and making my first independent feature film. Constant knocks back would be the toughest, but passion and belief drives me.

Producing an international feature film abroad has had its challenges through barriers to entry. We had ambition to make “Atman” a feature film set in India for the last four years. This film has now been re-branded and developed into “Dead Feather”, a film set in Argentina. I spent numerous years developing networks in Indian Film to make this fly, but recently the project took a turn of wind. I’ve learnt through the process, you don’t know what to expect. That is why you just have to continue working hard until something pops. Constant re-writes can be difficult but circumstance has its own reasoning. Personal life and finance can also make it difficult when you are trying to get your own project off the ground.

Realistically you need to be over in LA to make your acting fly better. There is less opportunity in Australia. My path hasn’t taken this journey yet due to investment commitments with ‘Dead Feather.’ Everything has its own reasoning. I would like to return to LA with not just my acting credits, but also my writing, directing and producing credits. This trip will hopefully happen in 2014.

6) If you had an unlimited budget to make the film of your dreams. What would that look like? (Genre, locations, subject matter etc)

I’d probably look at a budget to make about five feature films that can have both a social and moral affect on society. I believe budgets are too high at the moment. Look at the movie ‘Australia’ for example. I often think budgets are blown out and if you look at the amount spent on that movie, the Australian Film Industry could of made around 20 feature films. I base my producing model around Clint Eastwood. Tight budget, good quality, high return!

7) What do you do when you’re not making films?

Surf, play music and cook up some hopefully good food.

8) As a creative person – who and what inspires you or are you passionate about?

Everybody inspires me. Humans. Stories. Earth. Meta physics. Philosophy.

9) What’s your all time favorite movie and why? / who would you most like to work with?

Best movie: North by Northwest. Clint Eastwood is the guy that I would most like to work with.

10) What next – any other interesting projects on the horizon/future goals you are yet to achieve?

The major project I’m involved with currently is ‘Dead Feather.’ The film is about habitus. How violence has a cause an affect on your external and internal environments. Set in Perth and Buenos Aires, the story deals with an ex-soldier dealing with PTSD, bad luck in love, war, gang violence, express kidnappings, human trafficking and mystical elements of birds and American Indian healing. I’m the actor/ writer/ producer of the film and we are looking to go into production in 2014 if everything goes according to plan.

I’m also currently making a short film around a story based from Ernst Hemingway and Vincent Van Gogh’s suicide. We are shooting that in December 2013.

I’m also working on five other feature films. One is called called ‘Tequila Diamonds’ which essentially deals with addictions, following three stories through a weather vane that changes direction. When North Wind hits the shore, the story’s meets, all breaking free.

Number two is a Bollywood feature film that I’m acting in.

Number three – This movie is based from a true story set in Thailand and Burma about three school-teachers. On a night out in Bangkok during the water festival, one teacher tragically drowns. The two guys dealing with the shock of their mate’s death find out through personal belongings that he lived a second life in Burma. The two head off to explore, little did they know they would be falsely convicted and thrown in jail.

Number four is a film from Texas. It’s a historical piece set in the 1880’s and is shooting around 40% in Australia, 20% UK and 40% in the USA. I can’t say too much about this one as I haven’t written it.

Number five is another film I’ve written called ‘Chinese Whispers.’ I can’t say too much about this one either, otherwise whispers will get around. It’s set in 2018. The treatment is currently being revised.

I’m also in the process of designing a small film studio in Melbourne.