By Tess McCabe
In November 2011, Creative Women’s Circle released its first book: Conversations with Creative Women. The paperback version sold out in early 2012, but the book lives on in digital form.
The first volume of this independently published series offers tips, shares advice, and gives us insight into the world of fifteen busy, inspiring creative women.
Conversations with Creative Women is a collection of exclusive interviews with some of Australia’s most talented female creatives, from industries as varied as millinery, textile design, blogging, architecture, retail, writing, weaving and fashion design.
This is not just another book visually exhibiting the work of Australian creatives — the interviewees describe the varied paths that have led them to their current achievements, offering tips for entering or sustaining a career in their field and insight into the real-life struggles, challenges, and the minutiae of creative practice.
The women interviewed in this book are at different stages in their careers, with varying responsibilities at home, as an employee, as a self-employed freelancer or as a business owner. They talk about their careers and creative lives with insight and generosity.
Kristen Doran is one of Australia’s most well-known boutique fabric designers. Her locally-screen printed, ethically-produced all-natural basecloths feature her original bold designs and many a fan make fabulous things from them! Kristen balances her label with freelance graphic design work and raising her two sons, keeping us abreast of it all via her blog.
It’s common knowledge that The Design Files is not only one of the most popular design blogs in Melbourne, but the country (and possibly planet Earth!). Always humble, honest and heart-warmingly nice, Lucy Feagins shares her experiences working in the fast-paced film and TV industry, the story of how TDF came to be, her leap to a full-time blogging career and more.
Marian Hosking has had a long and illustrious career as a jeweller, silversmith and educator in this field. Her work, inspired by flora and natural shapes and landscapes, is held in a number of national and international gallery collections and has won numerous awards. Marian shares with us details of how she creates and chooses to exhibit her work, and her thoughts on refining one’s work as a craftsperson.
Clare Lancaster has worked in the online sphere her entire career, and currently runs the popular blog Women in Business, writes for Problogger and develops online workshops and products targeted at women running online businesses. She offers her thoughts on running an independent business, the wide world of social media marketing, and what has surprised her about running her own online businesses.
In a relatively short career as an artist and weaver, Maryann Talia Pau‘s work has already been featured at the NGV International amongst other well-known galleries. In fact, Maryann seems to have a new exhibition opening every second week! But in reality it is her true passion for her work, her community and her creative spirit that is evident in Maryann’s interview. She offers invaluable advice to up-and-coming artists and craftspeople.
Cristina Re is the brains and creative force behind her internationally successful stationery and papergoods brand, which includes a Melbourne-based retail outlet (and high-tea cafe!) and many stockists. Cristina shares her story finding a niche in her field and building an idea with passion and integrity into a business with many employees. She details her role within her business and some of the pros and cons that go along with that.
Kate Vernon is a passionate, design-savvy graduate architect and mum of two little ones, who keep her on her toes. She thoroughly enjoys working within a small architectural studio and is a passionate supporter of work-life balance! Kate is delightfully funny and honest about life as a busy creative mum in her interview for the book (and the homes she designs are to die for!).
Masayo Yasuki started her fashion label dogstar like many do – at a local design market. Her label now has four retail outlets, a full staff, over 50 stockists and they proudly manufacture everything in Australia. Despite a knockback earlier this year during the Queensland floods, Masayo’s keen business sense and respect for her customer base means dogstar is continuing to grow and thrive. She shares advice on the fashion industry and avoiding the pitfalls of running one’s own business.
Serena Lindeman is well-known in the Melbourne fashion community as a creator of stylish and surprising designer bridal, racing millinery, and seasonal headwear. Serena Lindeman came to millinery in 1993 in London, training at London College of Fashion and working for well-respected London milliner Edwina Ibbotson. Upon returning to Melbourne she established her own business and is currently located in the iconic Nicholas Building.
Grace Camobreco is the creative director behind Taylor & Grace, a highly-respected multi-disciplinary graphic design studio in Melbourne. With a varied body of creative work and work experience under her belt, Grace shares with us the ups-and-downs of her early career path and the gems of insight she has learned along the way.
You may have read many of Lou Pardi’s words before in popular magazines Peppermint and T-World. Lou is an active writer, editor, social media expert and sustainable fashion enthusiast, whose strong moral convictions combined with her word-ly talents mean she is successfully changing the world one article at a time.
Seja Vogel is well known on the national music scene for her involvement in bands such as Sekiden and Regurgitator. In 2010 she finished her first solo album We Have Secrets But Nobody Cares and has toured extensively in support of the release. While on tour, she will often be found creating beautiful and intricate miniature felt replicas of synthesisers and musical instruments!
Tess Lloyd and Maja Rose have a strong friendship and an even stronger sense of beautiful design – their accessory label Polli has achieved success in leaps and bounds since its inception. Tess and Maja share their experiences with participating in trade shows, manufacturing in Australia, and building a supportive work place for their growing staff.
Everybody loves Pip Lincolne! Prolific blogger, author of four successful books and owner of one of Melbourne’s longest-running handmade retail stores, Meet Me At Mikes, Pip is well known in the craft community as a generous, positive and creative woman! In her unmistakable prose, Pip shares her tips for surviving in retail and as a craft practitioner, and her journey to becoming a published author.
Plus exclusive illustrations from:
Conversations with Creative Women also features exclusive illustrations by Laura McKellar, Tess Milani, Monique de Jong, Holly May Canham, Natalie Mammarella, Luci Everett, Nicola St John, Kish & Co, Pilgrim Lee, Kirsty Eckard, Jennifer Henderson, Jenna Hipgrave, Eirian Chapman and Yan Yan Candy Ng.
Notes to a Further Excuse; Harvest Textiles (including photos from the book launch!); Clog/Craft Victoria; Women in Business; Draw! Pilgrim; Designalogue; ModPod Creative; Kish + Co; Shelley Panton; Hello Mila; The World By Us; Cristina Re; Life InStyle; The Hungry Workshop; Kaleidoscope; Extra Curricular; Patchwork & Stitching Magazine.