By Roslyn Russell Today I welcome Monique Plunkett from Elkhorn. Monique is a graphic designer who creates high quality screen printed homewares and accessories. Monqiue began Elkhorn while living on the Central Coast of NSW and the natural beauty of that environment has been a strong influence in Monique's work.
What do you create? I create a range of hand screen printed designs printed on durable eco-friendly fabrics. They range from things for the home, cushions,table runners, tea towels and a small collection of soft floaty scarves.
Have you done training in your creative field or has it come about informally? I have been screen printing since I was young. Mana, my Nan, bought my sister and I our first Silk Screen sets. When I finished school, I spent my first year studying Visual Arts and then went on to study Graphic Design. I guess you could say I have a mix of formal training and have since experimented with different creative areas in my own time.
What are your main creative inspirations? Natural coastal surrounds definitely are a huge inspiration to me. It can come from something as simple as the change in light as the sun goes down over the water, to the variations of colour and texture in a feather or a collection of finds from the beach. I have some wonderfully supportive and close friends that inspire me on all sorts of levels, not just creative. It’s having these people in your life that keeps you going, which is inspiring in itself.
How do you balance your creative projects with the administration aspect of creative work? This is something I have struggled with from time to time. It can be really hard to find a balance as production time can be quite intensive. I have found if I dedicate the first hour of the morning to admin and get it out of the way it leaves me free to get into the creative projects which of course it what I love best!
What do you do when you experience a creative block? Get outside! I either head down to the local cafe or go for a walk or run, which always seems to clear my head. I have a stack of favourite magazines and blogs which are always good to flip through, they seem to help get the creative flow happening again. I also have a couple of great friends of whom I really value their creative opinion. I often shoot them a email or meet them for a coffee and show them where I am at. Sometimes it's just great to talk through your designs with someone else.
What future goals do you have for your creative pursuits? The question of the year! This has actually been on my mind a lot lately, having recently relocated to Melbourne. The short term goal is to find a shared studio space, so I can continue working on Elkhorn and perhaps pick up a few other design jobs. In the future I would love to work with like-minded designers whether it's a collaboration or assisting with another label that I admire!
Roslyn Russell is a sewist, blogger and teacher. Her blog, Sew Delicious, is where she showcases her latest projects, designs and sewing tutorials. Roslyn also enjoys cake baking and decorating, exploring Melbourne cafes and restaurants, and hunting through op-shops for vintage sewing and kitchen treasures.