Can you tell us about your lovely label and where the name comes from?
ANTIPASTEL is about sharing a love of colour. It’s about adding a little rainbow to everything, to lift the spirit. I try to embody that in everything I make: colourful, quirky, funny and cute are essential tick-boxes. I invented the name years ago, for some corner of the internet or another. It was original and punny, and when I started making colourful craft objects, it seemed like just the right fit. It has since become my craft identity and it informs everything I make, from pompom hair accessories to DIY bookmark kits.
What is your creative background and how did it lead you to where you are today?
My education in the creative and performing arts led me to study Visual Communication at UTS. That’s why you’ll see a lot of bold visual elements, typography and time spent on packaging (I really enjoy that part!). I can also thank my design background for introducing me to double-sided tape – I’ve never looked back.
It wasn’t all pompoms and monster softies at uni, though. I dipped my toe into everything from character design, to typography, to user experience of the digital space. Generally, answering design briefs with specific objectives. Contrastingly, ANTIPASTEL allows me to make for the sake of it. It exists on its own, definitely influenced by my training, but more for self satisfaction. I get a kick out of seeing people react to what I make; more so, seeing them wear or use it. Design school also taught me about the process, although I much prefer experimenting without a deadline. My Pompom Hair Bombs, for example, were a happy accident that happened one crafternoon. I had no objective but to play around with some yarn.
What inspires your work and what keeps you motivated creatively?
Inspiration comes from the vast creative landscape that is the internet. YouTube has taught me a lot. Meeting other creatives and people with similar interests. Shared knowledge. Getting outdoors. Illustrated kids’ books. Illustrated design books. Beautiful typography and sketchbook composition. Quick, messy drawings in texta, pen and pencil. Australian artists and designers. Anyone who uses colour in an interesting way. Motivation comes from deep within: I was born to create. Tangible results. New techniques. Wriggling out of my comfort zone.
What is your creative workspace like, and what inspires you about your surroundings?
It’s a confusing contrast of order and mess. I have a number of tackle boxes, tubs and drawers stuffed full of miscellaneous craft supplies. On the wall are sketches, inspirations and creative quotes (including my motto, “Create Every Day”). My creative workspace can be mobile, and I often gravitate toward my comfortable wool couch. I have a tendency to spread and create “craft bombs”: explosions of craft activity, offcuts and yarn dust.
What challenges have you faced starting your own label, and what are some things you love about it?
Probably disciplining myself to stick to one thing for a bit. I tend not to limit what I create. That’s not such a bad thing, I just crave variety. It keeps me making. It’s been a lot of fun, trialling and error-ing my way through the process of product creation. Meeting encouraging, creative people is uplifting. When I make something, and I’m really happy with it – that’s a good feeling.
What can we expect to see from Antipastel at the upcoming Sydney Markets?
I’ve long wanted to throw some cat stuff into the mix, so expect feline-themed additions. Piles of multicolour pompoms in a bazillion brilliant colours. And a few super special top secret one-off/limited edition pieces.