FK chats to Melbourne based Nyssa and Meredith about their collaboration: Love in The Wilderness.
Tell us a little about your label and the kind of products we can expect.
‘Love in The Wilderness’ is a combination of the individual passions of two young designers, Nyssa Skorji (A Wilderness for You & Me) and Meredith Forrester (A Whole Lotta Love). We like to think of ourselves as a bit of a collective. As we have similar personal styles, and are pretty darn good friends, we combine our powers at markets around Melbourne. Nyssa creates gorgeous handmade vintage and contemporary fabric accessories such as necklaces, brooches and purses, while Meredith lets her pens and pencils run across paper to produce intricate illustrations. These in turn find their way onto eco-friendly stationery items, like greeting cards and wrapping paper.
What are your backgrounds and when did you team up for Love In The Wilderness?
Nyssa is inspired by her Tokyo upbringing, where she discovered her love of eastern cuteness and personification of the sweetest of critters through design and fashion. After returning to Melbourne to complete high school, she studied design at Swinburne University before breaking out on her own to follow her dreams. Meredith also studied Communication Design at Swinburne, graduating in 2007, and has since juggled freelance design work and travels to foreign lands. She has always been inspired to draw, ever since those days of yore when she would thumb endlessly through her father’s bird-watching field guides.
Our paths crossed a couple of years ago when we both took on a job at a lovely little local deli. We made an instant connection, but it wasn’t until a trip to Tokyo in early 2010 that we decided to take the plunge upon our return and join forces.
What themes run through your work?
Nyssa’s lovingly handmade pieces are inspired by woodland creatures and everything kawaii. She gathers inspiration from vintage objects, children’s book illustrations and lovely days spent in Japanese squirrel parks. Her felt pieces are individually hand-sewn and designed to be functional, practical and delightful.
Meredith references native flora and fauna for her detailed illustrations, focusing primarily on birds and wildflowers. She doodles frequently, and these random organic patterns regularly make their way into the backgrounds of her pieces. A natural and romantic aesthetic goes hand in hand with her style.
Both of us are motivated by the desire to create beautiful objects for others to love and treasure, and are constantly aware of environmentally conscious and sustainable practices within design.
What advice would you give others starting out?
Never Give Up! Learn to love hard work, or at least be prepared for it! Good things take time, but the journey is half the fun, and more. Grab hold of every opportunity, you never know where they’ll take you. Invest time in emailing, calling, popping in, mailing out. Create Christmas cards and sweet gifts for your family and friends and enjoy the smiles on their faces. Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams and stick it to that high school maths teacher who told you you’d get nowhere as an artist! Love what you do, believe in yourself, and thank the people who believe in you too! Most of all, have a whole lot of fun.
What do you love as creatives about Melbourne?
What is there not to love? We like to think of our hometown as a frantically blossoming hub of designer goodness, full of quaint boutiques down hidden lanes, crafty clubs, artist markets and new stores, studios & cafes to discover daily. Street art is amazing, as is the coffee. Delving into the creative side of Melbourne is like falling down Alice’s rabbit hole – so many wonderful, surprising, inspiring ideas, ever-evolving, it’s hard to keep up! We’ve both been to gorgeous places around the world, from San Francisco to Shimokitazawa in Tokyo, and we still think she’s the best city the world’s got to offer. We’re pretty proud of her.
What new things do you have planned for Love In The Wilderness?
We’ll continue working on our individual labels, but also keep supporting, motivating and shouting each other coffee/ciders. We have grand plans to open a store/cafe/gallery together in the future – our own little piece of design heaven – so we’ll keep dreaming and working towards that. For now, we both have exciting opportunities ahead of us as we collaborate with companies and other designers and branch out into retail stores and galleries across the country. So keep an eye out for the both of us! At the end of the day, we’re looking forward to keeping on cutting, sewing, drawing and printing away. Cheers!