The Fetch Blog

Curated reads and events for professionals

Interview: Brisbane Local, John Ellway — July 5, 2012

Interview: Brisbane Local, John Ellway

Brisbane Curator Lani Pauli quizzed local Pinterest wunderkid and architect, John Ellway.

Photo by Toby Scott

Where can you find John online? & @jellway

Works: James Russell Architect 

Why Architecture? 
The projects I worked on practicing as a graphic designer led me towards the built environment. My clients have mainly been architects and their photographers. I love detail and materials. This is what architecture is all about.

Where is your favourite Brisbane building and/or space? 
I would say it is the The Red Box space that looks out to the river in Donovan Hill’s State Library refurbishment. I have spent many days reading and working in this space. It’s the best free office in Brisbane.

What is your ultimate ‘goal’ for your architecture career? 
To create buildings that people find comfort in living within. To do that I not only want to design, but also build some of my work. Working with James, we design part of the week in the studio and the rest building on site testing our ideas.

Tell me about your skyrocketing popularity on Pinterest? 
That is a very strange one! Within about 3 weeks my follower numbers jumped from about 30 people I actually knew, to about 30,000. It seems to climbs daily by about 1,500 and is sitting at around 230,000 currently. I finally worked out that I am featured at signup in the ‘Architecture’ category, and with many users pretty interested in buildings and spaces I seem to be added quite a bit.

Why do you think you’re ‘huge’ on Pinterest? 
Maybe people like what I put up because it’s a bit different to the usual pillows, dresses and shoes 🙂
I am pretty fussy about how I categorise my stuff on there which comes about because I really just use it as a visual bookmarking system for my own reference, not really caring if anyone else looks at it.

Who is doing cool stuff in our industries? 

What was your first job? 
My first job was working for the furniture bohemith IKEA during my early studies. Saturdays were hell. It was a great place to work travel wise, you could plug yourself into any city with an IKEA and get a job fairly easily. I spend a bit of time working for them in the UK after I finished studying.

What’s the biggest misconception about Brisbane?
That there is nothing going on. Most of the creative communities have at least one event going on each week. Immerse yourself in a couple of them and you are set. It may not be of the volume of London or Melbourne, but it’s growing. I occasionally jump on an architecture related radio show broadcast from Melbourne reporting on Queensland happenings. The other hosts down their are envious of what is beginning to happen in Brisbane. The describe it as the feeling Melbourne had 15 years ago.

What’s the biggest opportunity and challenge for architecture in Brisbane?
There are plenty of opportunities to infill and densify our suburbs. There are plenty of council rules that that stop it. There are plenty of ways to get a balance between density and character.

What are some local upcoming events you recommend? 
• PechaKucha Brisbane –
• Seven with Another –
• The local version of the to soon be announced by
• Edible Streets Tours –

What’s next? 
Finish my study; refine my craft; and create simple comfortable architectural spaces for people to live in.

Interview: Brisbane local, Jenica Smith — June 19, 2012

Interview: Brisbane local, Jenica Smith

This fortnight, Brisbane editor Lani Pauli interviews creator and editor of Design Montage, Jenica Smith.

Name: Jenica Smith

Twitter handle: @designmontage

Works at: Design Montage

Where did your idea for Design Montage come from? Design Montage actually started as a project in my Masters course at University. I wanted a way to connect with fellow creatives, initially around Brisbane, as so many of us work independently at all hours of the day.

Where does your passion for the site come from and what keeps it going? I am constantly inspired by the people I meet and connect with through Design Montage. The drive to keep writing and constantly evolve the creative hub comes from the feedback from readers and a wider audience.

I love that someone who’s not a practicing creative, as such, can be inspired by reading about someone else’s creative journey. I kind of get a bit excited by it all and once I get talking, I’m a bit of a chatterbox!

Who do you think is doing cool stuff in our industries? Monique Kneepkens & Jessica Huddart who run Seven with Another. I love that they are encouraging creatives from so many disciplines to collaborate and create something unique.

And, cannot forget! Loni Parker is a fellow graphic designer, turned writer who has created the gorgeous online interiors mag—Adore Home Magazine. She’s now attracting an international audience and has a massive following of readers for something she started at home in Brisbane, from her simple love of design and interiors.

What was your first job? My first job at 16 was burning CD’s and then deep-etching cars for the press adverts in the design studio of the Brisbane ad agency, Mojo. Initially, I’d make coffee, tea and even fetch the muffins—just to hang around the creative team.

What’s the biggest misconception about Brisbane? That you need to live or be in Sydney or Melbourne for the good opportunities. The creative and digital scene in Brisbane is growing and evolving. It’s so often now that I’m talking to fellow creatives about the wave coming to Brisbane. We are only on the cusp of it now. I’m SO excited for our future in the SE corner!

What’s the biggest opportunity and challenge for Design Montage? That Brisbane has so many talented people living in our awesome city! I love discovering a new creative’s work that I haven’t seen before. It’s like Christmas! Hehe!

As for a challenge, running an online hub, studying my Masters part time at Griffith University’s College of Art and working full time as a graphic designer. Time management is my constant battle!

I’d love more flexibility in my schedule to attend and also participate in more design events.

What are some local upcoming events you recommend? Semi Permanent brings a stack of awesome Australian and international creatives to our sunny city on August 30th. One of the biggest events in the designer’s calendar! Early bird tickets are on sale until the 5th July.

What’s next? After 18 months in the current format, Design Montage is beginning to outgrow itself. This is fantastic, but also daunting! The future for DM is definitely bright and an evolving one. The next 12 months for sure are going to be exciting!

Brisbane Event Review: Brisbane Interactive Beers (BIBs) — May 24, 2012

Brisbane Event Review: Brisbane Interactive Beers (BIBs)

This event review is submitted to The Fetch by Community Ambassador, Jaimee Latta. Read more about Jaimee following her review.

Courtesy of BIBs

Who: Heaps of Brisbane ‘digi’ celebs
What: Inaugural, quarterly (ish) beers. For interactive people. In Brisbane. Brisbane Interactive Beers (BIBs)
Where: Grand Central Hotel in Brisbane
Over Heard: “I thought Nathan Bush was paying for everyone’s beers?”

A couple of weeks ago on a Thursday night lots of lovely people from Brisbane’s digital scene got together for the first ever Brisbane Interactive Beers (BIBs) at the Grand Central Hotel on Ann Street. The inaugural BIBs was light on intense industry chat and heavy on banter and beers which, along with a great mix of people from different sides of the industry, made for a friendly crowd sharing a few laughs and work war stories – and maybe a little too much to drink. Event organiser Nathan Bush intends to move the catch-up around to different venues so keep an eye out in your Fetch updates for the date and details of the next BIBs in early July.  There’s also a proposed shake up which could include a 10 minute guest speaker taking questions from the crowd and showcasing digital awesomeness, PowerPoint banned of course!

If you’re wondering if BIBs is for you – come along, say hi! At the very least you’ll get a beer out of it (eerrr just to clarify for Nathan’s sake, you’ll have to pay for the beer!)

About your reviewer, Jaimee

Jaimee has worked in advertising and marketing for 6 years on both sides of the fence. She currently calls Brisbane creative agency Junior her happy home where she works as an account manager.  Having accidentally uncovered a love for advertising as a two year old who found persuasive communication to be the best way to get her parents to change their behaviour, Jaimee still gets excited about all things shiny and new in the creative world – particularly in Brisbane. 

Interview: Brisbane local, Chiquita Searle — May 12, 2012

Interview: Brisbane local, Chiquita Searle

This fortnight Brisbane editor Lani interviews fashion designer Chiquita Searle about her label ‘Chi The Label‘. You can follow Chiquita on Twitter here.

Where does your passion for fashion design come from and what keeps it going?
There is a strong creative element to my personality which I feel is only ever fully expressed through creating and showcasing my own sense of style. I think each person has their own unique sense of self, and clothes, in my mind is a perfect way to express this. Establishing my own fashion label and sharing what I believe to be timeless and classical pieces with other women, was a natural progression in my own sense of self and expression.

Who do you think is doing cool stuff in your industry?
Black Milk Clothing. What they have done is phenomenal. They are a local business here in Brisbane and even though they are still a relatively new company being only two years old, they are selling 500 units a day. It’s all produced locally in Brisbane and sent to all corners of the world all via their Facebook page and website. It is marketing at its most brilliant.

What was your first job?
The ultimate first job – “Check-Out Chick” at Woolworths.

What’s the biggest misconception about the fashion industry?
That there is such a thing as an “overnight” success. Generally there are many hard years of work behind any fashion sensation. In my opinion, a combination of perseverance, knowing your target market and having an innovative concept is the way set yourself apart from others.

What’s the biggest opportunity and challenge in setting up your own label?
There are many opportunities which come with owning your own business. The ones that resonate with me is the ability to be my own boss, being in a position to help all women everywhere feel beautiful in the clothes they wear to work, partnering with other like-minded women in business and knowing I can overcome any challenge that comes along. The biggest challenge I see would be monitoring cash flow and converting interest into sales which is generally fairly standard for any start up business.

What are some local upcoming events you recommend?
Get Dressed for Success on 19th June at Ice Works in Paddington! It is an event for real women and the Fashion Show will feature “real” women of all shapes and sizes as opposed to your traditional size 8 glamazon. We are partnering with charity Dress for Success which aids disadvantaged women re-enter the workforce. The women involved in this event are all women business owners who have come together to put on a fabulous event for any woman who enjoys some pampering, on trend fashion, champagne & mini cupcakes!

What’s next?
Chi designs for the “real” women and the average woman these days is size 14 – 16. Corporate Divas come in all shapes and sizes and the Chi Team feels that all women are beautiful regardless. We want to make all women everywhere feel beautiful in the clothes they wear to work so are expanding into bigger sizes and will be producing all designs from 8 – 16 . All designs are available for purchase on the Chi website.

Interview: Brisbane local, Jessie Roberts — April 29, 2012

Interview: Brisbane local, Jessie Roberts

Brisbane curator, Lani Pauli, interviews Jessie Roberts. Jessie leads the program development of the QUT Innovation Space.

Name:  Jessie Roberts

Program Designer at QUT Innovation Space 

Twitter: QUTInnovation 

Tell us more about QIS? 
The QUT innovation Space (QIS) is about animating ideas. We aim to foster a community and culture of big-thinkers, innovators and entrepreneurs. We provide a support network and learning platform for people with big thoughts and a passion for action and change.  The QUT Innovation Space is located at the QUT Gardens Point campus and we deliver events, mentorship and community. Our events run through out semester and are either designed to be educational, inspirational or network orientated. We have a community of professional partners that provide support to our members, including a marketing strategist, IP Attorney, Start-up and project management coach. partners that provide advice Our doors are open to anyone with a curious mind, from any faculty, industry or age group.

Who do you think is doing cool stuff in our industries?

River City Labs (Co-working space), The EdgeMIT – Opencourseware (education… awesome & Free!), SEED MAGAZINE (Science + Design + Culture).

What was your first job?

Street Busker (8yrs old, Violin) 🙂

What’s the hardest challenge you’ve had to face work-wise?
Define what I “do”, what my job title is or the professional ‘box’ that I fit into.  I still ‘um’ and ‘ar’ at parties when someone asks “So, what do you do?”.

What’s the biggest opportunity and challenge for Brisbane to become a truly “Creative City”?
1. Connection – There are a lot of creative and amazing things/people/projects happening in Brisbane. There is definitely room for more connection between these people and projects. I think Brisbane has so many sparks just waiting to connect with the right person in order to turn into flame.

2. Play – Creativity comes from play and generosity. We are a fun group of people…..

On a more tactile level:

Spaces and Hubs. The emergence of co-working spaces (and places like The Edge) in Brisbane really help to foster a community (or communities) of like-minded creative thinkers.  These spaces provide a platform for people to meet and cross paths, to fertalise ideas,  conversations to occur.

What are some local upcoming events you recommend?

David Wyatt: How to be a Future Maker

What’s next?
Continuing to build and develop our mentor program and consultants that support our members.  Now that our events program is running smoothly, we are focusing our energy on further developing our mentor program.

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