The Fetch Blog

Curated reads and events for professionals

SIde Project Interview with Nadine Schmoll — August 29, 2012

SIde Project Interview with Nadine Schmoll

I really need to work on my public meeting skills. The plan was to meet under the Wheel of Brisbane. Little did I realise just how many people there are gathered there on any given lunch hour. Thankfully, Nadine has a stronger sensibility that I and picked me out in an instant and we sat down in the lovely South Bank parklands to chat about her work and upcoming exhibition with RAW Brisbane.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your art practice?
My name is Nadine and I run a label called Spiritfire Designs. I make wearable art, like jewellery, handbags and also homewares, all using salvaged and up-cycled materials. I’m really, really passionate about reusing materials, so I spend a lot of time going to opshops, garage sales and markets to find all of my materials and then I try and turn them into something new and different.

Is it a side project for you or is it a full time gig?
I’m the workshop coordinator at Reverse Garbage, so Spiritfire is a side project for me. I do that in my free time, when I’ve got a day off or on the weekend.

It is a great fit though, I buy a lot of materials from Reverse Garbage and get a lot of inspiration from being surrounded by other creative, likeminded people. I’m really lucky that I have that as my other job. I get to go out to schools and teach kids how to make robots and spaceships and wearable art out of reused salvaged materials.

So at what point does that side project turn into the main gig for you?
I think I’m really happy with the way things are at the moment. I want to keep doing what I’m doing, so long as I enjoy it and I still love it, I think that is the main thing for me. Because a lot of the work that I do is one of a kind, it takes a lot of time to make as well. I think if I was doing it full time I would be tearing my hair out!

What are your favourite haunts for finding pieces to put together your creations?
I love going to the Chandler Markets. Not many people have heard about it, but it runs every Sunday. I bought some really great antique pocket watches and vintage buttons. They have some great stuff . I also head to Reverse Garage and do the rounds of all the op shops in Brisbane.

How do you find inspiration for how to put it all together, do you have a story that runs through the pieces?
Sometime I have a story, but really I get inspiration from the materials themselves. For example, I made a necklace from Dungeons and Dragons coins that my boyfriend used to have when he was into that kind of stuff. It does have a story and a history and I think for me the real challenge is trying to transform perceptions of what people see as garbage waste. All these things are things that people would usually throw away, because they don’t want them anymore and it’s trying to show that these things can still be beautiful. They can still take on a new life.

With the whole creative process I like it to be really organic and spontaneous. I might have a bit of an idea about a colour scheme and I’ll take a few bits and pieces from here and there and assemble it, see what it looks like. Sometimes I have to sleep on it if I’m not sure, but largely it’s intuitive decision making.

How did you get involved in RAW Brisbane?
One of my friends was part of the first showcase in Brisbane June. I went along and thought ‘Wow, this is so awesome. I really, really want to be involved‘ and that’s basically how it started.

What can people expect when they go to RAW?
People can expect a whole array of different creative people all showcasing what they do. Not just fashion and jewellery, it’s short films, live music, photography and visual art. That’s what so amazing about RAW, you’ve got all these creative people coming together under the one roof sharing their ideas, sharing their knowledge.

Do you think that kind of collaboration is important for a creative city?
I think that a lot of people look at Sydney and Melbourne and think they are a lot further ahead than we are, that Brisbane is a bit of a cultural backwater. But I think the handmade community and creative community here in Brisbane is strong and there are more creative opportunities for artists. We are so much stronger when we can join together and share ideas and opportunities together.

What are your picks of the Brisbane calendar over the next couple of months?
One that I can think of is the next Reverse Garbage exhibition in mid September at Woolloongabba. Brisbane Festival has heaps of stuff on, including the theatre performance Soap with circus performance in bath tubs.

Where can people find you and your designs?
In terms of selling I go to the Young Designers Markets on the first Sunday of the month, through my website, the GoMA store and online at Etsy. You can also find me on Facebook or Twitter.

Side Project Interview: Daniele Constance — August 20, 2012

Side Project Interview: Daniele Constance

I’ve known Daniele for a over a year now. She’s an artsworker, theatre producer, entrepreneur and innovator and always knows the newest, most delicious places to eat around town. We sit three desks away from each other at our day jobs with The Edge and as a result, we often  talk about upcoming events around town and lament about our lack of free time to attend them.

When the Brisbane Fetch team chose side projects as the theme for our latest interview series, Daniele immediately popped to mind. We’ve already reviewed her innovative market, Suitcase Rummage, a few months back, so I thought it would be good chance to have a chat to Daniele about how this particular side project came to be.

Daniele Constance

Name: Daniele Constance
Website: Suitcase Rummage
Twitter: @SuitcaseRummage

What was your first job?
Ever? I can’t remember, but it would have been in retail. City Beach maybe?! Ha!

So what is Suitcase Rummage and how did it get started?
Suitcase Rummage is (as its names suggests) a market from suitcases. It’s a mini scaled market, aimed at supporting local and emerging artists, crafters, collectors and lovers of recycling. It aims to be accessible, inclusive, affordable and a community focused event.

I started Suitcase Rummage with partner in crime, Isabel Fitzgerald. We were brainstorming a bunch of project ideas that we wanted to get off the ground in Brisbane and Suitcase Rummage was one of them. We wanted to provide a platform for artists and community members to participate in a local, grass roots event that supported them. We took the idea to Brisbane City Council and …. here we are!

Was Suitcase Rummage a side project? Is it still?
Ahhh, yes and yes! It’s not a side project in the sense that it’s not important to us, more in the sense that Isabel and I still have full time jobs that pay the rent. We also never expected to have such a great response from our events, or that they would be ongoing.

Our first Rummage in Brisbane was to be a one off event, but it was so successful we kept it going. We’re working towards making it a sustainable event and bringing it to the forefront of what we do.

At what point does a project stop being a side project and start being your main focus?
That’s a good question… and I’m not sure I have the answer just yet. Maybe check back with us in six months?!

What are your goals for Suitcase Rummage’s future?
Keep it sustainable, keep it genuine and slowly build Rummages in communities around the country. It’s ambitious, but we’re working hard on it!

Do you have any opportunities for others to collaborate?
Sure! We’re always open for suggestions, collaborations … just contact us! We have partnered with other events and festivals and we do love working alongside others who share a similar ethos.

What are your top three tips to others that like to do twenty things at once?
Get rid of one! It’s okay to say no to things! But like me, you’ll probably say no to one thing until something else comes along! … I try and keep a steady balance across projects and I have to remember it’s not about quantity. If you’re doing too many projects and burn yourself out, then it makes it so much harder to do quality work.

What are three upcoming Brissy events that you are excited about?
1. Just found out that Grand Salvo (Melbourne based musician) is playing at Black Bear Lodge next month – pretty excited about that!
2. Home Festival (community arts festival at Kangaroo Point next weekend)
3. Innovate Symposium by Volunteering Queensland. Not sure if I can make it along to this one, but it looks like a great program!

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