It's a Saturday night and I'm at home working, as much as I love my work I am feeling a little sorry for myself as a barrage of intoxicated friend text messages roll in asking where I am. Luckily for me there is light at the end of the tunnel as I excitedly look forward to a two week break near the end of July, long overdue and very much required I am disconnecting, recharging and making new plans (and I'm talking about me, not my cell phone). Bali I can't wait.
Issue 74 of Urbis Magazine is out and includes and article about me, my space and my favourite things in it. Photos by Sean Fennessy
Before I start, this is not actually an "ode' to Erdem as I am no poet, it's more of a tongue to floor swoon, so if you were after poetry you may wish to skip the text and instead focus on the imagery. While I have always appreciated the delicacy and intricacy of Erdem, it wasn't until recently when I was commissioned to do a quick sketch of an outfit from the S/S 2013 collection that I truly appreciated the spectacular detail and craftsmanship of the designs. My sketch was for the London Times to accompany their popular Mrs Mills column and I was provided the following collection references from Erdem on which to base my Illustration.
It was when I noticed that the fabric was in fact made up of three dimensional layers that I decided to take a closer look on Vogue.co.uk and utilise their spectacular super zoom application - possibly the best creation on any fashion report website. It was at this point that my heart was stolen, I decided I would gladly wear only Erdem for the rest of my life (given the opportunity) and I realised that not only did the illustration budget not cover such detail, but I would probably have to revisit an Erdem sketch with time at a later date.
Take a look at these close ups and hold on to your chest. When I grow up I want to be Erdem Moralioglu...
Make sure you take a look at the latest Pre Spring collection here it is equally as stunning, you will never wish to wear a sweatshirt ever again.
This is my final sketch as it appeared in the London Sunday Times.
Semi Permanent portrait - by Jessica Sim
Alongside the NZ launch of Darkness of Noon at The Department Store I was also in new Zealand as one of the guest speakers at the inspiring Semi Permanent conference. I have previously spoken at Semi Permanent in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in 2011, so it was very exciting to be able to head back to my home country and share my work and story with those who know me best.
I was in the same audience when I was a student, feeling so overwhelmed with inspiration that I had no idea where to start with putting it to use. As a speaker I am reminded of that exact feeling and reflect on how far my inspiration and enthusiasm has taken me so far, my only hope as a speaker is that my words have somehow inspired another as the speakers I saw inspired me.
Though I had been nervous during the week, on the morning of my presentation I felt 100% calm which was a relief. After the interviews that followed I was lucky enough to watch the remaining speakers, and I left feeling just as positively overwhelmed as I did at age 17. I realised that my creativity has become absorbed by deadlines, budgets and paying the bills, but I have been missing all the fun that comes with trying new things, collaborating and doing personal projects. From here I'm changing focus, opening myself again to possibilities and considering new directions. In my speech I said that it is good to make goals, check them off and then make new ones, so Im taking my own advice and looking forward to a new chapter.
Here are a selection of images of the event taken by Jessica Sim
Aside from finding myself distracted in the Karen Walker store, I also had the pleasure of meeting with the girls at Saben a well known NZ bag and accessories brand who wanted to chat to me about my work and thoughts on fashion. I happily had a flick through the next season lookbook and am excited about a few pieces coming out soon! Before I left they very kindly gifted me with these two colourful braided chain necklaces, I love how bright they are and have had much fun layering them up over chunky winter knits. You can get yours here
Wednesday was also a day of promotion for Darkness of Noon as it was launching at The Department Store the following night. I was excited to head down to Kiwi FM for a chat with the lovely Charlotte Ryan who has interviewed me before and is always the sunniest person to be interviewed by. Whenever in a studio doing radio recordings I always feel very aware of the fact that thousands of people are going to be listening and I feel a little nervous about what to talk about, but hanging out with Charlotte is like chatting with a pal, so luckily for me all went well that morning.
The afternoon involved further press meetings about the book launch, after which I welcomed a beer and a seat at the Stolen Girlfriends Club Spring 2013 collection and Mini Paceman launch. Here are some of my favourite pieces from the collection, I'm looking forward to wearing their florals and bright leopard prints in Spring and as an illustrator I am particularly jealous of their new mini complete with personalised print paint job!
No trip to NZ is complete without a visit to one of the Karen Walker stores, and with a new store on Ponsonby Road it was the perfect excuse to pop in en route to my hotel after a radio interview. Since moving to Melbourne my wallet may feel heavier, but my wardrobe sadly misses my regular (read weekly) visits to KW, I daydream of Melbourne having it's own store, but am told it isn't going to happen anytime soon...sigh. Of course I can order all online, or shop a small selection at various Australian stores, but there is nothing like viewing a full collection, trying on half the store, taking some now, laybying for later and making wish lists for the future.
The new Ponsonby store is a glorious light filled space decorated with soft pastel peaches and clean candy tones that just so happened to match my outfit that day, no doubt adding subconscious admiration points. The current collection Fantastique Magnifique is the perfect range to fill a new store of such delicate palette, the warm browns and ochres of silk shirts and wool coats only added tonality and depth to the interior - no doubt a purposeful decision from a designer with such impeccable eye for colour.
As per usual the lure of KW had me and I couldn't resist leaving with a pair of Turquoise Orbit frames, the perfect lightweight purchase for any girl travelling with a tight baggage allowance.
My diary didn't make it past 6am for day one, maybe not the best start. After arriving in NZ I found that when I signed a new phone plan (months ago) they reset my data roaming and also re-locked my phone...thanks for letting me know Optus! So I arrived, disconnected, unable to get a NZ sim and had to backup my phone and reinstall it in order to unlock it. As the hotel Wifi couldn't keep up with the 3hour re-install I wearily ventured out to Red 11 Models to weasel in on their internet, I can always rely on them to help me out when in Auckland! That night I came home to find that my Semi Permanent file had also been corrupted and couldn't open...queue tears, but at least I got the red eye and all this frustration in one day right?
Tuesday started a lot better, after heading to the Semi Permanent office to hover by the heater and work on my speech I then met up with Courtney Sanders from Always Sometimes Anytime and Amanda Betts who owns Red Eleven. Despite the day being all shades of grey nothing made me happier than catching up with two great pals, gossiping, talking work and fashion, and catching up on everything that had happened since March when we last saw each other. I couldn't resist taking this snap of their combined silver collection.
I'm always a terrible sleeper the night before a red eye flight and last night/ tonight (it's still dark) was no exception. The pressure to fall asleep in order to wake four hours later is always too much and I lay in bed making lists, with all noise amplified outside - a dripping tap started just for me, first time ever, had to be this night. When waking at 3.45am I feel quite ill, strangely starving, and have all sorts of weird thoughts that can only be put down to my brain thinking that it's dream time, not awake time. My brain is right about this, no day should start when it's still pitch black outside.
In the taxi, wearing tights and a Lonely Hearts shirt dress (pure comfort), I am thinking about a recent blog post where a blogger wore her skin tight leather pants for a long haul International flight, claiming how ridiculously comfortable they are. This is the random stuff I think about at 4.44am, leather is indeed extremely comfortable, but its not worth the dry-cleaning wasting them on the plane, keep those pants fresh for when someone can see your butt in them.
Prepared for the grueling security queues and check throughs I feel almost disappointed to see that the airport is basically empty and as I breeze through International check in in less than 20 minutes. I count how many extra minutes I could have stayed snuggled in bed, still an hour and a half until my flight leaves, still feeling like I've been on a bender, wondering what a girl's to do if the food stores haven't even opened yet.
So here I am writing a blog post, choosing to write a diary for my week in New Zealand - obviously sleep deprivation makes me optimistic about how much spare time I am going to have this week, but we will see how I go.
5am waiting for my flight.
Here is an interview with be by Corinne Smith that appeared on Design Assembly
If you could work anywhere in the world where you and why?
Because of the nature of my work I can basically work anywhere I like as long as there is an internet connection, and a post shop. I think there are two different extremes and I cant decide which I would prefer more—either somewhere like NY for its overload of visual information, faced pace life and the opportunity to meet so many different personalities and possible job opportunities, OR I would choose somewhere completely opposite, peaceful with beautiful scenery so I could live a stress free life. I could happily run back to Mljet in Croatia, shack up in a small beach side house, drawing with a view, followed by a daily warm water swim.
How do you approach a new project? Do prefer to look at the big picture or focus on the details first?
It really depends on the size of the job, a lot of the time my mind automatically races to the finish imagining an impressive final project which often involves a lot of things I don’t even know how to do! Damn imagination. As a rule I always look at what the final outcome needs to be, but then I step back and sort out all of the little details that are needed to get there. After working as an account manager I like to ask a lot of questions at the start and get everything on paper and mapped out before the project starts.
What drives you?
It’s hard to describe really, it’s a feeling that I’ve always had that I just have to do more. I’m not sure exactly where it came from, my parents were always very relaxed and never had me under the hammer to succeed, but I just have this thing in my gut, I need to be creating and I want to be better and do as much as I can, and as soon as I tick something off something else is waiting to be achieved. I’ll probably give myself a heart attack from lack of downtime! I’m also driven by lifestyle, and enabling myself to have financial freedom to be able to start personal projects when I want to start them, so many creative dreams are put on hold because of money.
Describe your work in three words.
Feminine, precise, delicate
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Highlights always shift, but my current highlight is winning a pitch against 5 other International artists for a worldwide illustrated campaign that is launching in Jan 2014.
What is the biggest challenge or frustration you have faced?
Getting clients to pay on time! I can handle late nights and hard deadlines, but late payments really get me down.
What’s the best piece of advice you have received?
Find your own way, don’t try and replicate someone elses style, they will always be better because it is theirs and they will also get the credit.
Is there a one particular designer or creative you admire?
I think it is impossible to pick one! I admire many different people for all different reasons I don’t have one King Idol.
Tell us about your studio environment and how important is it to your creative process?
I work from home, but I live in a big open plan warehouse with a super high stud and lots of light, My home is one huge room + a separate bathroom and is divided with bookshelves or with furniture. My “studio” runs along one of the walls that is covered with art that I have collected and love to look at. As soon as I moved in here my brain came alive, light airy spaces breed creativity and I don’t think I could ever go back to a small space again (could become problematic if I move!). For me it is important that my space is light and comfortable, for a while I rented a studio space that was basically a glorified garage, it was cold and quite dirty and I never wanted to go there, It was a creative vortex.
What can we look forward to hearing about from you at Semi-Permanent?
This is my 4th Semi-Permanent, and one of the most exciting for me because its in my home country. I tried to get a cocktail sponsor, but alas it wasn’t to be. I think I’ve changed a lot since my last Semi-Permanent’s in 2011 and I think that instead of sharing my life story I want to share my insights into how the industry works and tell the audience all of the things I wish I had known sooner!
Its funny what happens at 9pm while waiting for International client feedback, trying to sync with their clock, work late, stay awake, work well. For me I need to keep going, If I take a moment to sit on the couch while I wait for the client "ok" I will soon sink back in to the reality of my current time and be swept off to catch the zzz's in moments. This week I am working for a client in London, so after my day of work I then clock in and wait for their praise or adjustments. To distract myself from bed this week I decided I wanted to make something bright, and in no time I had started to create my Sensitive American Boyfriend, he will be home any second now to make me dinner while I work, something he hunted and foraged himself, followed by delicious dessert, a topless back rub and amazing conversation. My hero.