Thanks James & Rachel for sharing and always inspiring us!
"We are Eva and Victor and we are, originally, from Barcelona. But after living in San Francisco for a year and a half, we decided to move to our custom converted Dodge Ram Van to explore America while keeping our part-time jobs. Traveling and living in a van is something that had always been on our minds, but it's difficult to find the right moment to switch. Now that we are on the road, we absolutely think this is the best decision we have ever made.
During the last six months, we have been traveling around USA and Canada. We are currently in Berlin for two months to work on a project, but we are going back to San Francisco soon to pick up the van again, and we will drive down through Baja California in Mexico, to as far South as we can get.
You can follow our stories at http://www.foreignnatives.co/
Victor runs as a competitive mountain and ultra runner. He also surfs whenever we are close to the ocean. Eva paints vans and illustrates a travel journal. Recently, she took a collection of painted vans from our travels and put them into a calendar that we are promoting through a Kickstarter.
Vanlife Illustrated is a project that comes from our road trip. During the last year, we have been taking photos of all the vans that we found on the road. We realized there’s a lot of different types of cars where people live in, from the most classic to the most weird: vans, cars, trucks, RVs, trailers, buses, etc.
So Eva started painting with gouache a set of vans that could express the variety of what we find on our way. The final product is a 2016 calendar, with one illustration for each month. Everything is handmade, even the typography!
She just started a Kickstarter campaign, where you can contribute and get your own beautiful vanlife calendar. You can also get a set of 12 postcards, or buy one of the original paintings. If you are also really proud of your van, Eva can also paint it!
Support us on our Kickstarter: http://kck.st/1HRH8XK"
DON’T TELL SUMMER PRESENTS #RADLIVIN
20 Feb 2016, Sydney - Central Park, Project Space! Purchase Tickets #RadLivin website
#RadLivin is a unique event made to inspire you to do what you love now.
Speakers, live music and rad-like minding people coming together to get inspired, share their dreams and celebrate livin’ life to the raddest. Picture it as a fun, inspiring conference, mixed with a rad, laid-back festival.
The purpose of #RadLivin is to inspire you to do what you would love to do now, rather than waiting for some point in the future. It’s a declaration to live an authentic, rad life. Whether that’s saying yes to going on an adventure that day, or to a dream that’s been sitting in your heart, it’s here as a reminder to do what you love, what completely excites you. It’s about bringing people together to follow their dreams, while encouraging the person next to them to do the same; building not only a community of like-minded people, but a community of advocates for doing what you love.
ABOUT THE DAY
We’re bringing you down-to-earth, successful speakers who are doing what they love and passionate about inspiring you to do the same. You will hear stripped-back stories about how they went for their dreams and gain applicable knowledge on how you can do what you love too. Speakers include founders of Pedestrian TV, OneWave, One Night Stand, Axel & Ash, Tidal Magazine, Cait Miers and Connie Chapman.
Because #RadLivin is all about inspiring you to do what would excite you and connecting you with the right people, we’ve partnered up with brands who are aligned with our purpose including Contiki, ING Dreamstarter and Airbnb. Our hope is to provide attendees with as much inspiration, knowledge and connections that will help them go for their dreams now.
Early bird tickets have gone on sale via www.radlivin.com
Instagram: @donttellsummer #RadLivin
Speakers + Live Music instagrams to follow:
@axelandash @caitmiersphotography @connie_chapman @onenightstandsleepwear @tidalmagazine @ziggyalberts @sonsoftheeast
Bede is more than an adventurous person who loves the outdoors. He found a need and lives a life of purpose through starting and running Smile Clothing. This wonderful brand started with Bede, Soren Molineux who is a life long friend of Bede's and is based now in Indonesia. Smile also has Shaun Denaro who looks after all the numbers behind the scenes. There may be three main people involved but it is the type of brand we can all be a part of as soon as we purchase a product it goes to provide a uniform and clothing for children less fortunate. As you will see it puts a smile on everyones face!
"Give First, Wear Second.
Our premise is relatively simple – for every item of clothing we sell,
we will donate a School uniform or T-shirt to a child in need.
One for One.
This notion we feel offers a sustainable way of providing for children in parts of the World where simple things such as clean T-shirts or School Uniforms are not plentiful, or in some cases, available at all.
2010 saw us begin our clothing programs throughout Indonesia and give away 300 shirts to orphanages and schools in low socio-economic regions throughout Bali and Lombok.
Since this time, we have successfully given away over 7,500 School Uniforms & T-shirts to children in need. Our clothing programs during this time have spanned across Indonesia, Cambodia, India, Indigenous Australia, Kenya and Sri Lanka."
Smile is also passionate about the planet and is a part of '!% for the planet'
"Smile Clothing has joined 1% For The Planet. A goal of ours for some time now, we are beyond excited to report back we are now part of a growing initiative of businesses Worldwide that donate 1% of all sales to environmental groups and causes. 1% For The Planet's mission is to build, support and activate an alliance of businesses financially committed to creating a healthier Planet. Please head over to http://onepercentfortheplanet.org/to read more and see the amazing work being done. We are humbled to be part of this growing collective, and are excited to be able to give back in another way".
How it all started
Were brothers! -same mom same dad, always have been :)
We were raised by a single mother all our life and we love her to death. Josh was born in Carmichael California and I was born in Amarillo Texas.
After living in California for 3 years we moved to Colorado for 4.i I don't remember much of this other than snippets of our home in Colorado. After leaving Colorado we moved to Butte Montana to be closer to our grandparents and thats where we called home for 10 cold years. so when people ask we just say we're from Montana, its easier that way.
Neither me or Josh finished school in the traditional way. Josh went to job corps at a young age and got a degree in facilities maintenance. and for me, when i was 15 i got sent to a National Guard boot-camp and obtained by GED there and was out of school by 16. When i was 17 i moved to California with Josh and we worked a bunch of different sales jobs including door to door and mall kiosk jobs. we are very sociable. We then worked for 3 different windshield repair companies before finding an investor and starting our own at a young age. We then ran it for a good year and even bought a van to start transporting our employees. which is where our first van came from right there. We slept comfortably in it one night and sat around a campfire with ideas of repairing windshields on the road at Wal Marts and stuff to keep traveling. 22 weeks later our apartment was cleaned out and our stuff sold. i didnt think we would be gone 3 months let alone 3 years now. Having not done a windshield repair in about a year other than for van travelers we meet, we can happily say that we have supported ourselves off of odd=jobs and we enjoy them more.
The Plan? what plan?
the experiences, irreplaceable.
the people, life changing.
and the stories, endless.
Where are they at now?
Were currently around Sacramento working for a guy named Byron that we met at a music festival in Placerville Ca. doing things like helping him move and paint his new place. we told him if he can keep us busy for a week we would stay because we were itching to and set on heading to the Oregon coast. We are kind of in the midst of doing a big thing that were excited to announce soon but cant really give the details so, keep an eye out for that :)
Other than current situations we were just on the east coast about 3 weeks ago. we found plenty of work in Conneticut that kept us busy and even crossed something off the bucket list and saw a live taping of the Jerry Springer show. Other than that we just skated a lot of different skate parks, fished a lot of different places and just soaked in the vibes that the East Coast had to offer, but the west coast is the best coast and we couldn't wait to get back. the only reason we were near New York is because we did a long boarding trip, which a lot know about, but we had 4 people join us in the US as we skateboarded 50 miles a day for 3 months from Los Angeles to New York. we raised 6 thousand dollars for the Teenage Cancer Trust on the duration of the trip, and even filmed it to be released as a documentary early next year. you can read more about that trip and see more pics which you're welcome to use on my blog www.myroamingstory.blogspot.com
Follow on Instagram
matt monthei @myroamingstory, josh monthei @ditchtheplans
I am a working photographer living in Toronto, Ontario. For the past 6 years I have primarily photographed fashion and portraiture- this is all about to change. I have successfully moved out of my studio to hit the road. My adventure will last 6 months living in a van to develop a massive street and documentary photo essay. Right now I am working 3 jobs and couch surfing to save up as much as possible before the November departure date. I have also launched an Indiegogo - The Trip About Nothing to help fund the van, some gas and of course film.
I biked around the city with Plastik Films for the video portion of my Indiegogo to see what kind of vans Toronto adventure seekers were representing. Right now I am still on the hunt for the adventure mobile of my dreams. It is not a simple task but I know that my van is out there somewhere!
Follow my journey through
Instagram: @tripaboutnothing #tripaboutnothing.
I've been a Physiotherapist since 2007 and have taught pilates since 2009. I knew I wanted to help people and become a Physiotherapist from about the age of 15. As a Physiotherapist I have treated women with incontinence issues and taught them how to strengthen their pelvic floor muscles. I also taught pregnancy pilates classes in the hope of preventing incontinence and allowing women to prepare as best they could for their pregnancy and labour. It was really heartbreaking seeing these women who didn’t know there was anything they could do to prevent complications and feeling like surgery was their only option. I realised I could reach people on a far greater scale if I brought what I knew to an online platform. Hence I have started my website Perfect Pelvic Floor. Pregnant women can sign up and have access to pelvic floor exercises, leg strengthening, stretches, posture advice and loads of labour and pregnancy tips. The best thing about it is they can access the video’s in their own home!
My clients and patients are the ones that inspired me to start my business to help reach out to them and give them the tools to create a better life for themselves. This is who I am! I've recently moved to the north NSW coast from Sydney to create a better life for myself, where I can enjoy the beach and the sunshine, and find that elusive balance in life. I grew up in a tiny town near Bathurst but I've always believed that I could reach whatever goal I set for myself and I do become very determined in the process. The biggest challenge with starting Perfect Pelvic Floor has been learning a new skill set in design and online marketing. It's been difficult at times but fun and I'm grateful I'm challenging myself and learning something new everyday. The first highlight of starting my business was seeing the website for the first time after giving what I had hoped was clear direction on what I wanted and it being just that. Secondly, was when I sold my first program! It made all the hard work worthwhile.
"Mark's illustrations are the result of focused attention on the raw and wild. With meticulous detail and patience he displaces his subjects and brings them into a new context of depth. He finds inspiration in harsh natural environments, often immersing himself in Victoria's icy waters to take photos and surf. He finds great stillness in the volatility of the wild.
He explores themes of life and death, divinity, balance and symbolism."
ROAR: Hey Katie & George, tell us about your awesome brand George & Smee! How did it start, who is involved and what do you offer?
G&S: George & Smee was born over a few glasses of wine when we, George and (Katie) Smee, chatted about our mutual love for creating beautiful spaces from blank canvases using our imagination, creativity and some fun! We quit our full time jobs and started sourcing and restoring a big collection of props and furniture.
ROAR: We were lucky enough to attend and organise the music (Dusty Boots with a latin twist) for one event in particular and were blown away by your professionalism, attention to detail and authenticity. It's obviously your passion! When did a passion for styling come about and who encouraged you to develop your business?
G&S: Thank you! We absolutely loved you being there! I think we both knew that our jobs at the time weren’t fulfilling us and we needed to do something we were passionate about.
What's the point in working 50 hours a week on something that doesn’t make you excited? Although it was definitely a bit scary, it also felt like a totally natural thing to do.
ROAR: What are some challenges in starting a business and what has been some highlights?
G&S: It’s hard to ever switch off, there is always more you can do. But the positives far outweigh the negatives. We’ve learnt so much, met so many awesome people, worked harder than ever and pushed ourselves to the very edge and yet always had fun whilst doing it!
ROAR: Can you give our readers 3 tips on running a successful business?
G&S: You’ve got to do something you’re really passionate about. That way when you’re working all hours of the day and night, it’s ok because it doesn’t feel like work!
- Accounting is not really our strength, and we’re ok with that ;) We’ve got a brilliant accountant to help us with that side of things but we’ve also worked hard to understand our finances because having a good understanding of your business is absolutely crucial to a successful business.
- Enjoy it! Work hard but make sure you laugh every day and make it worth it.
ROAR: What are you most excited about for 2015?
G&S: We’ve got quite a lot of awesome events coming in 2nd half of this year which we’re really excited about! Some awesome launches, Christmas parties and incredible weddings. Check out our instagram page for the pics ;) @george_and_smee
Check the clip below of a special secret supper styled by George & Smee where Dusty Boots organised the music.
ROAR: We are so excited to introduce you to Matilda and Kurt! They are on an awesome adventure out in South Australia!
Kurt has recently completed his Masters of Architecture at The University of Melbourne with First Class Honours. He has had extensive experience in the building industry and all aspects of project development from design, documentation through to construction. Kurt developed his interest in community based projects when participating in a community driven design and construct project in a small outback Indigenous Community in NT.
Matilda completed her double degree of International Studies and Bachelor of Design in Visual Communications at UTS in 2013. She worked in Sydney as a designer and tour guide taking design and fashion tours for a publishing company in Surry Hills.
ROAR: Tell us about your exciting project!
M&K: Currently we are building a space in Andamooka that will be the community hub for the locals and people of the Far North Region (and the only cafe in Andamooka.) Our business plan has three main elements; a cafe, a display of young and local metal-smiths displaying the local opal, and a designed map guide to the local area.
We will have some recycled bikes and a map guide to give people the opportunity to ride around the town and experience the landscape and main points of interest. The space will be designed as a contemporary mesh of cafe culture, raw materials and outback lifestyle, using as many recycled and up-cycled items as possible. The initiative aims to support outback tourism and provide local knowledge of the area.
ROAR: The name Andamooka Yacht club sounds intriguing for being out in the country?!
M&K: The business name is an ironic play on the outback location of Andamooka, created to capture people’s interest. The names relevance also comes from the historical lakes that surround; Lake Torrens and Lake Eyre, now existing as dry land.
ROAR: How did you end up in the outback South Australia?
M&K: We first came to this part of Australia to visit family, and we just couldn’t believe the freedom of being in a place so geographically isolated. After visiting a few times to bring friends back to experience the area, we decided to make the move. We hired a relocation 6 birth camper van and drove all our belongings across from Sydney. It was epic to have a whole week to drive 3000km and experience all the little outback towns between. There’s so much of Australia that Australians haven’t had the opportunity to experience.
ROAR: What makes Andamooka so special?
M&K: Since moving to Andamooka we’ve met many colourful characters, the people in the town are so awesome, theres a lot of history here and most people have stories to tell about what it was like in the early days. Being one of the original mining towns theres so many different cultures here, which makes it really interesting. Last week we got a lesson from our neighbour on traditional German bread making.
One of the first few times we visited Andamooka we got chatting to some of the local opal miners, and hatched the idea to team up with some metal-smiths to create young contemporary opal jewellery. At the moment most opal jewellery is really traditional and we think theres an opportunity to create a new market for the stones, based around more simplistic youthful pieces. We saw this start to take shape when friends visited Andamooka with us and fell in love with opal, when they had previously thought it was unappealing. Once you spend some time with the miners and see the earth where the stones come and how its mined from you have a more appreciation for what it is and how it was formed. There's even dinosaurs bones out here that have been opalised, as this was a prehistoric ocean.. its wild picking up a shell in the middle of the desert.
We’re aiming for an opening party in the beginning of August!
ROAR: First of all, your a quiz master!? How does one become such a master?
Anthony: Yeah, I get that question pretty much every time someone asks me what I do. It’s such an aggrandising title as I guess any title with the word master in it seems to be.
I actually just fell into the role as quizmaster at a pub I was running in Bergen, Norway. There were no pub trivia nights in the city (or country that I later found out) so we started one up and after our first quizmaster quit, I was it, as no one else wanted to do it. I’ve always been a bit of a showoff - so here was a chance to act the goat on a weekly basis in front of a captive audience. Making the quizzes was the hard part - you have to include a bit of everything whilst not making it too difficult for the average punter. I think that’s where a lot of quizmasters go wrong. When the questions are far too hard, people are not having fun and maybe feel a bit dumb. I also chucked in a bunch of other little side-competitions to spice it up a bit. I ended up also doing trivia shows for private parties, student groups, corporate events, TV and radio - it’s been a pretty wild ride. That was 20 years ago and I must say, it’s been a pretty fun way of earning a living.
ROAR: You have chosen to use your creativity and energy to connect with communities and raise awareness about plastic pollution. Tell us how you achieve this.
Anthony: I attended an international conference on marine debris in Oslo last year and it was agreed by the end of the conference that the biggest "problem about this problem" was that most people do not realise the extent to which plastics are now infesting our oceans, affecting marine life and ultimately us. Maybe if enough people became aware, we could affect change on an individual, community and legislative level.
But people are being bombarded with doom and gloom 24/7 and this was yet another crisis that I was about to bring onto their radar. There’s a fair amount of apathy to environmental crises out there but I think this is partly due to this sheer bombardment by environmental groups and the media. I reckon that many people who also have their own day-to-day issues to contend with, end up just burying their head in the sand.
Around the same time last year, I attended a seminar on The Psychology of Activism by a very smart kiwi, a professor of Psychology from the University of Auckland called Niki Harre. Niki also wrote a book called Psychology for a Better World. Her main message is that if you want people to follow your cause and be activated, you have to find a fun way of getting your message across and engage them.
So a little light bulb went off in my head and the concept of "trivia nights around Australia to raise awareness about plastic in our oceans" was born. Aussies love their trivia, hopefully as much as they love their ocean so here was an opportunity to get lots of them in a room together, slam them about the plastic issue, have a bit of fun but most of all, learn about how we can combat the problem.
I don’t want these nights to be about doom and gloom and they definitely aren’t. It’s mostly about solutions, tips, community projects and encouraging creative ways to use alternatives to plastic. I don’t want people to forget about the issue when I’ve left town so I usually spend over a week there trying to get initiatives started that will help build a non-plastic movement.
A big part of the tour is about going into schools, holding talks for the kids and suggesting projects that they can get behind. The kids are amazing - they’re really engaged, concerned, immediately understand the problem from top to bottom and are full of questions and ideas. I think it’s the kids engagement that drives me most.
ROAR: What bought about your choices to focus on the ocean and plastic pollution? What have been some highlights through your travels and connecting with communities?
Anthony: I talk about this at the trivia nights. It’s about love and I think we need people to fall in love with their natural environment. I’m an ocean lover. I think it began when as a baby, my mum took me baby-swimming in the ocean baths. I grew up in Coffs Harbour, was in nippers, had a surf mat, boogie board and eventually a surfboard. I also sailed, fished and was just always at the beach. I have an affinity for the ocean that is shared by many surfers and others. Having lived in Norway for a really long time, I didn’t get to surf so much but ended up kayaking on the fjords in summer. More and more I was picking up plastic floating around in this seemingly pristine part of the world. As a quizmaster I was always researching different topics so I decided to research plastic in the ocean. It was then that I found out about The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (The North Pacific Gyre) - a rotating area of concentrated plastic as big as NSW and one of 5 such patches in our oceans. Humans dump 4.6 million tonnes of rubbish into our oceans every year, up to 80% of which is plastic. Unlike other human waste, plastic doesn’t break down and disappear back into the web of life. It just breaks into smaller and smaller pieces becoming what is now termed micro plastic. Plastic also attracts other water borne contaminants like DDT, PCBs that stick onto it. It’s being ingested by creatures at every level on the food chain from Zooplankton to birds and large marine mammals. With us being at the top of the food chain, you can see what’s happening. Not to mention millions of creatures dying from entanglement.
I couldn’t just sit on my hands and do nothing so this is the “something" that I can do.
Driving around Australia in a camper has always been a dream. This project has made it far better than I ever imagined. I originally thought that it would be surfing, sight-seeing and doing some trivia nights but the project itself has become the main thing, taking up 90% of my time. People are inviting me into their homes, not only for dinner or coffee but to stay (in some places for 2 weeks!) which has saved me uncountable bucks in campground fees. Talking and connecting with like-minded people and experiencing the engagement and concern from people of all ages many of who are already actively doing something about the issue is something that I never would’ve experienced on a simple road-trip. We’re also engaging public figures, politicians and creating solutions as we go. I highly recommend to anyone who’s thinking of an extended road trip to find a cause that they’re passionate about and just get out there and connect on the road.
I’ve enjoyed every trivia night so far (there’ve been 21 plus about 35 other events). Some have been well attended and others not so but in little Inverloch, South Gippsland over 200 people turned up which was just overwhelming and I reckon I was on a high for a week after that. But it’s funny when you ask about highlights, it’s like the whole thing is just one big highlight. It’s going so well that I’ll be spending about 2 weeks applying for funding and grants to continue as my money is fast running out.
ROAR: How can people get involved with what your doing and get initiatives happening in their community?
Anthony: If people would like to have a Family Trivia Night in their town or suburb, they can contact me and I’ll send them the info. I have everything they need, they just need to have the passion and energy. This will also lead to them initiating other projects in their community that will hopefully last forever. People can also join or support other groups like Surfrider Foundation or The Australian Marine Debris Initiative and get involved with other likeminded people. Or, just simply start picking up plastic whenever and wherever they are and lets start a movement where it’s cool and admired to clean up your environment.
ROAR: Your life sounds very adventurous which inspires us! What do you love most about getting on the road and exploring new places?
Anthony: It’s funny, I’m a very social person but I also love being alone for long periods. Being alone on the road or in nature whether it’s the beach or the mountains has become really important for thought and reflection. But not only that, in nature there are no distractions, no expectations - it just “is" and you can just "be”. It can also be inspirational and bring on lots of crazy ideas. Some of these ideas I’ve used, some I haven’t but half the fun is dreaming them up. Living on the edge financially is also part of the fun - you’ve gotta be very careful with your shopping and creative with your cooking, maybe go without a meal sometimes which is actually good for you. I’ve found that having few or no expectations seems to be the key to personal fulfilment - just moving organically on this journey and seeing where it goes.
ROAR: What are you most excited about in 2015?
Anthony: As well as trying to get funding, I’ll be changing the concept slightly towards the end of the year so stay tuned for more info about that. It’ll be exciting to see how it goes. I’ll be moving the tour to Qld until it warms up a bit in Vic so, heads up everyone for some Family Trivia Nights on the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane Aug, Sept, Oct! Then back to continue the tour of Victoria on the Surf Coast and Melbourne area from November. If anyone would like to get involved in Qld or Vic, just email or contact me on Facebook (The Family Trivia Tour).
The Family Trivia Tour - Saving Oceans from Plastic Pollution
Mobile: (+61) 0403 755 803
ROAR: Hey guys, thanks for chatting with us! First off, how did you get started? Where heard it's quite a story!!
Chris: The answer to that is two fold. The idea was originally sporned, believe it or not, from a close encounter with a family of black bears, in Alaska. While taking a walk to visit a glacier, we were with an armed guide...due to the native wildlife. I lagged behind and suddenly a tussle to my left in the thick bushes, then, one.....two.....three tiny baby black bears popped onto the path not two metres from me. My heart swelled, how gorgeous! Then came the startling realisation that mumma wouldn't be too far off! I looked up, the group (which consisted of our other two founders and the guide) were a fair distance ahead. As mumma bear stepped out into the path between me and the group I should of been terrified but suddenly I felt totally calm. She was magnificent! Huge and deadly, but totally magnificent. She stopped, looked into my eyes for a lingering moment and then moved forward towards her babies and all four crossed the path, disappearing into the bushes. The beating of my heart suddenly pierced the silent calm I'd felt and I ran to catch up with the group. I shall never forget that moment our eyes locked….fiercely magical! Afterwards we went to Alaskan Brewing Co. for a tour and had a few good beers! I needed one! The idea seeded at that point.
Back home we had an organic vineyard and we continued to be asked if we would make an organic beer. We had however several friends who were either gluten intolerant or Coeliac, who kept asking, “Please make some gluten free beer because we can’t find any that are nice.” So we decided to make a great tasting beer that was also reasonablly priced. We have done that and it’s very popular even with people who are not gluten intolerant because they like a nice tasting pale ale that is a healthier choice.
ROAR: What a crazy story! Your one lucky guy! What is your company name and what does it involve?
Koala Beer Pty Ltd is our company name and WILDE is our Gluten Free beer brand.
Our key focus is Gluten Free! Which is so important as many people are now being diagnosed with Coeliac and need to abstain from Gluten.
ROAR: How do you make beer Gluten Free?
Chris: Beer is usually made from barley and/or wheat. Gluten is a component of many grains, including barley and wheat. Gluten triggers a response in people with Coeliac disease and in those that are gluten intolerant, that makes them feel unwell. Since around 1% of Australians are gluten intolerant or allergic it is dangerous for them to drink ordinary beer. There are also many that remain undiagnosed but they know they feel better if they avoid gluten. In addition, some people have a wheat intolerance or allergy. So, Australian Koala Beer Pty Ltd, has had a technical breakthrough with alternative grains that do not contain gluten, to produce a quality gluten free beer at a reasonable price and that tastes amazing!
WILDE tastes like normal beer! WILDE is preservative free, it is a clean natural beer. WILDE is the tastier, healthier option for the health conscious drinker.
ROAR: You have won some awesome awards! Fill us in on the awards and how it made you feel to be recognised for such a great quality brand.
Chris: Thankyou! Yes we feel very excited and proud every time we are awarded. WILDE Gluten-Free Pale Ale, brewed by Koala Beer Pty Ltd, has been awarded a Silver Medal at The Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA), a Gold medal by the New Zealand Brewers Guild in 2014, as well as two bronze medals.
The AIBA is renowned for celebrating and promoting brewing excellence in both Australia and around the world. The AIBA is the largest competition for the beer industry in the Asia Pacific region.
Medals are awarded according to a stringent points system to reflect quality standards. In 2014 a record number of 1,560 brews were entered from 294 brewers in 31 countries and were assessed by an expert panel of 40 judges from Belgium, Norway, USA, UK, Japan, Australia and NZ.
Unlike Swimming where there is a gold, silver and bronze awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd fastest, beer judging is the same as wine judging, points are awarded for a range of attributes and gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded to the entrants who achieve a certain level of points to recognize the beer’s quality. Therefore there could be several golds or no golds depending on how many beers are above the threshold value. It is particularly difficult to have a perfect flavour profile in the gluten free class.
It is generally recognized if a beer has achieved any medal it is a fine example of the class. In the AIBA 2014 no gold was awarded in the Gluten-free section, so our Silver was the top award!
ROAR: There must be some challenges in creating a start up. Could you give us a couple? There must be highlights too! What's your biggest highlight?
Chris: The beer sector in Australia is an enormous industry with powerful multinational companies that can sometimes be difficult to compete with or deal with. Expanding distribution as demand grew was one of the biggest challenges in the early years.
Koala Beer is still operating after 8 years and doubling our turnover every year. One of the highlights of doing business in this industry is that the largest independent distributor /wholesaler in Australia contacted us because of our WILDE beer. This relationship is working so well that it allows us to operate in all states, including Tasmania very soon!
ROAR: That's exciting news! Tasmania would love it! What are you most excited about for 2015?
We are most excited about releasing our new beer WILDE Raspberry Gluten Free Pale Ale and later in the year we will release our third beer which is still under wraps.
WILDE Gluten Free Beer - Tasting notes
WILDE Gluten Free presents as a golden Pale Ale.
Careful selection of hop variety gives the beer a citrus and pine character in the aroma with floral hints which rounds out the beer, with a bitter but clean, flavorsome finish. A slight tartness from the malt balances nicely with the bitterness, giving a lift that leaves you wanting more. The beer has been crafted with no added sugar, colour, nor preservatives.
Gluten Free WILDE Raspberry was created to give health conscious drinkers and Coeliacs the opportunity to enjoy another refreshing and interesting beer in the WILDE range. The daring inclusion of fresh raspberries provides a delightful pink hue, a raspberry aroma, and a fruity balance to the bitterness of the varietal hops. Natural raspberries are fermented with the grain to provide a delicate complexity and a mid-strength 3% alcohol. Your nose will also pick out citrus, orange and mandarin aromas. WILDE Raspberry is a refreshing Pale Ale style of beer with a wonderful colour and flavour, crafted with no added sugar, colour, nor preservatives.
Koala Beer provides peace of mind for the growing number of health conscious, gluten intolerant and environmentally aware consumers, who demand tasty products to support their healthy lifestyles. Koala Beer Pty Ltd was founded upon the premise that beer should not only taste great, it should be a clean natural product.
Koala Beer brews clean natural beers –WILDE Gluten Free Pale Ale, and WILDE Raspberry Gluten Free Pale Ale.
ROAR: We love how you have been starting to support small business, sponsor events and choose some exciting ambassadors to share your brand and what you stand for! Fill us in on some of the things your getting involved.
Chris: We love supporting small business as that's how we started! As we are a healthier option we love supporting likeminded events and entrepreneurs. These include Bound Yoga apparel (@boundyogaapparel) which is a small Newcastle (Where we are based) start up business hand screen printing organic and fair trade yoga apparel. Michelle (the owner) loves Wilde and says it's her favourite beer which is also a bonus! We feel their mission is in line with ours and supported their launch. We also have a surfer Jay Mulherin who is a successful longboard surfer and owns the surf shop @driftwoodcoastalculture. We will be helping Jay with fundraising. We have recently sponsored Vanlife (@vanlifediaries) and their gatherings in Australia which is really exciting!
ROAR: From the moment we met you in your design studio it was clear you were at the top of your game in Jewellery design and we felt so intrigued and fortunate to step foot in such a creative space. How did you get into jewellery design? Did you start with another form of art, which lead to where you are now?
Cesar: My studio is the one place that maintains a strong sense of place for me. It’s where I live, work and play. I’ve made so many additions and alterations to this space over the past 10 years that shuffling things around has became a kind of therapeutic exercise that I need to undertake from time to time. Keeping the studio dynamic gives me the opportunity to experiment with the functionality of the space and test new ideas before they are implemented into the business.
I didn’t start out in jewellery design. In fact I took quite a winding road before realising that it was the perfect vehicle for exploring my own concepts.
I started out as an office junior at a large architectural design firm straight out of high school. My job was to archive architectural plans and maintain the plan printer. I was then assigned to the model-making studio and was later offered a traineeship in CAD (Computer Aided Design).
In retrospect I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to design, technology and making. I would eventually complete studies in Architectural Technology, Industrial Design and finally Visual Arts.
I chose to complete my BVA at the ANU School of Arts that offered a workshop specialization in Gold and Silversmithing. It was here that I could combine all of my previous experiences.
My original focus in this period was object design and silversmithing. I would make several scale models and maquettes before committing to a final design. Creating technical drawings and making scale models had now become part of my regular working methodology and before too long I began to think of these tiny models in context of the body.
I moved back to Sydney in 2004 and within a year opened my own Studio and Gallery, Metalab.
We specialized in showcasing Contemporary and Objects and began making jewellery for exhibition, retail and quickly began to discover the general publics desire for custom work.
ROAR: Who has inspired and mentored you to get to where you can now make a living from your creative passion?
Cesar: Ha!... Have you met Nina? Nina is my wife, business partner and responsible in no small part for awakening my inner entrepreneurial spirit.
Nina is a people person. She’s empathetic and generous with her time, so connecting with people comes easily to her.
Nina’s curatorial philosophy is based on establishing strong rapports with our customers; her approach is to cater almost exclusively for our clientele and to surprise them with what they want. With her keen eye, an excellent understanding of consumer behavior and an unrelenting work ethic it was Nina who set the tone for how we conduct ourselves in business and ultimately transforming a creative passion into a thriving business.
ROAR: You and your partner Nina created a hub to design and work with other contemporary designers. From this you also started Courtesy of the Artist which is an amazing community building project/shop/events allowing the best designers to be able to showcase their designs and share their passions. As we have only just brushed the surface of what you do please give us some examples and a brief background of what it's all about and whom it is for.
Metalab operated from 2004 till 2013 from my current studio location in Surry Hills.
We curated and coordinated over 90 exhibitions, produced special events, held classes and workshops, hosted artist talks, mentored graduates, undertook commissions and represented over 100 studio artists in that period.
In 2007 we established Courtesy of the Artist not far from our studio and gallery in Surry Hills. It started as a retail case study for Metalab and quickly flourished into an independent and innovative retail brand in its own right.
It became clear to us early on that both the traditional representational gallery model and the existing retail format did not fit our vision. So we set out to define and execute a new concept for the presentation and retail of artist made jewellery and objects.
We currently represent approximately 60 studio artists, chosen specifically for their virtuosity but also their ability to create new work for exhibition, production and commissions.
Our concept centers around the artist and as their agent we actively promote them as individuals and create opportunities for them to showcase their work to the public.
We curate thematic exhibitions, offer the opportunity for solo exhibitions, product launches, instigate collaborations and present artwork for sale across all of our retail platforms.
We launched our Strand Arcade retail store in 2010 and in 2013 streamlined the business into a singular brand, Courtesy of the Artist.
Metalab became Courtesy of the Artist – Studio, and then in 2014 opened a second store in the Strand Arcade Courtesy of the Artist – Custom.
ROAR: What have been some highlights on the adventure so far?
Cesar: It’s often difficult to recognize the small victories when you’re on the inside looking out. But upon reflection, witnessing our business hold its own against more established players in the retail landscape is constantly rewarding. Having people seek out our artists specifically for significant custom orders is another rewarding scenario that has led to some outstanding outcomes and very satisfied customers. These moments are important to us.
We also consider hosting major or milestone exhibitions of an artists work in our gallery an honour. We have on occasion sold work from these exhibitions to major public and private collections.
Having a physical retail presence in Sydney’s landmark shopping destination, The Strand Arcade was a bit like a coming of age for us. So being invited to open a store there is a significant highlight.
ROAR: What are some challenges in starting a business from scratch and continuing it as it even outgrows your expectations or dreams?
Cesar: Before starting out I had practically no real experience with small business.
I had written a business plan, developed a marketing strategy and fumbled through a financial plan. The latter being an ever-present thorn in my side.
As much as I thought I was prepared, the reality of maintaining a business like Metalab was physically and mentally exhausting not to mention very costly.
Managing the finances of any business is an obvious challenge especially for a fledgling creative.
I think the biggest challenge when starting a creative business from scratch is coming to terms with the amount of effort, commitment and sacrifice that it takes to nurture it. And if you have little experience with managing others then it is a valuable skill to develop quickly as your business grows.
We are celebrating 10 years in business this year and we’re very grateful to have a great team of highly skilled individuals on our side.
We started this business because we believed in the importance of making well crafted and considered objects as well as maintaining a physical platform to showcase the best examples of Australian Contemporary Jewellery Design.
The challenge for us now is to keep walking the talk.
ROAR: What are some exciting things this year that people should know about what you guys are up too?
Cesar: At Courtesy of the Artist – Custom, we celebrate the bespoke as well as maintaining a monthly exhibition schedule.
In 2015 we will host 8 distinctly different events with the finale an exhibition celebrating our 10 years in business.
The Courtesy of the Artist Studio has also been working on developing new ranges of jewellery exclusively for our flagship store as well as new ranges in collaboration with other retailers, artists and designers. An exciting development for our brand and a direction we will continue to explore over the coming years.
The studio has also been commissioned to produce a series of art installations, awards for Amnesty International, an exciting collaboration with a beverage company and the second installment in our homegrown gemstone exhibition – Rare Earth.
ROAR: You guys are doing something so special in sharing and promoting amazing creative people and their work. Thank you for sharing a part of your story with us!
ROAR: Hey Kathleen & Greg, we love all your pics and the name 'Tiny house Tiny footprint' and want to share your story. What's the background that got you to here?
Tiny House: If you would have asked my 27-year-old self (I’m 29 now) where I would be living in the next year or two, I most likely would have told you that it would be in an apartment in a city somewhere. At the time, I didn’t know of anyone my age that was living small.
Almost two years ago, I met Greg and we felt (like most couples do in the honeymoon phase) that we wanted to spend as much time as possible together. Within a few months of dating, he moved into my two-bedroom apartment in the city. When our lease was coming to an end in the fall, we started to talk what types of homes and where we wanted to live next.
Greg had lived in a van with a friend in New Zealand eight years ago. And even though quite some time had elapsed, he always had exciting stories from his adventures living in 50 square feet. We started to talk about what our life together would be like in a smaller space. I wasn’t so convinced I could adapt to the tiny lifestyle as easily as Greg could. After all, he had done it before and I was used to living in houses and apartments. At the time, I only had a handful of camping trips under my belt and was quite timid to take on new adventures.
As a compromise for not ‘living in a van small,’ Greg and I started to look at camper trailers on Craigslist. When we stepped inside a 1969 Terry camper trailer (140 square feet), we both got excited and made the purchase.
Finding land wasn’t as simple. After encountering dead ends on Craigslist and other similar sites, we got desperate. We started to ask friends and coworkers, but nobody had any leads. We ended up contacting people on Airbnb and asking if they would be open to renting out their land instead of their houses. Quite surprising to us, this worked in our favor. We got a few offers and ended up choosing a family that had a beautiful backyard near open space.
Currently, we have access to their electricity and WiFi, but we use our own gallons of water. I chose the name, “Tiny House, Tiny Footprint” because the camper trailer is acting as our tiny house and we reduced our environmental footprint by downsizing and becoming more conscious of our water supply.
ROAR: We get asked a lot how we fund our adventures and living in a van which we reply work haha. How do you guys do it and what do you do?
Tiny House: Greg and I both work full-time jobs that require us to be in one location 40 hours a week. I am a communications professional and Greg is a landscape architect. We would love to live on the road, but currently our jobs will not support that kind of lifestyle. Instead, we take micro trips on the weekends and explore locally during weeknights. Our goal is to save up enough money to be able to take longer trips and to take our professions on the road.
ROAR: Tell us some funny stories about the challenges of living in tiny spaces as we know from personal experience there is a lot hah!
Oh man! We can’t pretend like the first few months weren’t the hardest in our relationship.
Greg and I went from 1,000 square feet to 140. When we first moved in, we bumped into each other all the time and had to learn when to give the other person space. When we had disagreements, anger would quickly fill our tiny home and it would become a toxic place to live in. We had no choice but to learn how to control our emotions and talk things out right away.
Greg and I have a full-sized fridge that we use, but it is located outside the camper trailer. We use the inside fridge as a storage container instead.
In the beginning, we often got lazy and would skip meals because we didn’t want to go outside. Often times we would go out to eat and bring home leftovers just to have something easy to eat the next day. It took some time to adapt to cooking in a small space and figuring out the best items to purchase at the store.
October in Colorado can be cold at night and the camper trailer wasn’t properly insulated to handle the harsh weather. Greg had to work fast to create insulation blocks covered in radiant barrier to stick into our windows to block out the cold air. Unfortunately, the process took some time and we had to bundle up to sleep at night, enduring a few cold nights and mornings.
Water has been our biggest challenge. Since we are not connected to a hose, we shower at the gym instead. It can be frustrating having to unpack and pack a bag daily with our work clothes, head to the gym to shower and get ready there.
We have to pour soap on our dishes and heat up water in an electric kettle before we can start washing dishes, which in turn can be a slow process. Every 2-3 weeks, we have to take our laundry to a Laundromat or a friend’s house.
ROAR: We have many of those same issues haha. What are the highlights and why do you keep living this lifestyle?
One of my favourite memories was a cold night in November when our electricity went out. We were using an electric heater to stay warm and when that shut off, we got cold really fast. Greg quickly turned on our propane and within minutes, we were toasty again. I turned to Greg and said, “We’re officially living off the grid!” To which he said, “Isn’t it great?” I think it was at that moment that we knew that we could live anywhere together.
We have had some amazing opportunities since living this lifestyle. The people in the tiny house movement are some of the best we have ever met. They are genuine people who enjoy exploring new places and adventuring. They are intoxicating to be around.
During the first few months living in the camper trailer, I saw this project as temporary and looked forward to living somewhere else. Now (after nine months), I can’t imagine living in anything larger. Since we are not tied to our home or possessions, we find it easy to go on more adventures outside. When choosing between staying in a hotel or sleeping in a tent, we always chose the latter.
ROAR: We love the idea of your new blog sharing stories tell us all about it?
Last month, we were featured on one of our favorite blogs, Nurturing Soul: Home is Where You Park It series. That opportunity helped us connect with some amazing people in the tiny house movement and we wanted to highlight some of them. Since I am a journalist in my profession, I would much rather hear others’ stories than talk about myself.
In my Roll with Me blog series, I will feature several types of tiny homes (vans, camper trailers, Airstreams, tiny houses) and give people a snapshot of what it’s like. Everyone has a different story and I’m hoping to share as many as I can.
ROAR: What's next for you guys?
Greg and I have a lot of options, which feels good and daunting at the same time! We would love to either save up our money to buy our own land or hit the road in a smaller vehicle.
Finding land has been difficult as it is almost always more expensive than buying a house. Down payments for raw land can range from 20-50%. We would love to find a tiny house village that we could stay at so that we could avoid high costs.
We are finding that the camper trailer makes a great home, but it is too large for long trips. We could easily live out of a car or a van if we could work on the road.
ROAR: We never knew plants could be used to create art!? After following you and Octopus Garden it's clear plant art exists! Tell us how your creativity took you to where you are today?
OG: Even before Elythea and I met, we always loved plants and flowers. Both creatively driven, it was so nice to pair up and motivate one another. We are both so different in our art/technique, we are constantly sharing, inspiring and pushing one another. Elythea loves the BIG projects, she is never intimidated by a large scale. I have learnt to take on bigger pieces and be excited about them. From me, Elythea may have learnt a bit more of the finer techniques and between the two of us, it makes sense. So I believe where we are today has been a collaboration of two passionate people whiling to share and learn from each other.
ROAR: We love Octopus garden and when ever we are at Long Jetty we always drop in to say hi and see what you legends are up too. Who is involved and how did the brand come to life?
OG: Elythea and I (Lauren) are both owners/creative directors, started the Octopus’ Garden as a pop up and market stall. With an overwhelming response for events and weddings, Elythea invited me to partner up with her (I have never looked back).
The little A frame we get creative in now, came up for lease and I literally took the biggest risk of my life with Elythea. We worked so hard, together to create a beautiful space that would welcome, encourage and inspire people. I feel like Elythea and I have grown together as a team and the Octopus has rapidly grown with us.
ROAR: Who would be the main people or groups that purchase your goods and what other programs do you have going on that people can be a part of?
OG: The Octopus really does seem to attract all types of people off all ages, plants are welcoming. We do a lot of weddings, events, deliveries from the shop and workshops/private parties. The space is a really encouraging place to learn and enjoy creating. Elythea and I really enjoy running workshops and showing people what they are capable of making in a really fun and relaxed environment.
ROAR: We loved it when you told us about heading to the markets in Sydney and exploring all things flora! Take us through a day at the markets!
OG: We wake up at around 4am, on an ideal morning, Elyhtea and I will drive together. We have a few favourite suppliers that we go to as soon as we arrive. We get our greenery, natives and seasonal flowers, pick up any pre orders, go to the wholesaler for any vases, wires or wrapping that we need. After that if we have time, we do love a little leisure lap where we can just slowly walk through and take a little extra time to notice anything weird or things that we haven’t seen before. There are some smaller growers that can be easily looked over in a rush while we carry big boxes or piles of flowers, so it is nice if we get the time to by those little extra bunches that give our shop and bunches that something different. There is also comic value to appreciate while taking laps through the market, growers bargaining and yelling at each other, cheeky remarks from people probably trying to pass time (or they are going slightly crazy from being there since 1am!!) The place can be absolute manic during peak hour and it is honestly one of our favourite times of the week.
Whether we have time or not, we never leave without grabbing a tea or coffee for the drive home, where we debrief and plan for the day and/or week ahead. I personally feel that these trips have been some of the nicest bonding times for Elythea and I, on both a professional and friendship level.
ROAR: What are some challenges of running a business such as Octopus Garden and what are some highlights and achievements you guys are stoked on?
OG: Challenges are the same as any small business I guess, everything falls back on Elythea and I, sometimes waking up and feeling like you have had 3 hours sleep for the whole week. Sometimes making designs that aren’t usually our style, things like that. However, the good is all so much more than just worth it. Our work has been on the cover of two big bridal magazines, more weddings and workshops than we could have ever imagined. We get to fill our space with new amazing florals all the time, people trust us with their wedding florals, we get to be a part of some of the most emotionally charged occasions that people will experience, we are there to help people celebrate life and love, we can help people say "thank you" or "sorry". We get to work with some of the finest materials that Mother Nature has to offer.
ROAR: In one sentence give us your best advice for life!?
OG: Do what you love, do it well and share it with the world.
ROAR: What is 'The Apparel Collective' and who is involved?
T&C: The Apparel Collective is our lifestyle... or a brand that allows us our lifestyle. Haha. There's myself (Tarsh), Jase (Cuzzie) and Byron (our Palm Beach store manager). Jase and I started The Apparel Collective in 2013 after a string of pop up stores around the area. We popped up in Freshwater and loved it so much we stayed. It's a store that offers an eclectic mix of fashion,art, antiques and boards.
ROAR: We love your style and every time we are in Freshwater we love dropping in. When you go about setting up your store what thoughts come to mind to add a vibe and culture that make people want to hang out?
T&C: The store has really grown into what it is today quite organically. We set out to create a space that we would want to hang out in and somewhere we would want to shop. The vibe is very much a reflection of us and the stuff we love. The local vibe of Freshie has definitely influenced the store with a lot of the art, antiques and small brands
coming from the locals.
ROAR: Starting a business is challenging and it is clear that you are doing very well with two stores in Australia in a short amount of time. What are a couple of challenges and also some highlights so far?
T&C: The challenge and the highlights are kinda the same for us... having never initially set out to be a permanent retail store I think our biggest challenge has been in learning as we go...everything has been new to us and so we learn as we go, this has also been a bit of an
asset to us as we're not stuck in our ways about how things 'should be.' The highlight has been creating a business that we enjoy and that allows us to travel and go exploring, surfing and snowboarding for a good chunk of the year!
ROAR: You both obviously love travel and the whole lifestyle that goes with skate, surf, snowboarding gear. What has been your number one adventure and why?
T&C: Umm...thats a tough question but the number one adventure (which is now more of an annual one) is Snowboarding in the Japanese backcountry.
ROAR: What are some exciting things in the future your working toward with your brand?
T&C: Lots of exciting things on the horizon...we're just about to launch a studio space called Los Amigo Studios with a buddy of ours along with a rad little clothing collection. Goodtimes ahead!
Jason: 0451 677 101 Tarsha: 0403 690 192
Facebook @theapparelcollective instagram
ROAR: Hey ladies where and who is involved in Hrvst St.?
HRVST: Hrvst St. consists of two Brisbane locals, Llyse Filipuzzi + Allie Harris
ROAR: For those of us a bit behind the eight ball on juices can you tell us about Cold pressed juice and what makes Hrvst St. so special!?
HRVST: Haha don't be so hard on yourself, ok, I'll explain / we use a commercial grade hydraulic press machine which presses gently + completely extracts all the natural goodness, vitamins, minerals, enzymes + other vital elements. Cold pressing is a method of juicing that enables the juice to be bottled (without preservatives) and allows it to hold a shelf life of 4-5 days. So a simple way of putting it is, Hrvst St cold pressed juice is a raw/fresh/unpasteurised jar of goodness! We believe, juice should NEVER be pasteurised, ever. A lovely customer described our juice as 'Victoria's Secret in a jar', having feedback like that proves to us that we have created a beautiful, clean, sexy drop!
ROAR: Congratulations on starting your own business and already gaining a good range of happy customers! Tell us how this idea came to life?
HRVST: Ahhh thanks guys! Over the last few months we have been taking our business step by step and keeping the brand super clean and simple! We put it out there on social media a month prior to launching to see what kind of response we would get and were quite overwhelmed with the immediate positive interest that was generated. From there we have listened to what our audience is looking for in a Cold Pressed juice and are slowly building our brand trying to have something that appeals to everyone in some way or another. We saw a gap in the market for a unique branded product to support small local business' that wasn't a product of a big supermarket chain and that is how Hrvst St has come about.
ROAR: Can you give us a couple of challenges and also some highlights you have had so far in starting your own business?
HRVST: Starting your own business has a few interesting little things that pop up along the way that's for sure! I guess the challenge of that would be both working other full time jobs + running a business full time is alot harder than we thought it would be, having that work/life balance can be quite challenging.
The highlights have certainly outweighed the challenges though - we have received overwhelming support from other small local business' which has been amazing. The extremely positive feedback we have received from random people who have tried our product keeps our hearts smiling also.
ROAR: So you are set up in Brisbane and are gaining a really good name for yourself. Are you thinking of expanding and if so where too? We can't wait to get some!!
HRVST: Thanks! Yes, all set up in Brisbane! We do have a couple of little things up our sleeves but we can't go into too much detail..... We are super passionate about supporting young, up + coming artists, and are working on a project as we speak.
ROAR:Your illustrations are so impressive and meaningful. How did Camp illustrated and the idea to draw people's favourite camp photographs come to life?
Matt: Thanks for being stoked about the stuff you see! The idea for Camp Illustrated came to me on a long drive out to California where I was moving. I had spent several weeks on the road camping and making art based on what I was seeing. I thought remaking other peoples rad outdoor photos into illustrations would be an engaging way to keep creating art while I wasn't outside myself and hopefully they would enjoy the work too.
ROAR: Have you always been an artist? Who has been important in encouraging you in follow your passion of art and the outdoors?
Matt: Drawing has always been an important part of how I see, and interact with the world. Over the past couple years as I finished schooling and tried to figure out the "what do I do now" questions, a constant quest to mix my love of the outdoors and art remained. I'm thankful to have friends and a rad girlfriend who encourage me to follow those passions and keep living the dream!
ROAR: It's clear people love what you do and Camp Illustrated is growing rapidly all over the world! How do people get in touch and get their favourite camp photographs illustrated?!
Matt: It has been humbling to use instagram as a way to share my stuff and consequently connect with people that I wouldn't have otherwise had the chance to interact with. Most of the stuff I put on instagram is made as a surprise for the photographer and I enjoy that facet of it. I am; however, available to do commissions. Lately I have been doing a couple per month but am starting to make art full time and excited to take on more commissions. Folks can either shoot me a direct message on instagram or use the contact tab on my website to get in touch about a custom piece!
ROAR: Where have your adventures taken you and what are some places you absolutely love and why?
Matt: Until this past year I spent most of my outdoor time in the Rockies of Colorado, going on backpacking trips, tackling some 14'rs, and sport climbing. It has been a blast to live close to Yosemite this past year and spend several weekends in the Sierras as well as quick trips to Big Sur. The most memorable spot this year has been Cathedral Peak and the surrounding lakes off the John Muir Trail - don't miss it if you make it to Yosemite.
ROAR: We also love the outdoors and can't wait for the next adventure! What are your plans for places to explore and draw?
att: The next months are going to be some exciting ones for me as I take off on the road to try out making art full time. My tentative plans are to head North to Oregon and Washington for several months of camping, art-making, and meeting up with people. I'll see where the path takes me from there! Thanks for taking the time to ask me some questions!
ROAR: Hey Ricky! Your ocean photography blew us away? How you capture light, colours and the movement of the sea is incredible. How did your love of photography and the ocean come to life?
Ricky: Ever since a young age the ocean has definitely been one of the biggest parts of my life. It’s always been a place where I can think clearly, revisit at any time and basically call home. What I love the most about the ocean though is the fact that it’s constantly evolving and showing new characteristics of its personality each and every day. It was only the beginning of 2014 that I decided to purchase my first camera and ever since then I haven’t looked back. Photography for me is not only capturing moments of natural beauty through a digital lens, it’s also a visual expression of my personality and love I have for the ocean and its surroundings.
ROAR: What have been some highlights of your photography career so far?
Ricky: I’ve had so many memorable moments since picking up my first camera, but the ones which seem to resinate in my mind the most are the thrills that photography has provided. Whether it be exploring new undiscovered locations, chasing swells for hours on end up and down the coast or even just waiting for first light, each and every moment I’ve experienced as of yet, has played a big part in shaping the photographer and person I am today. So far I’ve been a part of several different shoots, including weddings and advertisements but personally nothing beats the excitement of racing up the beach, checking the camera and seeing an image on your screen which you’re really happy with.
ROAR: We love your landscape photos as well! Do you have to change your mindset from ocean to landscape?
Ricky: To be honest my mindset whilst shooting landscapes never changes, it’s the eyes which do all the work. Landscape photography has always been something I’ve revisited. My early days as a photographer were all about playing around and testing with different compositions of nature but as my imagery developed I found myself primarily focusing on capturing the movements and motion of the ocean. The landscape work I produce aims to create a unique perspective within the viewer’s eye, as each individual photo attempts to differentiation itself from others with a different mood and feel.
ROAR: What equipment do you use?
Ricky: One thing I’ve learned about photography is it’s not cheap. My kit is constantly changing due to my financial state. I am currently using a canon 70d, this camera fits all my needs for the type of stuff I shoot. I also own a range of canon lenses including telephoto lenses and wide angles.
ROAR: Any exciting things happening in 2015?!
Ricky: I have big hopes for 2015! So far it’s been such a good year as I’ve had a lot more to time to focus primarily on my photography and building my portfolio. I’m also planning to travel as much as I can. So far a trip to Tasmania has been booked for the end of November and I’m also hoping to explore the coastline of New Zealand to see what those parts of the world have to offer. Thanks for having me!
ROAR: Jess & Taylah, what your doing with 'Tidal Magazine' is so impressive! Tell us a little bit of background of the two of you and how this great venture came to life!?
Tidal: We went to school together and had been looking for some kind of project we could work on that would support ocean conservation. The very first idea to work together actually came from a conversation we had in the ocean mid-festival, and from that initial brainstorming it grew into Tidal. We knew so many young people who were insanely talented and really stepping up the creative game but just weren't being recognised for it. There is such a movement of creativity and culture happening on the Sunshine Coast, and beyond as well, and we wanted to showcase that and make it accessible to everyone. We've never just settled with what we're doing, we're always looking for ways to further grow Tidal and continue supporting the creative movement within young people. Tidal Presents was another major step for us as these events allow us to showcase creatives in a physical space and give the community something they can be directly involved with. The response from the community has been so motivating, it gives us so much drive to keep going. We've also started adding a few creatives to our team so we're really excited to be able to support their work and see where we can take Tidal with a growing team.
ROAR: The stories you share and events you support of young people doing extraordinary things is so inspiring! What are some highlights so far?
Tidal: Everyone we meet is a highlight! Something we've always said is that Tidal is a huge assembly of young people making things happen, and every time we collaborate with someone we're building this massive, productive creative army and it's just epic! We really appreciate these relationships we build through Tidal, and it's rarely a one-off interview for us, we always continue supporting those people that support us. A lot of these people we continue to work with on other projects, or they become really good friends which is even cooler. We do have a few pieces that we're particularly stoked about though; we were so excited to feature Ollie Henderson in Tidal 2. Ollie is the boss lady behind House of Riot, as well as an amazing activist, model, artist and feminist. She's someone we've both held in the highest regard for a long time so it was crazy to be able to work with her. Another major highlight has been our recent pop-up art show. It was a collection of so many of our favourite artists, local and further down the coast too. We had people of all ages come on the night and there was just so much stoke and such a strong sense of community. Would happily do that night again weekly.
ROAR: Your events sound epic and we hope we can get to one soon. We can tell a major part of what you do is supporting ocean conservation and awareness for this important concern. Why is this so important to you and what organisations do you support?
Tidal: Aside from the fact that the ocean is the cornerstone of all life on earth, no matter where you live, it's even more strongly aligned with our life here on the coast. It's part of our everyday life; it's where we go to picnic, to drink, to celebrate, to mourn, you hear it when you're lying in bed, there's a constant trail of sand in your car and probably your house as well. It's the blue heartbeat of the planet and we need to look after it. We don't have set organisations as such that we support as we like to be able to work with causes depending on what issues are currently on the table and in a way that is going to make the best use of our skills and network. In saying that we are big supporters of Sea Shepherd, and on a more local scale, Sirens for the Sea and their Protect the Reef movement. It's insane the amount of people that don't know what's happening to the Great Barrier Reef, and that's going on right in our backyard. There's a great article by Sirens founder Malia Rouillon in the second issue, definitely worth checking out.
ROAR: We have never stopped loving printed magazines with great content. Where can we get yours? And where can we check your stories and find out about events?
Tidal: We love print too, and that's a major part of Tidal that will never change. With so much focus on the digital age, we think there is still so much value in having a physical piece of work that can be held and treasured. Currently we have a number of stockists on the Sunshine Coast & Brisbane, and will hopefully be expanding this further soon as well. You can also buy Tidal online via our website and we'll ship it out to you! www.tidalmagazine.org is our little internet home where you can shop and check out all of our online features and editorials. Instagram is probably your best bet for staying in the loop about events and other rad projects.
ROAR: What are some exciting events coming up?
Tidal: We're launching two Sunny Coast labels next month, which will be super exciting. We've also got a big event down in Sydney in the works which we're ridiculously excited for. It's going to be rad to be able to bring Tidal to a whole new audience and connect with some of the creatives down there, the Northern Beaches have some seriously talented young people.
ROAR: Sounds rad! A big part of what you do is collaborating and supporting young creatives. How has this changed your perception of our society?
Tidal: There is such a movement towards collaborating that's redefining the way everything is being done and it's so rad to see. Some people expect the creative community to be really competitive and isolating but it's exactly the opposite. On the coast in particular, there is so much support within our community, people are so genuinely stoked to see creatives working hard and doing well. It definitely makes you feel proud to be a part of such an amazing part of the world. Collaborating in itself is just such a brilliant concept, people should work together more often.
Social Media Links: www.tidalmagazine.org / www.facebook.com/tidalmagazine / @tidalmagazine