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We met Tim in the town of Eugene as we were adventuring and van living our way through Oregon. His unique art and woodwork grabbed our attention and we were impressed with Tim's ability to create individual pieces out of recycled material and driftwood. Tim told us some of the stories of going to the coastline and local rivers to explore and find wood and bits and pieces, which he could turn into functional tables, coffee tables, chairs, cutting boards etc. A very interesting story was when he went to the Oregon coastline and found pieces of furniture that were very unique and had come from the country of Japan, possibly from the nuclear explosion. Tim has his own gallery in downtown Eugene called Out On A Limb Gallery. You can get in contact with Tim and follow his adventures and rustic style of fine woodwork by following his interesting and creative blog timboydenart.com. On his blog Tim states "I strive to use locally salvaged or gathered materials whenever possible! Be it collecting river stones and driftwood along the Willamette River by my home or from the gorgeous Oregon coast, buying locally harvested and milled trees or by using our cultures broken discarded items". We at ROAR love meeting creative and interesting people in our travels, who are offering something positive to their community. All pictures used in this article are from Tim's blog.
Patagonia is one of our favourite brands for outdoor gear and cold water wetsuits. We love this company for their great quality, organic fabrics, recyclable fabrics and their focus on fair trade. Patagonia is very active in looking after the environment and aim to be as sustainable as possible. Their business book 'The Responsible Company' really challenged us in our outlook on being responsible with our actions. Visit Patagonia to view their high quality products and learn more about the company.
ROAR was lucky enough to be in New York the night Patagonia had their store opening and we decided to do a little write up on the event. With people lined up down the street and around the corner, we decided to skip the wait for a moment and have some famous NY pizza. We couldn't believe how many people were there to support the brand, it was great to see. Once we got back to the store and entered with no line up, it was awesome to see Chris Malloy there who is an ambassador for the brand, film maker and an amazing surfer. There was live music by Real Estate which provided a sweet vibe. They are an indie rock band from New Jersey if you want to check them out. The store looked great, with some fresh new surf influenced stock, such as hand planes, fins and a new range of wetsuits. They also had some sweet boards that looked super fun to ride. We spied a few goodies that are now on the wish list, maybe for christmas. We love this brand and it was a special treat to attend their store opening. Thanks Patagonia for a fun night in the city!
Whilst exploring the streets of New York City around Union Square Park, we couldn't believe our ears and eyes when we came across the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble. These guys, originally from Chicago were jamming right out the front of 'Wholefoods' on one of the main streets in Manhatten. They were ridiculously tight, funky, hip annd epic. Growing up playing Saxophone I couldn't believe the level of talent and I was so inspired I went straight to the ATM got some money and purchased their album on the spot.
Thinking it would be sweet to share this amazing little family band on our website we went back to our apartment in East Village and I did some more research. Little did I know the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble are a world wide hit. Just to give you a taste of their talent they have hundreds of thousands of You Tube views on their clips, a music song soundtrack to The Hunger Games movie MUSIC CLIP INCLUDED BELOW, recorded a song with Gorillaz off their album 'Plastic Beach' and have performed with well known artists such as Mos Def, De La Soul, Prince and many more. When artists of this level still come back to the streets and perform in local communities for passers by, it really shows their true colours and love for music and the local people. Thank you for the amazing tunes guys, highlight of our trip to NY for sure!
Be sure to check out more from this amazing band through the link below.
Brayden is a talented young Graphic designer and artist from Newcastle, Australia. I was lucky enough to teach him at School when I was a full time teacher. As a teenager Brayden was constantly sketching and designing ideas in and out of class. His classmates and I knew he was going places with his art. It is so exciting to see that he has started his own skate and design business with Head Quarters. We hope that you are as inspired as us to check out his adventure in starting his own business. We at ROAR will be keeping a close eye on Brayden for sure, as he follows his dreams and uses his talents to offer something fresh to the community.
ROAR: What inspired you to get into art?
Brayden: When I think back on when I first started drawing or being "arty", I was definitely most inspired by my older sister. We were and still are pretty competitive throughout most of the things we do together. I used to see all her sketches and water colourings she would leave scattered throughout the house and it became something of a goal to be as great as I saw her to be. As time passed and I was found constantly drawing on desks or my arms during class, staying up till morning hours trying to imitate other artists work that I would find online. Driven to learn their line work and produce my own originals. After that, I was just very lucky to have received an overwhelming amount of positive reinforcement from family, friends and peers at school, which only put fuel on the fire for me to seek out art to be a lifestyle that I wanted for myself.
ROAR: What types of art are you involved in and what types do you enjoy the most?
Brayden: I tend to do a lot of doodling. And these doodles tend to be focused around previous conversations I have had with friends about our childish ideas and imaginations. A lot of my art tends to be cartoons with a dash of japanese influence. All my art starts out as pencil on paper and eventually make their way onto a computer screen to be digitally coloured in or adjusted slightly. But I do love nothing more than to sit down with a screen full of japanese tattoo designs and just become inspired to create my own pieces, drawing waves, masks, demons, foo dogs, dragons and the list goes on. I find it to be such a beautiful balance between detailed line work and serene simplicity that it demands you to focus and almost meditate on what you are trying to create.
ROAR: We heard you have started a brand with your art? Tell us a bit about it?
Brayden: I've got a brand named Head Quarters, and it started when I was out skateboarding a couple of months ago, and one of my mates was raving about how sick the design was on the bottom of his board. And all I remember thinking was "I can do that". So I decided try and walk the walk, make a few phone calls and start putting plans together to get a business going. It's all still very much trial and error at this stage, with getting stock and trying to maintain funds. But I'm having fun and thoroughly enjoying the experience so far.
ROAR: Where can people check out your work?
Brayden: Most of my work and the lead up to finished projects gets put up onto my instagram @bwiliknson, up at the loop www.theloop.com.au, I also have facebook.com/hqskate but not to much is really going to get posted up there until more of my business plans really get nutted out.
ROAR: What are some exciting things planned for you and your art in the near future?
Brayden: I am a little excited about a couple of projects I've got coming up. I've got some work with an emerging band The Crispens, which has been so fun just to have artistic freedom with these boys that have just come back from winning the hunter schools rock off. But I'm looking forward to a collaboration I've got coming up with one of my friends projects called the Secret Cabin, everything is a bit hush hush keep it on the down low at the moment. But it's gonna be supercali-friggen-awesome.
Thanks for sharing your art and a bit of your story with ROAR. We are so excited to see where this venture take you. Good luck!
Jess and I were out long boarding at Waikiki, Hawaii and we could hear sweet tunes floating from the beach across the ocean. Paddling in we saw the Ron Artis Family band doing their thing for a local Surfing competition. This band blew us away! With nothing but positive lyrics and funky beats this family of 11 children give you everything from reggae, funk, hip hop, jazz to punk. They have so much enthusiasm and offer a great live experience with every member having the gift of epic vocals and the ability to play multiple instruments. ROAR is so pleased to share this original and independent band and their links with you. We had the opportunity to chat to a few of the members and their amazing mother Victoria. They are so genuine and have the kindest hearts. This band is passionate, inspiring and love sharing their god given talents to uplift and bring joy to others.
We have also added two of their awesome music clips, so check them out!!
Get behind this band and support their music through the links below. Jump on their face book and give them a like so you can keep up to date and hopefully see one of their live concerts.
ROAR finds it exciting and inspiring when people take a risk and go out on their own to start their own business and offer something of value to their local community. This is exactly what iSaveLocal has achieved. Gabe and Josh got together with an idea to increase local support and relationships between customers and businesses in their community of Newcastle, Australia. They have developed a user friendly app that links customers straight to their local businesses and the great products they have on offer. iSaveLocal also allows businesses to offer special deals such as a free coffee or juice, discounts on fashion, photography and many other industries. Read below to get an insight into how these two innovative guys took their idea and turned it into a reality that is rapidly changing their community for the better.
ROAR: How did iSaveLocal come to life? Who was involved in founding the business?
GABE & JOSH: iSaveLocal was created with one purpose in mind: strengthening the connection between local businesses and their community. Gabriel Waterford, former Alice Springs cafe owner and current manager of the Lizottes restaurants, and Josh King, engineering student at Newcastle University, have set out to help rebuild our sense of community, and put that small town feel back into Newcastle.
There's nothing quite like walking into your local fruit shop, butcher, or cafe and being greeted by name; having your usual order remembered; a friendly wave that lets you know you matter here. Small businesses are integral to our shared sense of community, and money spent here is money that stays in our community.
Unfortunately our spending habits are becoming more and more corporate - more impersonal - and that sense of community is slipping away. iSaveLocal is the bridge between traditional small businesses and the local community. Competing for attention in a modern environment, saturated with technology, is incredibly hard for a small business on a tight budget. We help overcome that boundary and put the power of decision making back into the hands of local people.
ROAR: What is iSaveLocals purpose for the community and city of Newcastle?
GABE & JOSH: Local people love local stores, they just need a way to get connected. We believe people want to shop locally, they want to support their community, we're just making it fun and easy!
ROAR: What have been the highlights so far?
GABE & JOSH: Appearing on ABC breakfast radio was a fantastic experience. Having so many people hear about our idea, getting excited about building that community spirit, was a huge buzz. That said, everytime we hear our business partners tell us about the massive increases in new customers (a lot of which have fast become recurring customers!) it puts a smile on our faces. That's what this is about, after all: connecting businesses with local people and giving people back a real sense of community.
ROAR: What are some of the challenges in starting your own small business? Have you had previous experience?
GABE & JOSH: The biggest challenge we face is community awareness. An idea like this only works as long as people are willing to get out there and claim their free stuff. Luckily our business partners have all been very generous in their offers to the community, and participation in our maiden month has been excellent!
ROAR: What are some exciting things happening in the future for iSaveLocal?
GABE & JOSH: In the next month we're planning to launch Lambton and New Lambton! There's tons of great boutiques, cafes and small businesses run by local Novocastrians (people who live in Newcastle) in these areas, and we're super excited to be involved with them.
ROAR: How can others be apart of your company and support local businesses in their community?
GABE & JOSH: Newcastle locals or visitors can grab the app on their smartphone, or jump on the website and get instant access to freebies (free products) and discount vouchers to their local shops. There's a huge variety of offers in our free app: free coffee, free juice, gift vouchers to spend in-store, even a free purse! To claim these awesome freebies, people just have to flash the iSaveLocal voucher on the screen of their mobile device. Our current small business partners were approached personally to share in the launch of iSaveLocal. We're steadily rolling out new locations with a plan to cover Newcastle by the end of 2013.
Click on the link below to learn more about iSaveLocal and the awesome deals on offer.
We folks at ROAR spent some time brainstorming together with our cousin Amy and the Co-founders of Munjang Adventures (Jai & Josh) whilst surfing and sipping lattes on The Black Cats East Coast 2013 music tour. One of our key focus points was planning and supporting community projects or events that promote and inspires local creative talent in the areas of art, music and surf/skate culture. We are also passionate about encouraging our youth in making positive life choices and being responsible for their environment and surroundings.
We started out with organising back yard afternoon jams, after a day at the beach, in our local area on the Central Coast, NSW, Australia. These were called 'Munjang Rebel' Back Yard Jams, which involved some talented artists creating art projects whilst musicians provided some tunes and of course we had a tasty BBQ!
Regrouping after a successful jam we had an enthusiastic debrief and decided that there was opportunity to grow our event in the wider community. Jai fortunately ran into a local Council worker (Janette) at a local Cafe from Greater Toukley Vision (this organisation supports growth and popularity of local businesses in Toukley) and she responded with support of our ideas and passion.
Through this opportunity 'Vibes on the Green' was created and we were back at the ipads and laptops going through our creative social networks organising musicians and artists to share their talents with our community. Our goal is to make this event a well known music and arts day for the coast, where we all come together with like minded creative people and support and encourage each other.
Campy Camper is a camper van rental company based in Biarritz, France. Created by two friends, this company was started through the love of van life adventures. The brand truly represents an adventurous lifestyle and an appreciation for enjoying this beautiful world we live in. We love their vans, it makes us want to plan a ROAR road trip through Europe.
ROAR: How did Campy Camper come about? Who was involved in starting this company?
CAMPY CAMPER: Campy Camper is the idea of two friends, after a road trip all around Australia and experimenting the camper van life. The concept of van life is not well developed and known in France, so we decided to create our own company and offer the opportunity of going on road trips from Biarritz, SW of France to anywhere you desire in Europe.
ROAR: What is the purpose and mission of Campy Camper?
CAMPY CAMPER: Our main purpose is to allow travellers to discover our region and Europe differently. We really enjoyed our road trip experience in Australia and wanted others to share in the joys of van living. To ensure security, comfort, and efficiency we decided to use brand new Nissan Primastars for our Campy Camper vans and set them up with good equipment such as lights, water pump, electricity and a fridge. To give the authentic touch, we designed the inside of the van similarly to the vintage VW Combi.
ROAR: Can you share some highlights of Campy Camper so far?
CAMPY CAMPER: Created in April 2012, we have been experiencing some very exciting moments such as surf contests, where we have been partners for the events with other brands (clothes and beer).
Also our client’s stories are always really funny and enjoyable to listen to.
ROAR: What is it like running a business in Europe? What are some fun things about owning a camper van business?
CAMPY CAMPER: I think that for this kind of business it’s really fascinating because it's pretty new in Europe and especially in France compared to the other continents like Australia or America. It was challenging in the beginning as everything was new to us, setting up a business can be hard at times. It took a lot of time, but now that we are here and getting more well known it’s going great.
Getting people to understand our concept, the advantage of van life freedom, is the best part. But as this is not their usual way of travelling it's sometimes hard to explain how amazing camping in a van can be. However, once they try it, they love it and this is our best satisfaction.
The good thing about running Campy Camper, is the atmosphere that we create around our brand and the partners that we attract, and the exciting work that we can do with them (sport, art, fashion). Creativity is amazing and rewarding thing.
ROAR: How can people get in contact with Campy Campers and be a part of your fantastic company?
CAMPY CAMPER: We have a blog where we like to share adventures, road trip stories and our lifestyle.
You can contact us by email at email@example.com or by our social networks http://bit.ly/FacebookCampy http://bit.ly/campytwitter http://bit.ly/campyvimeo http://bit.ly/campypinterest http://bit.ly/campytumblr instagram @campy_camper
ROAR: What are some exciting things happening for Campy Campers in the future?
CAMPY CAMPER: We are consistently growing in popularity in Biarritz and we look forward to more growth in some other big cities in france next, and hopefully in Europe too.
Jamie is an inspirational teenager from the Central Coast, NSW Australia. He respects the environment and values our beautiful coastline. Of a weekend Jamie spends most of his free time exploring the under water world of rock caves, wave formations and wild life. He also loves going to the mountains and capturing waterfalls. We at ROAR totally connect with this lifestyle and we are so happy to share his talent and joy of living.
ROAR: Tell us a bit about yourself and where you're from
Jamie: I was born in South Africa but moved to Australia when I was just a baby, and I've been brought up by a "beach/nature loving" family. There's nothing better in my eyes then getting away with the family. If were not at the beach, you'll find us exploring the bush, looking for waterfalls, good views or a secluded camp site where we might spend the night to just get away.
ROAR: Who and what events inspired you to get into photography?
Jamie: I got given a GoPro for my birthday from my parents and I guess it all started from there. I was literally just filming everything, not having much of a clue what I was doing, but I loved the fact that I could capture a moment that I thought was special and share it with others. By getting out and constantly finding new environments to take pictures, and with advice and help from experienced photographers and friends, I'm getting better all the time.
ROAR: What types of photography do you enjoy the most?
Jamie: My favourite type of photography involves the "natural world". I like exploring reefs and taking pictures of whatever I find appealing. If the surf is up I'll head to the beach and try my luck with getting some pictures inside some barrels, but if not I'll head inland looking for waterfalls or just a good looking scenery
ROAR: What equipment do you use mostly?
Jamie: I mainly use a GoPro hero 3 Black edition on top of a GoPole "reach" to do all of my action/underwater photography, and a Canon 350D for the rest.
ROAR: Is this a hobby or are you looking to this as a career?
Jamie: At this stage it's a hobby, maybe sell a few prints here and there but I'm not sure where my photography will take me and that's the best bit about it.
ROAR: What exciting things have you got planned with your photography in the future?
Jamie: Well I'm really keen to get a new camera, I'm looking at the Canon 60D and in time save up for an underwater housing for it. I'd also love to go to a few markets with my pictures hopefully selling a few prints and making some money to help fund my hobby.
Thanks for sharing a bit of your story Jamie. It is so great to hear that your family love the out doors and that they have passed their passion on to you. Nature can be the most amazing experience, and its accessible to everyone. We are so happy that you are making the most of it! We love your photos and your outlook, good luck with your market stall and future photo taking.
Leticia and Gary are the founders of Sea Stoke, an online magazine and blog, and one of our favourite websites to visit. We love exploring the pages of the online magazine, which is packed with interviews, articles and photos and scrolling through the blog that features videos, stories and links to some very cool people and projects. They have truly captured the essence of all the things we love about surfing and it's culture.
ROAR: How did Sea Stoke start and who are the founders?
Leticia & Gary: There have been numerous people who have helped us from the get-go, but I guess the main founders are Gary Parker and Leticia Nguyen. It started when we were living down in Jan Juc, Victoria. Gary came up with the idea, which had stemmed after working in the surf industry (graphic designing for Quiksilver). He felt a little bit jaded by the whole market and saw that it was removed from the essence of a oceanic lifestyle. A few beers later with a few like-minded friends, the name Sea Stoke came about and ideas started flying around. We held an exhibition and the response was overwhelmingly positive, which reinforced our belief that we were onto a good wicket!
ROAR: What is the main purpose of Sea Stoke?
Leticia & Gary: I guess our mission is to present stories, art, film, etc that sheds lights on 'normal' people doing some incredible and inspiring things around the world. We're not trying to reinvent the wheel, but we're just trying to open up some different perspectives around an area that people feel very strongly about. It's also to provide a platform where people can collaborate on putting together the publication and produce something unique and hopefully engaging to people of all different ages, backgrounds, etc.
ROAR: How can people be a part of your adventures and follow your online magazines?
Leticia & Gary: People can obviously check out our site, www.seastoke.com, where we keep a blog as well as the individual issues. We also have a Facebook page www.facebook.com/seastoke where we regularly post things of inspiration in between issues. If you want really want to get involved and be part of the Sea Stoke family, we're always looking for new contributors (writers, designers, creative individuals, etc…) and you can get all that information in the 'Contribute' section on the Facebook page as well as the website.
ROAR: How has doing this project changed your lives and your outlook?
Leticia & Gary: Well, it's taught us a great deal about what it takes to put together an online magazine! It's never-ending!! We're spending many an hour on the computer, but saying that, we are meeting amazing people from all around the world, making friends and spreading the stoke! If we can put smiles on people's faces or get them inspired by what they read and see in our issues, then we'll feel that our hard work has paid off.
ROAR: What does the future hold for Sea Stoke?
Leticia & Gary: We're looking forward to doing an annual print edition where we can showcase the 'best of' for the year, more exhibitions as the last one was super fun, printed garments featuring art from our contributors, etc…so many plans! Everyday we think of ways in which we can improve and grow, so we just roll with it and see where it takes us. Yeeeewh!
What an inspirational couple who have achieved so much! Thank you both for taking the time to chat. We love sharing stories of creative people and supporting the extraordinary things they do with their talents.
If you would like to follow and be a part of the Sea Stoke adventures, click on the links below.
We met Andy at The Snowy Longboard Classic at Manly earlier this year. He is such a humble and talented individual. Not only is he a stylish longboarder but Andy is also an amazing shaper, glasser and board designer. Rebel on a Rainbow were super excited to get an opportunity to feature an insight into Andy's inspiring and passionate life.
ROAR: How did surfing become both your lifestyle and career?
Andy: Well of course I wanted to be a beach bum when I was in school and surfboard makers looked like they had the closest thing to that, besides pro surfers obviously. I wanted to drop out and get a trade but still be able to surf whenever I wanted, fortunately I was able to pick up a job in a board manufacturing factory but training under the trade “boat building apprenticeship” so I studied boat building at tafe and learned the art of board building at work. Fast forward nearly ten years and I’m lucky to say I stuck it out and have maintained the lifestyle and the career.
ROAR: Who has been an inspiration to you in your adventurous life?
Andy: First of all I’d have to say my dad, he got me into surfing when I was pretty young and would tell me stories of his surf adventures along the Victorian coastline in the late 60s and 70s.
Also friends I've made over the years, you meet so many interesting people in life and their outlook on adventure and stuff like that can really change the way you look at life.
Last but not least, my family. They are super cool and have always supported me and inspired me.
ROAR: What are some of the challenges you have been faced with in the surf industry?
Andy: Things are really coming around now, for years the sort of surfing and equipment I was into was very frowned upon by 99% of the surfing world, at least in Victoria where I'm from. It was frustrating to get heckled down the beach or out at parties for riding alternative equipment opposed to the 6’2” white thruster the pros shred on.
In the last 5 years that’s really turned around and its great to see. People are riding all sorts of things and its pretty rare to find crew these days who only ride your clear dhd or al merrick.
Recent struggles in the industry are a lot different, because the alternative thing is so popular now. You have so many new brands popping up with guys who have no experience smashing out a few rough shapes and doing some arty, more often than not poor glass work and people eat that shit up man. They charge half the price as what premium board makers would and the average consumer complains about the price enough as it is, now you’ve got 10 other guys down the road charging less and cleaning up. Its kinda replaced the chinese problem we had a decade ago. I'm all about new guys getting into it and enjoying it but when guys make a board for themselves then start selling boards, getting stickers made and building websites without paying dues, it really rubs people the wrong way.
ROAR: Who are some of your favourite surfers to go on road trips with and why?
Andy: Usually guys I've spent lots of time with over the years. Guys like my good mate surfer/surf photographer Scott Wintle. Scotty’s always good for a laugh and he's spent a lot of time cruising up and down the coast. A few mates I grew up surfing with, Steve Thorne and Trent Burgers are always pretty good value. They're guys who I have been through a lot with and surfed all different kinds of waves and drank all different kinds of beers with.
In the last few years i've been doing a lot of surf trips with Matty Chojnacki from Sydney. We've known each other a long time and we get on really well and both have a great deal of respect for each other. Matty shreds on anything and its good to see someone of his ability surfing and sharing waves with everyone and not letting ego get the better of him.
ROAR: What has been your favourite surf adventure and why?
Andy: To be honest I think the earlier days for me were when I really frothed on the adventure of surfing. Actually what I mean is in the earlier days, I was stoked a lot easier, I didn’t have to go on a big long trip and get barreled all day. When I look back I reckon my favourite adventure was camping down at our local break when we were 14. My buddy Steve and I were full throttle grom frothers, our home break was a relatively uncrowded log wave on Viccos Mornington Peninsula called Pines, these days its packed and every hipster and his dog or pet pig or whatever is down there camping and having fires. Back then it was awesome, our folks would drop us off whenever there was gonna be a big swell and we’d just camp there for days and surf amazing waves with just a few old boys. I'd say the best time was the time the thunder storm and rain destroyed our tent, our sleeping bags were soaked through, so we ended up sleeping on the floor of the women's toilet they have in the carpark, obviously the womens was cleaner than the mans haha. In the morning we got up and it was still dark but u could make out perfect lines going across the reef, we suited up and surfed perfect 4-5 ft Pines with no one else for like half an hour, and back then when it did get crowded there was still only 10 maybe 15 guys in the water and we knew them all. That’d have to be one of my favourites for sure. Over ten years on and me and my buddy still talk about that one all the time.
ROAR: Tell us some things your excited about in your future?
Andy: Moving up to noosa this year has been a big change for me, meeting a whole new group of surfers, surfing totally different waves to what there is on offer in vicco, I'm excited for the times ahead. I'm still getting better and better when it comes to making boards so that excites me a lot, when I get a really neat board coming through with cool colours and stuff, it really gets me amping.
I think what I'm most excited about is getting to fine tune my shapes in the perfect waves here and seeing how far I can grow with my surfing, on all types of boards. Adrian Knott and I have recently setup our new factory where we do our label Rake Surfboards out of and just getting that back off the ground in a new state has been hard work but very exciting. Things have started off a bit slow here but theyre starting to pick up, people are seeing our boards floating round again and intrest is gaining. I'm just gonna keep on truckin and doing my thing and hopefully I can surf and pay the bills along the way.
Check out the clip below of Andy and his mate Matt by Nicholas Damen.
Thanks heaps Andy for giving us an insight into the alternative surf culture and the comeback of longboarding. If our readers want to follow more of Andy's adventures and check out the amazing boards he shapes, glasses and designs check out the links below. There is also another awesome clip featuring Andy surfing. He has epic style!
Sometimes you have to take risks to explore and realise your dreams. Sharleen has chosen to focus on her creative talents and use these to form her own business that is also eco friendly: Avani Candles & Aromas. Check out our interview with Sharleen to get some insights as to how she made this possible and what inspires her to be creative.
ROAR: What made you decide to start your own business with Avani Candles & Aromas?
Sharleen: After working in administration/reception for 6 years and never enjoying it I can honestly say I was being eaten away from the inside out. I came to the point where (for my own sanity and peace!) I had to quit my job, although I had no direction as to where I was headed to next. Anyone who knows me knows I'm not cut out for sitting behind a computer all day and answering phone calls. I am wired in a totally different way!
So when I started making candles and found something I could use my creative side in, I thought why not give a business a go and be my own boss!
Running your own business from home, what more could you ask for! It's really the best decision I ever made.
ROAR: Who has inspired you to be creative in your life and how have they done this?
Sharleen: If I had to pick someone in my life that has influenced me somewhat creatively it would have to be my dad. He is a great musician and I've played bass guitar since I was 13 so I give that credit to him. He introduced us to playing an instrument early on in life and I'm so glad he did.
But I also branched out further into other types of creativity, even from an early age. I remember always being good at sketching/painting and crafty stuff in school and of course it's something I will always love. I really believe it's a gift and something you are born with because you can't teach someone how to be creative, it comes from within.
But I do draw a lot of inspiration from nature, travelling, cultures and music when it comes to my life in general. The earth is absolutely amazing, how can it not inspire us?!
ROAR: Making and designing candles is a very challenging and creative process. How did you get into doing this?
Sharleen: After I quit my job at the end of 2012 I got into a couple of different hobbies that I'd never really had a go at before. I bought myself a candle making kit and enjoyed it so much I started buying more supplies. Then, before I knew it I had a business name registered and I was on my way.
But yes, it does have its challenges, ones that you don't realise unless you want to be able to sell a good quality product. I've had to do a lot of research and testing to come up with the products I sell and as frustrating as it's been at times it's also been fun and very worthwhile.
ROAR: How do you differentiate from other candle makers. What do you offer that is special to your customers?
Sharleen: I pride myself in knowing I am selling candles that I have put a lot of time, care and effort into. Image is everything when it comes to your business, it should never be compromised. But most importantly you should never skimp on the quality of your supplies! If you want to be the best, you have to provide the best. And for that you will reap the rewards.
I make sure all my supplies are eco-friendly and that my waxes are cultivated on plantations which don't harm the environment or wildlife. That is exactly what Avani as a business stands for - taking care of the earth and its environment while being able to enjoy what it has given to us.
ROAR: What have been some of your favourite successes along this journey of being a small creative business owner?
Sharleen: My very first customer came along before I had even sold a candle! I had just finished a yoga class at a well known yoga studio in Newcastle when I got talking to a lady in the lift. Turns out she was the owner. Just a few days before I had thought of what a perfect place it would be to have soy jar candles and what I could do to introduce my candles to them. So, long story short, the lift ride with the owner was perfect timing. As nervous as I was to ask her how I could go about this, I had a feeling that I just had to do it. I almost chickened out but right at the last second as we were parting ways I turned around, got her attention again and told her about my candles and how I was in the process of starting my business. Turns out they had been searching for someone local to buy soy candles from and didn't have any luck! The next day I was back in there showing them samples of my fragrances and they put their first order in. I now do their re-fills and they love them.
Talk about listening to that voice inside! If I hadn't I would have missed out on a great opportunity. It taught me that I should always take opportunities when they are presented because really, the worst thing they can say is no thanks but you just never know when the answer will be yes!
ROAR: What are some exciting things in the future for you and your business?
Sharleen: Eventually, my aim will be to focus mainly on supplying to day spas, hotels/resorts and yoga studios etc. Hopefully this is a niche that hasn't been tapped into too much yet, as it seems candles are more of an arts/crafts market type of product. So all going to plan I will get some good clients and that will mean large, regular orders. But of course, I will keep making them available to the general public because there is just so much you can do with candles. Home decor, weddings, baby showers, and any special occasion... there is a lot of room to expand and grow. So who knows where it can take me! All I know is I'm keeping an open mind and I am ready to enjoy the ride.
Thank you for sharing your passionate life with us Sharleen, we are so excited for you and wish you all the best with your business.
Check out Avani Candles & Aromas and get your hands on some of these beautiful products through the links below.
Stupid Krap takes a fresh and innovative angle on selling and promoting limited edition prints from some of the best emerging and established artists locally and internationally. Check out our interview with the lads who founded and run this exciting and inspiring company.
ROAR: How did Stupid Krap start and what is its purpose?
Aaron: Australian pop artist, Ben Frost, founded Stupid Krap back in 2005 as a way of selling and promoting urban and street art independently from the conservative gallery system. Our goal is to create another platform to present promising, fast-rising and established artist’s original work to the world. We are interested in providing limited edition, highly collectible artwork to collectors in both Australia and internationally, and also offering a user-friendly and less confronting way of discovering artists and buying art outside of the traditional gallery system.
ROAR: Who are the main people involved in this company and what is their background in the art industry?
Aaron: The team at Stupid Krap is super small. There's Ben Frost, myself, and a silent partner.
Ben is an Australian painter who has been making art in a range of genres for the last 15 years throughout the world. His work can be pretty confronting and innovative and is often branded ‘controversial’ for his graphic social commentary of consumerism and advertising.
I am a graphic designer with a background in fine art and photography. I have been creating art for years but have never really taken it too seriously other then exhibiting in the odd group show. I studied fine art in Newcastle and graphic design in Brisbane.
Our silent partner is also a graphic designer and handles most of our web-based stuff.
ROAR: What are some highlights and achievements of Stupid Krap so far?
Aaron: Before my involvement in Stupid Krap, Ben curated 'Paste-Modernism', which was the largest 'paste-up' exhibition in Australia. It featured 50 artists and filled over 150 square metres of wall space on Cockatoo Island. SK also curated notable exhibitions and installations at the MCA Sydney, MTV Gallery, Splendour In The Grass and Playground Weekender to name a few.
Currently we are about to host the Australian premiere of global graffiti documentary, Bomb It 2, at the State Library of QLDthis Friday. We have a new print exhibition in Brisbane opening in a few weeks titled 'Breaking The Seal', and we have also just opened up submissions to the first Red Book Art Prize. It is a bespoke hard cover art book we are releasing in conjunction with Blurb Books and the Analogue/Digital Creative Conferences. People can get more details and submit their work via this page: http://www.analoguedigital.com.au/stupid-krap-red-book-art-prize-proudly-supported-blurb
ROAR: How can people be a part of your exciting company if they want to purchase art, go to events or if they are an artist themselves?
Aaron: Original and/or limited edition artwork is available for purchase through our site (www.stupidkrap.com), we release new artwork weekly. To stay up to date with events we are hosting and new releases, jump on our mailing list.
Our door is always open to artists sending in their work for us to check out, in fact its one of the great parts of the job, being in touch with so many talented people. I'd obviously recommend any aspiring artists also enter their work into the Red Book Art Prize.
Thanks guys for taking the time to share your passions and offering an alternative and fresh way to share and promote art. For people who want to keep following Stupid Krap or aspire to get their own art on the site click on the link below.
Lauren Hill is one of the most inspiring and stylish people we have been able to talk with. She is an incredible role model for young women and pursuing a passionate and meaningful life. Lauren is a sponsored surfer, who could have chosen the competitive pathway with commercialism, hype and fame. However she chose to align and collaborate with the alternative surf culture as the founder of 'SeaKin' which is focused on improving and maintaining our beautiful environment, promoting and being active with women's rights in and out of the ocean and allowing a platform for surf adventures and positive experiences which encourage positive life choices.
ROAR: Where have you lived most of your life and where do you call home now?
Lauren: I lived most of my life on Anastasia Island, a barrier island on Florida’s Atlantic Coast. I now live in the Northern Rivers region of NSW, Australia.
ROAR: Who inspired you to be a surfer and environmentalist and in what ways did this motivate you to become the person you are today?
Lauren: I’m not sure that there is a definable “who” that inspired me. The relationship between surfing and environmental activism was cyclical for me: I loved the beach so I started surfing. Surfing taught me to love the beach and my surroundings even more deeply, and I realized that I needed to do my best to take care of the places that gift me such joy. I can say with 100% certainty that I would not be who I am without the relationship that I’ve developed with the ocean.
Surfing in particular, something that I was always told was superfluous and trivial, has turned out to be one of the great barometers of my life. It has guided me into the most incredible adventures and the deepest feeling experiences that I’ve had.
With that said, lots of people have inspired me along the way: my mom and dad, Alice Walker, Dave Rastovich, Linda Murphree, Gloria Steinem, Tom Robbins, Rell Sunn…and many more.
ROAR: Seakin is one of our favourite websites to explore all things associated with the ocean and the eclectic community who revolve their lifestyle around it. How did this idea come about and what would you say is the main purpose for Seakin?
Lauren: I started a blog fresh out of university called Mersea Beaucoup when I couldn’t get a job amidst the global financial crisis. Since I couldn’t fulfill the role that American culture expected of me post-university (get job, climb work ladder, get mortgage…etc) I decided to just do what I really wanted to be doing anyway: surfing. So I wrote about my passions for surfing and environmental science and vowed to surf every single day during that experiment. I ended up getting a number of writing gigs and new surfing sponsors because I was putting what I loved and cared about into the world.
Anyway, Sea Kin is the product of many experiments in doing what I love. It’s a place to share stories about the ocean from different perspectives than what I tend to see in most surfing media. Sea Kin is about creating culture for ourselves.
ROAR: How can everyday people contribute and get involved with Seakin?
Lauren: The ultimate dream for Sea Kin is to have lots of people contributing from all over the world about their own bubbles of surfing and ocean culture. I’d love to have more contributors. If you feel compelled, please send me an e-mail at MerSeaBeaucoup@gmail.com.
ROAR: What are the latest projects you have been a part of and how have they changed your views on the world and humanity?
Lauren: The most recent project that I’ve been working on is a film called Beyond the Surface. We traveled through south India searching for surf with India’s first recognized female surfer and working with an NGO called Beyond the Surface, which was founded by a very inspiring young female surfer, Emi Koch. It really felt like a culmination of so many things that I am passionate about--- women’s surfing, sustainability, activism, yoga, adventure and connecting with other surfers. It was so incredible and certainly changed me in ways that I haven’t even really processed yet. You can read a bit more about the project through the link below: 'One in a Billion'
Just before I went to India I helped to organized a conference about The Economics of Happiness with an amazing woman, Helena Norberg-Hodge. While there I had the pleasure of getting to hear Charles Eisenstein speak (and take him for his first surf lesson!) and his message has been profoundly changing my worldview.
He reminds us that our purpose on the planet is to find out what our gifts are. That is our purpose and what will nourish us. And then, our task is to give those gifts abundantly.
That message really helped me to refocus which projects I’m putting energy into. And it always reminds me that everyone has incredible gifts to give, but that many of us have sideswiped ourselves off of the path toward finding our gifts with distractions.
ROAR: So the readers can understand, can you explain what it means to be an ecofeminist?
Lauren: We live in a world where the scales are significantly tipped toward the masculine. There are embedded rules in our culture that make it easier for some people to get ahead--- and those people have tended to be white men. For example, men still make more money than women for doing the same work.
Our culture tends to value men more and we more readily reward the characteristics of masculinity. We end up with men who feel like they aren’t allowed to express emotion, much less cry. And we end up with women who feel like they need to become hardened “like men” in order to get ahead in their careers.
So, we all lose because none of us are allowed to just be who we are. Feminism is about tipping the scales a little so that we can all reconnect with our feminine attributes, in order to create a more egalitarian world where everybody has a fair chance to thrive.
The “eco” part of ecofeminism has to do with seeing how the attitudes that allow us to destroy our natural environment, our planet, are linked to the way we treat other people.
When we collectively value domination, aggression, and disconnection and we choose not to listen or employ compassion for ourselves and the being around us, we are only then able to destroy the places and processes that literally allow us to live. The way we treat ourselves and our loved ones is intimately linked to the way we treat everything.
So, for me, ecofeminism means working to have a lighter footprint on our planet and doing our best to protect wild spaces or to help clean them up. It also means helping to eradicate the mental, physical, and ideological “pollution” that a patriarchal system creates as it divides through oppression.
ROAR: Without a doubt you are one of the most inspiring role models for young women. What is some advice you could offer them for the future?
Lauren: Thanks so much, Jonny and Jess. That’s a really lovely thing to say.
My advice is to find out what your gifts are and to give them abundantly.
For me, the path to my gifts always revolves around connecting with wild nature, following my intuition, allowing time and space for being quiet, and ignoring the voices of self-sabotage that inevitably arise when I’m taking risks.
Also, minding your own business is a full time job if you’re doing it well.
ROAR: What are some exciting things happening in the future for you and Seakin?
Lauren: Personally, I’m really excited about planting a new veggie garden at my house. Growing food is one of the most magical and fulfilling experiences that I know---that the seemingly simple combination of sunlight, soil and water can create such diverse edibles is mind boggling.
The SeaKin site is growing and I’ve been getting great feedback from people who’d like to contribute lately, which is a huge compliment--- so it seems like the concept is beginning to come into its own. I’d love to keep growing it, especially into print format.
Life is incredibly sweet.
Thanks Jonny and Jess for the opportunity to share a bit of my story.
Thank you so much for sharing your inspiring story. To find out more and follow Lauren's adventures check out the link below.
It's not often you meet a lifelong friend at a service station in the middle of nowhere. But that is exactly what happened to us late at night in the bushland of South Australia. I was admiring Willy's troop carrier set up as he was walking back from paying for fuel. He said "Hey mate, where are you heading?" That is all it took. One simple question and we were busy talking about life on the road, playing music and sharing stories. Willy believes everyone has a story to tell, he lives by that motto in the way he listens to people and treats them with respect. Willy took the time to show us some of his beautiful music, his album is unique and inspiring. Willy is a naturally gifted musician, percussionist, singer and didgeridoo player. Willy not only plays the didgeridoo but hunts down the right trees and wood to make only the finest carved instruments. Whenever Willy takes the stage everyone stops what they are doing and are in awe at his ability to take the audience on an adventure through story telling and music.
In that short time I realised Willy is a very special individual with amazing stories of living in remote areas, a mentor to young people and passionate about spending time with Australia's indigenous Aboriginal communities. We have some very exciting collaborations coming up with Willy including short films and music performances as well as a whole lot of adventures!
Willy is available for gigs, school visits, corporate events and musical therapy. Keep in contact with Willy and book him in for music gigs through the following links below.
Newcastle, NSW, Australia is a growing city, thriving with talented artists, musicians and fashion designers. If your walking through Newcastle Mall you will see some of this talent at a shop called Nook Store. If you drop in you might find a very humble, very creative graphic artist and designer Brodie Bannerman. He will probably be hard at work on one of his unique t-shirts or hoodies for his label, One Undone. Brodie's talents allow him to design, dye and screen print all his own apparel, which he sells at the Nook Store. Jonny's band 'The Black Cats' from the Central Coast love his shirts and wear them often on stage. Next time you are in Newcastle be sure to drop into the Nook Store to get some fresh threads and support local designers.
If you want to purchase some original fashion or follow Brodie, check out more through the links below.
We met Hiromi Matsubara in one of her favourite places, Byron Bay, Australia. After surfing the pass together and eating tasty felafel wraps the awesomeness of this girl was obvious. She was bright, bubbly and high on life, a real pleasure to be around. We chatted about all the exciting things she has achieved and was aspiring to do. As the executive director of Surfrider Japan, radio DJ, ocean & surf activist, macrobiotic caterer, yoga instructor and all round gypsy, this girl has got the world at her feet. We would love you to meet her so check out our interview with Hiromi Matsubara below. Cheers!
ROAR: Can you tell us about your upbringing and where you grow up?
I spent 5 years of my early childhood in London (1986-1991) and was very fortunate to have been exposed to different cultures, ethics and religions, which is the reason why I constantly question my identity, who I am and my purpose in life.
Growing up I was very energetic and athletic. I was involved in so many sports such as netball, swimming, tennis, ballet, lacrosse and badminton. I think this helped me to develop my competitive attitude and taught me to be brave and overcome challenges and obstacles, such as my family living in London.
We traveled all over Europe and I was always fascinated by the beautiful and untouched nature, the greens and the blues. My father was very stubborn, grumpy, close minded and I hated him when I was young. My mother was very humorous, generous, open minded and super active. She was a BIG influence on me, always letting me make my own decisions and allowing me to be accountable for the consequences.
We moved back to Japan and during my college years I spent a year on a 'study abroad program' in Miami US, where I continued to learn to study hard, work hard and play hard, to always enjoy life. I believe my upbringing has definitely had a positive impact on my personality, that its ok to be different and independent. I don’t want to fit into the Japanese lifestyle and culture, which has caused some struggles, but now I have confidence and an appreciation for my the life.
ROAR: What projects have you been involved in the last 10 years that you are passionate about?
Hiromi: After graduating college, I joined a highly competitive leadership training program designed to develop leaders at General Electric. I worked for GE Capital where I held various positions in sales, marketing, public relations and community programs. After 5 years in the competitive, goal driven business world, I came across the concept and philosophy of permaculture and was so intrigued by such sustainable living practices. So in 2006, I left in pursuit of a new adventure and spent a month wwoofing in “off the grid” “self sufficient” communities in Australia. It was a mind blowing experience and totally changed my outlook. Since then it has been my dream to be able to live self sufficiently, simple, slow and small .
Upon returning from Australia, I co-created greenz.jp a web media based in Tokyo dedicated to designing a sustainable society with optimism and creativity with its unique editorial perspective. While engaging myself in the sustainability sphere I started volunteering for Surfrider Foundation Japan and assisted in campaign building and media outreach. I got hooked to their mission and had the opportunity to attend their annual international conferences in California and Brazil. I feel blessed that I was able to meet a group of truly passionate, talented and inspiring people - the global Surfrider family, it got me motivated and engaged.
After four years of entrepreneurship and establishing the foundation of greenz.jp, I decided to pursue a more down to earth lifestyle (and surf!). Once again I went on a 3 month trip back to Australia to regain myself, re-define myself, find my own path and passion in life. While in Byron Bay I took a permaculture design certification course and yoga teacher training course to learn the principles of living mentally, physically, spiritually, socially and environmentally well.
During my trip on March 11th, North Eastern Japan was struck by a devastating earthquake, followed by a nuclear catastrophe. I was scared, frightened and didn’t want to go home. But something called me back and I came back home in April 2011. But made the decision to move out of busy Tokyo to a beach town in Chiba to live a more simple life and officially started working as the Executive Director for Surfrider Foundation Japan.
The roles and responsibilities of being the head of Surfrider Japan was a lot harder and more challenging than I had imagined, especially in the midst of all the confusion, depression, conspiracy, sadness and anger caused by the March 11th earthquake tragedy. It was an unprecedented time in history, being the experiments of a nuclear disaster and as an environmental NGO we wanted to engage citizens and surfers to drive our mission, 'protection and enjoyment of our oceans, waves and beaches'. The momentum was just not there. It was bad timing to do anything and even our water quality testing program monitoring radiation, took a long time to take off. It has never been easy to fight for our cause, which is an absolute major concern and priority for us passionate surfers but to the general public, our voices are often unheard and even ignored as surfing is perceived as leisure. But as all passionate surfers know, we have to act to protect our playing fields otherwise it will never be protected. And most importantly, as surfers we know intrinsically that surfing is more than just sport or leisure. We learn so much from our oceans and surfing, it teaches us success, failure, patience, freedom and powerlessness, if all surfers can take this wisdom and lessons learned back to the land, I think the world would be a better place.
While working as the executive director for Surfrider Foundation Japan, my weekend job was a national radio DJ on J-WAVE. I had the privilege to talk about and promote inspiring ideas and stories about sustainability, which are often untold and unheard in the media landscape. Through my role as a DJ, I realised my passion for being an advocate, a messenger, a connector. To deliver other people’s stories and ideas in an engaging, fun way. I am passionate about connecting like minded people with each other and our cause. With our collective effort, we can create a more sustainable society.
Besides working for Surfrider and being a DJ I teach yoga. I have also started food catering, specialising in macrobiotic and vegan recipes. I also open my home to travellers, they come through couch surfing, AirBNB, friend’s of friend or sometimes just random guests. I like to share my tips of living healthy through cooking, surfing, and yoga in an effort to educate people to be environmentally and socially responsible.
ROAR: What do you love about your lifestyle?
Being able to surf when the waves are good and having the freedom to live in the moment, appreciating the simple things life has to offer and occasionally traveling, which is a vital part of life. I love gaining new perspectives and discovering my new self as well as my limitations. I love living in a unique hidden cottage in lush tranquil forest and the community surrounding it. I love having visitors and travellers from around the world to share my culture, my life and my passion with and to also learn from them.
On a professional level, I get to meet like minded people who are often very active and involved in protecting our oceans. Whether they are a musician, pro-surfer or artist, at the end of a day, we are all the same. We just love surfing and want to share the stoke and the responsible actions that we must take in order to preserve our oceans and continue surfing.
ROAR: Where can we follow and be a part of your exciting journey?
Check out my blog - http://www.hiromeme.com
ROAR: Who has inspired you along the way?
Personally... Yukari Desjardin, a Japanese macrobiotic chef and also permaculturist based in Australia. I stayed with her when I first went to Australia in 2006. She was the turning point in my life. She was such a beautiful women, wife and mom of three boys. She had a big open heart that accepted everything. But sadly she passed away in 2009.
Also Deco Nakajima, a Japanese macrobiotic chef and my neighbor. When I first read her essay and recipe book, I was still working in the corporate world. I was so shocked that people like her existed and could live off the land, raising five kids and be sooo happy. Never did I think I would be living so close to her. We became good friends and in 2012-13 we organised her Macrobiotic cooking tour in Australia.
Professionally... Jim Moriarty, the CEO of Surfrider Foundation US and Stéphane Latxague, the CEO of Surfider Foundation Europe. They have been my motivation and inspiration, providing encouragement to continue doing what I'm doing. They are very intelligent and dedicated to our mission. They are hard working but love to surf and have fun. They are my gurus!
ROAR: What does the future hold for Hiromi?
Since my first trip to Australia in 2006, I feel a very strong connection to Australia, a lot of people who visit my house say it feels like Byron Bay! Every time I go back to Byron it feels like home and home is where the heart is. I hope to make this connection stronger and more meaningful by connecting like minded people, projects, ideas on a personal as well as professional level so that we can all enjoy, travel and search for an endless summer. Specifically, one project in the pipeline is to start a guest house business in Japan and Australian surfing communities. I stopped thinking and worrying about the future so much because we can only live in the moment, we should not be tied to the never ending spiral of materialism and over paced capitalism. We should stop and enjoy every minute of the now. I have learned from our March 11th tragedy that there may be no tomorrow. I believe, as long as you are open, flexible, giving, sharing and grounded (not by means of physicality), things will come to you when the time is right - as we say, what comes around goes around.
So I don’t know where or what will happen tomorrow or next month or needless to say a year from now but one thing I know for sure is that as long as I stay positive and healthy, live in the moment, be alert, follow my heart, score a good wave and share my dreams, happiness and these priceless moments with others, I think my future (and hopefully my small universe) is looking pretty bright.
Thank you so much Hiromi for taking the time to share you beautiful story with us.
If you have any question or want to follower her story, stay connected with Hiromi through the links below. You never know, next time your in Japan you could end up on her couch! xx
...and on twitter @hiromimatsubara
The internet can be a wonderful thing, a way to share stories and connect with people, we feel blessed to have met Sash and Bo because of such a medium. Our love of sharing thoughts, pictures and stories online through our blogs, brought us together.
Sash lives on the West of Australia and we live on the East, when we realised we would be passing through her home town we decided to meet up and get to know the girls behind 'Inked in Colour'. We had the best afternoon at Samudra in Dunsborough with this beautiful mother daughter duo, eating lots of yummy food and talking about the ups and downs of life.
ROAR: You are a talented and creative writer and actress. What inspired you to delve into these avenues?
Sash: I grew up in a very creative house. My mother is a multi-medium creative artist, we always had paints and cameras and clay on hand to create with. A passion for creativity was instilled in all of us at a very young age. When I was kid I knew I wanted to work in the arts and by the time I was in high school I was performing in several professional and semi-professional theatre companies, working in TV shows and I was pretty passionate about it all. After I finished high school I went to drama school to become more finely tuned in the art of performance.
Somewhere in my very early twenties my focus changed and I became totally obsessed with the outside world. I got on a plane and I disappeared into the great unknown for many years on and off… Everything I saw and experienced has fuelled my desire to learn and my desire to create and to share. Traveling literally changed the very fabric of my life.
ROAR: What is Inked in Colour?
Sash: Inked in colour is essentially a personal blog. It is a place where I share my own journey, the good and the bad. I’m a big believer in honesty and the importance of sharing the human experience. It’s a wild and emotional ride, this life business, and I think that we don’t connect enough with our world or with each other. We seem to be taught to detach from the world and I want to bring that attachment back to my own life.
Inked in Colour is my own little corner of the internet, it is the story of my own personal life through pictures and words but it’s more than just that. It is a place where people come together to discuss social quirks, political issues and parenting. Inked in colour is a celebration of the human experience in all its glory, the good and the bad. The love, the laughter, the grief and the loss. The human experience is what connects us all and even though we don’t all follow the same path, we are all in this together.
ROAR: What goals do you have for the future of your blog?
Sash: As I grow and change, the blog grows along with me. In the few weeks Inked in Colour is going through a bit of a facelift. As I find new direction in my life as my marriage ends and a new life begins, my blog changes along with me. With a stronger focus on the community and the creative, Inked is set to grow with a few exciting new projects in the works. I don’t know exactly what the future brings (in the blog or in life in general) but that’s the beauty of the blogging medium, it’s so flexible, there is so much room to grow and so much room for creativity and expression. It’s really quite exciting!
ROAR: The last few years you have lived in a tiny village in Java, Indonesia. What was that like?
Sash: Living in remote Indonesia was an amazing experience. I went there with an open mind and a sense of adventure. I wanted to experience life completely out of my every day norm, and that’s exactly what I got. I didn’t know how long I would last with no hot water, language skills in an earthquake zone… but I stayed for three years. It’s amazing how you can learn to live with so little and be happy. I became a better person from my time spent in Indonesia. I gained so much, including a beautiful daughter. I learned a new language, I learned more about myself than I ever thought possible. I fell in love with the place and it’s beautiful people. I went to Indonesia a wayward wild child, and I came back to Australia as a (still a little wayward) adult… I know who I am now, and that’s a pretty amazing gift a place can give a person!
ROAR: How has your precious daughter Bo changed your life?
Sash: I think anyone who has ever loved a child can tell you that having a child changes everything about your life. It’s not just the lack of sleep or the change in routine or the hit you take to your social life… for me, having Bo changed the very fabric of my soul. Before she was born, I knew that she was remarkable… but she is 16 months old now and every day she teaches me more than I could ever, ever teach her. She has changed the shape of my day to day life, but she has also made me more patient, more kind, more gentle and much more aware of the world around me. Being a parent is perhaps the most universal human experience. When I first held Bo, in one second I was every mother in the world, and she was every child. The world looks so different through that lens. I am much more compassionate than I was before, and much more emotional. I want to make the world a better place for my child to live in…
ROAR: From reading your blog we have noticed your love for humanity and support for human rights. What do you hope to achieve in these areas?
Sash: I have a real passion for human rights. I think that in our fast paced modern world that it’s so easy to become complacent. We are so lucky in Australia to have so much opportunity and safety and equality… that it’s really easy to forget that the rest of the world isn’t like this. I’m just wrapping up my masters at the moment, with my final semester looming… With a masters in Social Change I hope to be able to work at a community level here in Australia and overseas, helping to facilitate change and better the quality of life for people at a grass roots level. How we live had a direct effect on how we feel… I think that anything any of us can do to help someone else change their own world for the better is worth doing. I think we all have a responsibility to do good things for our world and for each other… can you imagine if we all just did a little bit? The world would be a much better place.
Thank you Sash and Bo for such a special afternoon and taking the time to share your story. We can't wait to come back to Western Australia for another visit. Untill then we can keep up with them through Sash's blog 'Inked in Colour'. Be sure to check it out, link below.