2.17.2014

...meet leila...



...starting our 2014 member interviews with a bang, we're so excited to introduce you to the owner of bow peep...


1. What's your creative thing?
I make accessories, mostly out of fabric, but I have recently started making jewelry out of silver and brass. My new project is running and curating pop-up shops.

2. Describe your dream studio?
Not the one I’m in at the moment…
My dream studio would be in a cool building surrounded by other creative, a space where I can work but also hang out with friends. I get bored in my loft studio so ideally it would be a space with other people. It also needs to be near a good coffee shop. It would be amazing to have an outdoor aria.

3. What fuels your creative energy? 
Everyday objects, fabric, colour and patterns.

4. The first creative thing you can remember making
Iv have been making things since I was a little kid. I was always painting and drawing, but when I was in primary school I made necklaces and stationery and sold it at my school markets.

5. The first creative thing you were paid to create?
Humm…I guess stuff I used to make when I was little. I probably made no profit but my items where pretty popular. But Alice-bands where my first Bow Peep product.

6. That one thing you're so glad you made?
Button earrings, they have been so successful and it’s helped me start my business.

7. If you could live inside any artwork in the world, which would it be?
Probably Vincent van Gough’s Starry Night. A lot of my favorite artworks wouldn’t be very nice to live inside.

8. If you could collaborate with one famous creative, dead or alive, who would it be?
I love pop art so I think Andy Warhol. I have loved his work since I was in high school. Whenever I travel and visit art galleries I always look out for his work. But imagine a Matisse Bow Peep collaboration, that would be rad.

9. The local design magazine you always read?
I don’t really buy magazines, they cost too much. The only magazine I read is Time magazine but that’s not a design mag. I usually read House and Leisure, Elle décor and Visi if I see copies at coffee shops.

10. The salutation at the end of your email?
‘Kind regards’ or ‘Cheers’

11.28.2013

...hi there, nice to meet you...



...here is our second installment of member interviews, introducing tessa...


1. What's your creative thing? 
Hand pierced copper and brass jewellery combined with glass, cord and now chain. The metal motifs are taken from the natural world – indigenous plants and  birds, feathers, herbs and so on.  

2. Describe your dream studio? 
Oh yum. A double height space with a massive mezzanine level, lit by a huuuge sky light. The bottom level is chock a block full of every kind of tool and piece of equipment I could ever need to return to making large functional metal ware. I see racks of steel stakes, furnaces, lathes of all sizes, sanders and saws, chest of drawers bursting with files and things I’ll never use, but just really love having, for in case! Upstairs is a lot prettier, with white concrete floors,  a little lounge /design area with bookcases filled with magazines from everywhere on one side and on the other, the walls are lined with trestle tables for laying out, assembling and  packaging  jewellery and bowls. Lots of big windows, so with the skylight, the whole place is constantly bathed in light. Oh, and enormous amazing plants. And a sheep skin rug or two. And a cleaner to come once a week
(I know my limitations and sweeping and dusting are two of them!).

3. What fuels your creative energy? 
People -  A chance meeting with an old friend, a stranger with something special about them and proper chats with my best people.

4. The first creative thing you can remember making?
A little pottery jug, I think I was 9. I made it on a potter’s wheel, and was very proud. My mom still has it, as well as the jug my older, jealous brother made in competition!

5. The first creative thing you were paid to create?
Two tiny silver bowls on long wire legs for a little old lady in Edinburgh who loved silverware, but never displayed it. She would commission pieces, and then store them in boxes in her home. I guess they are still there in some dusty pile.

6. That one thing you're so glad you made?
The decision to come home to Cape Town.

7. If you could live inside any artwork in the world, which would it be?
“Spring” by Cy Twombly – first of all I simply love the artist’s name and would probably just wander around muttering it; second, it’s so light and messy in his work, like living in a scatty fairy land.

8. If you could collaborate with one famous creative, dead or alive, who would it be?
Li Edelkoort – she seems so scary, I’d have to bring my A game; our collaboration would be years ahead of the pack and therefore the schizznizz; and she DOES things with her status – she started an art school in Poland I’d kill to go to –the course a combination between an design and humanities degree – swoon.

9. The local design magazine you always read?
I’m a bit bad about buying magazines, but I do love Elle Deco and House and Leisure and the occasional Marie Claire. I really wish I could warrant buying Wallpaper and Vogue, but somehow I feel too guilty forking out all that cash. (is it OK that I sometimes buy Heat too??)

10. The salutation at the end of your email? 
It depends – for day job situations where I want to be just a little intimidating, -  nothing. 
The message and bam. Send.
For friendly happy emails (and yes, I should know better) it’s a Gossip Girl influenced ex oh ex oh,
Other wise, a good old stock standard “regards”/”kind regards” although a wanky “Best” has been known to have slipped out on occasion…

10.31.2013

...hi there, nice to meet you...

...we're so excited to begin the first of our 'get to know us' 
member interviews, this little gang of creatives do so much 
great work for the world, often sacrificing time that we most
probably should have been spending on our own businesses. 
so here is the first interview where we get to know kristen 
from design kist, enjoy...



1. What's your creative thing? 
I am a textile designer - we design the patterns that go on fabric, wallpaper, clothing, furnishing, crockery, stationery, and a range of other surfaces.

2. Describe your dream studio? 
Mmm. It would be in a Cape Dutch Building, with high, pressed ceilings, wooden floors and sash windows all around, with breathtaking views. Lots of white, wood and natural finishes. A corner with an easel for painting and sketching; another corner with all my state of the art digital equipment. There will be ample shelves to display and store all my work. It will have a kitchenette, with a sink, and a small Smeg fridge and an amazing coffee maker. There will be a floor to ceiling bookshelf, filled with books on art and design, and all things inspiring - with a sliding ladder. And there would be a studio dog. A girl can dream!

3. What fuels your creative energy? 
Many things, but definitely black fineliners, coffee, and music.

4. The first creative thing you can remember making? 
I remember a drawing I did of a lion in junior school. It went into the school magazine, and it won me my first art prize. Because I was in a junior class, we didn't go to the school's prize giving, so I was called up in the next assembly to collect my trophy. I remember feeling horribly embarrassed and shy!

5. The first creative thing you were paid to create? 
The earliest I can remember was being paid to create a poster for a friend's homework. Naughty!

6. That one thing you're so glad you made? 
I created a printed fabric while studying using a piece of tumbleweed my boyfriend had given me. I loved that design, and later used it in my wedding dress when I married him. It's very sentimental to me, and I am glad I made it.

7. If you could live inside any artwork in the world, which would it be? 
Possibly Renoir's "Luncheon of the Boating Party." Just chilling in the sunshine, with food, wine and friends.

8. If you could collaborate with one famous creative, dead or alive, who would it be? 
I would have loved to have collaborated with any of my favourite childhood authors, creating illustrations for their stories.

9. The local design magazine you always read? 
There are a bunch I always buy - House & Leisure, Garden & Home, Home/Tuis magazine, Elle Deco, Visi and Plascon Spaces.

10. The salutation at the end of your email? 
It's "Thanks", but I also use "Chat soon", "Kind regards", or K x, depending on the context. 



10.03.2013

...elenth get-together...



...our eleventh little creative meeting at woodlands eatery, congrats to leila 
for winning some loveliness, and thanks again to kristen for making our
adorable liquorice allsorts badges, now to just stop the kids from trying
to eat them, lol...

...sweeeeet...



...we simply loooove the liquorice all sort badges that kristen made
us for our 11th get together...


9.30.2013

...when super humans turn human...




In spite of tight budgets, clients from hell and unsociable working hours, freelancers tend to be human. Yes. You better believe it. And humans get sick every now and then. Especially after three weeks of participating in a freelancer's favorite sport: Chasing Deadlines. 

So usually after each really hectic just-in-time-deadline-victory I get some form of human disease. It will present itself in something like a big red swollen rash over the left side of my face, resulting in "my connection is too slow today for visual" during a Skype meeting call. Or embarrassing diarrhea using all my precious 2-ply, prohibiting movement, making even a short walk to the post box at the gate quite a risky endeavor. Flu-like symptoms – not sure it's the real deal but for two days I'm shaking with fever, are clogged up, completely brainless and looks like I've binged on Stroh Rum for a whole week. Usually during those two days of brainlessness I manage to get myself into more ridiculous deadlines and so the system feeds itself. 

A friend saw me during one of these frail human moments and told me with great concern and with as much tact as he could muster that he knows a great therapist that can help me get off whatever I'm on. I just looked at him with red watery eyes, blew my nose and said: "It's a jealous lover. I can't live with him and I can't live without him." 

Tonight when I make my thirtieth cup of tea with the already three times soaked teabag (see, saving money even in the dead of night), exploring yet another angle after the first ten attempts left me a frustrated, why-am-I-#¥*$@!!-freelancing, design-hating mess; I know at some stage during this grueling process, the lover will show his affection. I have to be patient. It will come. Soon I will bathe in the glorious golden glow of victory and be Super Human again. The client will be delighted, pay me late and make me do it all again. And I will. With a smile. After the two days of diarrhea.


9.18.2013

...confessions of a cape town freelancer: part 3...




Biltong & book launches

In the days when I pulled a full salary at the end of a month, book launches meant one of two things to me: celebrating myself or celebrating another author. It’s not a vain thing, trust me, but when you eventually come to the end of a gruelling process of writing, editing, rewriting and giving birth to a novel, the book launch at the end of it is how I imagine my married friends felt on their wedding days. It’s champagne. It’s fireworks. It’s the dress, the hair, the makeup, the frills and thrills, and I love it. Since that full salary disappeared along with my royalties, book launches have taken on a whole new meaning. And here it is.

I still go to book launches to support other authors, but these days I also go to eat. Yeah. The snacks. And drink. Yeah, the wine. The beauty of a book launch in Cape Town is that you’ll never get shitty wine. The snobberati is way too cultivated for Tassies and the like. While I sip on my glass of Sauv Blanc, I survey the room. Not to look for the author and his/her entourage (which is often made up of a stressed-looking publisher), but to locate the food. The. Food. And when a launch is good, the food is stellar. I’m talking sushi, spring rolls (not oily), mini dishes of risotto, biltong (OMW, b-i-l-t-o-n-g!), tiny sandwiches, chocolate brownies, macaroons and strawberries.

All of this abundance happened just the other night. True story. The bookshop that shall not be named pulled out all the stops on a dreary Thursday night. It was a typical only-in-Cape-Town kinda winter’s day, and I barely got myself out of the house in a decent outfit, sans winter gown. I was also starving, which was probably the main reason I managed to remove my bum from the couch and force myself into semi-sexy stockings. My diet of Provita and Marmite, followed by almonds and yoghurt was starting to make me weepy. And needy. And grumpy. I was craving meat like a crazy person. So when I arrived at Bookshop X, I nearly clicked my heels Charlie Chaplin-style when I saw the massive bowl of biltong. If it weren’t for my friends who had just arrived, I would have disappeared into that bowl never to be seen again. As the speeches started, I stalked closer and closer to the biltong. With one hand gently caressing my glass of wine and the other casually making its way to the meat, I thought: this is where I’ll get my weekly fix of protein. And later, when I left the bookshop, I decided to sign up to all and every newsletter from bookshops in Cape Town so as to be informed of each and every launch. I know the food won’t be as extravagant as the spread at this specific launch (where the authors later told me that they had paid extra for catering), but as a freelancer I sure ain’t gonna turn away no chicken wing or samoosa.

Books might be the food of the soul, but I can’t eat my books, and they sure as hell don’t taste as good as biltong.

~jana