You may recognise Alice from one of our Brisbane Rummages, you know that lovely face with the soft smile and kind eyes? That’s Alice! We just adore her calm and fluid nature, her neutral tones, her sense of humour! We also learned through this interview that she’s cooking up a few exciting creative projects, including a children’s book and a greeting card collection with her illustrations. When she’s not making and selling ethical skin care products that is!!
Can you tell us a little bit about your sweet self? Sure! I studied visual art and fashion straight after high school. I was pretty wayward back then and the guidance councillor and my Mum thought it’d be a good idea to go straight to uni than psych myself out of it. There was a heap that was good about the degree, I loved the history part of it. Art history is pretty dense the world round. Personally, I am a big fan of Australian art and those units really interested me. I didn’t really want to be an artist after uni, I think I burnt out, so I got a job at my old high school as an art tech. That was great! I loved working with the older kids on their portfolios. People have such varied passions and ideas, it’s really inspiring. Similarly the younger ones were so curious and you’d always get the really measured types or totally spontaneous creators. It was nice to be around that much creativity and design. I entertained the idea of costume/set design when I worked at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (through most of University). I got to see the most amazing productions there! But, I realised I adore skin care and aromatherapy, so that’s the area I work in now and I get to be pretty creative. Maybe some day I’ll study art therapy because I’d really like to support people who haven’t had the easiest life. I’m also trying to write a children’s book but it’s definitely very early stages and I am launching my greeting card company in the next couple of months so that’s what I’m tidying up right now!
What do you like to do to keep your toes tapping and the neurons in your brain firing? i.e. What do you do in your spare time? I adore soccer, running, boxing, climbing. I’m pretty sporty. I love a big board game session and cooking. I’m pretty into pop culture too. Youtube sucks me in once a week and I get my fix. And I love animals too. Being with my dog is a day well spent.
Is your creative process rigid, fluid, sporadic? And how do you stay in the groove? All three I reckon. I used to judge it quite harshly though. Like which phase it was in and then get down if it wasn’t flowing and I had to force myself. I started reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic and that has some great advice in it. She talks about creating for you. Don’t think about recognition, money, fame etc. That won’t come for ages or ever. So you’ve got be there because you love creating and it satisfies and fills you up. I think there’s a part of art school that prepares you for the ‘if and when’ you become successful and that’s totally valid but don’t let it trip you up. I think for a while I started looking at what I did and projecting on it (what does it mean, what is it worth, where’s it going). Now I try not to do that and I feel freer. A hot tip would be rotating your creative work. If I don’t feel like drawing, I might muck around in Photoshop or work on some labels. Getting up at sunrise or working late into the night is pretty romantic for your practice. I’m a hopeless romantic haha.
What are your hopes, dreams and fantasies? I’d like to buy some land in the future. Have more animals and grow a lot of my food. I hope people on the whole can find more time for each other and be on technology less. Connection is everything but I think we are kidding ourselves if we think we can find it from devices and glossy profiles. Go for love over prestige. That’s a good guide for the future. Fewer empires and more generosity and forgiveness.
What’s the best or the worst advice you’ve ever received? My Mum wrote me a poem when I was turning 21. It centred on a goat because my star sign is Capricorn. The poem described a goat that enjoyed nibbling the grass on the rocky outcrop she was on rather than fantasying about how it would taste higher up the mountain. It’s pretty age old but I think it applies for a lot of people.
Who would you have over for your ideal dinner party and what would you serve up? I always love this question! I think I’d keep it small. JK Rowling, the Dalai Lama and Nina Simone. I’d serve vego stuffed capsicum.
What do you like about working for Suitcase Rummage? I like meeting and interacting with the sellers. It’s got a great vibe too. It’s an awesome day out as long as you’ve got sunscreen and a hat! It’s nice seeing a big public space turn into a place for sharing fashion and wares. My co-workers are great too. We’re all a creative bunch so it’s wonderful chatting over lunch about life and projects.
What tips can you share about being aware of your impacts on the world? I think it’s really important to think about your consumption of fashion. If you can put a bit of money aside for good quality basics like jeans, jackets, neutral t’shirts, sneakers and boots and make them last then that’s awesome. Buying less is a big thing for me and once you get into the swing of things it’s pretty easy. If you get the urge to shop and reinvent your look, chat to a friend about a temporary clothes swop, look in your local op shop or raid your families’ wardrobe on request of course! If that doesn’t suffice buy yourself one special thing that’ll make you feel ace every time you wear it. Feeling nice sartorially also comes from within so look after yourself: exercise, dance, sing, paint your toenails, style your hair, cook a delicious meal, meditate and laugh (the most important I believe). Reducing single use stuff is also really worthwhile. Buying a 1L water bottle and a keep cup for hot drinks really helps. Similarly having a backpack or roomy handbag limits getting bags every time you shop.
Which artists/thinkers/creatives are you obsessed with at the moment? I love Mallrat. She’s been releasing a lot of cool stuff and she’s from Brisbane so there’s a lot of cool city references in there. I was very moved by singer Halsey poem/speech at the NYC Women’s march. It’s definitely worth a listen. Geneva Vanderzeil has also caught my eye. She has a fashion blog called a pair and a spare and is big on refining your style. She’s got a great number of resources on her blog for examining your look and building something you rate.
What are your favourite things to do in your city? Catching the city cat to the Regatta/Toowong village is one of my fave things. They have a great library there and awesome ramen round the corner. Being on the river feels great! I also love browsing the bookshop at QAG for cool books. It’s a very calming place.
Where can we find your work? At the moment I am setting up an Etsy shop to sell my postcard designs. Hopefully it’ll be in action soon and I’ll also have a few bricks and mortar stockists. While you wait, you can follow me on instagram: figments.paper.art.