Johanna de Ruyter on Losing Herself, the Ability to Listen, and Getting Your Creative Juices Flowing

Johanna de Ruyter on Losing Herself, the Ability to Listen, and Getting Your Creative Juices Flowing

This Thursday night we’ll be hosting an intriguing night of fun theatre games, improvisation and embodiment. I asked Johanna a bit about her inspiration behind her upcoming ‘Let’s Meetup and Get Our Creative Juices Flowing’!

Iain McKelvey on Family, Intimate Shows and Inspiration

Iain McKelvey on Family, Intimate Shows and Inspiration

This Friday night we will be hosting an intimate acoustic folk night at Nauti. This is being organised by musician Iain McKelvey, with proceeds going to Parkinson's research. I chatted to Iain to get some insight into him, his practice and his passions. 

Kris Perry on Dick Farms, Inspiration and His Upcoming 'Practically Useless' Exhibition

 

This Thursday the 9th August from 6-9pm we will be hosting an exhibition here at Nauti. An unusual exhibition. This exhibition will be the unveiling of Kris Perry's latest creation. A large wooden mechanical sculpture powered by people. I asked Kris some questions about his practice and projects so that you may delve into the mind of our resident inventor.  


How would you describe yourself and what you do to people who want to know more about you?
I'm the guy who scavenges your broken appliances off the street so I can take them apart and figure out how they work and maybe try and fix them. And if what you threw out isn't actually broken, I'll probably try and fix it until it is. I'd rather have a house full of stuff I found and fixed than stuff I bought. 

Have you always been a maker/craftsperson?
Maybe. When I was a kid I went to a summer camp where each day they gave you a choice between making crafts or playing a sport. I wasn't necessarily against playing sports, but I'd always choose to do crafts because my logic was "I can't take a sport home and put it on display". So yea, early hoarder mentality maybe.

What inspires you and your work?
People who graffiti things. People who vandalize other people's graffiti. People who vandalize other people's vandalism of someone's graffiti... well you get the point.

Who taught you woodworking, engineering, metal working?
I'd have to give my Dad credit for at least exposing me to tools and the 'anything can be fixed' attitude.  He's always been a guy who's interested in how everything works and I never really thought that rubbed off on me until later in life. Also, mates, youtube videos, and just giving it a crack are all great places to start.

What is your favourite material to work with? 
I love the challenges of wood. I think woodworking is one of those things that you can truly spend a lifetime trying to master. It's an organic material so every piece is unique. It shrinks, swells, twists and bows depending on it's environment, so a good woodworker must know how to work "with" these factors, not against. Of course I have no idea what I'm talking about. I cant even identify most hardwoods. But hey, I never claimed to be a modern-day Antonio Stradivari or anything. I'm just a guy who's impressed by people who are really really good at making things. Especially from the pre-power tool era. 

You have an exhibition coming up at Nauti Studios on the 9th of August. What will you be exhibiting? 
My exhibit is called 'Practically Useless'. It's a large interactive wooden sculpture with lots of moving parts. Hopefully nobody gets their hair snagged or fingers crushed. I think people are impressed by things that are physically bigger than themselves. My sculpture is bigger than the fattest person on earth.

Who inspires you as an artist?
Mostly I'm inspired by the countless people you've never heard of who designed and created pretty much everything around you. I think engineering is a form of art. It's just not admired in the same way unfortunately. 

What's the best art piece you've ever seen in person? 
Once at burning man someone made a dick farm. It was just rows of rubber dicks sticking out of the dirt with a sign saying you could 'harvest' them. Every evening the artist would return and replenish the missing dicks with new ones. I never did find out who the artist was or how they got access to so many rubber dicks. I wonder if by the end of the festival replenishing the dicks became more of a chore than a passion. I guess that's kinda like art. You think it's a great idea at first but eventually you find yourself in the desert holding a box of rubber dicks asking yourself "is this what I should be doing with my time?"

What is your vision for your practice in the future? 
It'd be great to make something big and indestructible for a public space in the city.  I'd then want to get it mentioned in the daily telegraph and have it called a "waste of tax payer's money" or "a testament to the incompetence of [some government figure]"... #lifegoals

Which artists most influence your work? 
Ones that don't ask permission to do what they want and then do something so insanely good that people treasure and protect it. 

And finally, if you had to choose one nautical creature to best describe yourself in metaphor, what would it be? Why? 
I would be something that lives deep in the ocean that scientists haven't discovered yet. Why? Because the oceans deep man, we don't know what we don't know.


Join us this Thursday 9th August, from 6-9pm, to witness the great unveiling, and interrogate Kris further.

  Kris Perry's 'Practically Useless', at opening night at Nauti Studios. 

Kris Perry's 'Practically Useless', at opening night at Nauti Studios. 

Announcing... Life Drawing Classes at Nauti Studios with Elsa McGrath!

ANNOUNCING...

Monthly Life Drawing Classes at Nauti Studios!

After a brief break, Nauti Studios are excited to be bringing back by popular demand our monthly life drawing classes, held the first Thursday of each month!

Beginning on Thursday the 2nd of August from 6.30 - 8.30pm, these 2 hour life drawing classes are for people of all different experience levels. Beginners can master new skills and techniques for learning photorealism, amateurs can refine their drawings with new techniques and professional drawing guidance, and pros can choose to do their own thing or revisit foundation techniques. 

Tickets are $20 at the door, or available for purchase online here.

They'll be taught by Nauti newcomer Elsa McGrath, a super talented and creative artist. Read below to find out more about our new teacher!

 Elsa in her element.

Elsa in her element.

Elsa Isabella McGrath is a visual artist based in Sydney.

Her painting practice explores the everyday - moments considered banal are seen through a unique lens, transforming space from the ordinary to the extraordinary, and nestled organically within are human forms.

Tell us about yourself and your drawing!

Drawing was absolutely my first passion in life, and as I grew older and began to develop and discover my art practice through painting, drawing gave me the structure and knowledge about how to translate my own style to different mediums.

I think growing up in a very nature-heavy environment solidified my love for charcoal as a drawing tool. I'm really drawn to its looseness and ability for high tonal range. 

Why were you drawn to art? How long have you been doing it?

Like most creative people, I can't remember a time when I didn't have a pencil in my hand - it seems like art has been in my life since day one.

I am an introverted person, and art gave me an avenue to feel bold, brave, and expressive. I draw when I'm sad, happy, anxious, tired, lonely - it is absolutely my one true love.

What is your favourite type of art?

Though my tastes sway and change I think my main love has always been a painterly mark with a strong sway towards impressionism.

I also adore graphic novels! 

Do you find yourself fascinated with one theme or motif throughout your work?

Definitely the motif most present in my art is the human figure. It forms the base of the majority of my work. The human form is something that is forever explorable, moldable, and open to interpretation - it can be relayed in anatomical detail, broken down into two dimensional shapes, pure line - the options are endless! 

The human form is something of extreme beauty in my mind, there are no two bodies alike so each chance to depict that is really exciting!

You studied at the National Art School – what was that like?

It was a great experience! I graduated last year majoring in painting with my main body of work exploring the human form through varying abstraction techniques. 

Something I really loved about NAS was the weighted importance placed on life drawing as not only a crucial activity to participate in, but as a foundation for truly seeing what you're drawing, with the idea that you can carry those skills to any other art form. 

What are your favourite mediums?

Charcoal and oil paint! Separate, and together!

What do you like about teaching?

I believe strongly that drawing is the foundation of all art. I love being around likeminded people coming together to learn, grow, and explore their own art practice. I've been involved in all facets of life drawing for over a decade as a student, model, and teacher. 

My drawing comes from a classical draughtsmanship stance and I believe that learning how to truly see what you are drawing is crucial to grow as an artist - through measurement, perspective, tone, line weighting, and mark making. Only then once those laws have been learnt can you break them down and rebuild to suit your style. 

What are you most excited about for the Nauti life drawing classes?

Immediately, the space itself is incredible! Open, airy, light-filled - perfect for life drawing!

I'm really excited about meeting people beginning their journey with drawing and art, as well as those who have established themselves and are wanting to further their skill base, or just relax for a few hours, let go and draw! 

Finally – if you were a sea creature, which would you be and why?

A Dumbo Octopus - mostly because they are little, shy, and swallow their food whole, and I'm a notoriously fast eater. 

 Elsa's work.

Elsa's work.

Sustainably Awesome: Nat Cheney on her Sustainable Coworking Dreams

Sustainably Awesome: Nat Cheney on her Sustainable Coworking Dreams

After a year and a half of work transforming the old warehouse space into the fantastically nautical themed space it is today, Nat opened the doors to the creatives of Sydney. One of the most interesting things about Nauti Studios is its emphasis on sustainability, upcycling, and caring for the environment. We spoke to Nat about why it is just so important to her.

The Prince and Me: Q&A with Brand Guru Daniel Poskitt

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Dan is one of our full-time studio members, and what a joy he is to have around the space. He's a graphic designer and brand identity guru, and he's always up for a game of ping pong or a chat over lunch. Check out his stellar work on Dan's website.

Tell us about yourself and what you do!

My name is Daniel Poskitt, I’m a graphic designer and I specialise in brand identity. 

How did you become interested in design? 

I don’t think there was ever a moment when I became interested in design, it’s just always been that way. I remember doing title pages for classmates in Year 1 and I’m still doing them. I was one of those kids who could draw. 

Your business is focused on having clients work directly with the people doing the work! How do you find this different from working in big, more impersonal agencies?

It’s easier to discuss plans with the people who will implement them and problems with the people who will help you solve them. It’s more efficient to deal directly with the person who actually does the work – it’s quicker, most cost effective, and dollar for dollar the results are better. The added bonus is that a clients’ job won’t ever get flicked to the junior, every job gets the attention it deserves.

What is your ultimate creative dream? 

To think and it just happens.

What do you use the space at Nauti Studios for? 

I have my computer there and I find it a very creative place to be. The people are awesome and like-minded so there’s also a social element to it. I love the rawness and character of the building, the old furniture and quirky bohemian style. It’s something big ad agencies try to do but never get right. 

What’s your favourite part about the space at Nauti? 

It’s the constitution, it’s Mabo, it’s justice, it’s law, it’s the vibe and aah no that’s it, it’s the vibe

What’s the wackiest design you’ve ever worked on? 

I once designed a tie pin for Prince Charles and the approval process was crazy. You think corporate approvals are bad, you should try the Royal Family. It had to be signed off by 25 people! Luckily, there were no changes.

We have a ping pong table here at Nauti – are you any good? 

Not too bad, I’ve improved a lot over the past few months.

(NB: Dan is modest. He's a fiend. In my first week at Nauti, he beat me 11-1. Slaughtered.)

If you were a sea creature, which would you be?

A killer whale. 

Finally, are you nauti or nice? ;) 

Nauti

Illustrator Extraordinaire: Q&A with Jessica Meyrick

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Originally from the city of Bristol, Jessica Meyrick graduated from Falmouth University with a first class degree in Illustration BA (Hons) in 2016.

Exploring minimalistic approaches to figures and environments using watercolours and inks, Jessica is intrigued by uses of limited colour palettes; strong, fluid lines and graphic shapes that reflect in-depth ideas.

Jessica currently works and lives in Sydney, Australia and is represented by The Jacky Winter Group.

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Tell us about yourself and what you do!

My name is Jessica Meyrick and I’m a freelance illustrator, represented by the beautiful people at Jacky Winter – living and painting in Sydney. 

Why illustration?

I’ve drawn for as long as I can remember! After studying Fine Art & Design for a year, I moved to Cornwall where I received my degree in Illustration. Drawing is such a natural part of expressing myself that when I discovered I could develop something significant from it – that was pretty much it!

Tell us about your process! How do you go from idea to stunning creation?

If I wait for a good idea to happen – I’ll be waiting a long time. I push myself to sketch (VERY badly) as much, and as quickly as possible. My sketchbooks are a mess. But it helps to really smooth out the composition, colours and shapes so I can finally paint it all.

What is your ultimate creative dream?

To look back on my work and feel that I’ve had a small impact on social change. That would be the dream! Illustration is one of the strongest forms of communication – it’s universal! To know that I’ve made a difference in giving a voice to real people would be incredible. 

What do you use the space at Nauti Studios for?

Working 9 to 5, drinking coffee and painting amongst my baby plants. 

What’s your favourite part about the space at Nauti?

Being in a relaxed creative environment with friendly artistic peeps!

If you could meet and draw any person in the world, living or dead, who would it be and why?

Sylvia Plath. Her book, ‘The Bell Jar’ is one of my all time loves. She was a fascinating woman – I’d love to capture something of her in a painting.

We have a ping pong table here at Nauti – are you any good?

Uh…no.

If you were a sea creature, which would you be?

A jellyfish. Some can regenerate their own cells, making them immortal. Plus they look pretty cool.  

Finally, are you nauti or nice? ;)

NAUTI.

 

Movie Madness!

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Every Monday night it's Movie Madness at Nauti Studios with Deep Sea Picture Club!  Dedicated to screening obscure and interesting films, there's always something strange going on. 

Set in our lovely Sun Room, huddle up on the couches with some free popcorn (and a sneaky bevvy if you BYO!) to watch the strange and unexpected. It's $10 if you'd like some pizza, and free if you're just sticking to the 'corn. Doors open 6:30pm for a 7pm film start!

Check out what's coming up this month. 

The Fairy (March 12): A hotel clerk searches all over Le Havre for the fairy who made two of his three wishes come true before disappearing.

Monsoon Wedding (March 19): A stressed father, a bride-to-be with a secret, a smitten event planner, and relatives from around the world create much ado about the preparations for an arranged marriage in India.

One Sings, The Other Doesn't (March 26): The intertwined lives of 2 women in 1970's France, set against the progress of the women's movement in which Agnes Varda was involved. Pomme and Suzanne meet when Pomme helps Suzanne obtain an abortion after a third pregnancy which she cannot afford. They lose contact but meet again ten years later.

Turtles Are Surprisingly Fast Swimmers (April 2): Suzume Katagura is a bored housewife who spends her days doing chores and taking care of her husband's pet turtle. One day she sees a wanted ad for spies. Hoping for some excitement she decides to give them a call.

Set It Off (April 9): Desperation drives four inner-city women (Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Vivica A. Fox, Kimberly Elise) to bank robbery in Los Angeles, then they start mistrusting one another.

The Lady Eve (April 16): A trio of classy card sharks targets the socially awkward heir to brewery millions for his money, until one of them falls in love with him.

Siméon (April 21): The ghost of a music teacher pushes a young mechanic to start a career in music.

Vintage Tragic: Q&A with Amy of Minette's Vintage

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Amy Truslove is the style queen behind Minette’s Vintage.

Minette’s is all about fashion, style and personal expression. She seeks out beautiful pieces for her collection, pieces that were made to last that she brings back to life for people to enjoy again. Minette’s has an ever-changing collection depending on what treasures Amy has found recently. Her collection ranges from vintage women’s wear, gentleman’s wear, pieces of furniture, homewares, jewellery, candles, scents and greeting cards.

Website | Instagram

Tell us about yourself and what you do!

My name is Amy and I am a vintage tragic/devotee. I love all things vintage and I love people, so it just makes sense that I have an online store that brings them together!

How did you get into vintage and retro clothing?

That’s a loaded question… probably growing up in a house full of antiques with a mother who taught me the joys of personal style and thrifting at a very early age.

I see clothing as a form of expression. An outfit to me is similar to a work of art – choosing the vibe, the inspiration to suit the mood, then the colours and the shapes and textures to suit, building layer upon layer to create just the right effect (and sometimes taking a layer or two off too...).

I prefer vintage clothing for many reasons – the colour palette, the designs, the (often) superior make, the eco footprint and the uniqueness. It is the antithesis of today’s fast fashion high street model which is not sustainable.

What is your ultimate creative dream?

To have a wardrobe the size of the Sydney Opera company’s filled to the brim with vintage clothing of all eras at my disposal!

Styling people is so much fun, showing them shapes and colours that really suit them that they would never have dreamed of putting on. 

Tell us about upcycling! We know you work with accessories as well as clothes; what’s the typical process for you?

Upcycling is the process of taking one item and using it to create another, in whole or in part.

The beauty of this is that you can use broken items that would usually be headed for the bin and create totally new items – like our range of crochet dresses made from vintage tablecloths and doilies for example: Upcycled crochet shift dress 

What do you use the space at Nauti Studios for?

I run my business from my private space and I shoot my products in the communal sunroom space.

What’s your favourite part about the space at Nauti?

Physically? The sunroom – it has the most amazing light. Spiritually? It’s the vibe man.

What would be your ultimate vintage outfit – ignoring cost!

Oooh, no one has ever asked me this…

Probably a perfect condition beaded flapper dress, with feather headpiece, double length string of black pearls and patent Mary Janes to Charleston the night away!

We have a ping pong table here at Nauti – are you any good?

No, I’m terrible! Mind you, I don’t play much which probably has something to do with it….

If you were a sea creature, which would you be?

Have you seen my messy locks? Mermaid for sure.

Finally, are you nauti or nice? ;)

A little from column A aaaaaand a little from column B. 😉