Come November we will have the super duper dynamic duo Nick Young of Two Ruffians and Clair Wayman (both pictured below) with us as artists-in-residence and guest teachers at Harvest Workroom.Not only do these guys make us laugh (a lot) they are also really talented folk who will inject our studio with a whole lot of sass and style.
Between them they wear so many hats but essentially Clair is a highly sought after stylist and Nick is her printmaking partner in crime and when they come together they are Curio & Curio. They have a pint-sized shop down in Flinders under that very name that they will essentially be partially relocating for their popup appearance here on Lygon St.
Whilst under our roof Nick will lead an uber-DIY workshop (with Clair as his sidekick) called Printed Wooden Storage Box - Printing and Constructing (see Nick's examples above). Nick will take student's through the steps of how to print and make a ply storage cube on wheels. Students will learn to create a print design suitable for application onto ply and be guided through the appropriate use of inks and the printing methods. Everyone will then screen print their cube and Nick/Clair will assist with the construction of the storage unit.
Nick conjured up some answers to a few quick questions to give you a little more insight into who he is, his work practices and the workshop.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. I grew up in Cheltenham in the Cotswolds and played a lot of sports. In my late teens I got a Saturday job in a cool local fashion store and at the same time I met Clair. I started reading magazines like The Face on a Saturday in the shop and I would help Clair cut stencils and watch her paint while she finished her art exams. We both started taking trips down to London and would walk up and down Neal St in Covent Garden and go up the Kings Road always as far as the Vivienne Westwood shop. Clair went off to Uni to study Visual Art and later did a post grad in Textile Design at Leeds Uni.
I started going to London with friends to watch Acid Jazz bands like the Brand New Heavies and early Jamiroquai. It was amazing. We would go to Camden on the Sunday to chill out and pop into the Jazz Café before heading home. In my early 20’s I moved to London to study Business and Finance and lived with a graphic designer Ali Augur (still one of my best mates) a furniture designer and an animator. It was Ali that took me to see the Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery in Hyde Park - that really opened my eyes.
Clair would come and stay whilst she did work placements with Homes Magazines in London until she started assisting interior decorators and moved to Shoreditch in East London. I lived up the road in Highbury and eventually we moved in together and lived in Islington for a few years before moving to Australia.
How long have you been working as a designer? I’ve been a designer in my head for years but talking only gets you so far. In 2006 I bought a basic second hand Apple Mac which I’m using now. I bought Adobe software and thought I’d be a designer over night. Wrong. I thought that somehow the Mac and software would translate my ideas instantly as I thought that that’s how designers designed.
I went back to basics - picked up a pencil and drew. Once I had the design I had to teach myself how to scan and then get the design ready to be exposed onto a silk screen to print. Someone once told me that as a designer it’s important to know the process from start to finish. I can't remember who told me but I took it literally. In 2008 I had a small range of handprinted t-shirts and home wares that I was happy to show. I also designed my first website/shopping site. I didn’t exactly take the world by storm but I was happy with where I was at and knew that I would improve.
Three years later and I’m still improving...I’ve got a shop and designs in some high end stores in Australia and am looking to expand into Europe in 2012 - all being well!
I think it’s important to start and not be scared because the more you do something the better you become...so you’ll always be a better designer tomorrow, that will never change.
Where do you draw inspiration from? I’ve been lucky enough to have friends in both the UK and Australia that have inspired me. Creatively just through hanging out and watching and learning. Where we lived in London had a massive influence. There were Banksy Stencils popping up on bridges or walls outside the clubs we went to and the music and fashion was amazing. One bar we went to was the inspiration behind my ‘London Electric’ zig zag print. This time last year I was thinking about the London Electricity Showrooms bar in Hoxton - a place my brother once described as looking like a school canteen. I just designed an irregular zig zag print to look a bit like lightning/electricity which I thought would look good. It’s now our most popular design.
What is that people would expect to gain from your workshop? A printed ply storage cube and a fun positive experience and access to Clair and I where we will help and answer any questions for the duration of the workshop.
Thanks for that Nick. Look forward to having you guys at the Workroom.
More details to come about Clair and Nick's residency but be sure to book in to the workshop if you are at all keen - we don't want you missing out.
Find out more about Clair here and Nick here.