Meet the champion of independent creative designers, Maggie Pana from Kreo Home

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Q&A with Maggie Pana from Kreo Home

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Tell us a little about yourself Maggie:

It’s always so hard to talk about yourself…. Am I alone here? Haha… well here it goes…

  • Proud mum of two girls Helena & Dallas (basically mini versions of her).
  • Wife of Chris Pana (who constantly annoys the shit out of her).
  • Swears like a sailor.
  • Loves colour and quirk (but always dresses in black, white or grey?? That’s because her
  • mind is colourful!)
  • Age…. Let’s just not talk about that!
  • Loves the Grand Prix
  • Hates the word ‘cheers’ used in any other context than clinking glasses together!
  • Addicted to: Online shopping, Netflix and Smurfs Village game on IPhone.
  • Social media guru and totally obsessed with technology.
  • Loves a good party!
  • Adrenalin junkie – her list of jumping exercises includes: skydiving, rap jumping, bungee
  • jumping. Who knows what’s next!
  • Loves skiing!
  • Listens to trance.

How would you describe your own personal creative style?
I’m all about colour, quirk and a whole lot of edge! I like to break the rules in every aspect of creative style, whether it’s through bold colours, cheeky design or just plain simplicity. I change my style with the wind these days, but they do stay change is like a holiday right?

What led you to start your own homewares store?
China did! I was so over seeing cheap and nasty homewares wherever I turned. I would scan the internet for unusual décor from around the world (just imagine how much it cost me in postage!), locals markets etc.

So Kreo was born with a focus on Australian made/handmade products which evolved into a platform for Australian creatives. A one stop shop for all things with soul and passion.

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These days Kreo is heading more into the digital market, with helping our local creatives with their social media game through workshops, guest speaking, social media strategies and so much more.

In honour of this week’s theme, can you tell us about what ‘home’ means to you?
Home to me means warmth, love, memories and moments. I tend to buy art and décor which invokes emotion, memory and a moment. I do this as I love to walk around my home and feel or remember the moment/memories attached to those choice pieces. Sometimes you will laugh, sometimes cry, sometimes smile, these are just some of the feelings and memories that have shaped you.

We think it’s great that you celebrate unique and emerging designers, what are some products from your store that inspire and delight you?

That’s hard! I love everything! So I will go with three of our newest creatives that
joined Kreo.

Frank Prints – I adore these prints! Love the fact that a statement can be made with simplicity, yet it has such a great effect and impact on people.

Frank Prints – I adore these prints! Love the fact that a statement can be made with simplicity, yet it has such a great effect and impact on people.

The Commonfolk Collective – These candles not only smell divine, they offer a mindful message on their label. I love that!

The Commonfolk Collective – These candles not only smell divine, they offer a mindful message on their label. I love that!

Burbia – Their postcode pride prints are awesome! I love that they can represent where you live or a place you have been. Perfect for this week's theme too!

Burbia – Their postcode pride prints are awesome! I love that they can represent where you live or a place you have been. Perfect for this week's theme too!

What will you be looking for when you judge this weeks challenge?
Beak the rules, dare to be different, show me your edge, attitude and what sets you apart from
the ‘same same’ style out there! I cannot wait to see what our awesome Instagram peeps are
going to come up with! Good luck to everyone!


Do you want to win some amazing goodies from Maggie's shop Kreo Home? Check out our latest creative challenge and style up a creative image inspired by your home!


You can connect with Maggie via her website kreohome.com.au
Or on Instagram: @kreohome and Facebook @kreohome
 

 

Meet the Creatives: Bettina Brent

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Meet Bettina!

Bettina is a creative property stylist who showcases her talent in her own home which has a beautiful clean aesthetic featuring pops of warm blush tones and natural fibres. Based in Melbourne, Bettina is married to a builder and helps design and style a lot of projects for their clients. She loves the challenge of balancing aesthetics with practicality and, as well as styling property, she enjoys helping small businesses to style beautiful images of their products. Bettina also has three beautiful children which has helped ignite her love of designing kids interiors. To get inspired, Bettina loves browsing her favourite accounts on Instagram where she enjoys images by other passionate home stylists, creatives and designers. 

In the lead up to this week's 'My Home' themed challenge, we had a chat to Bettina about her personal style and her take on the theme. 

How would you describe your personal creative style?
I’ve got a mix of styles, but I’m definitely influenced by mid-century and Danish design, with a Scandi neutral colour palette. I love second hand furniture to restore and reuse, put together with natural textures, throws, cushions and lots of indoor plants.

Photo by Bettina Brent

Photo by Bettina Brent

What kind of photography equipment do you use? 
One day I’ll learn how to use my camera’s functions a bit more, but until then, I’ll keep using my phone. Living in Melbourne, it’s hard to always have good lighting, but I know which rooms and at what time of the day will work for the photo I have set up. I usually then just do a little brightening edit on Instagram, nothing fancy.

Have you got a camera that you want to use more often? Why not start with our blog post "Manual Photography Tips: How to get yo' ass off auto" by Photographer Leah Ladson

In honour of this week’s theme 'My Home', tell us about what home means to you? 
I’m basically a homebody. I love watching my husband cook on the weekends with a glass or two of wine, watching a movie with the kids curled up on the couch with some cosy throws. I love my Saturday night bath soaks, and sitting in my favourite corner of our bedroom reading interiors magazines. I love being surrounded by my indoor plant gang, and looking outside to the veggie patch we’ve created.

My Bath. Photo by Bettina Brent

My Bath. Photo by Bettina Brent

My kitchen, that doesn’t look like this after Mr Brent has cooked. Photo by Bettina Brent

My kitchen, that doesn’t look like this after Mr Brent has cooked. Photo by Bettina Brent

What are some of your favourite images that you have styled?

I love a flatlay and the cover of the last edition of Collective Hub, was perfect for my love of pink, paired with some of my favourite things – champagne in an antique glass, peonies and Byredo

Photo by Bettina Brent

Photo by Bettina Brent

I adore my painted brick wall in my bedroom, neutral colours, my favourite cushions mixed with cheaper items from Kmart and BigW

Photo by Bettina Brent

Photo by Bettina Brent

This is my favourite corner of my home - I love the light in here, my cosy couch, cushions, throws and plants

Photo by Bettina Brent

Photo by Bettina Brent

Bettina will be sharing her favourite 'My Home' themed entries at @creativelysquared all week.
You can connect with her on Instagram and follow her account at @bettina_brent

Want to find out more about how to enter this week's styling challenge and how to win some amazing prizes from Kreo Home? Click here for all the entry details

Meet the creatives: Gina Gooi

Picture by Gina Gooi via @_hello_g_ on Instagram

Picture by Gina Gooi via @_hello_g_ on Instagram

Meet Gina @_hello_g_ who is the host of our creative 'Hands in Frame' themed challenge this week and is based in Malaysia. Gina recently left her job to spend more quality time at home with her two wonderful kids. Besides styling flatlays at home, Gina also loves going to cafes and snapping pics of their interior, drinks and food.

We had a chat to Gina to find out more about how she creates her beautiful images.

How would you describe your creative style?
Flatlays with flowers, coffee, tea & desserts.Feminine pastel style with flowers, coffee, tea & desserts.

Picture by Gina Gooi via @_hello_g_ on Instagram

Picture by Gina Gooi via @_hello_g_ on Instagram


What kind of photography equipment do you use? 
I use iPhone for my pics & edit with apps. I rarely use a camera unless I need to shoot for clients that require hi-res images.

What’s your best piece of advice to anyone who has never attempted a ‘hands in frame’ image?
If you are alone, try finding the best & most natural position to pose your hands. If you have someone with you, they could assist you by taking the shot standing behind you with the camera above you. Then you could have both hands in frame.

Hands in frame picture by Gina Gooi via @_hello_g_ on Instagram

Hands in frame picture by Gina Gooi via @_hello_g_ on Instagram

Hands in frame picture by Gina Gooi via @_hello_g_ on Instagram

Hands in frame picture by Gina Gooi via @_hello_g_ on Instagram

Hands in frame picture by Gina Gooi via @_hello_g_ on Instagram

Hands in frame picture by Gina Gooi via @_hello_g_ on Instagram

Show us three of your favourite images that you have created!

Eiffel Tower picture by Gina Gooi via @_hello_g_ on Instagram

Eiffel Tower picture by Gina Gooi via @_hello_g_ on Instagram

Yogurt Bowl picture by Gina Gooi via @_hello_g_ on Instagram

Yogurt Bowl picture by Gina Gooi via @_hello_g_ on Instagram

Flowers picture by Gina Gooi via @_hello_g_ on Instagram

Flowers picture by Gina Gooi via @_hello_g_ on Instagram

Meet the creatives: Jodi Burnham

Known for her use of soft pastels and delicate flower filled arrangements, Jodi has a beautiful and distinct creative style. With each image being a visual sweet treat it's no wonder that the photos shared on her Instagram account @jodianne_ are hugely popular. 

Jodi lives on the NSW Central Coast Australia with her husband, two sons and a golden retriever puppy. She works as a visual merchandiser but would love to renovate houses for a living. We had a chat to Jodi to find out a little bit more about her creative style and how she captures her whimsical images.

How would you describe your creative style?
My style is basically floral flatlays.  It’s very pink, feminine, pretty, and copious amounts of tea and coffee!

tea macaroons and pink flowers flatlay

What kind of photography equipment do you use?
I use my iPhone for all my images, I do have a DSLR which I use on holidays but find my iPhone more practical for my Instagram images.

To edit my images I use the Photo Editor app which is basic and easy to use. I always try and take my images using natural lighting eg. in front of a window or glass door and work on the floor with a background such as marble look, plain white or timber whitewash.

Jodi's behind the scenes setup

Jodi's behind the scenes setup

In honour of this week’s theme, tell us about how you ‘think pink’ and why this is your favourite colour palette:
The colour pink represents love, caring and compassion, three words that describe me. I’m the only girl in my family, all male cousins etc so I needed pink in my life.

Let's see a couple of your favourite images that you have created and please share with us why you love them:

I adore these images because I love being creative and thinking outside the box. I love working with flowers in a different way other than just photographing them in a vase.

pink tea and flowers flatlay
cute owl made from flowers and petals

You can see more of Jodi's beautiful floral creations on her Instagram account @jodianne_ . Jodi will be hosting our Think Pink themed challenge and guest posting on @creativelysquared for the week starting January 22, 2018. She will be featuring her favourite entries all week so make sure you get your entries in! 

Meet Katrina, creative illustrator from luxury stationery label Arty Hearts

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We love having creative sponsors and as an an International fine artist and illustrator this week is no exception. Katrina is the founder and designer of Arty Hearts, a national stationery and gift brand based out of Sydney, Australia. We chatted with Katrina to discover what inspired her to explore her own creativity and launch her own unique collection of luxury stationery.

Q&A with Katrina

How would you describe your creative style?

I have a background in print media, packaging and advertising, as well as television, fine art and illustration.  This diversity in my work has seen me produce work in a variety of looks over the years for various other companies depending on the brief required. I also have worked with a number of interior designers on corporate projects so my work tends to be story lead in its approach. I work in a very loose watercolour style for Arty Hearts, but on my fine art side, I have a fine art collection called The Prosperity Collection, that is very different from Arty Hearts with depictions of koi and water in various themes. It is quite a technical collection so Arty Hearts allows me to be very free creatively in its style by comparison. Then there is the work I am commissioned to do for various corporate and private clients, and that can be anything from working to a designer’s mood board to create something specific colour based abstract style to their project, through to illustrative work for other clients.

What inspired/led you to start your own line of stationery?

I felt there was a gap in the market for something that was genuinely had illustrated in its style, yet highly curated in its product design stories. I felt a lot of design work in this area was digitally led, and to me gift giving is a very emotive experience. I really wanted to develop products that made a personal connection to the buyer, and the way to do that was to pick up a paint-brush and create these by my own hand. To me the brand had to be authentic in its intention, and I think when people see the visuals on our products, it does in some way feel personal.   

After all, if they are giving one of my stationery items to their loved one or friend for a special occasion, that is a very personal choice too, and I wanted it to mean something.  Arty Hearts is a very connected brand. We engage a lot with our buyers, and it enables us to tailor collections so our retailers also can merchandise our products through their stores almost tailored to their own retail space style.  

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With each collection, we keep growing and expanding our style stories into other product ranges. It’s a collection that very easily lends itself to a variety of products, not just stationery. If it were up to me, I would be wallpapering everything with our happy prints, but we keep quite focused on what our buyers want, which enables us to keep offering new and fresh ranges to the market, as well as keeping a few of the usual favourites in the lines.

In honour of this week’s theme, tell us about about your perfect ‘sweet escape’ and what this theme means to you?

For me it would be proper time out without technology laying on a beach somewhere, surrounded by palm trees and coconuts with a sweet cocktail in my hand. If you see the themes of our stationery you will get the idea I must feel like a sweet escape nearly every day! Lets face it, who doesn’t want to run off to some tropical island somewhere every other day? Our stationery lets you jazz up your workspace so you can have  your very own sweet escape without leaving your office. Nothing wrong with dreaming right and I’m the biggest sweet escape artist!

Show us three of your favourite products that you have created and tell us why you love them:

This is a hard one, as with every collection being so personal, I have to be so involved in the process on both the illustrative and production side, and in the product development, therefor I feel because I use them everyday, it’s hard to single out one or two favourites. We try to make them so visually pretty, but the finished product also has to be practical.  I like to have a variety of them in use every day with the idea of making life a little more organised.

If I had to single out some favourites, the fabric printed bullet journals are one of the standouts, just because not only are they pretty, but they make the most beautiful keepsakes for a diary or journal, but also to map out your own dreams and goals. I really like beautiful paper products that feel great as well and these just make you want to hold them while you are out and about on your own adventure. I also love the card ranges, they are not only a little cheeky, but again, just feel like something

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Feel like taking yourself on a sweet escape? Connect with Katrina via Instagram: @ArtyHearts or on Facebook. You can shop the collection online at the Arty Hearts Website

Meet the creatives: Jenna Staples

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Q&A with Jenna Staples

Tell us a little about yourself Jenna:

I’m a very proud mama of two darlings Fynn and Freya, and a rascal of a dog Charlie. I absolutely love tea, I have a drawer dedicated to it in my kitchen! My other love is flowers, I can’t walk down the street without literally stopping to smell the roses. My dear husband has never once been on Instagram, or seen my account, but will often bring me home flowers for my “flatlay thingies”.

How would you describe your creative style?

My images are quite busy, yet people often say they look very calm. My style is soft and pretty.

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What kind of photography equipment do you use? 

Being a busy mum time is always of the essence, there’s never a minute to set up a tripod or lighting. Photos are shot in natural light on my iphone and edited in snapseed.

In honour of this week’s theme, tell us about how you are inspired by the idea of ‘Giving’

Giving is such an important part of society, whether it be your time, gifts, or home grown produce/home made baking. Giving always makes me feel so incredibly good.  

Show us three of your favourite images that you have created and tell us why you love them:

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I love this one simply because it’s of two of my favourite things - peonies and cupcakes!

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This pic will always be a favourite as it’s the first photoshoot I did with my daughter, she was only days old and my adrenalin was running so high after her birth. One look at this reminds me of those incredibly special days.

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This was created for a Creatively Squared challenge with the theme of Botanicals. I am so inspired by nature.


Jenna is hosting this week's 'Giving' themed challenge and will be featuring her favourite entries all week on the Creatively Squared Instagram account. You can follow Jenna on Instagram at @alovelyspace
 

 




 

Meet the creatives: Angela Strong

Meet Angela!

Angela is a mama blogger on Instagram, sharing her passion for motherhood and a love of children’s décor and fashion with an emphasis on a neutral colour palette and Scandinavian design. You can follow Angela on Instagram @_honeypunch

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10 Quick facts about Angela:

1. Married – and happy Mama to a 2 year old boy

2. Live in Adelaide South Australia

3. I live by the beach however rarely go in the water - I think the ocean is rather suspicious with all the creatures that live under there!

4. I’m most in my element when organising anything and everything but mostly events

5. My guilty pleasure is watching the Bold and the Beautiful

6. Most of my wardrobe is consisted of the colour white

7. What gets me the most excited is a holiday in the sun

8. I’ve never tried coffee even though my hubby owns a coffee business

9. I can’t live without my diary – the old fashioned kind

10. I’m hopeless when it comes to technology

How would you describe your creative style and aesthetic?
I’m all about the minimalistic neutral colour palette - giving 50 shades of grey a whole new meaning!

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What kind of photography equipment do you use?
O.K I have to admit I’m an absolute rookie when it comes to this stuff, I’m still only using my iphone for photos and edit using VSCO - I have every intention to pick up a proper camera one day!!! However, between juggling full time work and Mama life it’s just a matter of finding the time!

In honour of your challenge theme, tell us how you are inspired by the holiday season and what makes you feel ‘merry and bright’
It’s just a magical experience to relive the joy of the festive season through the eyes of my 2 year old son! Although we hope we have better luck at our visit with Santa this year!

A couple of her favourite images she has ever created are:

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Meet the creatives: Aravis Dolmenna

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All about Aravis

I've probably already said that I am an English woman of a "certain age" I live with my partner of 30 years, we have three grown sons. My day job is in construction but I try to spend a few minutes every day doing something creative. I have drawn, written and sewn my whole life, and love the fact that @instagram adds an additional purpose to these activities, it has been a great pleasure and compliment to have had some of my work published and sold.

How would you describe your creative style?

I would describe my style as "whimsical" certainty not to be taken too seriously.

What kind of photography equipment do you use?

I only use my iPhone, I don't use  edits and try to only use natural light, I like to just use the things around me it's a sort of game to try and make something from nothing.

In honour of this week’s theme, tell us about your favourite travel memory:

I love the travel theme of this week's challenge, although I have not traveled widely, S and I take a road trip in Europe each summer, there is something wonderful about waking each day not knowing exactly where you will spend the next night, often the best memories are from the days that didn't go to plan, the map that I used to make the roses for my picture is from one such day:

We woke on the Slovenian border to heavy rain, and more heavy rain to the north and to the south, there is a window on the Croatian coast, it was a "possible" on our itinerary, so we decide to race the weather, was it a good idea? It didn't seem like it when we were aquaplaning down a motorway, avoiding the debris from a BMW 4x4 which had spun out of control and hit the central reservation, all air bags deployed, the driver standing, dazed in the fast lane with an umbrella, it didn't seem like a good idea when hail stones like marbles were bruising our hands and legs. Or when we were riding past bullet pocked buildings in the middle of nowhere, but when we were standing on the shores of the Adriatic watching the sun go down, with the storm at our back... Well then, we felt like Heroes

Show us three of your favourite images that you have created:

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Aravis will be guest hosting on the @creativelysquared Instagram account this week featuring her favourite challenge entries. Please show us your travel inspired images (entry details here) and drop by and say hello!

Follow Aravis on Instagram at @aravisdolmenna

Meet the creatives: Melissa Barraclough

Meet Melissa! 

Originally from South Africa, Melissa has also called America home and now lives in Scotland with her children. She is a dedicated mother of six and loves spending time outdoors exploring with her kids. Like many of us, photography is Melissa's creative outlet and her soft feminine aesthetic is cosy and inviting. Melissa's charming compositions feature florals and drapery with a touch of vintage charm. She has been a long time contributor to our Creatively Squared community and has a challenge win under her belt. We are so pleased to welcome her as a creative host this week so we can all get to know her a lot better!

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Q&A with Melissa

How would you describe your creative style?

I guess I would describe my style as whimsical.

What kind of photography equipment do you use? 

I use a Canon which I love! I edit in Lightroom and sometimes in Photoshop and I always use natural light for my photography

In honour of this week’s theme, tell us about your favourite backdrop:

My favourite backdrop is the White Wood from Mini Backdrops, as it is a very versatile backdrop whether you photograph flowers, food or products. It is white with just the right amount texture, so as not to be too busy and distract from what you are trying to photograph.

Show us three of your favourite images that you have created and tell us why you love them

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I love this photo as it incorporates all the things that I really love to work with; beautiful flowers, ribbon and interesting props. Also, the backdrop is neutral with just a little bit of texture, so the flowers and props can be the focus.

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I have been working on some Christmas photos for a client. I went on the hunt for some beautiful yet interesting props that really add that extra special look. I love this photo as it includes a few of my favourite props that I found.

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If you follow me on Instagram, you will know that I love tea. Whether it's a cup or this lovely cast iron teapot, I always try to add them to my photos. I love this photo as it includes my favourite teapot, gorgeous ribbon, the beautiful wax flowers and my favourite book on wild flowers.


Melissa will be guest hosting on the @creativelysquared Instagram account this week featuring her favourite challenge entries. Please show us your favourite backdrops (entry details here) and drop by and say hello!

Follow Melissa on Instagram at @melissa.barraclough