Meet the Creatives: Iswarya Venkatakrishnan

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Meet: Iswarya  Venkatakrishnan

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I am Iswarya and I currently reside in Hong Kong, working as a UX Designer . I love creating colourful content with paper and seeing an idea take shape even at the end of a long working day is the most satisfying feeling. I love travelling and you can always find me roaming around in Google maps Street View to find colourful places to visit.

Q&A with Iswarya

How would you describe your creative style?
Playful, Colourful and Happy. I love to explore different colours and I always envision my creations having fun while being photographed

What kind of equipment do you use?
I use a sony a7rII camera to take all my photos.

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Can you tell us why you love Rainbows?
Rainbows always evoke a positive happy feeling. I love creating content in rainbow colours and hope it will be an instant mood booster to everyone who is looking at it

Can you share a few of of your favourite images you have created and tell us why you love them?

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I took this image when I turned 28 and i like it as it reminds me that no matter how old, always have fun and be as colourful as possible. I personally love it because I worked on this with my Dad.

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I love how simple this image is and the gradient of colours works really well here.

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I like this image because I think it is fun and mysterious. This is the first image where i tried something completely different and loved the result.


Iswarya is the guest host of our ‘Rainbow’ themed photo challenge this week. Find out how you can participate here - Creative Challenge Entry Details

You can see more of Iswarya’s fun and colourful photos on her Instagram account @ishyvi

 

Brand stories: Styled party kits for the perfect dinner party

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The story of Party Kit Company with Co-Founder Lel Brassel Ngo

The idea for Party Kit Company was conceived in a dingy apartment in Berkeley, California in early 2014. My husband, Khai, and I had left Sydney for a while to study and soak up the 'entrepreneurial spirit' often associated with the San Francisco Bay Area.

One afternoon, while researching party decorations for a styling assignment, I realised how much easier it would be if there were 'kits' of party products available; a 'party in a box' for those short on time, or didn't have the eye for design. Khai walked in the door that arvo, I told him about the idea, and within 48 hours we'd mapped out a business plan and started sourcing products.

We began with two product lines: party kits and living kits. We wanted to be the source for all things 'kits', but about a year after launching, we realised marketing and messaging were too confusing, so we decided to focus solely on Party Kits - we both have a background in event management, so it made sense to focus on that.

We've been so lucky to have family and friends lend their skills to get us up and running (web design, accounting, graphics, etc.), but other than this, we've done everything ourselves. Our belief is to give everything a go, so we can discover what our strengths are, and what we need to outsource. We still do almost everything, except the accounting and the styled shoots.

Q&A with Lel

Why did you decide to utilise Creatively Squared to create your brand’s visual content?
For the first couple of years, I took every photo myself. Looking back on some of those original photos? Wow, they were bad. I still take standard product shots, but coordinating and shooting Insta-worthy images stresses me out - I am no pro when it comes to getting that perfectly lit image.

We decided to use Creatively Squared after Ruth reached out to me; they were a small business starting up, addressing a pain point we were experiencing at that exact moment. I felt like it was meant to be! Having a transparently priced package with a set amount of images was the main attraction; some photographers charge by the hour and you don't often know how many images to expect.

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How does Party Kit Company use content to build its brand?
Other party stores tend to just use product photos from wholesalers/manufacturers. Because we package a whole range of products from different manufacturers, custom visual content is a necessity. It is incredibly important to show our potential customers what our products look like in a coordinated manner - a simple collage won't cut it; buyers are short on time and need to see exactly what they're getting (in the prettiest way possible).

When assessing the popularity of each Party Kits, the top sellers are most definitely the ones with the most stunning, styled images to match! That's proof to us how important attractive, visual content is.

What would be your advice to a brand thinking about organising authentic lifestyle content of their products?
Outsource! Unless you're an experienced photographer, or have the time and patience to learn, it's best to get a professional. What you may achieve in six hours, a professional may get done in one hour. Honestly, I could use those extra four hours to work on social media marketing, blogs, website updates, product sourcing, or the million-and-one other things that I'm more skilled at!

What is your favourite image from Creatively Squared? 
My favourite image is the very first image I received back from Nikki of our Donut Party Kit. I remember I was sitting in the doctor's waiting room for some reason, and I gasped when I saw the image. I couldn't stop staring, even on my tiny phone. It was so bright and fun; it captured EXACTLY what our brand is about - clean lines, bright colours and classy composition.

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What are your personal favourite brands, blogs, websites?
I steer clear of the event industry for creative inspiration, particularly because I think many events nowadays are a bit excessive, especially for young kids! I am a big believer of drawing inspiration from outside sources in order to be truly unique. In an alternate universe, I would have been an architect or florist, so follow brands like Architectural Digest, The Interiors Addict, Hermetica, Floret and McQueens. My personal Insta-feed is an endless stream of flowers, home inspo, and fluffy dogs, of course!

What's next for Party Kit Company?
Big changes! We've done a lot of analysis recently on what customers love the most and also what I enjoy curating; the big winners are our high-end, boutique kits. We previously tried to be everything to everyone, and released licensed items (think Moana, Paw Patrol, My Little Pony...), but honestly, you can grab that stuff at the local discount store. Our renewed focus is on those truly unique items you can only find at the most exclusive party stores; our aim is to give busy parents the most stunning celebrations (in a box), in the most friction-less way possible. Creatively Squared will be with us as we release these new kits, and we can't wait to share the gorgeous visual content their stylists produce!

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Follow Party Kit Company on Instagram @partykitco and Facebook and shop the collection at partykit.co

Brand stories: Startups can promote themselves on a shoestring budget

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The story of SOFI Spritz with Founder Tom Maclean

SOFI Spritz was inspired by a trip to Italy where I saw first hand their love for Aperitivo like Aperol Spritz. So when I returned home, I wanted to create a unique version of the spritz suited to the casual outdoor Aussie lifestyle - all-natural and ready to serve with no added sugar.

Since our first little batch we sold at the Bondi Farmers Market, we have run two crowdfunding campaigns, appeared on Shark Tank Australia and expanded our range to three different cocktails in multiple pack formats.

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Q&A with Tom

Why did you decide to utilise Creatively Squared to create your brand’s visual content?Creatively Squared made the process very easy for our small team - we were able to access amazing content from a broad array of creatives at a cost even our small budgets could fit in. We love to take advantage of platforms that make the most of our very limited marketing budgets as we are up against some huge ones!

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How does Sofi Spritz use content to build its brand?
We love to promote #sofiserves so that our loyal consumers can play around with beautiful serves of SOFI with fresh garnishes, distinctive glassware etc. Creatively Squared brings the talent and creativity to inspire our consumers through our social media.

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What would be your advice to a brand thinking about organising authentic lifestyle content of their products?
Play to your brand's strengths and always keep the end consumer in mind!

What is your favourite image from Creatively Squared? What do you love most about it?
Love this one as it shows the ingredients that go into our newest SOFI recipe so simply and beautifully!

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What are your personal favourite brands, blogs, websites or creative minds?
I love podcasts including "How I Built This" - so many amazing minds have been on it - plus a bunch of the Radio National ones.... and I rarely miss watching Colbert's opening monologue on Youtube.

What's next for Sofi Spritz?
Three new recipes hitting the market for pre-sales soon. .... Oh, and she is about to hit the skies with a major airline! Shhh....


Read more about our work with SOFI Spritz in our case study. Follow SOFI Spritz on Instagram @sofispritz and Facebook and shop the collection at sofispritz.com

Brand stories: Bracelets and charms for a cause

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The story of United Bracelets with Founder James Skinner

United Bracelets launched in late 2017 when a group of friends from Melbourne, Australia brainstormed an amazing idea. They noticed that people yearned for bracelets that embodied the Australian outdoor lifestyle. What they discovered led them on a journey to create beautiful handmade bracelets and personalised jewellery. Fast forward to today and United Bracelets stocks an ever-expanding range, and donates 10% of its profits to local charities.

Q&A with James

Why did you decide to utilise Creatively Squared to create your brand’s visual content?Launching a new brand that nobody new in a highly-competitive industry meant we needed to stand out. Luckily, Creatively Squared allowed us to produce visually stunning images for a great price. Now we can focus on other aspects of our business while dominating in visual content.

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How does United Bracelets use content to build its brand?
These days, social media and social proof is critical to any emerging brand, particular one like ours that creates visually stunning products. Creatively Squared allowed us to take it to the next level by creating custom visual content for Facebook and Instagram that stands out from the crowd. We’ve literally tripled our engagement and growth on social media thanks to the content that's been produced for us.

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What would be your advice to a brand thinking about organising authentic lifestyle content of their products?
Almost everyone has a camera in their pocket these days so it’s almost expected that any brand should have great visual content. Unfortunately, the average Instagram post or product photo just doesn’t cut it anymore so a small investment in professional authentic lifestyle content is a must.

What is your favourite image from Creatively Squared?
Maybe it’s our sweet tooth but we love this photo! It’s stylish, warm, and invites us to savour the sweeter things in life!

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What are your personal favourite brands, blogs, websites?
Our store is powered by Shopify so we love staying up to date with the Shopify Blog and utilising other online resources such as Influencive. Facebook groups such as Shopify Entrepreneurs are a value resource to connect merchants and developers.

What's next for United Bracelets?
We’re super excited to continue to expand our range of products and refine our existing ones. As our brand develops, we hope to see growth in markets outside Australia.

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Follow United Bracelets on Instagram @unitedbraceletsau and Facebook and shop the collection at unitedbracelets.com.au

Meet the Creatives: Bianca Masciulli

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Meet Bianca!

I am a Mum of three kids who lives in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. I work as a self employed Accountant / Bookkeeper most days whilst my kids are at school and kinder. I discovered Instagram just under three years ago when I was looking for inspiration for our renovation. I am now lucky enough to work as a brand rep and content creator for some amazing brands. I love styling homewares and prints in my home. Content creation has now become a passion of mine, my creative outlet when I’m not crunching numbers!

Q&A with Bianca Masciulli

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How would you describe your creative style?
My home has a mixture of white and grey walls (hence the name of my account) so I tend to stick to monochrome colours and tones with some natural elements (greenery and timber). I love to showcase products in my home through shelfies (my favourite prop is the mantle in my bedroom), close up product shots, flatlays and larger scale styled room photos.

What kind of equipment do you use?
I use an IPhone 8 Plus. I will hopefully be purchasing a DSLR later in the year to use for close up product shots. I use a few different editing apps, my favourite is PS Express.

Can you tell us why you love art prints and experimenting with pattern?
I have prints all throughout my home. Some are expensive forever pieces, the others are inexpensive internet finds. It is these prints that I change frequently when I modify the style or theme of a room. Without even realising it, I have incorporated patterns through my home via textured pots, ceramic vases, cushions and towels. Patterns don’t need to be bold or bright, most of mine are in muted monochrome tones.

To read some of Bianca's expert interior styling tips see her blog post: Interior style tips: How to transform your space using art prints

Can you share a few of your favourite images and tell us why you love them?

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I love how the patterned tray stands out and highlights the candle in this photo. I try to add a bold or patterned element in my flat lays for this reason. A few brands have asked me to recreate this setup for their own products.

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This room is a perfect example of my love of monochrome. I’m always constantly changing the look and feel with new cushions and new prints.

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My most popular shelfie. It mixes monochrome patterns with layered prints and timber elements. I am always changing the look of this shelf but I did keep that setup for longer than usual.

I am so honoured to be hosting the Creatively Squared challenge this week. Every week I am blown away by the amazing entries, I have saved many for my flatlay inspiration. I look forward to seeing the entries created by your super talented community.


Bianca is the guest host of our 'Prints and Patterns' themed photo challenge this week. Find out how you can participate here - Creative Challenge Entry Details

You can see more of Bianca's beautiful images on her Instagram account white.grey.all.day

Vibrant Whimsy: Meet the Artist Bringing Colour and Positivity to the Community

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Meet Shana Danon

Shana is an artist and surface designer who creates vibrant paintings, prints and patterns from her Bondi studio. Inspired by a passion for Mid Century modernism, her work celebrates form, function and colour with a touch of whimsy.

Growing up in a family of artists nurtured Shana to become a maker and work with colour across a variety of media. In her spare time she can be found visiting art galleries, admiring vintage homewares, exploring the NSW coast with her husband & two boys and enjoying live music. Shana is happiest with a camera, coffee or paintbrush in hand. Sometimes all at once!

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Q&A with Shana

How would you describe your creative style?
My patterns and prints are filled with bold colour, organic lines and geometric shapes, referencing the past with a contemporary twist. Modern vintage!

They are conversational pieces for those who love to live colourfully. Emilio Frank Design works are created to inspire bright and positive spaces and evoke joyful memories. Contrasting monochrome linework also features in my works, which works well with minimalist styling and Scandi inspired spaces.

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What inspired you to start your own line of artworks, homewares and textiles?
An extensive previous career in professional organising and decluttering cultivated my love for interiors and the home. I encountered mountains of mass produced cheaply made items that were on high turnover and contributed to landfill. I educated my clients about mindful purchasing, recycling and repurposing and was inspired to create my own collections made with quality materials, investment pieces to love for years. Besides the aesthetics of mid century design I greatly admire the workmanship, tools, materials and  level of detail in creating, which I aspire to. I am a perfectionist when it comes to my products as I have a certain vision of how I want them to be.

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In honour of this week’s creative challenge theme, can you tell us why you love the classic combination of ‘Prints and Patterns’?
The use of print and pattern can transform a space in a million different ways. Adding movement, energy, colour and emotion - the opportunities are endless to create different moods, styles and themes. I can’t wait to see how it inspires this creative community!

What are a couple of your favourite pieces that you have created and tell us why you love them? 
One of my current favourites is ‘She Will Have Her Way’ - an indigo monochrome piece with a message of empowerment and strength. I have really enjoyed how people have connected to and interpreted it.

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She Will Have Her Way by Emilio Frank Design

 Moonbow  by Emilio Frank Design

Moonbow  by Emilio Frank Design

Another favourite is ‘Moonbow’ inspired by rainbows that are created by lunar light instead of solar. The beauty in nature fascinates this night owl - moonscapes feature heavily in my work. The colour palette is a favourite too.

We think it’s great that you create products that are ethically made using sustainable materials. Tell us about your mission and how you support like-minded makers.
I have been fortunate to collaborate with some incredibly talented makers who help bring my designs to life.  My archival framer and screen printer are both a ten minute walk away and help me create long lasting products by using sustainable materials. The art prints are printed on giclee - museum grade paper that lasts 75 years and the screen printed dachshund tea towels do not fade. I produce small print runs to eliminate wastage and focus on quality.

My packaging is biodegradable and eco friendly, my stationery is printed on sustainable + recycled materials and I have enlisted a textile agent to source ethical and sustainable studios when collaborating internationally.

I enjoy bringing positivity to the community by using colour, and am currently collaborating on a public art project, as well as contributing to a range that brings awareness to the war on waste. More details to come!

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What will you be looking for when you judge this week’s challenge entries?
I will be looking for entries that show an individual style, boldly embraces print + pattern and reflects creativity. Good luck and enjoy!


Shana is the sponsor of our 'Print and Pattern' themed photo challenge this week. Find out how you can participate here - Creative Challenge Entry Details

You can see more of Shana's beautiful artwork on her Instagram account emiliofrankdesign and shop the collection online at emiliofrankdesign.com/shop

Meet the Creatives: Kelly Williams

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Meet Kelly!

I’m mama to my 3-year-old Harvey, living in Melbourne, Australia. I’m fuelled by coffee, cocktails and chocolate... but not all at once.

I love blending beauty, interior and posts of my lovely little boy into my Instagram feed.

The combination of crisp whites, soft greys, and natural wood lends itself well to a Scandi-style kid's room.

Q&A With Kelly

How would you describe your creative style?
Well, as my Insta handle states, I’m all about Scandi, lots of white and grey, I love photographing interiors, especially Harvey’s room and flatlays of course.

What kind of equipment do you use?
I shoot with a Canon 80D for my photos, a tripod for flatlays and I edit my images in Lightroom and Snapseed.

Can you tell us why you love this week's challenge theme 'Moments That Matter'?
Capturing moments that matter are so special and keepsake journals are just perfect for reflecting back on, especially as the moments pass so fast!

Can you share a few of your favourite images with us?

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Daytime naps are such a rarity as Harvey gets older so I love to capture them when I can, and getting to enjoy a coffee in peace isn’t bad either!

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Flatlays are my jam, they provide such a great way to showcase products, coffee and flowers regularly feature and I’m always finding new props for my flatlays.

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My main man, getting decent photos together can sometimes be a challenge but I love the memories they create.


Kelly is the guest host of our 'Moments That Matter' themed photo challenge this week. Find out how you can participate here - Creative Challenge Entry Details

You can see more of Kelly's beautiful Scandi style on her Instagram account @myscandistyle

Meet the Creatives: Kylie Certoma

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Meet Kylie!

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Ever since I was knee high to a grasshopper, I’ve been a creative little soul and I’ve always been drawn to anything artistic. I play the piano, enjoy making crafty things, love a game of tennis and I’m a self confessed shopaholic who can scout out a bargain anywhere! I have a huge and extremely varied (at times bizarre) collection of music on my iPod and if you press play, you might hear the likes of AC/DC, James Brown, Coldplay or Tina Turner busting out a song! I have a degree in primary education and music and I absolutely adore teaching year 2! My classroom is always decorated with loads of colour and I try to weave a little creative magic into every facet of the curriculum to connect my students to their learning and make their school experience enjoyable. However, I’m currently on maternity leave and enjoying life as a mum with my baby girl, Ellasandra ( she certainly keeps me on my toes!)

Q&A With Kylie

How would you describe your creative style?
When teaching, I love bright bursts of colour but my personal creative style at home or via my Insta page showcases softer pastel tones ( with just a slight infatuation with pink! 😂) I love working with symmetry or lines and creating a range of flatlay designs. I’m also an absolute stationary addict and adore styling my desk and workspace.

What kind of equipment do you use?
I have a beautiful camera that my husband bought me but to be completely honest, I love the convenience of using my iPhone and having everything accessible in one place. I love the editing tools on Instagram and at times, I might experiment with different tools or effects via various apps. But the best time for taking my snaps, is when the sun is shining through the window and I can utilise the natural light.

Can you tell us why you love this weeks challenge theme 'Dreams and Goals'?
I’m so excited to be hosting this week’s theme. My brain is constantly buzzing with ideas and aspirations for the future. I love to be organised in all facets of my life, So I’m a huge advocate for making dreams and setting yourself goals, no matter how small or large they might be.

Can you share a few of your favourite images with us?

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This was the first stacklay that I ever created. It was a special time in our lives as I was pregnant and excitedly anticipating the arrival of our little girl.

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I love the symmetry, simplicity and organisation within this shot. I also tried to create an even balance of colour and line everything up with precision.

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From time to time, I throw symmetry and precision out the window and create a little bit of organised chaos. I love creating bag spills as they’re just a bit of fun and you can experiment with various camera angles.


Kylie is the guest host of our 'Dreams and Goals' themed photo challenge this week. Find out how you can participate here - Creative Challenge Entry Details

You can see more of Kylie's beautiful photos on her Instagram account @casacreativity

Meet Emma Kate: Hand-letterer, illustrator, perpetual adventurer, and all-round creative wayfarer

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Meet Emma!

I’m a designer, writer, hand-letterer, illustrator, perpetual adventurer, and all-round creative wayfarer. I divide my time up between running my little stationery brand, living adventures and writing about them.

I sell my products online and to a growing stockist base around the world - and when I’m not doing that, I’m collaborating with brands on travel and lifestyle based campaigns, and travelling at every chance possible.

I was born in the sleepy city of Adelaide, known for its vineyard-dotted hills that spill into the sea. I’ve had coloured pencils in my hand as long as I can remember and studied design at uni - but my path to making a brand out of my art, photos and words is much more recent! Currently I call the coffee mecca of Richmond in (Melbourne, Australia) home - and I absolutely love it here!

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Q&A with Emma Kate

How would you describe your creative style?
My world and my creative style is everything ethereal, punctuated with coffee.

My purpose with anything I create is to bring joy. To make days. To craft delight. To inspire adventure. More than just making pretty things, I want to stir meaning, and weave conscious, considered, generous details into every little thing I make.

For me, this goes far beyond designing exquisite products - it’s about designing entire experiences. I look for ways I can weave in hidden details and for touchpoints of daily life I can gently intersect - that might stop someone short with delight and think, “How did you know - that’s exactly what I needed?”

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What inspired you to start your own line of art and stationery?
I had been working as a designer in London for a publishing house - a life of coffee to go, rush hour madness, Europe-hopping most weekends and travelling every single chance I had outside of the 9-5. It was my semi-long-term plan, but when my sponsored visa didn’t work out, my life in London came to an abrupt halt. Plucked out of one reality and thrown into another, I found myself on a one-way plane back home with no plan B. It was a new beginning in every sense - a rare and perfect chance to take a leap to do what I’d always dreamed of.

So I did, full tilt! I spent six months burrowed away in my creative cave, and launched my first collection, Wild Hearts.

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In honour of this week’s creative challenge theme ‘wanderlust’, tell us about one of your favourite adventures:
Turkey would have to be my pick. It’s such an exquisite country of colour, texture, kindness and contrast - a place where beauty and ruin coexist. Turkey is a total assault on the senses. I travelled there solo a very pivotal time of transition, between my life in London and relocating to Australia and I remember Turkey with such gratitude and importance.

Turkey made me feel vividly uncomfortable - every morning I woke in darkness to the prayer calls, with the most unsettling yet calming melody drifting through the sky. I covered myself in layers of clothing, yet felt more stripped back and vulnerable than ever. I miss feeling uncomfortable, and think there are more lessons waiting for me, when I next return.

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What are a couple of your favourite pieces that you have created and tell us why you love them?

I think that The Dreamer’s Manifesto is my favourite piece in my collection. It’s the most personal piece of writing I have put into my range - it’s the words I really need to read on a daily basis and remember, myself.

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I also love the greeting card “You. X” - it’s been a best seller ever since I put it into the collection. It comes from a special place - my partner Charles sent me this message, after our first date. It was so simple and yet, so meaningful. My heart still does somersaults, remembering when I picked up my phone and read: You. X

What will you be looking for when you judge this week’s challenge entries?
I will be looking for something that captures the magic of wanderlust - the image that makes me want to buy a ticket, and jump on a plane most.

You can get social with Emma on Instagram @emmakateco and Facebook and shop her collection at her online store emmakate.com

 

Meet the Creatives: Zoe Gilpin

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Meet Zoe Gilpin!

Zoe is a Perth based Interior Decorator specialising in affordable home decorating. Zoe loves decorating on a budget and sharing her knowledge with others so that they can decorate their own homes no matter how much they have to spend. Zoe is obsessed with anything interior related and may have a slight homeware addiction...

Q&A with Zoe

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How would you describe your creative style?
I would say my style is unique and budget friendly with a little DIY thrown in along the way.

Can you tell us why you love the theme 'Handiwork'?
I am a lover of DIY and putting a personal spin on anything creative.

Can you share some of your own decorating handiwork with us?

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This is our bathroom which we renovated ourselves. A bit of DIY completely transformed an outdated, pink bathroom in to something we now love so much.

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Our master bedroom. A room I have out a lot of effort in to to make unique and a reflection of my own, personal style.

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My baby girls bedroom. Another room which contains a lot of DIY project, including the doll house which is a work in progress


Zoe is the guest host of our 'Handiwork' themed photo challenge this week. Find out how you can participate here - Creative Challenge Entry Details

You can see more of  Zoe's beautiful photos on her Instagram account @thediydecorator and visit her website thediydecorator.net 


Meet the Creatives: Em Pearman

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Meet Em! 

Em is a product and interior stylist, currently ticking the 34 - 39 year old box, living in Perth, Western Australia with her Hubby, Adam, 10 year old daughter, Ava and two cats, Walter & Wong. Em has been creating content for almost 2 years now has built a portfolio working with brands of all sizes, including YSL, Clinique, Salt & Pepper Home, Big W, Nivea, Olay, Daniel Wellington, Sheridan, Colette, Glasshouse, Stanley Rogers & Ecology Homewares. Em and her family are building their dream home, during which Em has become completely obsessed with tapware and fixtures!

Q&A with Em Pearman

How would you describe your creative style?
Minimal Monochrome.

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What kind of equipment do you use?
I use a camera & my Samsung S8 mobile for my photos. I have a great treasure trove of styling props, that includes things like chunks of marble, tiles, wooden trays & boards.

A few of my must have favourites for styling are:

  • an assortment of stationary items, including notebooks, washi tape, pens, desk accessories, assorted paper.
  • an assortment of ribbon
  • Fashion accessories - I love using unique, vintage jewellery pieces, pearls, chunky statement pieces, plus handbags & of course, fabulous stilettos!
  • Greenery, twigs, fresh flowers, cotton stems
  • home decor pieces

Can you tell us why you love styling in black and white?
My friends say that with my colourful personality, my love of black & white is to balance me out....Lol! I have always been drawn to Black, Grey & White tones. They remind me of old Hollywood glamour & my style icon, Coco Chanel. The mix is chic & stylish & gives a luxurious feel to any space.

Can you share a few of your favourite images you have created and tell us why you love them?

 This image was created was for a recent collaboration with Big W Australia. I love the gorgeous greenery with the grey & white tones. 

This image was created was for a recent collaboration with Big W Australia. I love the gorgeous greenery with the grey & white tones. 

 I love layering to create different dimensions in my flatlays. This shot using some of my favorite office pieces is a personal favorite of mine. 

I love layering to create different dimensions in my flatlays. This shot using some of my favorite office pieces is a personal favorite of mine. 

 The iconic Coco Chanel. What a fabulous, inspiration she is. 

The iconic Coco Chanel. What a fabulous, inspiration she is. 


Em's Top 3 tips to creating a flatlay?

1. Start with a good base. I create my flatlays on melamine sheets. I find the surface is nice & smooth, doesnt scratch or mark easily & is super easy to clean.

2. Move things around until the balance is right, if you feel one side is to heavy, try removing a piece or shuffle around the layout. Sometimes adding a pop of greenery or simply walking away for a few minutes to refocus can help.

3. Most importantly, practice & have fun. Join in on challenges, like the weekly ones at Creatively Squared. It is such a wonderful, supportive community & a great way to find inspiration & pick up tips from other creatives. I hope you enjoy this weeks challenge & I can't wait to see your gorgeous creations.

💖 Em xxx


Em is the guest host of our 'Black and White' themed photo challenge this week. Find out how you can participate here - Creative Challenge Entry Details

You can see more of Em's beautiful photos on her Instagram account @stilettos_and_bricks and visit her website stilettosbricks.com

 

Meet the Creatives: Dannii Burnett

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Meet Dannii!

Dannii is a small biz owner, wife, mama to a 17 month old little boy with another babe on the way. Dannii's creativity started with a love of fabrics and sewing beautiful garments for her brand @made_by_dannii.  After her son Oliver was born, Dannii started brand repping for other handmade and small business owners and her love for styling, flat laying and photography grew from there. Dannii uses her instagram account as a creative outlet and way to support other small businesses.

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Q&A with Dannii

How would you describe your creative style?
I have shifted styles over time to include more flatlays rather than lifestyle photography but I have always had a love for earthy tones, vintage collections and incorporating nature. I also do love to include a cup of tea, a sneaky pair of scissors, wicker or twine as a little trademark to my flatlays.

What kind of equipment do you use?
I use a mixture of my Nikon D3400 or my Iphone 8s to capture my photography whilst using lightroom to edit.

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Can you tell us why you love celebrating the seasons (this week's creative challenge theme)?
I love the theme Seasons as it incorporates all things nature with Autumn tones setting my earthy vibes and creativity. I have always been a huge supporter of @jemcreative as a fellow small biz brand on instagram and I just adore all of her botanical and seasoned inspired prints.

Can you share some of your favourite images you have created and tell us why you love them?

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This was a room style I have recently completed for Oliver and a recent online magazine. I adore this photo because it incorporates all of the small businesses I love to support. I especially love its unique style, earthy vibes and fun nature.

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Since becoming recently pregnant I love to capture my growing bump and include these milestones with my love to flatlay. You will notice a lot of my favourite items with the inclusion of the cup of tea, @jemcreative print, stationary, vintage scissors and wicker.

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This is a recent image and Creatively Squared entry I have done. I love the moodiness, texture and inclusion of my favourite styling pieces. It was inspired by the rainy, cold day we were having and I was able to enjoy the warm fire inside with a hot cuppa.


Dannii is the guest host of our 'Seasons' themed photo challenge this week. Find out how you can participate here - Creative Challenge Entry Details

You can see more of Dannii's beautiful photos on her Instagram account @dannii_and_ollie and shop her homemade garments for little ones at @made_by_dannii

Meet the Creatives: Tarnya Harper

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Meet Tarnya!

I'm a wife and mum and grew up on a farm in country NSW. I am currently taking time off as an Interior Designer, to stay at home and be a mum. To keep my creative mind busy I love to style, flatlay and photograph. I started brand repping for children's wear products with my daughter Florence, and have just recently started a little business styling and selling vintage style products (@vintagestyleco) Another big passion is nature, which I love to photograph when we travel and explore

Tarnya Harper

Q&A with Tarnya

How would you describe your creative style?
I would say I have a very eclectic style but first and foremost I love Vintage and most of my styling will generally have a vintage twist to it. I love balance, and will always try to use the 'rule of thirds' in both my styled and nature photography

What kind of equipment do you use?
I use a Nikon D300 DSLR to photogragh, and mostly photoshop to edit. We live in a small home, so I am often found rearranging furniture to style a shot, or covering the bed in products to do flatlay

Happy home

As you are hosting this week's creative challenge, can you tell us why you love the theme 'happy home'?
I absolutely love Suki McMaster and her work for the exact reason that it screams 'Happy', and coming from an Interior design background, making a house a 'Home' is everything!

Can you share a couple of your favourite images you have created and why you love them?

 I created this stacklay for a creatively squared entry and love all the layers, textures and patterns. I've never loved this colour as much as now, since having a daughter

I created this stacklay for a creatively squared entry and love all the layers, textures and patterns. I've never loved this colour as much as now, since having a daughter

 This image was created for an online baby boutique shop, and I love the mix of pastel tones and textures. i used some of my favourite props, Proteas, cane, macrame, and vintage chair

This image was created for an online baby boutique shop, and I love the mix of pastel tones and textures. i used some of my favourite props, Proteas, cane, macrame, and vintage chair

 This is a picture of my daughter Florence, when she was roughly 1 1/2. It was taken at one of our favourite parks and I love the depth of field, the colours tones and of course the subject matter!

This is a picture of my daughter Florence, when she was roughly 1 1/2. It was taken at one of our favourite parks and I love the depth of field, the colours tones and of course the subject matter!


Tarnya is the guest host of our 'Happy Home' themed photo challenge this week. Find out how you can participate here - Creative Challenge Entry Details

You can see more of Tarnya's beautiful photos on her Instagram account @vintagestyleco and more of her gorgeous daughter Florence at @one.little.harper

Meet the Creatives: Melinda Lee

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Meet Melinda!

Based in Pekalongan, Indonesia, Melinda is a product stylist/photographer and mum to two boys. Melinda loves taking pictures (especially creating flatlays) on her free time. After joining Instagram a couple years ago she was inspired by the other accounts and started experimenting with photography as a hobby. After a branded spotted her on Instagram and asked her to create some images for them, Melinda has started offering her serivces as a product stylist and photographer. Melinda has enjoyed working with brands and building her portfolio and is thirlled to be working in an area she is so passionate about.  Check #melsproductphotos on Instagram to see some of her work.

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Q&A with Melinda

How would you describe your creative style?
I love styling props, and flatlays! I love colors on my photos! Although sometimes I'm in the mood for monochromes too. I'm not a fan of simple, minimal flatlays. I can tell that my style is 'messy but nice to look at' flatlays. My color palettes are white and pink.

What kind of equipment do you use?
I use Sony mirrorless A5000 camera. For editing the photos, I use apps like Snapseed and PS Express. If I want to use certain mood for my photos, I use VSCO.

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As you are hosting this week's creative challenge, can you tell us why you love the theme 'emojis'?
Many of my viewers said that I created fun colorful flatlays. And I can associate the emojis theme this week with fun and a lot of fun of playing around with creative ideas.

Can you share a couple of your favourite images you have created and why you love them?

 I love how bright and colorful the image is. This is the kind of image that make me happy.

I love how bright and colorful the image is. This is the kind of image that make me happy.

 I love playing around with stationery. I think it makes a great flatlay prop! And I love using pink backdrop (as you can see on my Instagram feeds). I love how lovely and pink the image is!

I love playing around with stationery. I think it makes a great flatlay prop! And I love using pink backdrop (as you can see on my Instagram feeds). I love how lovely and pink the image is!

 I love the morning vibes of the image. The brightness of the natural light make it even better. As you know, I like using a cup of coffee/tea on my images

I love the morning vibes of the image. The brightness of the natural light make it even better. As you know, I like using a cup of coffee/tea on my images


Melinda is the guest host of our 'Emojis' themed photo challenge this week. Find out how you can participate here - Creative Challenge Entry Details

You can see more of Mel's beautiful photos on her Instagram account @m3linda_lee

Meet the Creatives: Karen Baker

Meet Karen!

Karen is a graphic designer who loves to take photographs, create styled images and is slightly obsessed with homewares and mid century furniture. She draws inspiration from the 1960’s and 1970’s and loves to explore, travelling with her husband is one of her favourite things to do. They often take weekend getaways to the countryside or beach and are known to track down a winery wherever they go! Karen has two tonkinese cats, Coco and Lolli who keep her on her toes! Definitely a morning person, but still need that coffee first thing! Karen's favourite time of the day is at sunset.... with a wine! Oh and she's always looking to add another plant to her greenery collection!!

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Q&A with Karen

How would you describe your creative style?
I would describe my style as fun and colourful with a mix of flat lays and styled interior pics. I like capturing my hand in the frame (usually with a coffee or beverage of some kind!) and using bright colours, pink is one of my favourites! I try to reflect my personality in my Instagram account, keeping it positive and playful! I like to draw on my travels, using items I have picked up along the way.

What kind of equipment do you use?
I use a Fujifilm X-T1 with 18-55 lens. I also own a 35mm lens, which I love, but find that the 18-55 is more versatile. For flat lay shots I use my tripod with a lateral arm, this allows me to capture my hands in the frame and it also produces a sharper shot. I also have my trusty step, which allows me to get up higher! Sometimes hubby gives me a helping hand! I often use the bed or a square board with fabric as a back drop for my flat lays. I only use my phone when I’m out and about. And I rely on natural light, it’s a must!

Can you tell us why you love the theme 'Coastal Colours'?
I love being at the beach, gazing out at the ocean, the salty air and relaxed vibes. It’s something I always look forward to, and fondly look back on!

Can you share some of your favourite images you have created and tell us why you love them?

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I love tropical themed pics and the pink and green combo is a favourite of mine!

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What can I say, I love my coffee! Normally my husband makes my morning coffee, but this particular morning I was left to my own devices...and I nailed not only 1 good coffee but two! Plus I just liked how this last minute flat lay turned out!

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I'm always planning my next holiday and this pic takes me back to holiday mode!


Karen is the guest host of our 'Coastal Colours' themed photo challenge this week. Find out how you can participate here - Creative Challenge Entry Details

You can see more of Karen's beautiful photos on her Instagram account @karenbakercreative

Meet the Creatives: Caroline Pears

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Meet Caroline!

Caroline Pears is a passionate photographer, adventurer and content creator. When she is not chasing around after 4 children, a rabbit, a cat and a husband or teaching, Caroline can be found outside exploring with a camera in hand. Caroline loves being outdoors especially near the sea and spends as many holidays and weekends as she can camping in with her family in their beautiful bell tent. Carolines idea of a great night out is sitting by a campfire enjoying a drink watching the sunset. When at home she can be found with a cup of tea in hand, faffing and creating flat lays, reading a good book or scrolling on Instagram.

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Q&A with Caroline

How would you describe your creative style?
I would describe my style as minimalistic, seasonal and slow living. Blue is my favourite colour and creeps into most of my images I strive to create calm images as an escapism from the chaos of real life.

What kind of equipment do you use?
Until recently I have used my I phone 6s to take the majority of my flat lay photos. i like to use the square photo function on the phone so I don’t have to crop the image after. However this year I invested in an Olympus OM-D. Although I am still teaching myself how to use it properly it’s fantastic and I find the tilting screen invaluable. When it comes to other equipment I use an old garden fence panel as my back drop and depending on the weather I either take photos outside of in front of my big bay window. All very high tech!!!

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Can you tell us why you love the theme 'White and Wood'?
If you follow me on Instagram you will know I have a very minimalistic approach to my photos. I create simple images with natural materials.

Can you share some of your favourite images you have created and tell us why you love them?

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I don’t often share photos of my interior but last year I embarked on a minimalist journey and de cluttered my house. It was so refreshing to have space on my shelves to faff. It is also a good representation of what I like books, music and plants.

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Peonies are the most glorious flower and need no faffing they stand out on their own. Simplicity personified.

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I am quite a shy person and even though sometimes I have an idea in my head about being more creative with my shots out in public. I feel uncomfortable if I think people are watching. Although over time I have adjusted and I absolutely love this shot. It combines my love of flowers and my favourite place, the beach.


Caroline is the guest host of our 'Wood and White' themed photo challenge this week. Find out how you can participate here - Creative Challenge Entry Details

You can see more of Carolines's beautiful photos on her Instagram account @pears39

Design with an environmental edge: Meet the jewellery creator delivering sustainability and season-less style

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Meet Anna!

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Anna Anagno is the founder and designer behind the eco-friendly brand One Happy Leaf. Anna lives in Perth, Australia with her husband and our elderly kink-tailed cat, “Kinky” (who often features in her Instagram stories). Anna works from her home studio space, alongside her production assistant who helps make and pack the jewellery orders.

Anna dreams of relocating to a small farm one day but in the meantime enjoys maintaining a large veggie patch with about nine fruit trees jammed into her suburban backyard. In her spare time Anna studies Italian language and goes ice-skating every week at the local ice arena.

Q&A with Anna

How would you describe your own personal creative style?
My own personal style is clean, fresh, bright with earthy tones.

What inspired you to start your own line of jewellery, accessories and homewares?
I started the business as I was frustrated by the lack of jewellery products available that were eco-friendly, modern and had a season-less style. I started making the pieces originally for myself to wear, but it quickly grew into a business as demand increased. While I didn’t consider myself particularly creative about five or so years ago when the business started, I can’t imagine working in anything else that doesn’t allow me to express my creativity through forms of art (and at this stage of my life, my art form is jewellery design).

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In honour of this week’s theme, can you tell us why you love the classic combination of 'White and Wood'?
There is something very earthy and grounding about incorporating wood into bright white spaces. While I love lots of white spaces and minimalism, I feel sometimes we can get lost in the emptiness of the style and the spaces can feel a little sterile. Adding woods and natural tones back into white spaces gives warmth and a feeling of homeliness.  

We think it’s great that you create sustainable handmade products, what are three of your favourite products from your collection?
Oh, hard question! Each and every one of my designs has a memory or a story associated with it. However, my favourite designs would have to be:

  Bubble necklace  - my best-selling necklace and also a personal favourite of mine. I love wearing it with a plain black t-shirt to dress-up a casual outfit.

Bubble necklace - my best-selling necklace and also a personal favourite of mine. I love wearing it with a plain black t-shirt to dress-up a casual outfit.

  Love bird necklace  - a cute design that has also been a top seller.

Love bird necklace - a cute design that has also been a top seller.

  Empress stud earrings  - these earrings are part of the latest ‘Empire’ collection. They incorporate bamboo and repurposed white acrylic that was destined for landfill.

Empress stud earrings - these earrings are part of the latest ‘Empire’ collection. They incorporate bamboo and repurposed white acrylic that was destined for landfill.

Tell us about your honourable mission to plant one million trees by 2023?
It’s a big, audacious goal to want to plant one million trees. But you know as the saying goes, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars”. I started my business because I wanted to prove that sustainability and style should be the norm, not the exception. I think businesses in today’s era have a responsibility to be more than just revenue-driven, so it was important to me to ensure that any business I created also had a positive effect on the people and the environment. It is for this reason that I decided that a tree should be planted to each order. This is done through various global organisations responsible for environmental conservation or for creating food crops in communities living within poverty. At the moment we are planting through Trees For The Future who plant trees in developing countries to end hunger, poverty and forest destruction.

 Image for One Happy Leaf by  @laboutiquedemelimelo  

Image for One Happy Leaf by @laboutiquedemelimelo 

What will you be looking for when you judge this weeks challenge?
I am so excited to see what the community creates; I am always blown away by the talent and the creative photographs. I will be looking for photos that are bright with clean lines, yet have a natural earthy feel that is inviting and homely. I would love to see plenty of natural items that have been foraged from gardens, bushlands or the coast.


Anna is the sponsor of our 'White and Wood' themed photo challenge this week. Find out how you can participate here - Creative Challenge Entry Details

You can see more of Anna's beautiful creations on her Instagram account @onehappyleaf and shop the collection online at onehappyleaf.com

Meet the Creatives: Kim Palmer

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Meet Kim!

Australian Shellharbour based creative takes fun beautiful (and relatable) snapshots of her daily life and adventures with her adorable family. Kim has 2 babies, a 3 year old girl named Holly (who inspired her instagram handle @the_hollytree) and her 6 month-old dreamboat Aiden. Kim is engaged to their daddy and is planning to get married some time in the next couple years. Kim has always loved being creative, from fine art drawing when she was younger and to now with her love of creative photography.

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Q&A with Kim

How would you describe your creative style?
Natural and very in the moment. I generally go with the flow. I do love my pops of colour. I find bright colours, even in the clothes I wear always change my mood.

What kind of equipment do you use?
I use a Canon M10 and every now and then my iPhone 8 Plus although I’m still getting use to using it for my photos.

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Can you tell us why you love the theme "Snapshots" you are hosting this week?
What I love about this theme is how it inspires people to capture moments. Or look back and enjoy a moment that has been and gone sometimes reliving the moment brings back all those feel good memories. And who doesn’t want that warm fuzzy feeling a snapshot can bring.

Can you share 3 of your favourite images you have created and tell us and why you love them

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So I rarely do black and white images but when every now and then I capture a moment I want to freeze and I feel black and white portraits do this. This particular one is the first real eye contact my son made when he was only a few weeks old. So it brings back those warm and fuzzy feelings.

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This photo is actually an old entry into one of Creatively Squared challenges from maybe a year ago and it’s one of my favourite of me and Holly. It’s that perfectly imperfect balance of motherhood when your trying to find the zen but your toddler would rather do her own thing. 😂

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I’m not 100% why I love it. It just makes me laugh. But I do love how much depth this portrait has as well.


Kim is the guest host of our 'Snapshots' photo challenge this week. Find out how you can participate here - Creative Challenge Entry Details

You can see more of Kim's beautiful photos on her Instagram account @the_hollytree

Meet the Creatives: Amy Shamblen

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Meet Amy!

Amy is a designer and photographer based in Akron, Ohio. Amy specialises in bright and colorful content creation. When she's not photographing, you can find Amy playing with her spunky pups or eating lots of popcorn.

Q&A with Amy Shamblen

How would you describe your creative style?
Uplifting, bubbly, and colorful with a slight twist of surrealism.

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What kind of equipment do you use?
I always use my trusty ol' Canon EOS 550D, typically with my 50mm prime lens and two monolights.

Can you tell us what you think about this week's creative challenge theme 'Eye candy'?
I'm all about fun visuals! I always love experimenting with candy and colorful props and I feel the Eye Candy theme is such a perfect fit.

Can you share some of your favourite images you have created and why you love them?

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I just really love donuts and was excited to make a word with them, haha.

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The cups were originally just going to be pink, but I decided to play around and try something different—it was fun experimenting with all the color schemes.

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I always love photographing with my little co-worker, Tokaj! His facial expressions make my day and I love capturing them.


Amy is the guest host of our 'Eye Candy' photo challenge this week. Find out how you can participate here - Creative Challenge Entry Details

You can see more of Amy's beautiful photos on her Instagram account @amyshamblen

Meet the Creatives: Chantelle Marsh

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Q&A with Chantelle Marsh

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Originally born in Australia, I have spent most of my life in New Zealand and am proud to call it home (it helps that we don't have any deadly creatures over here!) I have a very supportive husband, aka my own personal cheerleader, and am a stay at home mum to two of the sweetest and loudest boys the world has ever known (not even exaggerating).

We are the proud owners of a small slice of New Zealand, but you won't see photos of it on Instagram because we did the whole "buy the worst house on the best street" thing. And while I don't think it's the worst house by a long shot, let's just say that the previous owners had their own unique style of decorating the interior (think wallpaper, lots of wallpaper, everywhere).

Before kids I managed our local music shop (cds/DVDs) and LOVED it. I hate maths (Art and English were my jam at school), but I love knitting and baking, both of which do sometimes involve a bit of maths! I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up, but trust that God has a plan for my life! I also use a lot of these !!!!!

How would you describe your creative style?
I'd describe my creative style as a bag of pick and mix lollies, it's a bit of everything, and while I might think of something I've created as a red lolly, someone else might see it as a banana lolly (eww). Not everything I do is going to be everybody's cup of tea, and that's ok beacause we're all unique right? And how boring would it be if we all did the same thing! I am mostly inspired by nature, and constantly think about what I could turn a few leaves into, but I also don't want to be confined to just one type of medium.

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What kind of equipment do you use?
A lot of foliage, and anything else that might tickle my fancy! Mostly things I can find in my garden, house, or collected on one of my walks around a local lake. Everything I arrange is done by hand, even the small fiddly bits, I find tweezers etc to be a bit of a nuisance. Now and then I will use my Canon 600D to take the shot, but most of the time my photos are taken with my trusty little iPhone 6s beacause it's much smaller, light weight, and easier to set up (as in - no set up!) Any editing is done on Snapseed.

Can you share a few of your favourite images you have created and tell us about them? 

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You can't tell from the photo, but the kakapo is probably the biggest piece that I've made out of foliage, and incredibly time consuming (close to three hours all up), and I just love him. My eldest son was going through a bird phase (and still loves them), so creating a bird out of leaves seemed a no brainer. Plus they're one of the cutest birds ever!

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I'm pretty sure I'm not the first person to have a wee crush in Raymond Reddington (not to be confused with having a thing for James Spader). This was the first time I'd tried to make an image of a person out of something other than sticks and florals and was a lot of fun to create!

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1This was the first time I had tried to create an image in the likeness of someone else (Banksy's "Life is Beautiful") and while there are flaws, I still love her!


Chantelle is the guest host of our 'Egg Hunt' photo challenge this week. Find out how you can participate here - Creative Challenge Entry Details

You can see more of Chantelle's beautiful photos on her Instagram account @minimarshmallows_mum