Elliot Alexander is the founder and director of Endemic World. Endemic World is a gallery space, an online and offline retailer of local and international art, and provider of a variety of artistic services to help local artists do more and be more. With a passion for business, creativity and the arts at the core, Elliot’s extensive experience has served Endemic World as a very inspiring, ever-growing and multifaceted art business. Amongst many things we talk about how routine and discipline can foster creativity, balancing the creative aspects with the business aspects, the importance on learning how to sell and market in the artistic industry, and maintaining vision and resilience through business challenges.
Welcome to the Curiously Creative podcast. Each month we share conversations with all kinds of creative people, who share their journeys and unique perspectives around their own creativity. We hope these conversations help us understand our own creative process and have the courage to live more creative lives. Listen and download below or subscribe on iTunes. If you can, please do share these conversations and leave us a comment on iTunes. As it helps more people find creative joy and awareness through them.
Alastair Walker is one of the co-creators of Caretaker, a bespoke New York style cocktail bar inspired by the golden era of bar tending. He is a cocktail connoisseur with over 12 years of experience and learning with some of the best in the world. Inspired by hosting as his core value, Alastair’s passion and meticulous approach to cocktails draws on classics created in the 18th, 19th, and early 20th century, in order to create bespoke drinks and experiences. Amongst many things we talk about the importance of simplicity, the value of research and exploring what already exits, how pessimism can be useful when creating something new and the value of engagement and communication as a source for inspiration and decision making.
Olivia Bezett is one of the youngest and most widely recognised New Zealand Artists. A realist surrealism artist, she creates highly detailed drawings with a quirky twist of surrealism. Her whimsical animal portraits have made her wildly popular all around the world, with a commission waitlist spanning over 3 years. Amongst many things we talk about developing a full time art career, charging for your work, processing criticism, the values of experimentation, utilising social media and trusting your own process.
Sylvia Sykes is a swing dancer, instructor, judge, and choreographer. She is one of the most widely recognized and respected swing dance instructors in the world. A member of the National Swing Dance Hall of Fame, and co-founder of the International Lindy Hop Championships. Sylvia has been dancing since 1966, competing and teaching since the 70’s and has won many awards in that time. Having studied with many of the dance greats like Frankie Manning, Dean Collins and Maxie Dorf. Sylvia’s unparalleled expertise and passion for the dance has made her a celebrated international instructor and the most sought-after head judge for competitions. Amongst many things we chat about failure and the value of making new and improved mistakes, finding joy and fulfilment from the process, dealing with burn out and navigating through competitions in the arts arena.
Welby Ings is first and foremost a Storyteller. He is also an award-winning academic, educator, designer, filmmaker and playwright. He is an elected Fellow of the British Royal Society of Arts and a consultant to many international organizations on issues of creativity and learning. He is a professor in design at the Auckland University of Technology and in 2001 was awarded the Prime Minister's inaugural Supreme Award for Tertiary Teaching Excellence. He is also the author of his latest book, Disobedient Teaching, which talks about the ability to change educational practices that have been shaped by anxiety, ritual and convention. Amongst many things we talk about the value of storytelling, the difference between being creative and being artistic, the unglamourous side of creativity, the importance of questioning to grow creative awareness, good leadership, and the notion of success.
Flox. A.K.A. Hayley King is a multi-disciplined street artist and entrepreneur. From aerosol and stencil art to prints, publications, murals, graphic design, live painting, workshops, collaborations, charity work, solo exhibitions and so much more. Hayley’s vibrant work has made Flox become one of NZ’s most widely recognized, in demand and versatile art brands. Amongst many things we talk about transitioning from being a solo artist to a business and team, giving yourself the permission to re-inspire yourself, maintaining connection and love for your work, and the value of collaborating to expand yourself and achieve collective growth.
Peter Gilderdale is a multidisciplined researcher, senior lecturer at the Auckland University of Technology, a postcard historian and a professional calligrapher. His calligraphic work has been internationally recognized and he is one of just six southern hemisphere lettering artists to be listed as one 800 most significant contributors to the last 150 years of world letter arts. Amongst many things we talk about the notion of originality, its link to middle class identity, the value of doing and acknowledging good work, what having a style really means and how to harness curiosity.
Sal Valentine, also known as Ivan Luketina-Johnston, is most famous for being the lead singer, songwriter, composer, manager and musical director of his dynamic rhythm & blues band Sal Valentine and The Babyshakes. A band that is widely regarded as one of the finest acts in the country and have just released their newest single, with their EP 'Church' coming out in June. Amongst many things we talk about his creative process, writing from personal experiences, the creative mindset vs the industrious mindset and how inspiration is a decision.
FYI. Please note that this episode contains explicit language if you have little ones around.
Alfdaniels Mabingo is a traditional performer, dancer, percussionist, writer, choreographer, educator and researcher of artistic practices from East Africa. Mabingo has taught dance and given lectures in communities and academic settings in different countries in Africa, as well as in the U.S., Australia, Germany, The Islands of the Bahamas, and New Zealand. And is currently pursuing a PhD in Dance Studies at the University of Auckland. Amongst many things we talk about African ideologies and philosophy on creativity, the power of art, the importance of nurturing experiences, what it means to think vs do and how to foster a reflective learning experience.
Natasya Yusoff is a multi-passionate entrepreneur who's creative spirit has led her to multiple ventures as an accomplished actor, professional children entertainer, dance instructor and owner of a swing dance school. Today she finds home and joy as the motivational yogi through running The Yoga Pantry. Amongst many things we talk about how to find focus and navigate through multiple passions, how we can use comparison to our advantage and the importance of white space for productivity, rest and inspiration.
Ramona is a dancer in every sense of the word. She is a professional dancer from New York who’s teaching experience spans 2 decades alongside legends like Frankie Manning. She is one of the highest profile Lindy Hop and Authentic Jazz dance teachers in the world. Not to mention her additional professional training in Ballet, Contemporary, Tap and West African dance. Including professional studies at the very prestigious Jose Limon Institute in New York. Amongst many things we discuss what it means to have a unique artistic personality, processing fear and failure and what we can learn from Jazz and Lindy Hop developing in an adverse environment.
Sir Ray Avery is a Pharmaceutical scientist, inventor and social entrepreneur. He is famous for designing state of the art intraocular lenses for the Fred Hollows Foundation, making modern cataract surgery accessible to the worlds poorest. His commitment to changing world health has earned him many prestigious awards. He is founder and CEO of Medicine Mondiale, an organisation that makes quality healthcare and equipment accessible to the poorest developing nations. He is also the author of ‘Rebel with a Cause’, an autobiography that charts his life from childhood in english orphanages and foster homes to knighthood Amongst many things, we discuss his own journey, the power of knowledge, the freedom of planning, how genius is in everyone and how dreams create magic!
Vasanti Unka is a writer, illustrator and designer. She has worked in the book and magazine industry in New Zealand for many years and has illustrated numerous picture books over that time. More recently, writing and illustrating The Boring Book, which won the New Zealand Post Margaret Mahy Book of the Year award as well as the Best Picture Book Award. Unka’s latest children’s book, Stripes! No, Spots! was also a finalist at the 2016 BK Design Awards. Amongst many things we discuss her creative journey, process, how to navigate creative road blocks and the power of creating from emotion.