What’s the room and who uses it?
The room is the home study and I’m the one currently using it as I’m running my business – Just Call Me Cat – from home. When we first moved in my husband was the one freelancing from home while I was employed as a graphic designer. We began styling the study more as a nice ‘man’s room’, with mid-century pieces and darker tones. Though my style would probably include a little more pink, I do love how it’s come together and I’m slowly adding more ‘feminine’ elements around me.
What do you do for a crust?
I’m a freelance illustrator and graphic designer. I’ve been running my own practice for almost two years after working in the design industry for more than ten. At the beginning of my career I did a lot of design work or interactive / on-screen experiences, which always included some kind of illustrative element. But now that I am flying solo, I am trying to put more focus on my illustration, whether it be digital or hand painted. I love to draw characters (mostly females) and I’ve been getting quite a few commissions where I’m turning real people into cartoon characters, it’s so much fun! In my teenage years I wanted to be a graphic novel illustrator, I then got side-tracked with the discovery of multimedia, but my dream to illustrate a story book still remains!
What goes on in the room?
It’s a pretty small room, so it’s mostly just me at the desk, facing the window with a view of the front yard and the beautiful camellia tree which is blocking out so much light! I have some nice art and design books on the shelves, and it’s where all my business-related things are kept organised… I listen to some music and concentrate on the day’s tasks, with my feet toasting on the heater vent! My cat Sam usually keeps me company on the desk. He plops himself under the desk lamp and I have to elbow him to reclaim a bit of space. He’s been known to mess with my work when he stretches his back legs and presses random keys on the keyboard! It’s the warmest room of the house for some reason, so most of the time I share the space with the clothes horse full of washing. No the prettiest thing but the drying is efficient and I’m saving on power!
Favourite piece in the room and why?
I don’t know if I have a favourite piece… I’m a bit of a collector, I love objects that tell a story, that remind me of a different time or place. When we began decorating the room, I called it the ‘European’ room: we put up posters from Spain, art from Mucha, an old map of Europe, a picture of my parents’ house in France where I grew up… most things are brought back from our own travels or our parents’ travels. Lately I’ve been enjoying sourcing some true Australian vintage pieces so I’m slowly marrying our two cultures in the space! There is one very cool piece which was given to my son Felix for his first birthday. It’s a piece by TJ Guzzardi, a famous Melbourne artist who specialises in hand-painted typography and pin striping. TJ painted an old saw with Felix’s name on it, it’s such a special and unique gift, it blends typography and old wares, so it’s pretty perfect in my eyes! Don’t worry, we’ve never let Felix play with it…yet!
Anything on your wish list that you would love to add to the space?
I really wish there was more wall space so that I could pin up more visual inspiration and a big yearly planner. I could always do more shelf space… There’s a little empty corner which calls for a nice shadow box I think. A nice hanging planter would be nice too. On top of the list though is to restore the leather on top of the desk, the current one is falling apart and I’m getting little splinter stings in my forearms form the exposed wood!
Describe the room in three words
• Mid-century cosy, with lots of curios to look at.
Why do you love this room?
I love this room because it’s where most of my creative work happens. I turn my back to the kitchen and anything that my reminds me of house chores, I face the garden and the trees… and it’s business time! It’s become my little ‘creative cave’ where I make things happen. I can’t really do that from any other room in the house because there’s usually too much random clutter for my liking. There is nice, natural light at the kitchen table so I sometimes paint from there.
What’s one lovely memory you have whilst being in the room?
This is a recent one. As I’ve been looking out to the garden while at my desk, I’ve been witnessing a blossoming romance between my cat and a little lady cat who is almost his twin. I can spy on them while they nap together under the bushes, or I watch them ‘talk’ to each other and do this cute touchy-thing with their paws…I’m very easily distracted by cats!
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