A little while ago I was interviewing a homeowner in Adelaide for real living magazine and spotted a print on her child's bedroom wall. It was the work of Naomi Murrell, who perhaps is even better known for her jewellery, although you can buy her illustrations here. The first collection was launched mid 2009, and has featured in Australian and overseas publications, including Inside Out and Frankie.
Which five words best describe you? Understated, honest, artistic, intuitive, disciplined.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I studied graphics and illustration at university in Adelaide, and after six years of rewarding product and textile design work, I unexpectedly took a sideways turn into jewellery design. I was experimenting with screen printing artworks for exhibitions at the time, and I happened to make a few pieces of jewellery for a fashion-themed art show. The incredible demand for those designs made me realise the themes of love, hope and happiness, which I was exploring in my illustrative work, translated perfectly into the medium of jewellery. I've been creating keepsakes for fun lovers ever since!
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Anything worth having doesn't come easy. I've found that creating something with lasting appeal only works if you take your time. The best ideas take a while to steep, like a good brew. Also - make your own opportunities. Fortune favours the brave!
What’s your proudest career achievement? It's pretty exciting stocking our wares with the likes of the Art Gallery of NSW, the Obus fashion stores in Melbourne and the Sessun label in France. I get the biggest thrill out of making work that really resonates with people. Whenever I see someone out and about wearing a piece of NM, that sense of connection totally makes my day.
What’s been your best decision? Convincing myself that it was worth pursuing my affinity for jewellery design. Closely followed by finding a brilliant, ethical supplier in Indonesia, with whom we work very closely.
Who inspires you? People who know who they are and aren't afraid to be themselves. Folks who throw themselves into things wholeheartedly. Good conversation and design appreciation skills go a long way with me.
What are you passionate about? Finding new ways of seeing. Unexpected flashes of colour! Amongst other things, I spend my days reading, drawing and looking for beauty in the world. I love nostalgic movies, history, and feasting on amazing food with friends, and my man, Dave. I also have a penchant for birds and bicycles. I truly value a good pot of ginger tea and some folk music appreciation on a daily basis!
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Sofia Coppola. I really admire her ability to present a female viewpoint in a way that is as powerful and seductive as it is disarmingly gentle. She has such a thoughtful way of weaving stories into beautiful, memorable images, which is similar to what I aspire to in my own work.
What dream do you still want to fulfill? I'd love to see my label develop into a significant voice in Australian design, with an ethos and product lines tailored especially for the lifestyle here. I also hope I'll be able to find time to travel more to foreign shores. I'd like to practice the French I spent so many years learning! I'd also love to write and illustrate a book one day. It would be great if I could to learn how to knit fair isle patterns, and play the ukulele. Not at the same time. Obviously!
What are you reading? Just kids by Patti Smith
images courtesy of naomi murrell