I thought it would be good to kickstart this year's interviews with a local talent. Shannon Lamden is a Melbourne indie textile designer, known as Aunty Cookie, who also produces homewares such as cushions and tea towels. All the while raising three children - the youngest was born only in November. Shannon downplays the combination of being a mother and continuing to create, but it's quite an achievement.
Which five words best describe you? Busy, crafty, slapdash, relaxed and hungry.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I have had a few jobs which have most certainly influenced the way I work today - although at the time I hated most of them! I have a Bachelor of Fine Art where I majored in drawing from Victorian College of the Arts. Straight after uni I started working in the advertising and marketing department for a big fat fabric company creating their junkmail. From there I worked for a nursery company creating kids bedding; it was there that I started creating patterns and really learning how to design commercially. I left there to have my oldest daughter and began freelancing. Doing pattern creation, corporate design, food packaging and book illustration. Since those days I've had more kids, moved away from freelancing and am now at the point where I can focus solely on my own business - AuntyCookie.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Stop trying to find a work/life balance, it doesn't exist… And keep all your contacts, be nice to everyone - especially the ones that irritate you!
What’s your proudest career achievement? Seeing my "Addition" cushion on the cover of a magazine. Even if it was small and, okay, maybe I was the only one who could spot it.
What’s been your best decision? To start a blog. Working from home can be quite isolating but having the blog has introduced me to so many ace people, projects and crafts. It kickstarted my business, it forces me to stay creative and connects me to my customers.
Who inspires you? My influences come from everywhere - I am inspired by so much stuff I see! Blogs, blogs and more blogs, walking about my neighborhood, flicking through kids books at the library, getting lost in people's photographs flickr.com, loitering in the newsagent. I am endlessly inspired by my real life by crafty mates, handmade wares, music and TV, stupid conversations - anything! I lean towards the graphic and typography so I'm attracted to signage and text based artwork. I'm not a "take a walk in nature and collect leaves" type of gal. on
What are you passionate about? Eating cake, laughing with mates, making dodgy crafty items for my kids, designing with a sense of humour.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? To design a full colour fabric range for a hipster fabric company - and for it to sell out in no time! But in my fantasy life it's to be Goal Attack on the Australian Netball team. Never, ever going to happen.
What are you reading? A pile of trashy mags from my sister. Sometimes the paper. Most of the time blogs and my daughter's school reader.
images courtesy of shannon lamden