illo & vintage queen renee anne baker

This girl has her finger on the pulse. In a completely Gen Y way - or whichever number we're up to. Renee Baker is the illustrating, arty, photographing, vintage queen. She's involved in Renee Anne, Leeloo and now the Mad Men inspired Twin Set. Yet, despite the sassy pics from Twin Set above, she's completely sweet, lovely and down-to-earth. Renee Anne and I collaborated on a MEGA shoot recently - keep an eye out for it in the October issue of real living (you'll recognise it, instantly), and she was absolutely amazing.

Which five words best describe you? Fast-paced dyslexic suffering (from) creative ADHD.

What was your first career job and what path have you taken since? Straight out of high school I began study at CoFA (College of Fine Arts, in Paddington), studying a teaching degree as I thought teaching would allow me to be creative, and still earn a steady income. Around this time, I became a obsessed the "online creative community", leading me to realise where my real passion was. I started a blog, opened an etsy shop, and began screaming out to anyone that would listen that I was keen to illustrate for them. It was last year, when I began working more closely with Angela from, that more opportunities started to come up, and I realised I could make this happen. I am still very much on this "path", learning every day, and loving it.

What is the best lesson you have learnt along the way? These. Things. Take. Time.

What’s your proudest career achievement? Without doubt it would be the first exhibition I coordinated and co-curated with Angela last year titled Once Upon. To celebrate online store Leeloo's second birthday, we had a little party, where we invited 38 emerging and established artists from around Australia to create works representative of a fairytale assigned to them. Despite the many many late nights, hundreds of emails, and all hard work, the end result was truly magical. We had over 300 attend on the opening night! Absolutely worth every minute. Since then we have continued to ride the exhibition wave and are loving it. We are taking our second show DisBand (which was held in Sydney in May) to Melbourne, which opens on the 26th August at No Vacancy Gallery.

What has been your best decision? Would have to be all the times when I have thought to my self "naa... I think I will just stay at home tonight", but decided to bite the bullet, make the long trek into the city and attend that event, or that gallery opening, or that music gig. Almost every time an excellent "networking" opportunity presents itself and I think to myself, "lucky I came out tonight..."

Who inspires you? A lot of people inspire me, mostly people who are close to me in my life. My boyfriend and my mum inspire me everyday, with the things they say and do. And each for different reasons. For people more "known" it would have to be Angela (yes from Leeloo again) and Erin Flannery, super artist.

What are you passionate about? Art, love, food and life.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I get really nervous meeting people, so I can't really think! Maybe Kat McLeod because she is an amazing artist, and has a super awesome home. Or Matt Preston.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? To own my dream home. And to open a shop filled with beautiful {twin set} dresses and gorgeous Leeloo handmade goodies.

What are you reading? I love reading books, but due to my super short attention span, I always get anxious about starting one. So in all serious I am reading real living magazine, and Inside Out. I read them with my breakfast, it is a daily ritual.

images courtesy of renee anne and twinset

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