crafter tamara maynes

I've been a fan of Tamara Maynes's work for a long time. I just didn't know it. It's amazing how some people are quiet achievers. They have a constant output yet are varied enough in their projects that you don't think, "Oh, there's another work by them." In the case of Tamara, it's perhaps because she creates so many bespoke pieces - so she's melding her art form to the desires of others. Either way, it's all brilliant. As well as producing products for Orson & Blake, editorial pieces for Inside Out, and fabric for Mokum, Tamara was one of the founders of The Pop Up Shop. If that's not enough, she has The Six Week Boutique. Enjoy the interview.

Which five words best describe you? Creative, meticulous, determined, loyal, grounded.

What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? My first job was as a sign writer for a record store. It was very 1980s High Fidelity, working in a cloud of cigarette smoke discussing the latest records as they played loudly overhead. As a teenager, painting all day in this environment was bliss and secured my determination to continue to be paid for being creative. From there it has been a smooth, unfettered 20-year journey into my current role doing product development for Orson & Blake, and running my studio Bespoke Workshop where I make specialised props for stylists and showrooms and craft limited edition pieces for my online store The Six Week Boutique.

What’s your proudest career achievement? Being invited to develop products for Orson & Blake was a great achievement. They have always been one of my favourite retailers and I am proud to have been working with them for the past six years. Having any of my work acknowledged in magazines or online also makes me feel quite proud of what I have achieved!

What’s been your best decision? Originally a country girl, moving to Sydney at 18 followed by some serious traveling at 21 were my best decisions. Growing up in the country I felt out of place, the world was calling... I could feel it in my bones. Deciding to spread my wings shaped me enormously.

Who inspires you? Creatively there are so many, but on a daily basis my husband wins hands down! A somewhat soppy answer I know, but as a talented musician in a competitive field I find his commitment to what he loves continually inspirational. His most recent challenge with MS leaving me even more inspired by his resilience.

What are you passionate about? At the moment I am crazy about the book proposal I am currently developing!

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? Albeit a lovely quality, patience isn't always a virtue! Working for myself I have learnt that it pays to come forward and ask for what I need. It is healthy and character building... and still a work in progress!

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Living - my musical heroine PJ Harvey, a woman who is outrageously true to her creativity. Dead - my paternal grandmother Edith who left us way too early at the young age of 54.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? In 2010 I want to expand on my work as a craft designer, but the first dream to fulfill is to find the perfect publisher for my book!

What are you reading? OK you caught me, I am a Twilight addict... embarrassing but true! Breaking Dawn is keeping me up until well after midnight every night! Oh the shame...

images courtesy of tamara maynes