TALENT: COREY MULLANEY

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Introduce yourself!
Hello! My name’s Corey and I’m a twenty year old photographer living in Manchester, UK.

What are some of your influences?
My influences are drawn from all different forms of creativity, particularly pop culture, but I love anything from Ben Zank’s minimalistic nudes to David LaChapelle’s chaotic high fashion. I connect so intimately with the devotion to art and the way that an individual will give their soul entirely to the purpose of photographic expression. I also spend a lot of time listening to music because for me, it can inspire some of the deepest feelings and realisations and that is what I aim to bring out and show about myself through the work that I produce.

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What are you working on right now?
This is probably the most daunting question of the bunch. I spent three years constructing BLOODSHOT and I had such a hard time bringing the production to an end. I got to a point when I was doing my best work and I just didn’t want to stop. I recently had to build an exhibition from the ground up, and I decided that this presented itself as the perfect opportunity to expose all of my hard work. It turns out that I couldn’t have timed it better and people were absolutely infatuated with the finished product.

I am already producing concepts for the following photobook; all I can divulge is that the work seems to be mainly based around my difficulties as a child. BLOODSHOT has given me the ability to reflect on things with a psychological eye, but my main wish is that the audience can find something within the narratives that they can relate to

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Tell us about “BLOODSHOT”.
I have struggled to comprehend the meaning and destiny of my imaginative persona for a long time, but I’ve always known that the photographs I create are deeply nostalgic sentiments. It is only now that I realise how these real memories and ideas are my therapeutic and artistic ways of dealing with some of the challenges in my life. I want the audience to gaze through my BLOODSHOT eye as I craft some of the most personal and heartfelt pieces that are sewn together through the themes of fashion and theatricality. Though my visual constructions are extreme, they are built upon the hyperbolic foundations of my difficulties as an adolescent, and I feel that, without this ability to artistically express myself, I could not exist. 

My self-portraiture however, is not created solely as a statement of deliberate expression; it also generates subconscious reflections which have led to an affiliation and familiarity with the nature of my personality. Fears are the reoccurring symbol in my conceptual work and I feel that they have quite delicately demonstrated a weakness in my creative reality. Some images in particular tackle the fear of an artistic lapse, a fear of the darkness, a fear of sexuality or sexualisation and a fear of both family and intimate relationships breaking down.

How do you feel about an emerging creative? Thoughts on how the online community and social media has changed to benefit us?
As far as I’m concerned Social Media will always have a place in my heart. It allows young artists to find and build an audience that is willing to learn about and understand them. However, it is also full of people that will hurt and critically analyse you, but it’s not always a bad thing. I started photo-making when I was just 16 and the oppression, misunderstanding and low expectations of others really pushed me to work harder and now I am at a point where I absolutely love sharing what I can do because I know that all of those people were wrong about me.

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Any advice?
Speaking as a self-portrait artist with not a lot of money, the only advice I can give to other emerging artists is that they must not be afraid to explore themselves in any way possible and to have faith in what they can achieve. I’ve always lived under the notion that photographic equipment is not essential to the creation of something beautiful. In fact almost half of BLOODSHOT was produced with a compact camera and the built-in flash. I had to strive for understanding and knowledge in the area of technology.

How do you spend your mornings?
I’m studying in my final year of university which means that most mornings are stolen from me, but I mostly enjoy spending my mornings in bed, who doesn’t? 

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Michelle Akin ( michelleakin ) is a life coach, singer and a YouTuber. She talks about how we spend a lot of our twenties refusing to take ownership of our own lives and how we need to be more mindful of what we consume and who we allow to matter.

It’s insightful and might be hard-hitting for some people, but definitely very honest. Give it a listen - it’s worth your time. Promise.

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TALENT: THE STEPTONES

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Introduce yourselves
We are a four-piece band coming out of Canberra, Australia. The band consists of Patrick Ryan (vocals/guitar), Tim Douglass (guitar/keys), Jono Warren (drums) and Jack Schwenke (bass). Stemming from a broad range of musical influences, we aim to capture and deliver what has been special about pop music since its origin: Relatable lyrics and catchy hooks that are able to evoke foot-tapping enjoyment. That, and something that people can just dance to. And we also throw in a few cool guitar solos.

How did you all come together to start making music?
Tim, Jono and I all lived in the same residential collegree at our university, ANU. After a few times playing in the college band for various events, we decided to have a bit of a jam. Turns out, it went rather well. After a number of gigs and swapping instruments (to compensate for the lack of a bassist), we met Jack, who studies with Tim and Jono at the music school. The rest is history.

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How would you describe your music?
We’ve been described by a college radio presenter in the US as “Well, imagine if you will, Jack Johnson accidentally walking into a Beatles’ session and they decided to write and record a few tunes ‘just for the fun of it’”, which is pretty cool. Those two artists definitely have an influence on us, but not so much so that we’re bound to the confines of that brand of music. Fundamentally, we’re a guitar-driven pop-rock band that doesn’t mind mixing things up to keep it interesting.

What are some of your influences/inspirations, musical or otherwise
There’s always the classics. And they are classics for a reason. Dylan, The Stones, the Beatles and Pink Floyd are all some of my favorites, who, along with many others, have shaped modern pop music. My personal all-time favorite is the Dire Straits. Tom Petty comes a close second. We write what we know, so all of these musicians, and countless others from a range of genres have helped to shape how and what I play.

Can you tell us about your experience working on your debut EP, ‘Someday Soon’?
If you asked me a year and a half ago how I’d be spending my summer of 2013/14, never could I have fathomed that I’d be recording an EP. The whole experience was scary, mildly tedious at times (doing the same take over and over again can get to you), an awesome learning experience, and most of all, so much fun. 

After writing a number of songs, we had planned to record a few tracks at a local studio in Canberra, then send them out for mixing. So, we shot off a couple of emails, to which we got back an email from Producer ‘Lindsay Gravina’, who not only was happy to mix our tracks, but wanted us to come into the studio to record with him. After months of pre-production, we managed to find the 5 that we were happy with to be released on an EP.

Once we got to the studios, we were exposed to a whole new world of music production that none of us had ever experienced before. Four weeks later, after many a late night listening over and over again to the same 5 tracks, we came out with an EP. It’s a completely different side to gigging and live performance that we’d only before experienced to a minor degree. For me, I love the live stuff, so this was definitely where all the hard yards go.

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What’s your first musical memory?
Me and my Dad driving in his car blasting ‘Breakdown’ by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, with us both singing along. That song rocks.

Favourite collaboration? (Either real or imaginary - is there someone you’d love to work with?)
I reckon Katy Perry and The Steptones would make a killer song, negotiations are still in progress… Aside from that, I think it’d be so much fun to work with Dave Grohl.

How do you spend your mornings?
Sleeping, if I can. Although I start work at 6am a couple of times a week, which really throws a spanner in the works. Apart from that, lots and lots coffee.

Would you rather live one 1,000 year life, or ten 100 year lives?
Ten 100 year lives, It’d be fun to mix things up a bit.

TALENT: KELLY CHO

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Introduce yourself!
Hiya, I’m Kelly. I’m a twenty-three year old designer living in London. I’m from Hong Kong.

What are some of your influences/inspires you on a daily basis? Explain your creative process.
Elements of history are always in my work. On a daily basis, I’m obsessed with history documentaries and will watch anything to do with it. When I go on holiday, I’m tempted to stay in my hotel sometimes just to watch the history channel. Lately, all my work are digital collages made with cut-outs from encyclopedia illustrations. Encyclopedia illustrations are so well-drawn and odd at the same time …like the illustrations of different races. It’s such an out-dated visual source but I’m really drawn to that aspect of it and also to the fact that it feels like a lot more care has been gone into documenting one thing, like for example, an egg. 

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What are you working on right now?
I’m working on a series on the theme of colonialism. I just finished the first piece, called The Landing. (Shown above)

How do you feel about being an emerging creative? Any thoughts on how the online community and social media has changed to benefit the creatives of our generation?
I’m not against it. I think the things I see online are pretty interesting these days. There is so much you can do nowadays. On one hand, there is an overkill of trends… there are more things that make you go, oh I’ve seen this and that before. But trends will always exist, and there are still so many things I come across online that blow my mind and challenge my thinking of design in new ways all the time. The online community pushes us to go further because there are just so much good work out there that are available for everyone to see and appreciate. 

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Any advice you could give to other emerging artists / advice you’d been given in the past that you’d like to share?
Someone once said these encouraging words to me, “Someone one day will find your work and things will take off from there”. My mantra, as cheesy as it is, is to keep doing what I love doing and not worry too much.

What would you like to get out of your twenties? What would you like to have achieved by the time you reach 30?
There isn’t any one thing that I’m aiming to achieve because I think there are too many possibilities …some that I have considered and probably some that I haven’t even foreseen. I think as long as I can find a balance of some kind with my creative work and the boring stuff like being able to make enough money to sustain myself or save for my future then I’ve done ok. 

How do you spend your mornings?
I’d rather skip breakfast than lose a minute of sleep, so I usually sleep till as late as I can… put on some instrumental music: the opening title score of Crimson Wings is my favorite haha. Then I shower and take forever to chose my outfit for the day and am usually late by the time I get to work… even though I live five mins away. 

You’re on death row. Giving you the benefit of the doubt, let’s say you’ve been wrongly convicted. You have to choose your last meal: what do you have?
A bowl of soup noodle …though chinese style scallops with vermicelli, soy sauce and garlic is also another fine option.

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TALENT: CARLEY CORNELISSEN


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TB: Introduce yourself!
C: My name is Carley Cornelissen and I am a 32 year old artist from the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia.

TB: What are some of your influences? What inspires you on a daily basis? Your creative process?
C: I love colour, I was always very conservative with my colour use in the past but in the last few years I have realised that bright colours inspire and motivate me, fluro pink and all shades of blue being my favourites. I also work in an art supplies store so I am lucky enough to be constantly surrounded by colour on a daily basis and am always on the look out for new colour combinations. 

My other passion is animals, especially the plight of endangered species, I wish to create colourful little safe worlds for these precious creatures in each of my works while hopefully drawing attention to their heartbreaking situations. 

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TB: What are you working on right now?

C: I have been lucky enough to be represented by Retrospect Galleries who have a gallery in Byron Bay here in Australia but also travel to Europe and Asia for international art fairs and the next ones are coming up later this year so I am working on some new pieces for that. Also I am about to begin a mural in the lounge room of our new house, 4 meters long, my largest piece ever! So we’ll see how that goes, I’m pretty excited! 

TB: How do you feel about being an emerging creative in this era? Thoughts on how social media has changed to benefit the creatives of our generation?
C: I LOVE Instagram! It is such an amazing platform for creatives to not only get their work out there but also to connect with other like minded people. I have been lucky enough to connect with such a wonderfully supportive group of incredibly talented people and they inspire me every day. I also find it is great to see the process of other artists, how they work and what inspires them. I love the way the artwork and the artist become so much more connected with social media. But the short answer is yes, I am addicted to instagram!  

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TB: Any advice for other emerging artists / advice you’d been given in the past that you’d like to share?
C: Probably the most important piece I could give is one that I had to learn myself. I spent many years after Uni unsuccessfully trying to find my own voice with my practice, now when I look back I realise I was trying to recreate styles that I admired in other artists. I would jump from one style to another and never be satisfied with the results. But I now realise that I was painting too much from my brain and not from my heart. The transition from that to what I do now wasn’t overnight but I realised that the more colour I used and the more freely I used it the more insipired I was and it just led on to another idea and so on from there. So I think the advice is paint from your heart and follow your passion in your practice and the rest can kind of fall into place from there.

TB:  Any plans to come to Hong Kong in the future? (We gotta ask. Drinks on us!) 
C: Hopefully! I’ve never been before but my art has! My husband and I are planning a trip around Europe on a motorbike next year so that will be first!

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TB: How do you spend your mornings?
C: If it is a work day I will either ride my bike to work, go to the gym or sleep in till the very last minute! I normally don’t do any painting before work, I leave that till after dinner. But if its a studio day I will drink coffee and binge watch tv shows while painting in the studio all day, that’s my favourite kind of day!

TB: You’re on death row. Giving you the benefit of the doubt, let’s say you’ve been wrongly convicted. You have to choose your last meal: what do you have?
C: Hmmm, I think it would have to be a platter with pesto pasta, vegetarian dumplings and potato gems, with ice cream for dessert!

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TALENT: THOR RIXON


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TB: Introduce yourself!
T: Hi, my name’s Thor Rixon and I am a music producer and film director from Cape Town, South Africa.

TB: How did you first get into producing music?
T: I wasn’t sure what direction I was going to take when I finished high school so I decided to go out and take a course in music production in June 2010. I loved it and have been practicing in my bedroom and friends studios almost every day since.

TB: How would you describe the music you make?
T: I would say it is organic and acoustic sounding electronic music. The tempos vary drastically between each track. I also try and put as much sadness/happiness into the music as well. ‘Melancholic tones’ is another way of putting it I suppose.

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TB: What are some of your influences/inspirations, musical or otherwise?
T: I am a huge fan of really honest and heart wrenching folk music. Bands like Beirut, Noah and the Whale, Cat Empire and Bonobo are some of my favourite artists and are listened to everyday. Aside from musical inspiration, people who push our understanding of what is good and really extended their creativity are what inspire me to do the things I do. I get really excited when I see something that I have never seen or heard before.

TB: Tea Time Favourites, your 2nd album, is a great mix: how did you come to work with the artists on the album? What was the driving force behind creating the album? How did you come up with its name?
T: When I write an album I just give myself a date and write as many songs and as much as possible leading up to about 3 months before that date where I choose my ‘favourites’ and massage/tweak those till they are sounding like something worth sharing. I am good friends with all of the collaborators on the album and when I wrote the songs initially, I felt that certain people would really suit the song and take it to where it’s meant to be. The name of the album came about in conversation with friends. I am constantly writing down album names or band names that just happen from conversations or from a funny thing that someone said. I cant remember exactly how it came about, I just remember sticking with that as a name for a long time.

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TB: You did a surreal, ‘weirdly wonderful’ photoshoot for the album - do you feel a strong connection between film and music? You’re also a director - do you find visuals to be as important with music as with film?
T: Music and Film compliment each other so well. If I could, I would have a video to accompany every single one of my songs. When you put a visual to a sound you are adding another view point and understanding to both mediums, you are giving the sound context and the visual feeling.

TB: What’s your first musical memory?
T: My parents played me a record of Burning Spear’s Black Wa Da Da (The Invasion) which wasn’t necessarily my 1st musical experience but was definitely the time in my life where I fell in love with music. The thick bass line in that track is something that has stuck with me and will continue to do so in to the future. It’s so badass and just pure groove.

TB: Favourite collaboration? (Either real or imaginary - is there someone you’d love to work with?)
T: The person I would really love to collaborate with would definitely be Zach Condon of Beirut and Spoek Mathambo.

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TB: What’s on your iPod? What are you listening to right now? What are some all-time favourites?
T: I’m currently listening to The Watermark High who is a super badass young producer from South Africa that is destined for some great things. It’s very chilled, downtempo electronic rumblings. https://soundcloud.com/thewatermarkhigh

TB: How do you spend your mornings?
T: I spend my mornings trying to; wake up for an hour or so (the snooze button is the devil), make some gourmet breakfast and gourmet tea, get dressed and head out to vibe the day ahead. 

TB: Would you rather live one 1,000 year life, or ten 100 year lives?
T: Oh wow, you’ve got me pondering life quite hard right now. hahaha, ummmm, I’d say 100 year lives because then you can experience all the vibyness of growing up in many different ways and experiencing many unknown ways of life I suppose.

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TB:
And finally: you’re on death row. (Giving you the benefit of the doubt, let’s say you’ve been wrongly convicted). You have to choose your last meal: what do you have?
T: An extra large thin-based pizza with mozzarella, banana, pineapple, mushrooms, avocado, fried onion, rocket, feta and balsamic reduction. Sorry, Im a huge fan of pizza.

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