Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Top 5: Best Dressed Celebrity Couples - Guest post by Style Pilot

Stylepilot is a leading mens fashion and style website catering for the fashion conscious males. They host one of the largest collections of mens clothing in the UK aggregating a number of the top UK retailers.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Happy Halloween From ArtSHINE!

"On the night of Halloween,
The little visitors just moved in.
They run up and down on the stairs.
Looking for treats playing their tricks.
The moon laughs and whispers
The evil little ones come but once a year”

Happy Halloween !
~Vinh Van Lam

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Finders Keepers Sydney Designer Market Spring /Summer 8-9 December 2012

Sydney Markets

and are to be held on the evening of Saturday 8th December and all day Sunday 9th December. The markets will be held at Sydney's contemporary art centre Carriageworks in Sydney’s Inner West. Please note our usual Friday evening/Saturday format has changed for this market!
The Finders Keepers Markets are a bi-annual FREE event that showcases the work of over 65 emerging designers and artists from both local designers to areas all around Australia. In addition to design & art we also showcase some local musicians at our Finders Keepers stage.

Where, When, How?

The next markets are:
Saturday 8th December from 6pm – 10pm
Sunday 9th December from 10am – 5pm
The markets will be held at:
The inside foyer at CarriageWorks - 245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh NSW 2015.
The pedestrian entrance is at the corner of Codrington Street and Wilson Street.
Wheelchair ramp and level access at all entrances. Fully accessible toilets.
Nearest train:
Redfern or Macdonaldtown and its only a short walk from King Street in Newtown.
The markets are free entry and parking is available however it is limited. There is no ATM at the markets and most stalls will trade cash only, please be prepared. For more info about where nearest ATM's are and full list of public transport please see CarriageWorks website - Visiting Us page.
We are expecting thousands of people to visit CarriageWorks over the weekend of The Finders Keepers.  In order to make your visit to The Finders Keepers as smooth and pleasant as possible, we encourage you to leave your car at home! It’s easy to get to CarriageWorks by train, bus or bike. We recommend that you take advantage of the easily accessible public transport and give our local residents (and the planet!) a break rather than clog up the neighbouring streets with cars. Parking on site is very limited. For more information about getting to The Finders Keepers - check the CarriageWorks website click here"

CarriageWorks Map
To be announced soon!

To be announced soon!
To be released soon!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

How to keep your passion shines every day!

As business owners sometimes we are really play games with our own head don't we? We often beat ourselves up when our creative business and money don’t show up the way we want it to be right?

We know it's quite hard to not take it personally. But we all still do it.

Here’s some of that head chatter:

"I’m doing so much, why aren't I getting clients?"

"Am I good enough?”

"Why are others thriving when it feels so hard for me?”

"What am I missing?"

Do any of these sound familiar?

We know how hard it is to be in that kind of head space, being down in the dumps and doubting yourself.

We know how sometimes you can feel very alone in your business, but here's the thing... You are not alone.

Every artist, designer, or business owner we've come a cross has thoughts like this,  and that includes us too.

One thing we often ignore when we’re stuck in a rut. We forget to acknowledge that we are bold enough to have both the vision and the huge courage to start the business of our dreams, So keep in mind that what your are encountering is a natural part of the process.

If you are experiencing this kind of feeling, what really can help you get through these situations is the support and guidance from some one who has walked the path and and come out the other side.

At ArtSHINE, we are committed to help your passion flourish. We help you to create systems that matches your Business LifeStyle. So you can Wake up every morning with Passion and Purpose.

We can help you find opportunities to boost your income by teaching the two vital keys to creating true and lasting success - the mindset AND the system. Having BOTH of these in place is the key to success, and what we have here will help YOU become the success story you want to be.

You’re a unique individual. Your Business LifeStyle is a part of who you are and how you run your Art & Design practice is different to your competitors.

So we work along side you to help you create, think, and to show you how to run an Art and Design business that resonates with YOU and your Passion.

Are you ready to take the next steps in creating the business lifestyle & design practice of your dreams? I

It’s as simple as 1... 2... 3...

2. Send an e-mail to this ArtSHINE :

3. Contact Vinh for a no cost, no obligation coaching 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Close Up Interview with Artist and Industrial Designer Christelle Hug

Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
I am an Industrial Designer by day and Artist by night. I have been designing office furniture for the past 8 years and have released many products in the commercial furniture market. I recently decided to pursue my dream of launching my career as an Artist, a side venture which allows me to freely express my creativity.

I am a self-taught artist and have been sketching since I could hold a pencil.

My style is unique and reflects my Industrial Design background with great attention to detail in my drawings; this is evident in one of my recent drawings ‘Window to Paris’ where I spent many hours adding the intricate details of the metal structures of the Eiffel Tower.

                       Brigit                         Window to Paris           Lartiste              Free as Hair

I specialise in drawing with pencil and like to apply a dash of colour to accentuate elements of the artwork and am currently working on creating prints of my original artworks that were exhibited at Art Expo Sydney which will soon be available for purchase.

Who (or what) inspires you to do what you love in your own creative business?
There are no rules in art for it is an expression of the soul, one of my favourite quotes which I find inspiring is “Art is when you hear a knocking from your soul…. and you answer” – Terri Guillemets. Industrial Design is focused on meeting a particular design brief and connecting with the end user whereas Art is about connecting with your soul and revealing a part of yourself with the world. I am inspired to show people that we all have a way to express ourselves and that art is an opportunity to show the way we see the world. I’m inspired by many artists and their individual style and hope to also inspire others to create their own art and unleash their creative potential.

Where do you get your inspiration from when you design/paint?
My art is inspired by the combined elements of fashion, architecture, nature and metaphysical concepts. I like to explore and combine different ideas and ways of thinking.

Most of all, I am inspired by people and like to portray personality and personal power in my artworks.
Music is what I use to process my inspiration and convert it into creative energy, I find that it stimulates my mind and blocks out any negative internal dialogue that may distract me from my work.

The funny thing is that most of my ideas for artworks come to me at the most unexpected moments where I will be doing something completely unrelated to art, this reinforces the concept of ‘let go and let flow’ so I do my best to clear my mind of mental clutter to allow the ideas to reveal itself when the time is right.

Art Expo Sydney  September 2012

What are the five words that people who know you would use to describe you?
Unique (but actually meaning to say ‘weird’)
Creative, Innovative, Hardworking & Down to Earth

Tell us about your very first job and what path have you taken since then?
My first job while I was studying at Uni was creating personalised 3D Crystal Portraits, I worked in a store at the QVB where I photographed people with a 3D camera and used a laser machine to etch the image into a block of crystal.

On the completion of my Industrial Design degree, I was offered the opportunity to design office furniture for a sheet-metal manufacturing company where I worked for 3 years and gained hands on experience in the design and manufacturing of sheet metal products. I then proceeded to work for a design consultancy which specialised in POP displays and worked on a variety of retail projects which also included the design of furniture for a retail fit out in the CBD. Today I am back in the Office Furniture industry and have designed a variety of products over the last 4 years.


Even though my creative energy is well occupied by my full time job, I recently decided that I want to pursue my dream of sharing my drawing abilities with the world after having kept it behind closed doors for so many years.

Describe a typical day in your studio space?
A typical day in my studio space involves continuous sketching while music is playing loud, with windows open for the circulation of fresh air, pencil shading all over my hands, finger prints all over my furniture and an odd break here and there. I find that time becomes very warped while I sketch, it’s almost as though I am brought to a meditative state where time stands still and I am able to achieve 3 hours of sketching in only 20 minutes.


As an artist/designer, what is your biggest frustration?
Limited thinking…. There is nothing more frustrating than being told that something ‘cannot be done’ I like to believe that anything is possible and like to give everything a try.
I am a firm believer of Napoleon Hill’s quote: “What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve”.

Tell us about how you prioritise your studio work.
I start by visualising the end result and determine in my mind what I would like to achieve. I then decide on the first step I need to take and ensure that the most vital component is completed first.
For example completing the artworks was the most important element for exhibiting at Sydney Art Expo so I put a date on the day which I wanted all my artworks to be completed, I then sketched out a layout of how I wanted to display my art and then proceeded by focusing on each artwork at a time without overloading my mind with all the ‘other tasks’ that had to be completed in time for the show. I focused on the present moment and enjoyed the feeling of creating my artworks and avoided worrying or stressing about the future, I find it important to never doubt my ability to complete something on time.

"Picture Jasper"

How do you connect with other artists, and your clients (i.e. how do you network)?
Being new to the art scene I found that Art Expo was a great opportunity for me to connect with other artists and meet potential clients. I also connect with artists and people who are a fan of my work via facebook and tumblr.

How do you manage to Design fulltime and working on your art business?
Drawing for me is a way to unwind and quieten my mind, it’s a time when I don’t think but instead follow my feelings so it doesn’t feel like work but rather a form of meditation in a sense.
Art is my passion; for me drawing generates creative energy which I then use to create more art!
So in a sense I find that we’re only ever  “too busy” to do something that we don’t really feel like doing, however when you find something that you love to do then time will start looking for you rather than you looking for it.

Sydney Art Expo September 2012

Tell us about your experience exhibiting at the Sydney Art Expo this year September
Exhibiting at the Sydney Art Expo was a wonderful experience, I am very happy to have been given the opportunity to participate in this great event. I was able to interact with a diverse range people who appreciate art and have met many wonderful artists who I would have never met otherwise.
On a personal note, it was a chance for me to see what people think of my art and it has helped me decide on the ‘next step’ of pursuing my art dream.

What advice can you offer other creative people who are just starting out and following their passions?
There are no set rules in getting what you want in life. Everyone has a unique journey to reach their goals so trust that when you do everything that ‘feels right’, it will eventually lead you to a positive outcome. Also, you have to believe in yourself before others can believe in you.

What dreams do you still want to achieve or fulfil in your life?
I would like to publish a motivational book, I have been thinking about a topic for a while and haven’t quite determined what it will be but I trust that it will reveal itself in due time. I would also like to include my art as the visual elements of this book.

What is your proudest moment so far?
My proudest moment was to exhibit my art to the public for the first time at Sydney Art Expo. My career path is quite unique to other artists as I am a self-taught artist, have an Industrial Design degree and have been designing furniture for the last 8 years, so to be able to stand there in front of an exhibition display of my artworks has been proof to me that we should never give up on our dreams even though life has seemed to have taken us in completely different direction.

"World Within"

Who do you most want to meet and why?
I would like to meet Karl Largerfeld because he is a fashion icon and I’m fascinated that at the age of 79 he is a fashion designer, artist and photographer all while being the head designer and creative director for the fashion house Chanel. He has achieved a lot in his life and I would love to hear about his life experiences and current endeavours.

What is the most important lesson in life that you have learned?
I have learnt that our thoughts have great power and that we are what we think therefore we have to be aware of the thoughts that we entertain. Just like this quote from the book ‘Eat Pray Love’ instructs: “You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select what clothes you’re gonna wear every day”. I’ve learnt that the only thing that can hold me back in life is negative internal dialogue which I always thought was there to keep me “safe” but has actually prevented me from stepping out of my comfort zone where all great things happen.

What book are you reading right now, and do you have a book you would like to recommend?
I am currently reading ‘Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite’ by Paul Arden, a book which challenges the conventional way of thinking and reveals how good things come from trying something new and different.
I would love to recommend the book ‘The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs’ by Carmine Gallo which gives the reader an insight to the revolutionary thinking strategies of Steve jobs which encourages people to “Think Different”. The book is based on Seven Principals of Innovation which can be applied to any field of endeavour. Definitely a good read because it inspires people to unlock their own creative potential.

Where do we find you and your product?
 My art can be found on my website:
Fans can follow the progress of my latest sketches on:
My inspirations and news updates can be found on:
Commissioning of art is available by negotiation and people can contact me on

Monday, October 22, 2012

Inspirational Quote of the week!

"Whether you believe you can do a thing or believe you can't, 
you are right."
                                                   ~ Henry Ford

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Finders Keeper Brisbane Spring/Summer 2012 Indie Design & Art Markets 3-4 November

Flyer artwork by Leah Bartholomew from Beneath The Sun

The Finders Keepers Markets are back again with our Spring/Summer Brisbane event! The Brisbane markets showcases over 65 stalls over 3 studios!
The Spring/Summer Markets will be held on the 3rd & 4th November. The markets will be held at the beautiful Old Museum next to the RNA showgrounds in Brisbane. The markets brings together new contemporary independent artists and designers. Every market event is unique and we always rotate our designers and introduce new ones, as well as featuring live music and with a garden bar & food stalls!

Where, When, How?

The next markets are:
Saturday 3rd November 10am - 4pm
Sunday 4th November 10am - 4pm
The markets will be held at:
The Old Museum
Cnr Bowen Bridge Road & Gregory Terrace,
Public transport:
Bowen Hills and Brunswick Street railway stations are less than a 10 minute walk from The Old Museum, and buses access the surrounding streets regularly. For further information on public transport, phone the Transinfo line on 13 12 30, or visit
There is no Parking available onsite and unfortunately the RNA showgrounds is unable to provide parking to Finders Keepers patrons this time.

The nearest ATM is a 10 minute walk at Fortitude Valley Station on Brunswick Street.
:: MUSIC ::
Stay tuned for announcement!
Stay tuned for announcement!
Is here!

Image & Source:

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tales My Mother Told Me Volume 2- Tale 1: Pulling Up the seedlings to help them grow

"Pulling up the seedlings to help them grow"

Welcome to the first tale in volume two of “Tales My Mother Told Me”.

This very first tale was a lesson for me to learn when I was a young boy. Now thinking back on the situation, all I can do is to laugh out loud. I remember how impatient I was back then (and I guess I am still little bit) *chuckle chuckle*

The situation took place at home when I was only 7 years old. I had a school project to do for my pottery class. The whole class was required to create an orange out of clay, and the student who created an object most like a real orange would receive the top mark and a prize. So I was very excited and rushed home to get a start on the project.

"What’s all the excitement my little one?" Mum asked
"I have to make an orange out of clay mum for this school project" I said with excitement.

I really enjoyed the process of playing with clay, and it took about 20 minutes to finish the fruit.

"Mum come and have a look at my orange. Do you think it looks real enough?" I asked.

"It does, it looks great. What colour are you going to paint it?" mum asked

"I love the Vietnamese Green Orange, it so green and so sweet" I said with a big smile.

My next step was to get the green paint ready. And, as I went off to find some paint, I said "Mum I’m going to paint it now."

"Now now my little one,  the clay is still wet. You’ll need to let it dry before you can paint it." Mum advised.

"Oh really? Do I have to wait? How long mum? " I asked impatiently.

"It could take a day or two.” Mum suggested. “Leave it out the balcony for it to get some sunlight. It will dry quicker; but try to avoid direct sunlight."

It was pretty clear to everyone that two days was going to be far  too long for me to wait. I needed to find a way to speed up the process. Then came an idea! I can dry it with my sister’s hair dryer.

So somehow I persuaded my sister to lend me her hair dryer and I started to dry the orange. After about half an hour the orange was dry to touch and I quickly started to paint it the green colour I had selected and was working to perfect the skin tone of the orange too.

I was so happy with the result that I quickly told Mum about it. "Guess what Mum, I came up with the idea to dry the orange, I got sister’s hair dryer and blew it for about 30 minutes so it was completely dry. And look! I've painted it too. Look Mum!"  I said with such a happy voice.

"My dear one, I hope it's dry enough, otherwise you'll be disappointed later. I know you are very keen to do this project but you are too impatient. You are as silly as the farmer who pulled up the seedlings to help them grow." Mum said with just a hint of disappointment.

"It will be fine mum look at it. It's beautiful. Just like a real one!" I said with a cheeky smile.

Mum shook her head and said simply..  "You are silly and impatient boy."

The very next morning I couldn’t help myself. I jumped out of bed and raced to check out my work of art. To my horror it was cracked and bubbled.

“All my hard work wasted mum" I sobbed.

All my sisters and brothers were giggling, and my eldest sister said " You really are as silly as the farmer who pulled up the seedlings to help them grow".

"What is that got to do with my orange?" I asked.

“Hasn't Mum told you the story yet? We’ve all learnt our lesson from it, and now it’s your turn to learn from it ha ha" my sister laughed.

"You are not helping. Go away" I said with a tear in my eye.

"Now now little one, don't be like this. Would you like to learn from the story about the silly farmer who tried to help his rice field by pulling the shoots up?"

"Okay Mum, tell me please" I said.

Mum settled down and started to tell the story...

Back in the olden times in China there was a silly farmer who was impatient by nature. He thought his rice shoots were growing too slowly so one day he decided to help them grow faster by pulling them up higher. After a full day of hard work he went home and bragged to his family; " Guess what, I’ve found a solution to help the rice shoots grow faster." After hearing this, his son quickly headed to the field to check out the rice field and to his horror all the rice shoots had withered.

“Now my little one, can you understand the story and how it relates to your situation with your clay orange?” my Mum asked.

"Oh, I guess so!” I rushed with my orange but I thought it was dry. And that’s why I started painting it."

"Yes,” Mum said, “it looked dry, but only the surface, inside the orange the clay was still wet. It needs to air dry completely otherwise it will crack.”

So what can we learn from this old story, and how can we apply it to our Art and Design practice?

This story refers to spoiling things because of being over-anxious for results. In business the same thing applies too.

Here are some tips to avoid the same situation in your business.

  • Cutting corners - Sometimes in business we want everything yesterday. This is particularly dangerous when you decide to cut corners to get the results you need. This often back-fires. It’s important for any business to start with solid foundation and gradually build the business at different stages. If you follow your business plan and set targets to achieve then you don't have to rush or be over-anxious.
  • Comprise quality for price  -  This is a tough one. We meet lots of business owners who tried to sell the same product for a cheaper price and lowering the quality of material and workmanship too. This will affect your branding. You could lose loyal customers as they will no longer trust your brand. If you build the brand of your business over time you don't have to compromise with prices or quality.

Pure Leverage

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