After a few major dramas earlier this week I’m more than thrilled that my blog is still here and intact. Apologies if you came by and were met with a big empty space… it’s all good now, and I’m ready to share some lovely things with you. This week’s Space to Create post is a goodie as we’ve been invited into the creative world of Kristina Sostarko and Jason Odd of Inaluxe. You might already be familiar with Inaluxe’s gorgeous prints with their well considered colour palettes and mid-century-style shapes.
Kristina and Jason work from their home in the beautiful Grampions in Victoria here in Australia. They are artists and collectors, and have both written very descriptively about their natural environment, and have a wonderful dream to share. I think you’re going to enjoy this.
Meet Kristina and Jason…
Where do you live?
Jason: Right now I’m typing and looking out the window as the small mountain range in the distance is being slowly swallowed by misty rain and low-level cloud, effectively moving from a dark shape to an almost indistinguishable grey. The mountains are the sky. This place is Stawell, not far from the Grampians National Park. That Park includes mountain ranges with a valley snaking through it. Even though we are many miles from the ocean and surrounded by mostly flat farmland in every other direction, we have these mountains. I was raised here, and after returning after almost 20 years, I’m amazed daily by this scenic view that I took for granted in my youth.
Kristina: Our home is a small 1940’s weatherboard, which was originally built on a bush property about 30 minutes from here. It was transported by truck in the late 1970’s and since then has seen quite a few changes. The previous owner inherited some money, and in the 1980’s covered the weatherboard with brick, and also covered the beautiful corrugated iron roof with fake tin tiles. Unfortunately all of this work is not structurally sound, so we are now in the process of having it restored back to the original, which is incredibly exciting for us both.
We share our home with our 6 year old Chihuahua x, Kibi, and a multitude of Honey Eaters, Crimson Rosellas, Wattle Birds, Rainbow Lorikeets, Sparrows, and Silver Eyes. Our backyard is large. It’s bushy, wild, and dry out here, with numerous native trees, and animals to keep things interesting. We love it, and enjoy working on our garden which was originally nothing but grass, some dead trees, and a few treasures, like our large Lemon Scented Gum.
Where do you create?
Jason: Having a home studio is for me, as good as it gets. Sure there’s a practical side of having to live where your business is nestled, but with the two of us and a little dog by our side, it feels quite magical at times.
Kristina: Our studio is also our home. Our dining table is where we paint, and draw, and it’s also where we pack orders. Living in a small house is cute, but does have its disadvantages. Although, limited space does force us to be super organized, and that’s not such a bad thing. One day we hope to have a proper studio, with lots of room for all our paints, and paper, and art supplies!
When do you create? Is it a full time job?
Kristina: Since 2010 Inaluxe has been a full time job for us both. Our days are long, and we work seven days a week, although we squeeze time in for leisure, and we also take a month of during the summer Christmas holidays.
Jason: As a thought process, how can you not create all the time?
Whether as a process of elimination, or just observing the everyday, I think the creative process just keeps ticking over. Obviously it’s not the same as taking pen or brush to paper, but I find there’s a fairly steady thought process in regards to filtering concepts and ideas all through the waking hours.
What path led you to this creative place?
Jason: Personally I have always been drawn to the creative side, I was always known as the “kid who could draw” but I often thought I’d grow up to be one of the finest science fiction writers around. Overall, the visual arts have always been my creative outlet of choice, whereas my writing tends to be of a historical nature, which is an interesting way to approach things, but not quite the same personal journey as creating new artwork.
To be totally honest, I was quite torn between my interests until Kristina started Inaluxe and it allowed me the opportunity to truly become an artist again.
Kristina: Jason and I both have a formal art background, and we always wanted to pursue art as a living, although it took almost 20 years before we finally got the courage up to try, but once we did, we never looked back.
What’s your elevator pitch? How do you describe what you do?
Jason: Mother nature, birds, bees, fishes and the sea – we are your gunslinger.
Kristina: I really struggle with talking about what we do. I’m almost apologetic about it!
How would you describe yourself in six words?
Jason: Most definitely not an evil robot.
Kristina: Introverted, perfectionist, shy, idealistic, driven, and optimistic.
Where do you find inspiration and motivation?
Jason: At the risk of sounding clichéd, there is the chance of inspiration everywhere. For me, if you want to really get something out of the everyday, get closer. So close, that you are almost looking at a blur. Some people say that god is in the details, personally I think there is a sense of creation, its’ just more open to interpretation than many might think. For example; cracked and peeling paint, stones, gravel patterns, decaying plaster or wind-ravaged billboard posters and tree-bark have an incredible beauty. Up closer, it becomes even more apparent, well at least to me it does.
Kristina: It’s hard to say, I think I’ve always been wired in a visual way. I remember being 8 or so, and all my friends would play outside together, but I preferred to spend time with my paper, brushes, and coloured pencils. I still can’t describe what motivates this, or my view of the world, but it is all connected, and creating art is what makes me happiest, and most fulfilled.
What are the essential items in your workspace?
Jason: I’d have to say reference books, even if it allows one the chance to completely ignore what they suggest is the reality worth exploring. Rejecting something is not a vacuum it needs to be explored and then if need be, rejected. Of course then there’s the times when you need to look at a bird’s feet just to recall how many toes they have. Yep, can’t say enough about the importance of reference material.
Kristina: Paint brushes, paints, birch panels, paper, and pencils. And yes, reference material!
What advice do you have for aspiring creatives?
Jason: Later can be too late, better to make it happen now, in other words you have to get out there and do it, just keep on pushing.
Kristina: Do what you love, and work on your own unique style. The work I find the most amazing is always the work that stands apart from others.
Do you have a dream that you’d love to fulfill?
Jason: I have been thinking of an Inaluxe sculpture park, our abstract works made large and in an open natural setting. It seems sufficiently egotistical to imagine our works on a very large scale.
Kristina: Yes, Jason and I dream about doing a Sculpture Garden, as well as work that has a more social voice, like designing for Amnesty International, or Greenpeace (to name just a few), and of course, we are slowly working on a home wares range. But it’s now three years in the making, and we have not had enough time to see it through. We’ll get there.
So what do you think… an Inaluxe sculpture garden… just imagine how amazing that would be! I’ve really enjoyed this peek into Kristina and Jason’s creative space and life – thanks guys. If you’d like to buy a beautiful Inaluxe print (they ship worldwide) check out their shop:
Connect with Kristina and Jason on their Facebook page
Or visit the Inaluxe blog
You can catch up on previous interviews in my Space to Create series if you’ve missed them.