Julia Atkinson is a Wonder Woman.
Having launched into 'blog life' over 7 years ago with her daily design site Studio Home, Julia is something of a pioneer in the lifestyle blogging arena.
Julia, who shares the same spirit of independence and totally open minded approach to design that we do, has had a hand in introducing many great talents to her international audience.
We were absolutely thrilled when Julia approached us with the idea to work together, not only because we really admired the previous TEAM.WORK productions Studio Home has created, but also because we could see Julia shared the same ‘no rules is the rules’ attitude that drives our own business.
The results were a limited edition two-piece capsule collection and lookbook shoot that Julia Art Directed and executed along with illustrator Sally Shand from Rag Doll Illustrations. Shot in and around the NZ seaside suburbs of Redcliffs and Sumner, Sally featured as the adventuring model and in post production, illustrated over 8 images to express the wandering, fun and functional aspect of the shoes.
We took time out with Julia to hear more about her work and inspiration in between reviewing the images from our very first colab project.
Tell us a little about your work, what do you do? Why do you do it?
Primarily I run and curate a daily design site called Studio Home. It's focussed entirely on creative talent/people/brands and businesses from New Zealand and Australia. This involves daily posting to our site, sharing on our social media channels, meeting/liasing/networking with the industry on both sides of the Tasman and just getting well and truly stoked and inspired on the cleverness of others! I also travel to interview and photograph many of these people one on one, sharing their story from school days to now with all those weird life lessons and twists and turns between!
The site initially came about 7 years ago when I discovered design blogging and thought it would be a cool, creative way to promote my small interior design consultancy by sharing my own finds in a public format. Since then Studio Home has steadily grown to be my sole focus, mostly due to the fact that I LOVE the fluidity and freedom of the internet and the ability it offers in being able to experiment and shape my own business. Its exciting, rewarding and a tad scary at times!
After having my fingers burned a few times when contracting myself out to work for others, two years ago I decided that I wouldn't work on anything that wasn't directly related to growing Studio Home. This forced some sleepless nights and the resulting crazy 4 am ideas to reveal themselves! I really wanted to work on creating products with brands I respected and with my great readers in mind....so instead of waiting for someone to approach me I decided I could just start my own programme. Thus TEAM.WORK was born and to date I've worked with 4 terrific Trans Tasman brands with another 4 simmering in development. This has been an educational and awesome process in getting deeper in the the industry I love AND putting the shoe on the other foot to be someone attempting to promote a product instead of always being the promoter!
As a side effect of this deep immersion (stalking!) online I also provide training with businesses on how to wrangle and use online media to the best effect! I'm a constant reader, researcher and information gatherer on the subject as I love how fast moving it all is while the internet continues to explode in potential!
Tell us about your creative process. Do you have any work rituals or habits you follow?
I used to try REALLY hard to follow some kind of structure thinking that must be what productive self employed people did! However my weeks are so varied and I found that I was beating myself up about not sticking to "the plan" - so now I just have a list that I work through, constantly re-prioritising and shifting tasks around. Somehow it works!
A few things I have discovered and stick too, is that early afternoons are a great time for me to get out for some exercise when my brain starts to peeter out. I also always try to keep Mondays clear of any meetings so I can spend the whole day at home plugged in.
Describe your work environment. Do you work from a studio, office, café or at home? How does the space influence you?
Mostly I am based in my apartment in central Auckland, my desk parked somewhere between my kitchen and living area! However, due to the brilliant flexiblity that working online gives me I try to take advantage of this as much as I can. This month I have worked from Auckland, friends places in Wanaka, my parents in North Canterbury and my sisters in Christchurch.
90% of the time all I need is a healthy internet connection, laptop, camera, harddrive and the rest of the communication can happen via email!
What is one thing in your life you are proud of?
Going with my gut and giving it a go to create a business that really has no precedence - taking some healthy/unhealthy gambles!
What does being ‘radical’ mean to you?
"Maybe life isn't about avoiding the bruises, maybe its about collecting the scars to prove we showed up for it".. I couldn't find the source for this quote but its the "radical" stance I am working with at the mo!