I recently saw the very sweet Mara Girling from PRINTSPACE at tradeshow Life in Style and was so impressed with how busy her and hubby Nick had obviously been ... so many new products and a fabulous stand to boot. This weekend we have them at Mag Square and we couldnt be happier ... such a lovely couple!
mag square Adelaide November 2010
Mara tell us your career history ...
We began Printspace in 2006, and at that time we were producing artwork on canvas. It wasn’t until 2008 that we began working on paper and started the Printspace you see now. Both Nick and I studied graphic design, and Nick also runs our graphic design business. I worked at a variety of smaller graphic design studios when I graduated and my last job pre children was working as a graphic designer in the marketing department of Country Road.
Printspace is you and your lovely husband Nicholas Girling. How do you make it work smoothly?
I think we are actually very lucky, our taste is very similar, and where it differs, it is usually complimentary. While we approach art differently we are heading towards the same place. Also when reviewing new works, we both need to approve the art for it to become part of our range.
Printspace has a lovely modern aesthetic. From where do you draw inspiration for the designs and the colour palette?
We are inspired by the design of the Modernist Era, not just the graphic design but also the textile and product design, Inspiration also comes from vintage posters and art movements such as Russian Constructivism and Cubism.
Describe the creative process (from concepts to finished design). How long does it take to complete one new illustration?
We sit down and have a brain storm and discuss what we want to achieve with a new range. Then Nick and I go away and come up with a selection of rough concepts, sketched in pencil. From there we talk about the ideas and work out what may work or not work.
From this point on we work differently, I work quite methodically on a few illustrations at once developing them as a group. Nick works more spontaneously on individual pieces by inventing and exploring textures and shapes. Once the drawing and refining has taken place on paper, we sometimes move on to the computer for the last little details and colour. This can go on for several months until we are both happy with the illustrations.
You have recently expanded your range, tell us about that?
We have a million ideas on the boil, and so many things we want to achieve, so its really exciting when one happens. We have created a small range of posters that are bursting with Printspace colour and characters, which will be available early September. Nick has produced a Modernist inspired set of Australian Animal Posters and Info based posters. I have created an Alphabet Poster (which we have had many a customer ask for) and a Jungle Animal Poster in 2 colour options. We wanted to create art on a bigger scale that was still affordable.
What piece is your best seller?With over 60 prints in the range, that is almost impossible to answer. It constantly changes but I would have to say that the print of the moment would be: “Lovely Day”.
Advice to a creative person wishing to start their own business ...
Research your idea. Start off small, and build and learn as you go. Ask lots of questions. Most importantly I would say, choose a career in something you LOVE and are passionate about. It is a lot of work and the hours can be long so it really does need to be something you are committed to. But that’s what makes it so rewarding.
Where do you see printspace in 3-5 years time?
This is a really hard question. If all goes to plan, bigger and better, with a lovely mix of products to compliment the illustrations.
Describe your personal style.
I naturally think of my ideal home. A love of all things Modernist and Scandinavian. Simplicity in design. Nothing too fussy or heavily detailed. One (very large) object I’d like to own is The Woodway Residence by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
Photos by architectural photographer Nic Lehoux.