A lot of blood, sweat and tears always goes into a creative project. What were some of the challenges you faced when creating this book?
I’d say the largest challenge was in that I shot the entire book in three and a half weeks, and then edited all of the essays in the space of two weeks. We shot every day with 5am call times - I’m impressed with all of my team for tolerating my delirium throughout the entire process. Definitely not the way that people usually produce books!
What were some of the highlights of the creative process?
Many of the locations were tied to Australia’s unique natural landscape, which was so refreshing for me, coming back to Australia to shoot, in comparison to living in New York’s concrete grid. Locations like Joost Bakker’s family farm in Monbulk, just outside Melbourne, with it’s 100% waste free ingenuity and the fact that we had Joost himself showing us around and sharing his passion and knowledge – it all brought such an extra dimension and depth to that photo essay.
What can visual imagery achieve that the written word cannot? (And vice versa.)
Visual communication does not enforce the individual’s opinions on its readers, it allows some room for imagination and the provocation of thought. On the other side, prose is a clearer instigator for debate and conversation, and a greater call to action, should that be the purpose of the medium.
You’re a multi-hyphenate (consultant, photographer, writer, stylist, creative director etc.), so what would you like to be referred to as?
All of the above.
Would you consider yourself an influencer? Do you think “influencer” is a bad word?
Of course, labels attract particular cultural connotations that cannot necessarily be a blanket term to cover what a lot of young creatives today do - the wide range of skills that they have.
What are your thoughts on the whole “fashion bloggers and influencers are heralding the death of style” debacle?
I think the more accurate debacle is “people who get paid to wear brands that they have no opinions on, are heralding the death of style”, but that has always been the case. Style is an inherent, sartorial expression of how you interpret culture and music and social pressures, not a cash-for-comment game in clothes horse-ing.
What are your expectations of and plans for 2017?
Working on this book and attempting to stay objectively informed on recent world events has really made me realise how much information I had been forced to consume while I was studying, and how funnelled my view on the world has become simply by virtue of the calibre of human I interact with in my day to day, the specific publications and broadcast platforms I elect to absorb, and how that algorithmically plays into the abridged version of ‘reality' I therefore receive. As such, my 2017 will be very much about taking a step back and forcing myself to explore more diverse perspectives, immersing myself in unfamiliar cultures and returning to the fundamentals of the visual and performing art forms that have shaped my career thus far.
Our February 2017 issue has the theme of “chemistry”. What does the word “chemistry” mean to you and how important is it to have chemistry in your professional and personal pursuits?
More than chemistry, I think the key word is authenticity – things need to feel authentic and true to you, and true to whoever you’re working with. Chemistry follows on from authenticity.