AE: Evie, for those that don’t know you, can you introduce yourself?
EK: I’m an artist and designer, I trained in illustration at university in Auckland, where I live, but interior design has always been in my blood. My interior styling career really started way back when Instagram first debuted and I would share photos of my home and style spaces to display and promote the art prints I was trying to sell. It snowballed from there and I have since made it part of my career. Over the last few years I’ve had alternating chapters of what my main work is (art or styling), but these days I’ve woven them together quite nicely. I see a room as a different kind of canvas.
In your opinion, what does art do or add to a home?
Art is everything when it comes to creating a home. It works so hard in telling the story of the home, eliciting emotion, setting a tone and energy, not to mention just the aesthetics or cohesion it can bring to an interior scheme. I’m not a snob when it comes to what is considered art and think there is space for all art forms in any home. Again, I always want to urge you to trust your heart and choose art for how it makes you feel, not for how you think it might match with a cushion.
What is your design ethos?
My design ethos is most definitely if you love it, you’ll make it work. Passion is the most important element of design. Great design never comes from trying to please everyone or conform to an idea of taste, it comes from expressing yourself and sharing that through design. An interior that inspires joy and curiosity is one everyone can admire and take something from. For me, colour is always the hero of my designs, it’s what inspires me and elicits emotion. I’m excited by how we all experience colour differently, some of us just slightly, some of us vastly, and playing with colour combinations to create a mood, that’s always my starting point.
For this project you have teamed up with Mikaela Stafford, a digital artist. Talk us through how you worked with Mikaela on this project.
This was my first time working with a digital render of my work instead of in-person styling. I found it incredibly fun, but I had to put limits on myself to actually finish the designs because the possibilities of styling in a model are so much more extensive than being restricted to the space and items you can get your hands on. I was so excited to work with a talent like Mikaela, it’s a whole new world.
I designed the spaces and selected objects, colour and texture, as well as selecting reference images with light and architectural elements I thought would work well, but I also really wanted to see how Mikaela interpreted the spaces and for her to bring her own flair to the project. It’s incredibly important to picture art in an environment, firstly for an idea of scale which can often be drastically different to what we perhaps thought, but also to be inspired by the possibility of a piece of art – to see how it comes alive in a room and how it can elevate everything around us. This process allowed us to really experiment and have fun.
What is your personal taste when it comes to art?
I have a super eclectic art taste, though if I had to define it I’d say it’s almost always figurative rather than abstract, but it ranges from contemporary photography to classical portraits. My love of interiors ties in strongly with my art tastes, interior scenes and still lifes in stylised colour palettes will always catch me – a piece by Andy Dixon would be top of my list.
Do you have an art or design collection at home?
I have a lot of art in my home though I’m very much at the beginning of my art collecting (I hope!). I have a lot of my own pieces displayed at home – largely out of convenience and economy – but some of my favourite pieces would be a photographic work by Jenny o Jens and a small still life by Chelsea Gustafsson.
Do you have any exciting projects coming up you wish to tell us about?
I’m about to launch my own seasonal art curations that incorporate my interior styling with my art. It’s something I’m really excited about and has been a long time coming. It addresses exactly what art is, and how it sits within our home (there’s a theme here!). I’ve also launched a digital book called Much which is a guide to creating a personality-filled home.