IN THE STUDIO
We sat down with the wonderful crew at Stevie May and chatted about what its really like to work and live together creatively. Our girl Oli took some snaps of us at work in the Honest studio wearing their Leyla dress (Amanda not Kristian!). Read the interview below.
You both have such diverse and interesting creative backgrounds. Can you explain the spark which ignited The Honest Jones?
A: Well thank you! I’ve always known I had to work creatively. I guess The Honest Jones is a way to work creatively the way we like to work, instilled with the values that are important to us. It all unfolded very naturally, we didn't really start with a plan. (In fact we still don't really have a plan...it works for us.) I’ve worked full time for The Honest Jones for almost 3 years, Kristian works part time for THJ and also has a great job in the music field. We have a small (growing) team of the cutest design interns you’ll ever meet. We love it.
K: Yeah, life’s too short to work for the man! We wanted to get paid doing something we love. I spent some time working a few jobs I hated and came to the realisation that it doesn't have to be that way.
Could you tell us a little more about all the things you guys do at The Honest Jones?
A: We do a variety of creative work, from set design and art direction to film making. A big part of what we do is something we call One Minute Films. Which is production of custom online content for brands. It means we get to work closely with some pretty incredible people.
K: We try to creatively capture through visuals and music the essence and heart behind a brand. Being a brand doesn't mean you have to be a soulless corporate entity. A lot of brands today, especially small business and entrepreneurs were created out of someone’s heart and their dreams and passions, the things that makes them them. So I guess our aim is to bring those things to life.
Can you run us through what a typical day looks like for you guys?
K: We wake up, make coffee, put on some tunes, do a little exercise and then I make the most perfect fried eggs. After that we get to work.
A: Every work day and every job is different. It will be some sort of combination of using a camera or editing a film, sourcing an obscure prop or location scouting or biz admin...or all of the above. We wrap most days up at 5ish. Thats our time to cook something delicious and catch up. We love having people in our home and regularly cook a meal for our friends. We have a large life outside of work, it keeps us sane.
You do such an array of creative work, do either of you have a preference when it comes to The Honest Jones?
K: I like making fun music that starts a party for anyone who hears it. When you’ve only got one minute, you want to make sure people end that minute feeling good. It leaves them with a favourable impression of that brand and when they think of that brand they think “those guys are fun, I wanna hang out with them”.
A: I love it all, I love that there’s a variety. Otherwise I’d get bored. It keeps me on my toes and the creativity flowing fresh.
Having both studied at the School of Creative Arts do you find that your creative path has changed since studying and meeting one another?
K: Big time. As you change and grow as a person your creative tastes and expressions also tend to change. I think it’s important not to fight this, it only grows your experience, your maturity and your abilities as a creative. We try not to lock ourselves into a particular style.
A: When we met I was actually studying contemporary dance, so yeah my creative path has changed a lot! We’ve definitely grown together. We’ve been creating together for more almost a decade (longer than we’ve been together as a couple) so it’s definitely shaped everything we do. However most of the skill refining etc has happened individually over time.
Do you find any challenges in being a creative couple and working together on projects?
K: Big time! We often have different creative styles and ideas, but working through any clashes always results in a better outcome.
A: We have very different creative approaches, almost always opposite. But I think that gives us an edge. The fun of creativity is that it’s so unpredictable!
Although all art and creative works are created with equal love, do you have a favourite project that you have worked on? Together or separately.
K: Pretty much anytime the brief required, at least for me, music that was not my usual style. Some definite highlights have been Aika (launching soon!) and Morgan Printing! Those guys are a definite party!
A: I think a project needs a special kind of momentum, a kind of excitement and energy. It feels good when the creative flow is flowing. My favourite projects have a perfect combination of artists working together who all feel this same excitement.
What kinds of projects are you working on at the moment?
K: Pre-made films! For brands that want video content but don't need a full custom film.
A: Yeah we just launched our first collection of pre-made films for sale through oneminutefilm.shop so we are now working on collections 2 and 3...I’m super excited about how they are shaping up. Plus we always have around 4 or 5 custom film clients in the pipeline.
What advice can you offer on finding your personal style or aesthetic?
K: I think your style will change over time and also as culture and society changes but there will be unique consistencies that wind themselves through all your creative works. So I’ve found it’s more important to discover your uniqueness as a person than it is to focus on creating a particular creative style. Trends will always go in and out of fashion, who you are is always relevant.
A: I agree. You need to take fear of opinion out of the equation. Find out who you are, what uniquely inspires you and be that with your whole being!
Aside from The Honest Jones what are two of your favourite things?
K: Filter coffee and our church.
A: 100% linen and airports.