Ali­cia Mar­shall

Alpine Observer - - News -

What do you do?

I am an in­te­rior de­signer by qual­i­fi­ca­tion, but our busi­ness en­com­passes graphic de­sign, fur­ni­ture de­sign and man­u­fac­ture, and I like to say be­spoke and tricky things that look awe­some which we have a knack for.

Why do you do it?

When I was study­ing in high school we were only of­fered graphic de­sign and vis­ual art in VCE, and even though I loved both of these sub­jects, I knew I didn’t want to pur­sue a ca­reer in ei­ther one of them, feel­ing they didn’t of­fer enough free­dom or scope as I was in­ter­ested in all facets of de­sign, art and ar­chi­tec­ture.

I was ac­cepted into a one year fo­lio course af­ter high school in El­wood, Vic­to­ria and it was there that I was in­tro­duced to dif­fer­ent as­pects and cour­ses in all cre­ative fields. I met a first year stu­dent from RMIT In­te­rior De­sign, and af­ter she had given her pre­sen­ta­tion I ba­si­cally signed up. It was the ex­act course for me and it in­cluded travel which I was des­per­ate to do. That course made you ex­er­cise ev­ery cre­ative, tech­ni­cal, struc­tural, philo­soph­i­cal and the­o­ret­i­cal mus­cle and you were de­sign­ing projects that were si­t­u­ated within the built en­vi­ron­ment, so you could re­late to them on a per­sonal and spa­tial level. It wasn’t the piece on the wall shut away from the world – it was the en­tire build­ing and the ex­pe­ri­ence you could de­sign for the per­son – what a priv­i­lege to be re­spon­si­ble for cre­at­ing an ex­pe­ri­ence and pro­vok­ing some­one to think and feel dif­fer­ently about their lives for a mo­ment in time.

What makes a good artist/ de­signer?

You must be flex­i­ble and have good com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills. Each brief is dif­fer­ent, so you must ap­proach them dif­fer­ently, and this will en­able you to pro­vide a per­son­alised ser­vice to your client. But ba­si­cally, you must have the de­sire and the pas­sion to go the ex­tra mile for your­self, in­vest in your craft, ma­te­ri­als, tools, tech­nol­ogy, travel, re­search etc. If you are en­thu­si­as­tic, peo­ple will get on board with you. Be pa­tient and share your ideas, be­cause each in­ter­ac­tion can bring very un­ex­pected out­comes and lead you into dif­fer­ent ar­eas. Learn all dif­fer­ent skills don’t limit your­self. Re­nais­sance gen­er­a­tions were skilled ar­chi­tects as well and artists as well as car­pen­ters and en­gi­neers – it must be all en­com­pass­ing.

What do you think it was in your ear­lier life that led to you be­com­ing an artist and de­signer?

Sup­port and en­cour­age­ment from my fam­ily, but also on the flip side, neg­a­tiv­ity and naysay­ers - to me that’s like a red rag to a bull. When I first opened our stu­dio six years ago a woman came in and told me ‘I’d never last in the town’. But cre­ative out­put is very per­sonal, and when you have your heart and mind on show you have to have a thick skin. Build­ing con­fi­dence, as well as your skills and ideas takes time and can be learned.

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