For the month of Halloween we invite K Road local Samara Wooldrige to create our artwork. Samara is one of those multi talented creatives who does a bit of everything, and it all comes together to create magic.
She is a qualified goldsmith, which lead her into making hats, jewellery and accessories (alongside designing clothing) for her family business, Dmonic Intent. The clothing brand is a core part of the Karangahape Rd creative scene. Until very recently, the Domnic Intent retail store had spent five years located in St Kevin's Arcade. Samara's art has trickled through Dmonic Intent’s ranges and branding, and now into ours for the month of October.
You have been heavy on the Auckland creative scene for some time now, both with Dmonic Intent and your personal art endeavours. What are a few of your first creative memories?
I was obsessed with play dough as a kid and I would get my mum to make it all of the time, I was super fussy about the colour too, it had to be the perfect mix of blue with a tiny bit of yellow or I wouldn’t play with it haha! The first stand out memory of painting was when I was 5 or 6, I painted a picture of me and the kids in my class. I remember the teacher telling my mum that I spent ages mixing up all of the different skin tones when all of the other kids just drew each other all the same, to be honest she probably thought I was a little freak.
You are a qualified Goldsmith, as well as a designer, stylist and artist. Do you think as a creative having many endeavours is beneficial? How do you balance them all?
I think it is beneficial but also a bit of a burden. I always want to do a million things at once. Sometimes I wish I was only interested in one thing so I could put all of my energy into it but I'm always working on a tonne of things at once. I suppose its better than having no interests or hobbies but it can be a bit frantic.
Dmonic Intent was launched seven years ago and is run by your two sisters, brother and yourself. Do you think the family business aspect helped shaped the community and following of the brand?
Totally! The number one rule apparently is never go into business with family. For us though, it’s the best. We live and work together and the great thing with family is that you can tell each other when you're not happy with something and you have an argument, someone gets upset but you cant hold onto those feelings because you’ve got to cook dinner together later. Also our mum and dad are involved heaps, Dad helped with building all of the counters, changing rooms, shelving, and racks in our shops. Mum and Dad are our biggest fans and come to every event. Mum was in the shop with us everyday. Some people would come to see her and not us haha! I think our customers and friends could see we were a tight family. It wasn’t pushing sales and paying rent, we built relationships with everyone that came into our shop and they became part of our family.
Dmonic Intent has been a big presence in the K Road community for many years, with the K Road Space only recently closing after 5 years of business. What’s next for Dmonic Intent?
We are taking a small break. We were on K Road seven days a week, every public holiday and Christmas Eve. We are currently thinking about taking part in a show with other designers in China in November after having missed the cut off date to show at World Fashion Week in Paris, due to complications with our lease in St Kevin’s Arcade. I’m excited to design again and come up with some new Dmonic designs with the family.
Your creative work covers a lot of different mediums; jewellery, painting, drawing and clothing design. Has this always been the case or have they developed along the way?
My brother in law and me studied at Peter Minturn Goldsmith school to learn how to make jewellery by hand the traditional way but besides that I think my family and I have always been creative. We would design stuff too achieve a certain look, even if it wasn’t something we were skilled at doing we would give it a good go until we got it right. For example if we needed belts to go with the clothing we wouldn’t buy them we’d figure out how to make them.
What are some of biggest changes you have noticed in the Auckland creative communities over the last 10 years?
I've noticed younger people are doing real cool stuff creatively. I mean, I’m 31 - which is not old compared to the earth but I feel a million years old compared to these young people and the stuff they’re doing with art and fashion. I suppose social media has had a big impact on that because there is so much going on creatively that's in your face everyday and that's inspiring. When I went to high school I had to go to the library to do my homework haha! Now everything is so accessible.
Locally and internationally, what artists, designers and creatives do you admire?
Okay well, when I was younger my parents weren’t artistic and never really encouraged me in that area or realised how much I loved being creative, so my brother in law is my biggest artistic inspiration. He’s an amazing artist and he’s known me since I was a kid. He would sit down with me and teach me stuff and buy me art supplies for birthdays and Christmases. I think without his support and telling me to carry on with what I love to do I may have lost it a long time ago. He still shows me new things today :)
Locally Elliot Frances Stewart is also someone I really admire. Not only is he amazing and such a skilled artist, he doesn’t bullshit and you can really see it in his work. It's real and it means something. I spend most nights drawing bananas with cowboy boots, they may or may not change the world but I’m not holding out for that haha!
Internationally, would have to be Marina Abramovic, she has shaped the world of performance art for many years. I admire her determination. After years and years of being under appreciated in the art world and being told what she was doing wasn’t "art", she carried on and now she is one of the most influential artists in the world.
Marilyn Manson! It would be my dream to design him an album cover.
Best thing you have seen on the internet this week?
A woman trying to perform CPR on a pigeon and she thought she had revived it and picks it up and it's head flops down again because it was way too dead.
Top five tracks to paint/draw to?
Three artists you would give anything to see perform live?
The Doors (if Jim wasn’t dead haha!), Tupac (R.I.P!) and Marilyn Manson.