The retro styling, the colour palettes, the softness… yip, it’s safe to say we have a full-blown crush on Inaluxe. So we were excited to speak to the creative duo behind it, Australian artists Kristina Sostarko and Jason Odd.
Where does your inspiration come from typically?
I think for both of us it’s quite diverse. The inspiration to start inaluxe all those years ago came from a need to live a life more in tune with who were are, and not what we felt we had to do. In our minds we knew there had to be more. Our inspiration in life overall, has always come from great artists, film makers, writers, designers, and visionaries who dared to go where no one thought possible. On an aesthetic level it could be anything from a science fiction film like ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers – 1956 version’ to John Coltrane’s music. We both have a love of pop culture and art culture, and find delight in the blending of the two. I might add, it doesn’t hurt to live in a more rural area, even though we are officially ‘townies’, we have bush reserves, and grassland, all within walking distance. The amount of birdlife you can see in that small area is just incredible, and with the Grampians National Park just a quick drive up the road, filling the westerly horizon, how could we not be inspired.
A couple of snapshots from the Inaluxe studio.
Can you explain a little about your process — from the concept, how do you arrive at a finished print?
There are two main ways in which we work. Gouache paintings on paper seems to be the starting point for all the designs. The animal designs i.e.: Superb Fairy Wren, are penciled, painted in gouache, then scanned in, and presto, pretty much finished. So it’s all very old fashioned really. The graphic bold prints are started on the same principle, but there’s a little more collage, and mixed media assemblage that goes on. More recently, the acrylic paintings on belgian linen board are more free form with a lot of mess being made.
Some of the Inaluxe art prints available at endemicworld.
What was the last thing you saw or experienced that got you really creatively excited?
We’ve been working on a series of botanical art together, and we have been collecting specimens from our local area, which has been such a revelation. It’s really fascinating when we stopped to really look closely at the structure of leaves, and pods, flower heads, what happens in their different growth cycles, the level of decomposition. All of this magic, just sitting there along bush paths, in trees, etc. The approach is almost as if looking through a microscope. Studying the form of leaves has never been so exciting! Nature is the biggest inspiration at the moment, and we can’t get enough of it.
Inspiration from nature…
You’ve recently had designs commissioned by IKEA. That’s huge! Tell us a little about the process and its highlights?
It was really simple actually. We were approached by Art Press in the UK about out design ‘Departure Lounge 1971′ for the IKEA print. Of course, being long time IKEA fans, and having a house full of IKEA, the request was quite surreal, and exciting all at once. The actual process from signing the contract to providing the art was simple, and Art Press are so lovely to work with. Once the paper work was signed, we had to wait almost a year before the design came out, so we did a little countdown every month or so. Ha! It’s pretty cool to have your art in the places you love and support, so we are thrilled with the outcome.
What’s your favourite piece of artwork?
‘Keep It Simple Circle’ (below) is Jason’s favourite, and it’s a tie for me with the ‘Botanical Assembly’. When I was working on Keep It Simple Circle, I was getting bogged down with the shapes, and I kept adding more, and more, and it was a really crowded mess. Jason came in while I was working on it, and he basically said, “Why don’t you take all that extra off, and leave the basic design, it’s great like that.” And I did. And he was right. My weakness is overworking designs, and I forgot that all important rule they always tell you in art school “stand back and look at it,” as for Botanical Assembly, it’s my favourite because it is the first series we have both worked on together, and I learnt what I hoped what happen, and that is that the process of creating with another person can be so rewarding.
Jason’s favourite, the ‘Keep It Simple Circle’ print.
What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment we are doing too many things at once! We are working on some designs for the Earth Greetings card range based around the Australian bush, and birds theme, due for release later this year, which we are excited about! We have also just started a new animal series that sprung out of nowhere. The first of these are the ‘Sleepy Lions’ (below). I’ve wanted to explore the more abstract nature of our designs in a more literal way for some time now, so it’s nice when all that thinking naturally makes its way into a piece of art — kind of by accident, almost. Original paintings in acrylic are also happening now. Smallish in size at around 8″ x 10″ the work is an extension of the botanical theme, but in a more abstract fashion. The small size was intentional. There’s an intimacy with the smaller paintings we love. And they fit into just about every corner or wall you can think of. Textile design has long been on the cards, however, it’s a giant unto itself, and so time consuming. Because we are so busy, it is running a little later than we initially thought, but hopefully we will have something out soon.
New Sleepy Lion paintings Kristina and Jason are working on. They say it’s “early days” with these ones. We can’t wait to see the finished product!
Another peek into the inaluxe studio space.