Byron Bay creative duo Rita and Ivano launched their studio G’day Byron Bay at the beginning of this year and they are destined for big things! Learn more about there creative side project Iloveyouwhenyousmile and how they got to where they are now!
Rita can you tell us about your career to date Well, I have a background in product design, but since I graduate in 2008 I have been out and about exploring a bunch of different design and creative approaches. It all started with my interest in Non Objects and a consequent curiosity about food and eating design in the last year of my course. Once, I graduated I moved to Amsterdam to work with the pioneer and well known eating designer Marije Vogelzang.
From this experience I learned a bunch of lessons. Working on something as specific as eating design has made me understand that after 5 years of intensive studying I knew nothing of what I possibly needed in my job. I learnt how to multitask and juggle from project to project. I had to do so many unlikely things and learnt that you have to stay be open to anything and everything.
Probably the biggest lesson and the one I keep trying to retain everyday is to be focused and be open, know what you want and believe you can make things happen! Impossible is nothing!
For the past 4 years I have worked as designer, concept developer, art director, event planer, stylist, collector, art buyer and photographer.
Ivano – same same! I started studying advertising in Italy, I have a bachelor degree in Advertising Communication. After that I realised that I was very interested in the visual aspect and I decided to do a master degree in Visual Identities at ISIA Urbino, one of the most exclusive graphic design schools in Italy. After that I was lucky enough to get straight to work with the founder of COLOR Magazine and Fabrica, Oliviero Toscani. It was very intense to be there, quite a challenge but I made it.
I collaborate for 6 months with his studio in Pisa, Tuscany and in 2009 I moved to Amsterdam. I wanted to get closer to Dutch design which I still believe it’s very good and sophisticated.
I ended up working in advertising TwoFish designing and directing campaigns for big international clients such as: Canon Europe, ING, Foot Locker, Lacoste, WWF, Yamaha Europe.
I played an all-rounder role. I started making covers and brochure design for Canon, after some time the directors at the agency started to trust me and I started to produce animated videos and later on worked as a photographer. At the end I was creating the concepts, directing, designing and shooting at the same time. It wasn’t really planned and it went completely against the normal advertising routines, but it worked pretty well and it kept me away from being bored.
After almost 4 years of agency lifestyle we decided to move to Australia to charge our batteries and enjoy the Aussie vibes. I started to find clients on gumtree and slowly I got little clients that paid the bills. In 2014 we launched G’day Byron Bay together with Rita and…the best is yet to come!
You guys are managing the impossible – lifestyle + career. Can you give us some tips of running a successful agency in a rural town… After living 4 years in Amsterdam – working for private clients + advertising companies, we decided to move to Australia and start a new adventure. In part, we were chasing the sun and trying to escape the routine of spending 12 hours/day in front of our laptops’ screens…we wanted to dedicate more time to things that we truly enjoy doing.
After one year of pretty much living the dream of “My life is better than your Holiday” in Byron Bay, we decided that it was time to put our skills and experience together and start a little agency in town – G’day Byron Bay. We started running G’day Byron Bay in the beginning of 2014, and so far it has been a pretty challenging period for us, as well a growing/learning experience living in a small town has its pros and cons. Sometimes it can be a bit tricky to find the balance between having enough work and doing what you really want to do, and stay tuned into everything that is constantly happening in the creative world. But like everything else, it is something you learn to manage.
The best thing about it is the fact that everyone knows each other and soon the whole town will know about our agency and require our services! Just joking! The truth is, Byron Bay is a small paradise town and we are surrounded by amazing Nature. We feel so lucky for that, and to have the chance to balance the stress of a new business with the most simple pleasures of life.
We are planning to establish the company and start to work and travel simultaneously. We love to be based in Byron Bay and the fact that we can always come back here; before, after and in between outside projects. Ideally, in a near future we will be working around Australia and overseas.
Tell us about your collaboration with Australia’s favourite dancer, Tommy Frankiln We met Tommy through a common friend and soon we become good friends with him! Before we met him, we had seen Tommy around Byron and though, we would like to take some photos of him, and that just happened few months ago. We transformed our living room into a photo studio and had a pretty hilarious photo-shoot with Tommy dancing non-stop around our living room.
At the moment, together with a couple of other friends, we are working on few other creative projects for Tommy. Soon we will be launching his website and a pretty unusual business card… Stay tuned, because it will be as explosive as our dear friend Tommy!
What is the importance of side projects and can you tell us more about your iloveyouwhenyousmile photography? In our opinion side projects are very important, as often those are the things we truly enjoy doing.
In our case, Iloveyouwhenyousmile has been our loved side project for the past 4 years or so. While we were living in Europe, we would spend pretty much all our free time working on it, after work, long nights, weekends, and most of time we would spend money to be able to do it, which was quite funny. Although, when you do something for pure joy and passion, hours and money are minor things. Not having a client imposing us restrictions and limitations make us dig and explore what we are really interested in and make us take photos for the sake of creating something beautiful and consequently come up with our own photographic identity.
Iloveyouwhenyousmile has been often hard to label, not quite Art, not quite Fashion, but we don’t mind being inbetween things or not having a label. We had been mentioned and featured in several blogs over the time and we like to stick with the positive feedback we had! We had been on hold for the past year, but we are now planing on updating our work/website, and we have a couple of new shoots on our agenda.
Whats on the cards for 2014? The TO DO List for 2014 is quite extensive! Work hard and do a bunch of things that we would rather not to, such as take care of our visa’s… We have some goals to achieve for G’day Byron Bay. We want to do more photography and update our Iloveyouwhenyousmile website. Then, the fun things: go in a couple of adventures, a road trip through Australia, maybe a couple of months through Asia and go back to Europe by the end of the year.
What advice would you give soon-to-be-grads? Try to realise that being a student is a pretty cool status/lifestyle – and enjoy every second of it, it will end…sooner than you can imagine! Also think everything you learned so far, it’s just the beginning. Avoid to thinking how good you are now, you’ll look back at your work in a couple of years and you’ll probably be embarrassed for what you have done. It’s all good though, it just means you are getting better.