Woman Crush [Sarah Kelk]

October 11, 2017

Based in Melbourne, but grew up in the South Island of New Zealand,
Sarah is the creator and designer of the online store and design brand Hello Polly. She is also an artist.



My colour is Mustard!  
My nickname is ...funnily enough, I dont actually have a nickname. Never have.  
My craziest dream is to paint the outside of a cabin surround by forest! (and then live in that cabin for eternity)  
My Favourite ALIX YANG piece is Kirra Hoops in Silver > 



AY: What about painting/drawing that fascinates you the most?
SK: I love that I never really know how a piece is going to end up. Even if I have a firm plan of what a piece will look like before I begin, it often goes out the window once I start painting. I really enjoy getting in the zone with how a piece is developing and more often than not, pieces don't usually come together as a whole until right at the end. I often find that some of my first layers I like so much that I can't bring myself to paint over them. The small windows of my first layers in a painting often become my favourite parts.

AY: How do you like to describe your art style? 
SK: My work is abstract, with intertwining strong bold shapes and soft, textual backgrounds. Although there’s a plethora of influences behind my work, (references of nature, architecture and decorative arts), these influences are usually only the starting point for my work. The process or applying paint to the canvas plays a huge role in the development of each piece. I’d love to say I’m channeling a deeper thought process when I paint, but if I’m totally honest, I often get so engrossed in working on the colour, texture and shape balance within a piece, that it usually comes down to the feeling I get from an inspiration rather than a particular inspiration I’m trying to convey to the viewer.



"...it usually comes down to the feeling I get from an inspiration rather than a particular inspiration I’m trying to convey to the viewer."


AY: What is a typical day of your life like?
SK: No two days are the same, which I think keeps things fresh. I usually get up and head for an early run or gym about 6am (which sounds crazy, but it really clears my head for the day). Then its back home for the crazy hour that is getting the household fed, dressed and ready for the day. We are super lucky that the kids school is literally across the road from our house so our commute is pretty painless (although someone usually has a piece of toast in hand as they walk across street). If I’m lucky, there is time for a quick coffee stop before heading to the studio for the day. I try to spend the morning getting on top of those necessary things; emails, meetings, admin, packing orders, running samples etc. My amazing sister Helen and I work together running the online store and homewares brand, Hello Polly, so we usually meet late morning and go over what’s happening. It’s one big mix of running the Hello Polly shop as well as dealing with wholesale orders/ sampling and designing and then of course, fitting in painting time. I always make a point of taking some time out to cook a big healthy lunch, as I find it's a really good way to take a bit of a step back before I head into the afternoon. During the afternoon, its either more of what I’ve been doing in the morning, or if I’m itching to paint, then I try and grab a few hours in front of a canvas. The 3:30 school bell always comes around so quickly and I then switch off from work and really focus on the kids for a few hours. You can often find us out on a bike ride, running round our local park, or cooking up a storm. We try and do a family dinner half of the week, the other half, my husband and I cook dinner together once the kids head to bed (which I also really enjoy as it doesn’t feel as rushed). After food, a wine and some chat, at least a few nights a week, I try and get in a few hours more painting before I head off to bed. I can get really pulled into working on paintings at this time of night and get my second wind about 10pm. If I’m still working then, I may as well carry on painting until 1 or 2am. It just means I have to drag myself out of bed the next day! (which is easier said than done sometimes).


AY: What do you think about when you are alone?
I find it's really important for my creative processes to just stop and be. ‘Quiet creative time’ is a necessity for me, and it's often when I come up with external influences.


AY: How do you like to wear your jewellery?/What’s the role of jewellery in your style?
SK: I love jewellery. Without fail, during the day I always wear simply hoop earrings, and a cluster of petite silver bands on various fingers. I love big chunky jewellery on other people, but always find that it never really suits me.


AY: How do you describe the current stage of your life?
SK: I’m a busy creative, juggling a career as a painter (which I feel so lucky about), running a design business (Hello Polly), and trying to still be a great Mum, wife and friend. Its busy, but that’s how I love it.


AY: What do you usually do when you need inspiration?
If I feel like I'm lacking in inspiration, then I try to take a big step back from it all, and do something that’s completely removed! Usually works a charm.

Sarah's Melbourne solo show 'COMMON GROUND will be starting soon, Nov 16-30th. Make sure to pop in and see her delightful artworks in real life!




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