Q&A: The Arts Hole co-working space

Published:  July 27, 2012
Liz Rudenko
Q&A: The Arts Hole co-working space

It would seem a rare instance in modern times when one is truly surprised by anything; secrecy and mystery appear to have become a thing of the past, which is why it is refreshing to know that from time to time, one can still find themselves falling through a rabbit whole and just like Alice, discover an untapped wonderland.  That is exactly how Melbourne-based design studio Arts Hole can be defined… described by the designers as “our own little creative space” located behind a mere suburban door within Caulfield, the studio has become a home of four designers, each with their own style, creating a crazy wonderland world of art.

Why did you start the studio space up?
We wanted a space where we could be free to experiment, explore and collaborate. Our studio is made up of Roger, Ohnoes, GiewTwo and Laura.

-Ohnoes is my artist alias, in a few words I would label myself as a artist/street artist and a designer.
-Roger is my name. I’m a creative type and I design, draw, and work on lots of art at the Arts Hole. I also work under different alias depending on what I’m doing.
-Laura: I dabble… I’d like to think I’m an all-round creative. I’m a day-time digital designer and a night-time artist that draws, sculpts, make websites, takes photos. In my free time I also run the Six Years Later magazine which is an art-only magazine that focuses on supporting emerging artists.
-GiewTwo is currently on holiday but we can’t forget to tell you about our resident Prints Guy, paint-spitter and budding entrepreneur.

Prior to starting the Arts Hole, we were all friends sharing similar interests in art and design and all of us really wanted to immerse ourselves and be a part of the Melbourne creative community. As we were all living in the same area, we thought, why go north-side when there’s a perfectly good ex-Krav Maga studio waiting for us right around the corner. Plus, a bagel shop downstairs!? Who could go wrong.

How do you find that the co-working setup works for you?
I think we’ve found a great balance in working with each other. Everyone has their own desk and area but we also have great communal spaces where we can bring our work to the table and get feedback. It’s always about improving your art and with three other people who are always around to help you, you’re always getting new ideas or developing new techniques.

What are the benefits of working in this type of environment?
The Arts Hole was a perfect spot where we could collate not only our resources but our creative talents as well. It’s a space that we dedicate solely to creating stuff, it puts you in a great mindset so when you walk in the door and sit at your desk – you know you’re here to start a new painting or finish off that drawing. As a designated art space it also gets rid of all the boundaries that you might have at home. We’re free to do what we want – we can spray paint, wheat paste, build, break, inspire, be inspired, make scones, sculpt, draw, cook shakshookas, collage… whatever. The mess doesn’t matter, as long as you get something out of it.

What are future plans for Arts Hole?
So far the only thing set in concrete is what Laura and Roger are planning. They run the Six Years Later magazine which is an art-only magazine published once a year. Issue No. 2 has just been printed and they’re having a launch party and exhibition at No Vacancy on 23 August. Come down!

As emerging artists we’re always looking to improve our own skills and develop our own distinct styles. Hopefully towards the end of the year we might host our very first group show so people can get a look at what happens at the Arts Hole.

Plus, we’re looking for more artists and designers to collaborate with. We want to encourage our local creative community to do bigger and better things. Especially by being in Caulfield, we know that there are heaps of talented people out there but there’s this kind of stigma where people don’t think great creative stuff happens in the burbs. We’re hoping to change that mentality and get more people involved in The Arts Hole.

As designers who are you most inspired by?
GiewTwo: As a designer I am inspired to make things attractive, efficient or purposeful.
As an Artist i feel that creating something new is inspiring, something personal and unique.

Ohnoes: Growing up my largest source of inspiration where traditional masters such as Rembrandt and Da Vinci, and as my skills progressed I fell in love with the hip hop scene. My work is clear mesh of the two, and Melbourne being such an ambassador for street art it’s help encourage it into my design work as well as my art. My high school art teacher was the catalyst in opening my eyes to my talents and what I could do with them, without her I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Laura: When I was growing up I had a lot of great teachers in school that got me really excited about various aspects of design. When I was in year six I had a really great art teacher and I thought I’d happily draw fruit bowls for the rest of my life. In year eight I had a really great web-design teacher and I thought I’d be happy making Blogspot themes for the rest of my life. In year 12 I had a really great Vis-Com teacher who got me really into drawing buildings and shoes… Since finishing school, I guess there aren’t any teachers per se. But heaps of great people I’ve met a long the way whose passion rubs off.

Roger: I’m inspired by the people around me, and artists that I look up too. I could write a big list of artists that inspire me, but really I’m inspired by the need to create. I’m always staying creative by drawing, painting, designing, art jamming, and doing anything to create.


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