She’s the local lass creating stunning artwork that you’re going to need to hang in your home. Her inspiration comes from vintage photographs and same to be honest.
We sat down for a chat with Constanza about her advice for anyone wanting to get started in a creative career and how her illustration career came about.
How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I lived on the Gold Coast for five years but I’ve been living at Cabarita Beach for the last two.
What do you love most about living here?
I love the beach and the relaxed lifestyle the Gold Coast offers. I come from a big city so it was a nice change of pace.
Tell us about your path to becoming an artist…
I originally studied a Bachelor of Business in Chile, but after some time I realised it wasn’t my passion so I decided to go back to school and study a short course in Graphic Design. I loved it! After I graduated I started doing small jobs with wedding invitations, I started doing more drawings and bought an iPad and never stopped drawing. After a few months I started getting jobs as an illustrator and now I do it as a full-time job!
How would you describe the work you create?
My work is very feminine and colourful.
What’s your favourite thing to illustrate?
Women, flowers and fashion.
From where do you find inspiration for your work?
I get inspiration through editorial fashion photographs or vintage photographs.
What advice do you have for someone wanting to start a creative career?
Be patient and persevere. It’s hard at the beginning but if you work hard and put your work out there, whether it’s through social media or by showing your work face to face, people eventually will start noticing.
Where can we buy your art?
I have an online shop through my website www.constanzag.com.au and sometimes I go to the Village Markets in Burleigh Heads.
Tell us your favourites on the Coast:
Cafe or breakfast: Baked at Ancora
Coffee spot: Riff Raff in Cabarita Beach, or Espresso Moto in Cooly
Restaurant for dinner: Greenhouse Canteen in Coolangatta
How does your weekend usually look: I usually spend it in Cabarita, at the beach.
Baked goods are life. There is nothing more we want or need than a sweet, crispy pastry and a perfectly brewed coffee on a Saturday morning. Except maybe a water view and an after-pastry side of avo on toast.
And where better to indulge in all of those things than right here, just over the border, Tweed Heads to be exact. Baked at Ancora opened just a short while ago, bringing an edgy, delightful eatery to the northern side of already much-loved wedding venue Ancora.
Baked is the baby of Gavin Rudd (head baker) and restaurateur Mark Wilson, who has gifted us with Osteria, Taverna and Bombay Cricketers Club – all southern beauties and the newbie is of equally exceptional quality (but also maybe better because, pastries).
It’s a long space with huge windows overlooking the sparkly Tweed River running up one side, naturally-inspired tables and chairs and, of course, plenty of greenery hanging overhead. An interior window allows you to peer in at the chefs working their magic and, the best bit, a neon sign shining out from inside reads “currently getting baked” and let us in on that please.
The food, as you would expect from local restaurant royalty, is absolutely exceptional and you may either sit inside and soak up the good vibes or grab a picnic rug and recline on the grassy outside area, which is both perfect for kiddies to run around on and for dealing with food coma type situations.
The a la carte menu is made up of all the very best breakfast and lunch dishes including said Avo Toast (but tastier than your usual) plus Bacon and Egg Benedict Rolls, Pork Belly Burgers and (a personal fave) House Made Sausage Rolls made with organic pork, Granny Smith apples, fennel and thyme. All the things are things you’ll want to eat time and time again.
You may also enjoy baguettes with Salami, Butter and Pickles (GIMME) among other epic flavour combinations and there are take home bread options such as Pain aux Olives with Kalamata olives, rosemary, oregano and black pepper. YUM.
Sweets-wise The Custard Pie is all your dreams come true, as is the Apple Breton Tarte Tatin and the Chocolate Praline Tart. We recommend sampling one of each and also taking one of each home for later.
Oh and their signature (read: perfect) croissants will have you dreaming of sweet Parisian mornings and you’ll probably never stop eating them. Same.
Summer’s (almost) over, it’s fine.
The philosophy of the crew at Baked at Ancora is a simple one; to bring loved ones together over good food and great coffee which, unsurprisingly, is pretty much life goals for us.
Love you baked (at Ancora) goods.
LOCATION: 118 Wharf St, Tweed Heads
HOURS: Daily from 7am until 1.30pm
Words by Kirra Smith
If there could be an Espresso Moto in every suburb that would suit us just fine thank you very much. For now though, we’ll settle for the two that make our lives infinitely better (and more caffeinated). The OG in Palmy and now, a fresh little newbie in Coolangatta.
Yes it’s true; the much-loved venue has opened a second venue on Dutton Street where That Blue House once lived. It’s a huge gain for the Cooly locals because a. All Press Coffee is life and b. the EM crew are some of the best folks around.
The team swung open their second set of doors a couple of weeks ago and the space they’ve occupied is the perfect blend of cool for their vibe. Which is of course, all of the motorbike memorabilia. If you’ve visited the Palmy site you’ll know the space boasts a bike workshop in the back dedicated to restoring classics.
Down south you’ll find shelves stacked with helmets, oil cans and various other bike-related things Dad won’t be happy I don’t know the name of.
The menu and feel of the newbie is the same but both venues are getting a menu revamp in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, head down there and try these goodies before they leave our lives forever.
Healthy ones first and this is a D E L I C I O U S dish while also helping with that shredding for summer thing people do. Hooray? It’s called Fresh Avocado Salsa and it’s house-made corn, basil and almond pesto tossed through spinach leaves and topped with pepitas on, get this, house-baked activated charcoal ciabatta toast. It’s a mouthful in every sense of the word.
The Eggs Benedict are some of the best around with fresh house made hollandaise (love you), house-baked ciabatta and definitely go the smoked salmon.
Last but absolutely not least is BANOFFEE FRENCH TOAST and be still our hearts. It’s a tower of sweet, sweet goodness served with all of the fresh caramel sauce and if you licked the plate we would never judge.
As mentioned, Espresso Moto serve All Press Espresso out of New Zealand (because they’re good at everything) and it’s definitely a fave.
So there you have it, if you know what’s good for you, you’ll make a date with Cooly this weekend.
LOCATION: 5 Dutton Street, Coolangatta
HOURS: 6am to 1.30pm
Words and photos by Kirra Smith
If there’s one thing that’s certain in life, it is that vegetables are very good for you and also, you can never eat too many (unlike say, Tim Tams).
The gals at Greenhouse Canteen know this better than anyone, which is why a second (technically third but more on that later) vegan eatery recently opened in everyone’s favourite southern suburb, Coolangatta.
The Cooly Canteen is as beautiful as you’d expect with rustic wooden dining settings placed amongst a vintage white-walled backdrop. Hanging plants and strings of fairy lights are suspended from the peaked glass ceiling, allowing guests to star gaze and devour gourmet goodies all at once. Bunches of native greenery are strung throughout and the signature, hand-scrawled “it’s cool to be kind” sign sets the scene on the front deck.
The latest venue was opened by long-time Greenhouse Canteen customer and equally passionate, plant-based advocate Jenny Madigan as a franchise of the original space and, of course, it is perfectly befitting of the brand.
The food is to die for (except you won’t die because, veggies) and there are cocktails and desserts and good vibes and catch ya later hard-earned cash.
Choose from small or large eats or a combination of both and for the love of God don’t go past the Eggplant Parmigiana made with baked eggplant, Napoli, basil pesto, almond feta and crispy kale. Also the Buffalo Cauliflower Wings which are besan (gram flower) battered florets with ranch dressing and house-made tomato relish are too tasty to not eat every single day.
Owners of the Miami venue (Charlie and Natalie) were met with rave reviews when they first opened in Kirra and when that venue closed, they made the (blessed) move to Miami.
From there it’s been the Greenhouse gang taking over the world. Hallelujah.
BRB, moving to Cooly.
LOCATION: 1/140 Griffith Street, Coolangatta
HOURS: from 5pm until late Tuesday to Sunday
Words and photos by Kirra Smith