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Gold Coast Musician Ryan Munro

He’s the local lad who went from beloved Gold Coast busker performing at our annual Buskers by the Creek event and as of just last week, Ryan has released his first single, fittingly titled By the Water.

We sat down for a chat with Ryan about how his transition from busker to pro came about and where we can catch the grungy blues musician live. 

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I have been a local for about twelve years now so I guess I’m pretty much a full-blown Gold Coaster!

What do you love most about living here?
I love having the beach always by my side and the explosion of new artists, musicians and restaurants emerging. I also love the amazing people and of course, our beautiful weather.

Tell us about your transition from busker to full-time musician…
As a busker, you’re right there at eye level with your audience and you really have to make yourself a bit vulnerable, giving your audience a piece of yourself that they take with them. It’s the first step of performing in front of people you’ve never met and experiencing the feeling of being the spotlight. The natural progression was to take my performance to the stage in pubs and clubs. Fortunately for me, I was spotted at Buskers by the Creek in 2018 by founder Cindy Jensen and the platform she offers through her festival allowed me to show my talents to a bigger audience and further progress my career with the guidance of the team.

You recently released your debut single, how did that feel?
Yes I’m thrilled to announce that I recently released my debut single By the Water, available on all platforms. It was honestly the highlight of my year. I have a great sense of accomplishment and now have even more drive and motivation to stack my next song! I love recording – it really allows you to refine and find your song’s true potential. Adding string accompaniment was the perfect touch to rounding out the song. I’m thankful to Scotty French at Love St Studios for his amazing work and Paul Blakey for the mastering. After years of rearranging it over and over in my mind, it’s amazing to be able to hear the final product and know it’s mine.

What’s the vibe of your sound?
I think Cindy describes it best: “A tasty cocktail infused with rustic grunge, blues and roots, classically-inspired alternative folk garnished with a little bit of hip hop.”

From where do you get inspiration for your music?
The first track came together after one of my visits alone to Currumbin Creek – the same spot where I always went to play and vent and reconnect with my cheapest counsellor; my six-string Maton. This time the reflection of my love for the mother of my three amazing children came to the surface. By the Water is a song of reflection and acceptance and I find inspiration for my music in positive feelings that encourage personal growth.

Is there anywhere we can catch you live on the Gold Coast?
You can definitely catch me at this year’s Buskers by the Creek, held on the 18th to 20th of October at Currumbin Creek! I’ll be on the main stage so make sure you come along. I’m also heading on tour in Sydney so that’s very exciting. Check out my other gig dates on my Facebook page.

What’s the plan for the rest of 2019?
Plan for the rest of the year is to travel and gig as much as possible. I’ll also be preparing for the By the Water film clip at the start of 2020 as well as the highly anticipated five track EP album.

Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Cafe for breakfast: Beach Shack Currumbin. On the beach, great food, happy, friendly staff and coffee all day long. What more could you want?
Coffee spot: Dust Temple Currumbin – a beautiful industrial-styled warehouse hosting art shows, poetry slams and performances by yours truly. Little Lido across from Tugun Bowls Club also does a mean coffee.
Restaurant for dinner: Anywhere with a good steak meal.
How does your weekend usually look: My weekend usually consists of driving a few hundred kilometres, playing at least four gigs and spending as much time as I can with my beautiful family.

Gold Coast Artist Kellie North

Kellie North is an award-winning Gold Coast photographer and visual artist whose evocative work has been featured in international publications like Conde Nast UK and Australia’s Home Design Magazine.

Most recently though, several of her pieces were chosen to feature in a winning room on much-loved home renovation show The Block.

We sat down for a chat with Kellie about how her work came to be on one of Australia’s most-watched shows and how the human form inspires her to create such incredible work.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I was born and did my schooling in Mackay then worked for a while before heading off travelling for many years. After travelling in North and South America, Mexico, UK, Europe and India my now, husband and I returned to the Gold Coast where we settled and had our two children.

What do you love most about our sunshine city?
What is there not to like, we really do have it all here. For a photographer and an artist it is so easy to find stunning locations, it offers such diversity with the ocean, beach, hinterland, rainforests and rock pools.

Tell us how three of your stunning artworks came to be on The Block?
It was a Thursday night when gallery owner Nancy Donaldson called me and asked if I could get three artworks to the Block site in St Kilda, Melbourne before Sunday. My instant reaction was ‘YES definitely’. I booked a flight to Melbourne and took the artwork directly to the shows site myself.

Why do you think these particular pieces were chosen?
This collection of prints are quite soft and ethereal in their look, so I think they suited the theme and interior style of El’ise and Matt. They wanted to create a room with a sense of romance, luxury and heritage and they thought these pieces worked well in that style.

What did it feel like getting that call to be involved?
I was absolutely thrilled to get the call and overwhelmed all at the same time. I knew I had to transport the pieces down to Melbourne within a few days and a courier was unable to get them there in time for room reveal. For an artist to have their work shown on a hit TV show like The Block is a real gift and something I am extremely thankful to Art Lovers Australia Gallery owners Nancy Donaldson and Jarrod Knight and to Perth couple El’ise and Matt for.

What’s been your journey to becoming an artist?
For most of my life I would have to say I have been a self-taught photographer doing my apprenticeship either on the job or out in the field and have always upgraded my skills with small courses online or in a college from time to time. Until 2014 when I decided to study a Diploma of Professional Photography with The Photography Institute. During my studies I was exposed to other inspiring photographers and genres that opened my eyes to the artistic side of photography and how an image could become a piece of art and not just a captured moment. This is where I would say I started to develop my voice and style as a photo artist. I learned the techniques in professional workshops or online I needed both within my shooting process and Photoshop to keep my flow simple and effective.

How would you describe your work?
With a lifelong interest in dance and womens stories, and wanting to create a piece of art from start to finish without the use of models, I turned to self-portraiture as a form of visual storytelling. I dived into the relationship between nature and femininity: sometimes playful, other times dark and mysterious, yet always conveyed with a strong thread of emotion. The style of photography I am most drawn to is definitely the Fine Art/Digital Photo Art. Together with photography I have always loved graphic art and working at my computer, so when I discovered the world of Photoshop and how you could use it as a tool to create realistic images with compositing, textures, colour manipulation etc. my world fell into place. I love the human form, dance and movement and creating characters with costumes and props to set a scene, hoping the viewer can immerse him or herself into the story possibly taking on that character and relating to it in some way.

Where do you find inspiration for it?
It doesn’t take much to get my creative juices flowing to be honest, it could be going for a hike in the bush, the light on a glorious afternoon when the sun has just hidden behind the mountains, a rock hop along the beach, a shell, a butterfly, a rock with a hole big enough for me to fit into. Women are a big influence, I love stories and listening to peoples stories and the reciprocity of telling my own and I try to do this through imagery.

What’s on for you for the rest of 2019?
I am up for whatever comes my way. I love collaborating with artists so I look forward to any opportunities for that to happen. I want to keep creating, and working on another series of prints to release towards the end of the year and then perhaps some down time over Christmas with my family.

Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Cafe for breakfast: Café D Nor – haha! This is what my husband calls our kitchen, as he whips up such a great brekky we rarely go out for breakfast.
Coffee spot: Dust Temple in Currumbin
Restaurant for dinner: Etsu in Mermaid Beach
How does your weekend usually look: If we are not camping, we head to our local markets grab some prawns and yummy food, head to the beach and catch up with friends.

Darran Franks and Nicka Atkins

They are two of the most passionate, creative Gold Coasters you’ll ever meet and, with their powers combined, they opened everyone’s favourite bright pink co-working and event space, Hotel Miami earlier this year.

Meet Nicka Atkins and Darran Franks. We sat down for a chat with the good-time loving (and also super professional) pair about meeting at a silent meditation commune and the big plans they have for connecting the Gold Coast community.

How long have you been Gold Coast locals?
Darran 20 years and Nicka 32 years

What do you love most about our city?
The opportunity!!! We are a city on the cusp of greatness and people are moving to the area in droves. There is abundant opportunity for business as long as you are dedicated and good at what you do.

Tell us how you two met…
Nicka “I met Darran on a Vispassina silent retreat at the Barjuan commune in India. Our eyes met over a hot vegetarian dahl and we knew it was a perfect business partner match.”
Darran “We met at my cousins wedding.”

How did Hotel Miami come about?
Darran and myself had both relocated home from different cities and wanted to create a workspace that felt more in line with a big city feel – an artistic hub where we could shoot/edit/paint and collab on all of our fun projects. We found the location and realized it was perfect. The support for Hotel Miami has been so amazing especially with all the young and up and coming artists.

Why do you think co-working spaces are the go these days…
I think more and more people are working for themselves and becoming entrepreneurs of sorts. The Gold Coast has so many people out there working on a side hustle or new idea. The co-working model works because people like to feel inspired by others at work. Anyone who has worked from home knows it’s handy for a while but nothing beats having others around to bounce ideas off and just to generally have a laugh with. Our little community here have a bunch of laughs and really get things done. There has already been other business formed out of Hotel Miami, which is awesome!

You host events and art shows too, tell us what you’re aiming to create for the local community?
We do. It’s called First Friday’s. On the first Friday of every month we host a local Gold Coast artist to showcase their work. We always make it FREE for the artist and we don’t take any commissions. This has been a huge part of what Darran, Jessie and I consider our success in this business. We feel very fortunate to be in a position where we can help promote homegrown creative talent on the GC. The truth is, there are tonnes of brilliant artists on the Gold Coast, young and old. We would love to see more and more people host art shows and get our towns’ name out there as a culturally forward and supportive community. I could go on and on about this subject but seriously seeing all the awesome people come to our studio and buy art off the walls is a truly epic experience.

How have you seen the Coast’s art and culture scene change over the years?
The Coasts’ art and culture scene has exploded. The people want good dining, music and artistic experiences and there’s a bunch of amazing people in the community making that happen. I’m not going to lie, introducing new and exciting businesses isn’t always easy because there’s no framework to go off when making these spaces however we have experienced very positive feedback from our city leaders and we are very excited at what the Gold Coast is becoming. I can’t wait to see what the GC will have to offer in another five years!

What else do you think we need?
A late night eating scene. A central independent live music venue, more buskers, more forward thinkers, a modern art gallery, more relaxed food truck laws, more spots to enjoy food and drinks on the beachfront that aren’t surf clubs.

What’s on for the rest of 2018 for you both?
We are gonna keep on fighting the good fight and developing our brand here at Hotel Miami. We love the Gold Coast and we love the creative community. Come join us!

Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Bar: Cambus Wallace and Granddad Jacks
Beach: North Burleigh
Café: Stones Throw, Burleigh Social
Restaurant: The Scottish Prince, Mr Hizolas
How does your weekend usually look: Nicka: Up early with my new baby boy Abe, we go and do a surf check, talk mum into letting me go surfing and then usually hanging at the Hotel cleaning up and preparing for the next week of mayhem.

Pilates guru Kirsten King

She is the Gold Coast born Pilates guru loved the world over for her unique blend of technical knowledge combined with a passionate modern approach to healing and strengthening the body.

And excitingly for us, Kirsten King owner of Fluidform Pilates (Sydney) and instructor for a slew of professional athletes and celebrities, will this weekend teach one of her high vibe classes at Eden Health Retreat in Currumbin on Saturday August 24th.

We sat down for a chat with Kirsten about what we can expect from the weekends’ event and how we can practice Fluidform Pilates from the comfort of our living rooms.

What’s do you love most about visiting the Gold Coast?
I love visiting the Gold Coast to see my family. My Mum and Dad and other extended family still live here and any chance I get to come back and spend time with them is so special, not to mention I get to go and visit the best beaches in the world. I have so many fond memories of growing up on the Coast, it really is like coming home.

Tell us how your business Fluidform Pilates came about…
I studied for my Pilates certification in the UK and taught there for a little while and then just after my oldest daughter was born my husband and I moved to Sydney. At that time I discovered Fluidform Pilates and began teaching there which quickly turned into me buying into the business and shortly after that buying out the previous owners in full. Since then I have opened a new studio in Clovelly and also just launched Fluidform at Home, an at home Pilates subscription program. My goal is to allow as many people as possible access to Pilates and that is what I work towards across all elements of the business.

Why is Pilates something everyone should be incorporating into their lives?
Pilates brings about both physical and mental change. With a regular Pilates proactive you’ll see your body change as you become stronger and more flexible, posture improves and your body feels and looks better as overall functional movement is improved. Alongside all the physical change comes the mental strength and positivity that comes from improving your physicality. It really is a life changing practice and I see that every day with my clients whether it’s helping them through injuries or pregnancy or simply improving their overall health through regular Pilates.

What’s unique about Fluidform Pilates?
We are for everybody. Anyone can benefit from Pilates and we focus on having an inclusive and supportive approach in our studios and our online program. Our approach to Pilates blends the traditional training with a modern sensibility to create programming that is effective and relevant for current lifestyles.

Tell us about your event at Eden Health Retreat on August 24th…
Last year I had a week at Eden and it was life-changing. I left feeling really inspired to create a Pilates focused Eden experience and this year that is exactly what we have done, starting August 18th. For those who can’t make the full week, we are holding an outside mat class on the 24th that includes breakfast and a Q&A with Sylvia Jeffries and I. The class will be a challenging workout and the Q&A will be a chance to understand more about the way I approach Pilates.

You’re bringing along some exciting guests, what do they have to share with Gold Coasters?
Pip Edwards and Sylvia Jeffries will also be attending the retreat and mat class. Sylvia will be interviewing me for the Q&A and Pip will be joining in the mat class with all our guests. 

How can people who don’t live in Sydney experience your classes?
Fluidform at Home! It is accessible from anywhere in the world via laptop or mobile. We release new workouts and accompanying calendar each month to keep things fresh as well as other special things like a fortnightly Facebook live class or Q&A with me. FFAH is now five months old and we already have the most beautiful community of committed women and men who keep telling us how much they have benefitted from it.

What’s on the agenda for the rest of 2019 for you?
At the moment we are planning some live events across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to give me a chance to meet more of our Fluidform community. Other than that you’ll either find me teaching at one of the studios or spending time with my husband and three daughters!

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