Tuesday, November 24

The Finders Keepers

When I first encountered the word 'indie' I used it without really knowing what it meant. But now I do. And 'indie' is best represented in one of Australia's most authentic and unique arts and design markets, The Finders Keepers. This twice- a- year event/market/exhibition/celebration of arts, design and music strongly mirrors, not only Australian talent in its purest form but also, the culture.

A visit to their website will bring anyone's creativity to life. With this in mind, and remembering the fact that another celebration is drawing close, I decided to get a few facts and essences straight.
Two Sydney designers, Sarah Thornton and Brooke Johnston, started out with a simple conversation about the hardships of a designer to reach out and the constraints within the industry for their works to be heard. Here, The Finders Keepers was born. It was an honor having Sarah answer some of my queries.

For those who don't know about The Finders Keepers read on. For those who have an amazing knowledge about this amazing venture, you'll definitely find this conversation quite interesting.

Michelle: First of all, in short and simple terms, what is The Finders Keepers?
Sarah: We are independent design & art markets founded in Sydney, that supports new and emerging independent design. We aim to connect with others through our resources and projects.

m: What sparked this concept?
s: It all started out with a conversation between us about Brooke not being able to find a suitable & affordable place to sell her new jewelry range. Starting out she couldn't afford to put on expensive exhibitions and be in trade shows and was wasting her time sitting at local Sydney markets and not getting the results she wanted. We said why don't we create the perfect atmosphere to not only sell, connect and network but also enjoy your time there with music, food and wine. Our perfect combination of all the things we loved came alive when we said to each other, why not? we haven't got anything to loose, and that is how we started. Never organised an event in our life, we threw caution to the wind and worked it out as we went along!

m: What and/or who are your influences?
s: In a design sense we could go on for ever! We love art, music, d
esign, craft, jewelery and object design, vintage and retro items. We have a very similar love for organic clean design, we love natural elements, tactile surfaces and textiles. We also love street art and illustrators from around the world. Many designers and artists in Australia influence us and drive us to encourage the very organic talent that is a part of our diverse country.

m: It is clear that The Finder's Keepers have established an amazing niche consisting of both great designers and their creative customers. Do you aim to make this concept bigger? Accessible to more people, maybe?
s: We believe part of our success is because of the amount of work we do in curating our market events. In that sense we run like an exhibition and not just a market. It is what drives designers to apply for our markets, and it is what drives customers to come and know
they are going to get the best new unique design in one place. This has been something we have grown over time and its our biggest strength. We don't want to sell ourselves out in a sense so we'll stick to our guns in maintaining a grass roots independent level, but always introducing new work and being different each time. In terms of growing and being accessible to the rest of the Australia, that is our next goal.

m: A short message to those future artists. Should they keep it real and aim to save the world, or what?
s: I don't think anyone needs to aim to save the world, if that is not w
hat drives their work in the first place! Being an artist is a real organic process and in most cases comes through a journey of self discovery and learning new techniques and finding your niche. We don't ever judge people's work we look beyond that and try to see how passionate they are, why they are unique and what they have to offer others.

m: How can upcoming designers acquire the honor of featuring in The Finders Keepers market shows?
s: We have an application process, basically you fill out an application form online and send in images of your work! We look for presentation, packaging, well executed work and often is as simple as sending in good photos! A dodgy photo of your work just shows us that you aren't serious about what you do and is a bad impression. We love it when people go the extra mile and put together creative ways of explanations of what they do. From there we choose
our final list that fits into varying areas of design including fashion, art, accessories, homewares, stationery etc the list goes on! We always look for one designer in each category to represent each different area of design eg. hats.

m: And to end this interview, two random questions. What is your favorite food?
s: We both love Thai, and there is plenty of good Thai in Sydney!

m: What garment color do you wear the most? And why (if possible)?
s: I mostly wear black as its safe and you can wear any coloured accessories with it - and it always looks good, but I love red as its my favourite colour so it frequents in my outfits alot.


There you go guys. The Finders Keepers have been going on for a while now and you can re- experience the past by checking out their archive gallery. If you want more of the good stuff. Come to Carriageworks on the 4th and 5th of December 2009 and be amazed!
Remember, I don't say anything, unless I mean it.

For more information: go to their website

Sarah and Brooke
thefinderskeepers.com for images


crapbag said...

pretty impressive blog...didn't know you could write like this. seal of approval

brooke. said...

though I'm not sure who you are. hahahha

Anonymous said...

great post, michelle!
i never knew much about the finders keepers markets, only heard of it here and there from friends, but will definitely check it out this coming dec! :O)