I have been following the work of Hayley King aka Flox for over 5 years. She is a prolific creator who has turned the old adage of “starving artist” on it’s head and applied her work to walls, billboards, cards, clothing, collectible and affordable print editions. An awesome example of an artist making her passion work for her.
I had been dying for sometime to explore her work/gallery/living space on Great North Road so was pretty excited when we set a time to catch up last week. I met her at the front door of her roadside gallery where she led me back through an open plan, double height living area to a partially covered courtyard. Propped up against the boundary fence was an enormous commissioned piece she had just completed that afternoon for Epsom salon, Gracious Hair & Make Up. An amazing and super recognisable work that oozed her colourful and graphic ‘Flox” style.
As we sat down for a chat I started probing on “how” she actually attacked projects like the one she had just completed. While she is terrific at sharing her process through time-lapses and photos on her website, I was keen to get a lowdown on the nitty gritty of it all.
Recent commissions have ranged from spending 21 hours straight (on that glorious Waitangi Day!) working on the interior walls of a lift shaft in a private home to a massive backdrop in the Geyser Building owned by her landlords.
Typically she will visit the client and their space, discussing the brief right down to colours they might want to include and ideas inspired by her previous projects. Private clients tend to just give her free rein as they know her work well, meaning she will often prepare and go straight into completing the project without a drawn out consultation process. With commercial jobs she will usually spend time bringing the brief to life with a photoshop mock up which she can present and tweak with her client before beginning.
Despite having a huge library of stencils that she has made over the years, most projects require her to draw and cut more with the help of her trusty OHP (over head projector) for scaling. Then, it’s her practice to just go hard and work solidly either on-site or in her studio until the project is finished.
After pretending not to be tempted…and failing badly, I know exactly the print I have my eye on for my next wall treat!
If you are keen to see Hayley in action you can check her out down at Queens Wharf next Monday (25th Feb) afternoon completing some work as part of the “Conversations in Mind” project. Southern folk can see her working on a lake front billboard for the Wanaka Festival of Colour on the 16th of April.
WHAT I LEARNT FROM FLOX:
Art can be a business without sacrificing creativity.
Go get it done.