Jess Wright and Lara Davies, aka Home-Work, are the creative brains behind Art Camp. Think all the fun of school camp, but with more skillsharing from top-notch creatives (Beci Orpin, Evie Kemp and Lucas Grogan, to name a few) and plenty of quality chinwagging with likeminded folk and you've got Art Camp in a nutshell.
After teaming up for Art Camp 2019 (where we had a total blast), we’re buzzed to help bring all the same crafty goodness to New Zealand this month, followed by another Australian camp in May. Hooray!
Ahead of the weekend event across the ditch, we nabbed Jess and Lara to quiz them about their love of workshopping, collaborating and bonding with new peeps.
How did the idea of Art Camp first come about? Lara Davies: After the launch of our book Print Play, we went around Australia and to New Zealand many times and had so much fun travelling. We experienced a certain magic and creative spark: we felt 21 and free again. The idea for Art Camp was to bring people together to create and get out of their comfort zone for a short period of time. We hope that when people leave their everyday life and commit to a weekend of adventures they can experience the same magic.
Who is Art Camp for? LD: Anyone and everyone wanting to do creative workshops and get away from everyday life in a beautiful setting.
Jess Wright: Our first Art Camp in 2019 truly exceeded our expectations. It was such an incredible cross section of people and there was such a buzz of joy and excitement in the air all weekend.
Tell us more about where the Art Camps are hosted. JW: Art Camp Australia is held in Queenscliff, which is about an hour's drive from Melbourne. The camp itself is right on the beach and is surrounded by scrub so when you're there you really feel like you're in a special little bubble away from reality.
LD: We chose to host the New Zealand workshop on the Banks Peninsula as it is close to the home of our Camp Kitchen star, dessert experts Sweet & Savage. The peninsula has a lot of similarities to our Australia location: they are both a 90-minute drive from a major city and offer a peaceful camp space in a scenic rural spot.
JW: The views are incredible and the whole place has that perfect summer camp vibe – straight out of an ‘80s movie.
What do you love most about teaching workshops? LD: I love seeing people find joy and peace when they are learning something new and giving themselves the time and space to be creative. Taking the time to make and connect to your creative side is essential; as I get older I truly appreciate art for art’s sake.
What are the key ingredients to running a successful workshop? JW: Great teacher. Great chat. Great playlist. Great vibes – this one is very important. The workshop has to have positive vibes for people to actually learn and absorb what you are teaching them. I'm shocked at how hard people are on themselves, so I'm always going to be your cheerleader even if I drive you slightly crazy. LD: Planning, knowledge and a love of people. A clear lesson plan, an amazing skill to share and really talking to every person is my approach.
What aspect of Art Camp NZ are you most excited for? JW: I think about Sweet & Savage's amazing desserts roughly five times a day. Every day. So I'd be lying if I didn't say that Rachel's food wasn't near the top of the list. But I'm just so excited to meet our campers and spend time getting to know them. I'm also so excited to see our amazing teaching line-up in action. I love getting to have a whole weekend to just soak up all the passion, excitement and creativity of everyone involved – it's like a B12 shot for my spirit.
Art Camp New Zealand
February 21st – 23rd, 2020
YMCA Wainui Park Camp, Canterbury
Art Camp Australia
May 8th – 10th, 2020
Camp Wyuna, Queenscliff
Pop by the Home-Work site to nab your Art Camp tickets.