Dustys and Lulu (Mike and Lindie), are Martinborough-based designers who mix their passion for creative conceptual design with get-your-hands-dirty screenprinting to create limited edition prints, pillowcases, tea towels, aprons, threads and vintage up-cycled crates.
How did you come to create Dustys & Lulu together?
We started Dustys & Lulu a year and a half ago, bringing together our desire to do our own creative work, our passion for design and Mike’s new screen printing skills. We met when I employed Mike as a designer at a Wellington agency. We got on immediately and found we shared a love of brainstorming, thinking outside the box, being cheeky and having a laugh. Overtime our friendship grew into a relationship. We're so lucky, we get to create, play, share and laugh together every day. We’re great at collaborating, it’s exhilarating, fun and unleashes vast creative results. It is a marriage made in heaven, both in terms of our love for each other and our love for design. We both love a bit of mischief and making people laugh till they are ready to explode. Having spent years working in agencies with clients that didn't appreciate our knowledge and skills we starting designing and illustrating in the evenings. It was delightful to have complete creative control and we had such a laugh coming up with the ideas and executing them. With thirty years design experience between us it was a natural step for us to create a design company where we are the bosses, working both with clients that appreciate our design skills and creating our own work to add prettiness to as many households as possible.
Do you still have 'day jobs' or are you full-time with Dusty & Lulu?
It is with such delight to say we're full-time DustysandLulu. We mad a big move and left our day jobs and our much loved city, moved over the kick ass hill to Martinborough so we could go full time into Dustys & Lulu. It has meant that we no longer have to squeeze everything into our 57 metre square city apartment. We brought a house which had a separate studio and garage, which is purely set up for making screen printing magic. We so love the space, our creative workshop is about the size of our whole apartment back in Wellington.
We're so grateful, going full time has been the best move we could've made, we're so happy.
Do what you love, follow your dreams, work hard and have the right amount of determination, craziness, faith and attitude. Life should be filled with fun, passion, a big dose of naughtiness, a belly full of laughter and a heart full of love.
Always be generous, positive, love what you do and do what you love so you can make your life pretty.
What has been the coolest experience of your career so far?
It's been a dream come true for both of us to have people approach us to get a Dustys & Lulu commission. To have people say they love our style and humor and want a piece of it. To be given a brief to create some Dustys & Lulu magic is a designers dream as well as working with clients who choose us, who value and trust our skills, style and knowledge.
What was the last thing you saw or experienced that got you really creatively excited?
We are surrounded by inspiration. As designers all sorts of things spark ideas and creative excitement. We definitely inspire each other, Mike is so driven and creative he pushes me to come up with better ideas constantly. Social booking marking websites such as Behance and vi.sualize are such a gem for inspiration and delight. We love our books for the beautiful illustrations, typography and design that delights. For years I've collected children's books for their beautiful illustrations and stories that touch you or make you laugh. Design books offer a delicious source of inspiration and always take pride and place on our bookshelves. Bansky, Ames Bros and James Jean are a few of the many artists that inspire us.
What are you guys working on at the moment?
We're super excited to be designing some tees for both an up and coming kiwi film as well as a Mexican restaurant in Auckland.
We're designing a logo for a new local brewery (bring on the beer tastings) and screen printing a poster for an up-cycling fashion awards. We designed the poster and came up with the genius idea of cutting up old clothes and printing on that fabric as stand out posters that not only promote the event but demonstrate what the event is all about.
We've just redesigned the local newspaper and in the process of finalizing this issue. I'm sure it's going to make a bit of an impression with the locals, just like the redesign we're working on for the local rugby club.
We are constantly coming up with new ideas for our existing products, next dirty linen pillow case set to watch out for is Tops and Bottoms, adding a big dose of naughtiness to the bedroom and the next tea towel is the cheeky hugs not drugs.
And finally, Show & Tell time! Let us see your creative space and tell us about some of the things you keep around you…
Mike and a friend made some super sexy bookshelves. They are truly amazing. Made from really thick ply wood, for strength but also visual deliciousness, we love the look of the pieces of ply glued together. The shelves go floor to ceiling, which is a dream to me. One day I want book shelves that have a ladder, just like amazing old libraries in Europe. They look incredible with the newly painted bright pink wall behind. I love colour and delight in colour co-ordinating the books. It's so sexy and so enjoyable to look at.
The desk our yummy Macs sit on. We printed the top, our take on an old school sign and Mike made the trestle legs from salvaged wood from our neighbors 'to burn' pile.
Check out the Dustys & Lulu website here!