Tell us a little bit about your label (art) and what you do?
The Scallywag Society was initially set up as a bit of a hobby company, but after a very positive response the founders decided it deserved a bit more attention. At the moment, we create cushions, bags, chairs, robes and tablecloths. Our initial range features cheeky Alexander Henry prints on the front with backs from recycled City of Sydney street banners, while our newly launched collaboration with the Sydney Film Festival makes use of their colourful and playful 2014 street banners on both sides, featuring a host of characters in a range of options. We’re also working on a new range with a local designer that we’re hoping to launch in June or July. Oh, and all of our cushion inserts are made in Australia from recycled PET bottles — which doesn’t sound comfortable, but are remarkably so and hold their shape incredibly well!
What inspires your work?
We’re inspired by fun. If it makes us giggle, or we think it’s exciting, we try and make it happen! The last thing we want is for this to become dry and boring.
What jobs have you done other than being an artist?
We’re all otherwise employed! Our two founders are Sally Colebatch, who is a long-time sewer but a bookkeeper by day, and David Smith, originally from the UK and co-founder of talent Agency Smith & Jones Management. David also has years of experience as an actor, with his most high profile role in Shakespeare In Love. Our third partner, Ross Colebatch, is a freelance storyteller, with a background in film, events, design, and writing.
What memorable responses have you had to your work?
We’re quite new! Everyone is always pretty gobsmacked by the chairs and robes, though.
One thing you can’t live without?
Coffee. And champagne.
What gets you up in the morning?
Coffee. Not normally champagne.
How would your best friend describe you in 3 words?
Not quite sober.
What is the next skill you want to learn?
The skill to make cushions at twice the speed!
What is your dream project?
Travelling the world collaborating with awesome artists to make fabulous items for the collection, of course!
Favourite or most inspirational place in Sydney?
Whenever international visitors come, you have to take them to the Opera House concourse for views of the House, the Bridge and the Harbour — it never fails to inspire and amaze, even after so many trips. And Dangar Island and its surrounds on the Hawkesbury. So beautiful, peaceful.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
What advice would you give to new, aspiring Makers?
Don’t stop! Get your friends to spruik you and spend all your money to start with on getting yourself noticed. A good bit of PR, no matter how small or targeted, always helps.
And most importantly, what would your ultimate karaoke song be?
Ross is a karaoke fiend! He’s know the world over for his full-body, physical rendition of Smells Like Teen Spirit, which has been performed in multiple cities in both Australia and Europe.
The Scallywag Society
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