Cup of Conversation - Meet the artists, Anouska
Our latest Innocent Collaboration series, Cup of Conversation, has been created as a way to support local Mental Health Charity I AM HOPE. With all proceeds from the series going towards I AM HOPE’s continued work in our community assisting young people, aged from 5 to 24 years old, in gaining access to fully funded, professional mental health support and counselling.
Because right now, three families lose a loved one to suicide every two days in New Zealand. These figures can no longer be ignored or swept under the carpet by those who champion the ‘stay silent on suicide’ mantra currently in effect across Aotearoa.
Most of us know from personal experience that one of the worst parts about suffering from depression is the absolute loneliness and helplessness of it all. Cup of Conversation is about generating awareness and encouraging regular conversation about mental health with friends, colleagues and strangers. With the hope of empowering our communities through conversation and education, encouraging others to become an integral part of the solution, driving the intergenerational attitudinal social change needed to reverse the incidence of suicide and depression we’re currently experiencing.
Because conversations about mental health should be as common as your daily coffee routine.
Meet the artists: Anouska
Originally from the Netherlands Anouska developed her creative style through a series of highflying agency jobs and fashion brands both overseas and in Aotearoa. Learn more about one of three artists behind the Cup of Conversation series and how Anouska now balances being a full-time mum and running her own design business.
Hi Anouska, tell us a bit about yourself.
Hello! My name is Anouska - pronounced “A-noush-ka” – more commonly known as Nou or Noush. I’m from a family of four very creative girls whose paths have been very different, my childhood was saturated with art, creating and making. It has always been a passion of mine. I completed a Bachelor of Design (majoring in Graphic communication) as well as a minor in fine arts – painting.
While studying I was lucky enough to get a sideline gig doing design and textiles for NZ fashion label (Salasai) It was a great insight into the world of fashion - I was working on everything from the graphic design to helping with prints and textiles for the fabric.
After graduating, I got a job at a Dashwood Design Agency up in Auckland, where I had the pleasure of assisting on working with some big NZ brands like Fonterra, Treasures Nappies, ‘V’, Genesis Energy, Fletcher, DB Breweries. After a good stint at the branding agency, I then went on to work with Trelise Cooper at her head office. I call it my crazy year, working in the fashion biz is extremely fast-paced and with Trelise owning essentially five different fashion brands (rather separate from each other), the workload was heavy, but it was fun. The best part was designing prints and creating artwork into textiles for her fabrics. It’s amazing seeing something you doodled on paper, turned into a beautiful garment being paraded down the runway at fashion week.
After Trelise Cooper, I began to work for myself and Noushk Design was born. The freedom of working for myself for clients around the globe enabled my husband and me to go travelling and finally settle for a year in the Netherlands - back to my roots where my family is from. We did a few exciting projects in Amsterdam and I continued to freelance and contract in various dutch agencies.
Falling pregnant with my first boy, Eiko, we decided to return to New Zealand and settle in the little creative art deco capital of New Zealand, Napier. Fast forward a few more years later and I added a baby girl to our tribe (Juniper). So currently I am a full-time Mumma with two busy toddlers, and continue to run my own business designing for wonderful brands within New Zealand and around the world.
How would you describe your artist style in three words:
This is a hard one! as I normally design in response to a brief, but I guess my work all have an element of QUIRKY, CLEAN, FUN in the mix!
What was the inspiration behind your Cup of Conversation design?
I designed the illustration in hope to spark the curiosity of the drinker, that they would be drawn in by all the unique characters, and prompted to read the text in the centre as well as the words describing what so many normal people feel on the daily. Using just black and white depicts the dark side of mental health issues, but I also personally like the simplicity and contrast of the fine white line against the black.
Mental Health awareness is important to me because it affects more people than you think, I want to help normalise talking about mental health. There is definitely a stigma around mental health, and discussing mental illness can help people engage support and realize that they are not alone in their struggle.
If someone close to you is down, how would you try to cheer them?
A giant tight squeeze – there is nothing better than a hug.
How would you describe your workspace?
No frills! Because I’m a stay at home mumma, my workplace (when designing) is basically the kitchen table or the breakfast bar at home. It’s a little chaotic, but I plan to have my own home studio someday soon!
When you’re not designing, what are you doing?
I’m usually keeping my two wild toddlers alive and happy, or working on my bountiful veggie garden with them, or going out for a run or a cycle along the marine parade with my mokopuna in the bike trailer behind me.
Somewhere that you’ve never been to in Aotearoa that you’d like to visit?
I would love to hike the Abel Tasman coastal Track!
What’s something that relaxes you when you’re feeling stressed?
Being in the ocean
What’s the last thought that kept you awake at night?
All my client deadlines!
Do you have any strange and completely irrational fears?
What’s your idea of heaven?
Heaven on earth for me is when the sun is shining, I’m with my loved ones at the beach, we are in the sea, or maybe on my longboard getting a little wave.
What is something you’re excited about at the moment?
What is there not to be excited about! Life is beautiful!
By purchasing from the Cup of Conversation series you'll be directly supporting your vulnerable young community.