Photography: Justin Aaron Makeup: Jes OBrien Words: Georgie Abay
If youre looking for someone to design a fabulous party invite, a birth announcement or a special illustration of your child, Inga Campbell is your girl. After over 15 years working in magazines most recently as the art director of Grazia magazine she decided to move from Sydney to Newcastle and set up her own creative studio Inkling Design (check out some of her beautiful illustrations below). It just made sense to come up here and renovate before the baby arrived and get settled and be near my parents, says Campbell, whose daughter Andy (Anderson) is now two years old. We wanted a slower pace of life and I thought by having my own business it would mean I could dictate my hours a little more with a new baby. It worked perfectly as I knew Id still need a creative outlet and I love to work. I had the best of both worlds. I was working from my home office doing illustrations for the magazines, art directing a Newcastle based wedding magazine called White and then doing all my own client work, all with a new baby. It wasnt long before I was flat out.
Can you tell us about Inkling Design? Inkling Design is a place where you can come to get an original design created for you. Be it an illustration, custom invitation or branding. I have many hats but I guess the fact that I illustrate as well as design means that you truly get something that is a little bit different.
You design a lot of birth announcements, party invitations, illustrations for children Without a doubt these are some of my favourite things to do! I love drawing children and actually want to do more of it and the custom invites are a treat. Illustrations are the thing I love the most and often I always want to do them first as I get so much enjoyment from it.
What has motherhood taught you? I think the main thing that motherhood taught me (and this seemed to kick in almost as soon as she was born) was that there was so much stupid stuff that I used to worry about that just doesnt even seem relevant anymore. I have this beautiful little creature to take care of now and my family is my world. I think there were things that I used to get worked up about, but it just doesnt seem important anymore. It has taught me to be me and be happy with me. I think I am a much more happy, carefree person. Basically dont sweat the small stuff.
What is your favourite time of the day? When Andy gets home from care and we play outside or go for a walk and she tells me about her day.
How would you describe the style of Andys room? Eclectic. It truly is a mix of the past and present. The two wooden single beds that she has in her room were mine when I was little and I still love them. She also has an old school desk in her room that was also from my childhood and both of these have been painted so many different colours over all these years to suit all the different rooms if you scratch the surface its like a rainbow. I love to go to flea markets and car boot sales and find treasures so Andy always chooses things when we do that for her room too. We have more modern artworks and storage but it still has a bit of a vintage vibe going on.
How do you handle childcare? Andy is in care four days a week. She goes to a small family daycare three days a week and to my parents house on the other day. The daycare is amazing, there is a maximum of five kids at a time but she gets picked up and dropped home in a cute little VW van with all the kids in it like a mini school bus. It is so educational and they get taken to the library, art gallery, museum and high tea and do all kinds of activities around town.
How has your style changed since becoming a mum? My style has changed so much since being a mum. I used to live in heels and only owned a couple of flats that I barely wore. Dont get me wrong, I still love my heels but the flats outweigh the heels in the wardrobe department now (Andy calls them my silly shoes). I would say my uniform would be a statement pant with a loose simple top as this is versatile and comfort is also my new friend. I can also switch from flats to heels easily.
What are you most proud of in life? My Andy, she is the best thing I have done and is my little shadow. I am proud of myself for building this business while having her and I hope that one day she will appreciate it too. As much as I am proud of being a Mum it gives me a sense of achievement when I am working and kicking my own career goals.