Meet our Summer guest designer

Meet Tanya DeSilva-McKay our Summer guest designer. Being a professional designer she didn’t need any mentoring from me at all. In fact I think she could teach me a thing or too. Her work is so rich, I love how she totally reworked this issue and made it her own with a fresh new look. We’re so pleased to have her as part of the team.

Tell us a little bit about your creative journey?

My creative journey began when I was small where I loved books and illustrations and honestly – stationery! I played with whatever I could get my hands on. Fancy pencils, graphite, textas, fineliners, calligraphy pens, different papers and all the things I could draw a mark and communicate with – admittedly these things make me very happy now!
Design with my Bachelors degree further down the track enabled study in photography, graphics and illustration but I also got to create three-dimensional work where I made objects such as furniture and experimented with different materials. Now, I work as a freelance Art director and designer where I mostly design books, magazines, and other collateral such as logos and digital content.
I also started a digital film postgraduate course doing motion graphics and animation. Over the past several years I have also renovated homes with my husband – so I have drafted plans for kitchens, bathrooms and have staged homes for sale, working in a physical space in the capacity of an interior designer.
Otherwise… I miss using my hands and spend many late nights after my childrens’ bedtime doing more tangible work such as drawing and painting. My journey seems to be one that keeps unfolding which is exciting. I am still not sure where else it will lead but it is all fuelled by curiosity!

Why did you want to become an artist/designer?

I didn’t necessarily set out to become a designer – it was just a drive to pursue creativity and have an outlet which became a career. I just enjoyed seeing an idea come to life that was purposeful and beautiful. Creative communication in all the different mediums such as graphics, motion graphics, drawing and painting are fulfilling and energising.

Did you study art/design?

Yes, I initially studied film and television in a Contemporary Arts stream at University before shifting and graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Design at Monash University. I’ve circled back to further Postgraduate study and I am keen to see where it will lead.

How did you become involved with the hillscene?

I’ve always seen the magazine in my travels and saw the opportunity to be a guest designer and was excited by being involved in a publication that was local and community-driven.

In what ways, if any, do you engage with the hills community?

I engage in the community mainly through my activities with my family and just living here! There are so many things to do and we use as many local businesses and services as we can and spend most of our time on the mountain.

What do you wish you knew about being a designer/artist before you got started?

It is a hard task getting into the industry, you get paid very poorly (especially starting out) and it requires more grit and passion than you feel you can sometimes summon. This is mostly due to doubt you may feel with your abilities and the comparison you have with other very talented people. You need to move beyond it, acknowledge your capabilities, be open to feedback to improve, continue to learn and remain humble.
Being driven by pride is also a good thing in the sense that your name is attached to what you produce. Regardless of how small a job, it’s true value is your work and your attribution, not how much money it made or how much it is seemingly worth to others. It’s valuable and it represents your standard and you.
Also, whatever strikes you as interesting, pay attention to it, and record it as often as you can. I wish I kept a better visual and written record of all my ideas. More importantly, is to not be afraid to explore these ideas sooner rather than later.

Who are your creative heroes?

I have many heroes spanning many different disciplines so the list is extensive… I admire Saul Bass and his clever use of graphics and motion graphics, to current designers such as Chip Kidd and Aaron Draplin. The art of Roy Lichtenstein features on my walls at home and I also love the art and sentiments of Vincent Van Gogh. Elsewhere, I love Wes Anderson films and his distinct style, have a particular obsession with beautiful chairs (particularly those of Hans Wagner and Charles and Ray Eames) and I admit to collecting too many books (if there’s such a thing)… particularly those books with stunning illustrations usually reserved for children. I will eternally adore children’s books – they are so succinct and poetic.
In saying that, I do love whimsical work by Jane Newland, the vivid colours in Clair Bremner’s art and landscapes, to the distinct folk art by Dinara Mirtalipova.
I also admire many colleagues who I have been privileged to work with and learn alongside over the past several years.

What do you enjoy about living in the Dandenong Ranges?

There are so many things to enjoy living up in the Ranges. I love the quiet, community-oriented, open-minded, accepting and friendly community of the hills. 
I love the smell of the rain and the fireplaces in the winter, the vibrancy of all the green, the sounds of the kookaburras, the glimpse of the colourful birds in the trees and their little songs, and of Puffing Billy rolling past my house daily. Not to mention the general feeling of comfort and peace of my home and the view every day. Especially on those misty ones, they are truly the best.

Where can people find more information about you?

I have a website and am on the socials. I post where possible – specifically tdsmdesignmedia.com.au, www.linkedin.com/in/tanyadesilvamckay and @tanyadesilvamckay do stop by!

What are your plans for the future (immediate or long term)?

I intend to keep on making – learning, and learning some more. I’m looking forward to expanding my practise in all the different ways I am compelled to explore. I hope I get better with my craft in whatever direction it goes. I am open to the path unraveling, so for the moment, I will just continue to make.

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Meet the Summer guest editor

Meet Lisa Ford our Summer issue guest editor. She has previously written articles for the hillscene so I was very pleased when she decided to be our guest editor. She’s decided to donate her earnings from doing the hillscene to the bushfire fundraising efforts. What a legend.

Tell us a little bit about your writing journey?

It all started when I was just a slip of a girl at school: I used to write my older sister’s English essays and was encouraged by the As ‘we’ used to get!. I majored in English Literature at university and worked as a journalist before the 1990s recession took my career down a different path. Two decades and three children later, my withering creative urge prompted me to study creative writing for a couple of years at Coonara Community House, where I wrote for the Foothills mag before jumping to hillscene.

Why did you want to become an editor/writer?

I love words and working with them in any capacity. After my toe-dip into writing, being an editor was always on the bucket list to satisfy my passions for grammar and spelling (nerd alert!) and for a sense of finally being the conductor of the orchestra.

What is an editor’s role in this era of fake news and alternative facts?

Ah, the era of fake news and alternative facts is a logical outcome of the seemingly benign Age of Relativism, in which the truth is now just one of many casualties of humankind’s mad march to idiocracy, along with the planet’s environment, most species except our own, democracy, science, reason etc. (don’t get me started!) In short, it should be the editor’s role to ensure the truth is told. 

How did you become involved with the hillscene?

 I have always enjoyed reading hillscene at local cafes and am a huge fan of the arts, the performing arts and Burrinja. It seemed like a great fit for me. 

In what ways, if any, do you engage with the hills community?

Our kids went to school locally for 12 years, played various sports, joined voluntary organisations such as scouts and CFA Juniors. I have also joined writing groups, tai chi and yoga classes and am an avid fan of plays, performances and art shows at Burrinja, the 1812 and Cloudehill.  Every experience deepens my connection with the community. But even more than that, I love the human scale of the hills, where I can exchange ‘Good mornings’ with a stranger in the street to fleetingly recognise our shared humanity.

What do you wish you knew about being a writer/editor before you got started?

I wish I had the hillscene style guide, because I missed a few things – sorry! 

Who are your creative heroes?

It has to be Shakespeare for literature and Puccini for opera. Both make me swoon.

What do you enjoy about living in the Dandenong Ranges?

Nature, wildlife, the earthy arty people and our fabulous townships 

What are your plans for the future (immediate or long term)?

I want to do a 10 day Vipassana silent retreat this year.   It’s time. 

Something else you want us to know? Here is your chance!

My hero is Greta Thunberg. We need young people like her to save the world. 

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Meet the Spring guest designer

Meet Tiffany Morris-North, local artist and foodie. She’s been our cafe tart for many years and was the first artist featured on our cover. I’ve known Tiffany for many years as our kids went to school together, I’m lucky enough to work with Tiffany and she’s always got great stories and fantastic recipes to try. She shares some of her stories here.

Tell us a little bit about your creative journey?

I don’t feel like I’ve been on a journey. Its just a part of me. I think my creativity is what keeps me grounded, it’s like a meditation and helps me to relax. I love learning new things, experimenting and attending workshops. 

Why did you want to become an artist/designer?

It hasn’t been a decision I’ve ever made. I’ve just always drawn pictures, painted, crocheted. Maybe I dandy have a choice.

Did you study art/design?

After Secondary School I studied an Art and Design Certificate at TAFE before working for a graphic designer, which I hated!!I then travelled overseas and studied prop-making and visual merchandising in London.

How did you become involved with the hillscene?

I have always had a small interest in the hillscene from the beginning. I’ve contributed photos, written cafe reviews and also had a painting featured on the cover of the premier issue. So I’ve been part of it right from the start.

In what ways, if any, do you engage with the hills community?

In the past I have been a part of Open Studios, helped start a local business (Leaf studios in Kallista), been part of local art exhibitions and initiatives and sold my wares at local markets. Because of this I’ve met many locals and artists and we continue to talk and share local interests and events.

What do you wish you knew about being an artist/designer before you got started?

I wish I knew more about the business side of things and marketing myself. Although these things really don’t interest me, I just wish I knew stuff.

Who are your creative heroes?

My heroes are the friends and artists I’ve met along the way who can fit their creativity into their work and family life as well as all the other surprises along the way.

What do you enjoy about living in the Dandenong Ranges?

I love the trees, the colours, the space and hearing the birds when I get home from work.

Where can people find more information about you?

I’m on facebook, instagram and have a website.
Facebook: Tiffany Morris-North Artist
Instagram: tiffanymorrisnorth_artist
www.tiffanymorrisnorth.com

What are your plans for the future (immediate or long term)?

Nothing definite. I’m always planning the next painting even if it never eventuates. I’m always on the lookout for a class or workshop to learn and have fun.

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Meet the Spring guest editor

Meet Melanie Bateson, our Spring guest editor. We met many years ago when I had a clothes swapping party at my house. Her humour comes out in her writing and I’m glad she has joined our team as an editor.

Tell us a little bit about your writing journey?

I have always loved writing and reading stories.  My Mum read to us as children, which fired my imagination up. I still have a couple of little stories and poems that I wrote in primary school, which are pretty cute. I was encouraged by two particular teachers at secondary school, and enjoyed developing my style while at Monash Uni in the 1990s, particularly through the study of film. Having teachers who see your talent and know how to tease it out of you is an amazing gift, so thank you to Mrs Jones, Ms Bruzzese and Liz and Heather!

Why did you want to become a writer/editor?

Being a writer is not a conscious decision, it just is. I was encouraged to apply for the guest editorship earlier this year and was successful in my application. I suspect I was the only applicant…I have found myself glowing a little since undertaking this role, which is all kinds of lovely.

What is an editor’s role in this era of fake news and alternative facts?

Keeping content genuine and grass roots is a passion of mine. Getting to the kernel of truth via the human story is my idea of real news and actual facts. The human story is everything.

How did you become involved with the hillscene?

After having children, I realised that writing was a compulsion for me, and was provided an opportunity to write for the Hillscene by Adriana as a result of our offspring attending the same local kinder. After a bit of a hiatus, and a loss of self-belief, I decided at the beginning of this year to get back into it. As a result, I have had an article picked up by the AFL website, and online magazine Mamamia. None of this would have happened had I not been encouraged by Adriana.

In what ways, if any, do you engage with the hills community?

Most of my engagement with the Hills community has been via my children, and the people I have met through their kinder, primary school and sporting exploits. Meeting artists, of all ilks, this way is a wonderful point of commonality, lending itself to a connection that is personal rather than professional. Half the time, none of us know what the other “does” until a lengthy time into the friendship.

What do you wish you knew about being a writer/editor before you got started?

Everything! I feel so lost in this world, as I have only recently decided to give it a real crack, and there is much to learn and navigate. A glaring example is how do writers get paid? This appears to be largely arbitrary. Why is this not already sorted out? The best part of it, however, is the support and encouragement afforded by other writers. They are utterly generous.

Who are your creative hero’s?

Stephen King, Danny Katz, Catherine Deveny, and anyone who has made their creative endeavour their profession.

What do you enjoy about living in the Dandenong Ranges?

The close knit community

Where can people find more information about you?

poopnbumpublishing.com

What are your plans for the future (immediate or long term)?

To continue writing articles, submitting them to various publications for publication, and observing the world through my own lens.

Something else you want us to know? Here is your chance!

Be yourself, maintain your sense of humour, it may even save your life.

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It takes a village

The Patch Primary School will be hosting their 2nd annual PatchFest this Saturday October 19th from 12 noon til 7pm. It is shaping up to be bigger and better than last year, which was a huge success and attracted over 2,000 visitors to this unique and wonderful school in the Dandenong Ranges.

The festival aims to bring the vibrant hills community together through live music, games, Art, food and drink. Two stages will host performances from local bands, including Lost Canoe, Parkville, Tracey Roberts Quartet, Merks ‘n’ Quims and Al MacInnes as well as fabulous performances by the students from The Patch Primary School. There will be a wide range of activities for all ages, including sponge throwing at teachers, a sideshow alley full of games created by our 5/6 students, a handballing target, tennis shots, lucky jars, coin toss chocolates, an up-cycled jewellery stall, second hand books and toys, handmade crafts, mandala painting with a local artist, nature weaving, a belly dance performance and more.

Lost Canoe.

There will be a range of delicious food on offer. Paella by ‘The Independent Gembrook’, food prepared by professional chefs, vegan and vegetarian options, wood fire pizza’s (oven supplied by Pizza Yolo and The Patch store), mulled wine, devonshire tea, sushi + PatchMade spices, jams, bread and cakes as well as beautiful coffee from Oscars coffee van.

PatchFest will again have a licenced bar and beer garden with all wine being supplied by Helen and Joey’s Estate. The day will continue into the evening with the Grade 6 mask parade, and culminating in a community bonfire facilitated by the Mountain Men. It’s set to be an amazing day of fun and entertainment for all ages!   

Students at the school are very excited about the upcoming festival with many of them counting down the sleeps. The Prep students are busily preparing for their up cycled jewellery stall and have started creating handmade beads for people to use on the day as well as collecting old jewellery to be repurposed, in keeping with the schools sustainability philosophy. Year 1’s and 2’s have spent the past few weeks making pom pom creations to sell as key rings and various items.  

So be sure to get along to The Patch Primary school, with your own picnic rug, or find a nice spot on one of the bean bags or deck chairs scattered around the oval and be part of the amazing afternoon that is PatchFest. All proceeds raised will go towards The Patch Primary School for their reading support program and audio visual equipment. But PatchFest is more than just a fundraiser, it is an opportunity for this wonderful community to come together perfectly illustrating the phrase “it takes a village.”

When: Saturday October 19th from 12pm – 7pm
Where: The Patch Primary School, Kallista – Emerald Road The Patch.

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Scratching an itch

Enjoy live art alongside wine at ‘Scratch it up’, a sneak peek into this years ‘hillsceneLIVE’ art festival 

Hosted at the creative space of Two Floors studio in Belgrave 25/08, ‘Scratch it up’ will give you a glimpse into this years ‘hillsceneLIVE’. From dance to circus, storytelling to interactive performance, this event will introduce many of the artists who will be performing at the festival later this year.  

The 2019 hillsceneLIVE (HSL) theme is that of “Turbulent lineages to shifting thresholds” and the artists present at ‘Scratch it up’ will showcase a variety of pieces inspired by the phrase. Gulsen Ozer describes her work as one of highs, lows and love and through her storytelling, will focus on the personal story of family and life experiences. Katie Lohner will join alongside with her story of an intimate human act, one of tradition, isolation and addiction. Eating! 

Dani-Ela Kayler’s piece is described as visceral, playful and intimate and explores our changing realities through contemporary dance. Fellow dancer Kathleen Renehan also aims to test the theme through her piece which will challenge the vertical limits that currently defines dance. 

Physical theatre will be present through The Contingent, nuanced and bittersweet notes through dance, clown and creative writing improvisation. Interactive Art is showcased by Champagne Glitch, exploring the uncertain future and the Pandora boxes we may be opening today, questioning what we will do next when confronted with conflict and realisation. 

Journeying with Cheryl Ho and Sze Min, attendees will experience the timeline of GIRL and her ancestors. Using audio to transcend time, place and history, they will delve into where we are from, where we have been and where we may have to go. Brigid Morgan presents a durational solo performance with themes of ‘kintsugi’, the celebration of flaws. Their work is realised through voiceover, reflections of motherhood and the fractured relationships healed by becoming a mother. 

In line with the hillscene program, artists come with their abstract and potentially confronting ideas in which they are given the opportunity to develop and explore themes not possible through other means. These ideas will be realised and performed at the eighth HSL festival. 

The art showcased at ‘Scratch it up’ are not completed pieces, yet will provide a taste for what is to come at this years HSL festival. This free Sunday session is for those who like some adventure with their wine and will start from 5:00 pm at the Two Floors Studio. Feel free to stick around. 

Book your place by contacting hello@hillscenelive.com. For further details on this years festival see: http://www.hillscenelive.com

When: Sunday 25 August at 5:00PM
Where: Two Floors Studio 
1662 Burwood Highway, Belgrave (Enter via Blacksmiths Way)
Cost: FREE

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Meet our Autumn guest designer

Tell us a little bit about your creative journey? 

As a designer I began designing marketing materials for friends and family when I was in high school, the first being fo the Tai Chi Classes my mom was teaching. All done by hand.

Why did you want to become a designer/artist/creative person?

I guess I’ve always been a creative person but really owning it, and making it my career has been a process. What made me finally decide was both my parents passing away within 6 months of each other, and they both said, almost verbatim, “I thought I’d have more time.” This struck me so deeply, what was I leaving undone because I thought I would get to it eventually? Being creative in my work life.

Did you study art/design?

Yes, I am still finishing a my degree in Media and Communications, though with the design side of things I am essentially self taught.

How did you become involved with the hillscene?

Through my work as the Marketing Manager at Burrinja.

In what ways, if any, do you engage with the hills community?

I engage with the Hills community on lots of levels but mainly through my work at Burrinja and as a volunteer at 3MDR, which is amazing. To have the opportunity to support artists and performers is very rewarding.

What do you wish you knew about being a designer/artist before you got started?

How much I would love it, I would have done it sooner.

Who are your creative heroes?

My creative heroes are legion. Recent works that have really struck me and stuck with me are Jane Campion’s series Top of the Lake, the moodiness and use of colour as well as her composition. Neo Impressionist Paul Signac, particularly the work “Point of Difference”. I was entranced by Tracy Moffat’s work for the Venice Biennale.

What do you enjoy about living in the Dandenong Ranges?

The air, the people, the hush of the forest and the sense of community.

What are your plans for the future?

To keep creating, growing and engaging as a person and an artist, finish my degree, get my daughter through high school and dabble in some art.

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VCE showcase 2019

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Portrait by Claire Hyett – Monbulk College

The VCE Showcase exhibition oozes with talent, featuring the works of 2018’s VCE students who will become tomorrow’s artists. And this year the Burrinja favourite has had a bit of a revamp. It has combined the Yarra Ranges and the Yarra Valley schools together into one exhibition. “This year we’ve decided to really bring everyone together in the one event,” says Toni Main, Burrinja’s Community Cultural Development Officer. All 17 school are participating from the whole Yarra Ranges area and part of that revamp has also been to add a free public program on Saturday 16 which will go from 12pm – 4pm. The Showcase is only on from Friday 15 – Monday 18 Feb, but is jam packed with things to see and do.

The public program will include a collaborative art piece that will be made in progress over the day in the space, plus a panel discussion with a combination of emerging and professional artists exploring the statement “Art is not a real career”. “That may be challenged in that panel discussion,” adds Toni. There’s also going to be speed dating for artists, where you will be able to talk to and network with other artists. A platform for young artists to be able to ask professionals some interesting questions like “How do you find your niche?” or “Did you end up doing what you thought you were going to?” Add to that music and food as well as other activities for a day full of inspiration.

Elizabeth Kelly Bayview_UpweyHS

Painting by Elizabeth Kelly – Upwey High School

Part of the VCE showcase includes an alumni program which was started last year. Two alumni each year are invited back to learn the whole process of the VCE Showcase, from visiting the schools and talking to the artists before they finish VCE, to the application process. Renee Riotto was part of the VCE Showcase in 2017 and is one of the alumni selected for this program. “The people who were involved in the exhibition previously were contacted and invited to apply for this position,” says Renee. “So I sent through an application and a writing piece about why I wanted to learn about this process and this position.” Being involved expands the alumni’s experience of the process behind the scenes. Renee has been part of this year’s showcase from the beginning to the end; making school visits and talking with the artists about their work, to being part of the selection panel and right up to installing the exhibition as well.

Claire Hyett

Claire Hyett with her portraits

Claire Hyett from Monbulk College is one of the artists included in the 2019 exhibition. Her photographic portraits of her young brother expresses the hidden nature of our inner emotions. “Both of these were focusing on the vulnerability of young adolescent boys. When my brother Percy went through year 7 last year, I saw him go through that social pressure to not show emotion and not be a sensitive vulnerable person,” explained Claire. “You often have that social pressure as a male. Through these pieces I aim to capture that more vulnerable side of him, which I know that he has, and he obviously keeps hidden.”

Mitchel Edwards 1

Mitchell Edwards with this interactive piece ‘The bigger picture’

Another of the works, this time with a strong environmental message is by Mitchell Edwards from Emerald Secondary College. His artwork titled ‘The bigger picture’ is an interactive work painted onto vertical blinds. On one side is a landscape where people have had a positive impact on the environment then on the other side, as you turn the blinds it reveals the transition to a landscape where people have had a negative impact on the environment. “It’s based in an alternative land but mainly supposed to be that we see what’s happened to their world so we should do something about it for us, before we end up the same as them,” says Mitchell.

Mitchell Edwards TheBiggerPicture2_EmeraldSecondaryCollege

One side of ‘The bigger picture’ by Mitchell Edwards

It’s cautionary message is clear. “My motivation is for people to realise that we are having an impact whether that be positive or negative and we need to start being the change and be more considerate about what we’re doing towards the land.” Mitchell saw two perspectives of the environment from his father who was both a log truck driver and a farrier and country horseback tour guide. The first was of being one with the land and seeing for it’s beauty, but also seeing it as a resource to be used. “I also have taken a lot of inspiration from my teachers,” says Mitchell. “Both my art teachers and my outdoor education teacher. They’ve aided me in seeing the beauty of the environment for what it is and not just what it can give you.”

Lizzie Kelly

Elizabeth Kelly with her paintings

Elizabeth Kelly’s intimate pieces show a world of nostalgia and memory. Especially using images of collective memories that are locally based. Ordinary, familiar moments like playing backyard cricket with friends and family are captured in a sketchy style. I wanted to make it incomplete, like when you look back at something not everything is there. You don’t know what the colour of the sky was exactly, the main part is the people and what’s happening there but again they’re not even really complete,” explains Elizabeth. “It’s more like an impression.”

Some memories are captured through an ambient moment. “The atmosphere of a memory is something that I really wanted to capture. I think the combination of the suburban landscape with the car dealership, the road and the power lines combined with the natural beauty of the sunset I think that makes a kind of unique atmosphere which is something kind of disconnected like when you look back at a memory.”

This year’s VCE showcase and program looks like being a very diverse and compelling experience. But with only a short time to savour it’s delights, you’d better pen this one in so as not to miss this fleeting event.

This year’s program

• Friday 15 Feb: Exhibition Opening Party, featuring reception and live music.
From 6pm
• Saturday 16 Feb: FREE Public Program day. Industry talks, artist speed dating, workshops, participatory activities and food truck. 12pm – 4pm.
• Sunday 17 Feb: General gallery admission, 10am – 4pm
• Monday 18 Feb: Private gallery tours, VCE Art and Studio Art viewings, and hear from recent VCE Art graduates. (For current VCE students only. Gallery closed to the public)

Where: Burrinja Cultural Centre
Cnr Glenfern Road and Matson Drive, Upwey VIC 3158

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calling all designers and editors!

Post by Adriana Alvarez.

council grant certificate

WE’RE SO EXCITED!

In 2019 thanks to a grant from Yarra Ranges council the hillscene is extending it’s guest editor and designer program. Providing an opportunity to designers and editors to be part of our team. Are you interested in editing, writing, or self-publication? Or are you a graphic designer keen to get creating? This is your chance to be a part of a cherished local magazine and gain some experience in publishing.

For each issue this year, there will be a different guest editor & designer. You will be provided with templates, mentoring and a team of volunteer writers & photographers. There will be a small fee paid for each of the roles. There are four issues each year, one for each season!

In 2018 we began this journey and produced three issues with guest editors and designers. Each editor and designer adding their own unique ideas to each issue giving the hillscene a fresh look and feel. Anna James, who had worked with us before on the hillscene, was the editor and designer of the Autumn issue. Cameron Semmens produced the Winter issue adding his poetic expertise and flavour to that issue. The Summer issue was a collaborative effort between Stephanie Lightfoot as the editor and Amelia Campbell as the designer, which proves that working on the hillscene is an opportunity to create great connections within the artistic community as well. Working with each editor and designer has been a real pleasure and a great learning experience for me and the editorial team. It’s good to see the new ideas and energy that each new collaboration brings, broadening our vision a little further each time.

Cameron said of the experience “It was a treat to work on hillscene. Curating the stories, collaborating with other creatives and simply making something beautiful and meaningful for this community that I love. It was a challenge, but a good challenge and a worthwhile challenge.”

editorsdesigner-collage

Clockwise from top left: Anna James, Cameron Semmens, Stephanie Lightfoot & Amelia Campbell.

If you are interested in either opportunity, please complete the expression of interest form by Feb 1, 2019. Editors and designers at all stages of their career are encouraged to apply. Apply here.

Important Information:
Each issue of the hillscene takes approximately 6 weeks to create, from the first editorial meeting to the distribution of the printed mag. You will need to be available for one of the following times:
Autumn issue: Feb – Mar
Winter issue: May – Jun
Spring issue: Aug – Sept
Summer issue: Oct – Nov

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Yarra Ranges Council HOR RGB

Meet our Summer guest editor

Post by Adriana Alvarez.

Our Summer guest editor and talented wordsmith, Stephanie Lightfoot, has graced us with her quiet, calm demeanour this issue. Stephanie is a recent graduate who has joined us this season to edit and write articles for the hillscene. She has worked with other hills’ publications so she understands our local community’s fondness for showcasing stories that are like little hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Here she shares her experiences of editing, writing and her passion for words.

Why did you want to become an editor?

I’ve been an avid reader from the tender age of four, at which I convinced myself (but not my parents) that I had learnt to read the picture book ‘Dear Zoo’ by Rod Campbell – as many kids do, I had simply memorised the tale, word for word. This appetite continued – albeit slightly less fraudulently – into primary school, when I would consume the material on the back of milk cartons and Vegemite jars along with my breakfast. In my teen years, I became enamoured of the dictionary, and would look up and transcribe the meaning of any word I encountered that I did not know. By this time, I had also reached peak spelling confidence and would inappropriately point out teachers’ errors on the whiteboard. I took this voracity into an English degree, and then an interim period of volunteering to proofread friends’ essays and theses. But it was writing for fellow hills publication, The Local Voice, and the experience of working with and being edited by the wonderful Gülsen Öser, that led me to give writing and editing a real crack. I enrolled in the Master of Publishing and Communications at the University of Melbourne, which I’ve just completed. Editing, for me, is the perfect marriage of building and navigating relationships and immersion in the written word and world.

Tell us a little bit about your writing journey?

I’ve had several flirtations with writing, however, find that I am much more comfortable with the role and responsibilities of editing – not least because it is necessarily collaborative. Reflecting on my writing last year, I realised the joy that I find in the medium of cultural criticism and other nonfiction. Most recently, I had the opportunity to contribute to this issue of the hillscene, and interview a number of impressive people: CJ Baxter, Jordan Crook, Pia Nesvara and our cover artist, Georgia Steele. Hearing from or talking to and writing about these locals and their work was an absolute pleasure.

What is an editor’s role in this era of fake news and alternative facts?

The opportunities for publishing are increasingly wide and accessible, and on many counts, this is a good thing – certainly, barriers to entry are often there for less-than-just reasons. The role of the editor is shifting, and sometimes out of the equation altogether, in tandem with sensationalist, fast-paced production schedules. I see an editor’s role as ensuring that truth and impact are given equal weight. Though easy to proliferate, words are extremely powerful, and should be handled with care.

Stephanie Lightfoot

How did you become involved with the hillscene?

The opportunity to guest-edit an issue of the hillscene was passed onto me by my friend, Gareth Hart. Having written for The Local Voice a couple of years ago, as well as being generally charmed with the hills’ cultural scene and community, I felt compelled to throw my hat in the ring. I’m beyond appreciative to Adriana and the team at Burrinja, as well as Amelia, for their support, mentorship and encouragement as we put the issue together. It’s been a team effort through and through, and a privilege to work with such passionate people. I’m especially grateful to have worked closely with Amelia on this issue. and am really proud of what we’ve achieved together.

In what ways, if any, do you engage with the hills community?

For now, my engagement with the hills community is twofold: social, and creative, and I hope that the friendships and connections I have fostered at the hillscene can continue to thrive.

What do you wish you knew about being a writer/editor before you got started?

Every single writing and editing experience is different. Whatever the genre, whether you’re dealing with fiction or nonfiction, it’s always ultimately a creative and human process and your ability to navigate relationships is key. This year has dealt me a number of diverse, steep learning curves – and all of them have reinforced the importance of communicating kindly and respectfully.

Who are your creative heros?

A couple of years ago, hearing from one of the Stella Prize founders, Aviva Tuffield, I resolved to read more writing by women or non-binary folk. Growing up, my favourite writers were probably Charles Dickens and Haruki Murakami, and a good look at my bookshelf and high school and undergraduate reading lists was sobering. I’m infatuated with Isabel Allende, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Mel Campbell, Nayuka Gorrie, Eileen Myles, Alexis Wright, Fiona Wright … the list goes on!

What do you enjoy about living in the Dandenong Ranges?

For now, I live in Coburg, in Melbourne’s north, but I dream of one day settling down in the hills.

What are your plans for the future (immediate or long term)?

Having just finished my degree, the future is suddenly somewhat of an overwhelming concept. At the moment, I’m working in community engagement. In the not-too-distant future I hope to find work in editorial, hopefully in-house, and ideally at one of Melbourne’s small or mid-sized independent publishers. In the longer term, I have my sights set on literary agenting – that’s the dream!

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