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VH Woman: Tantri Mustika

Posted by Cassie Byrnes on

"I'm a total scatterbrain who is always wearing a big old smile and saying yes to all of the things even though I wind up stressing out and going crazy because I am a painful perfectionist. I'm driven by the satisfaction of pulling something crazy off!"

What do you do for work?
I make ceramics! Ceramics is currently my full time job.
What is your favourite thing about being a ceramicist?
Everything is left to complete chance, in a way nothing is really finished until the very end of the long process and sometimes things go wrong, but when they go right, it's the BEST feeling ever! It keeps me on my toes and keeps things exciting and constantly surprising!
What is difficult about it?
Clay is a volatile medium to work with… sometimes it does exactly what you want and other times things happen that you just can’t figure out. My work is super time consuming and labor intensive so sometimes I find it hard to make enough work in the time I have to do it. This is especially stressful when things go wrong. 

What is your favourite stage of the creation process - coming up with the idea, the process of making it, or the end result?
My favourite part is creating the coloured patterns on the slabs of clay (as they always come out differently each time I do a slab) and then trying to think about which forms will suit that particular colour palette and patterning best! 

Where do you get your inspiration and ideas from?
I look at a lot of pretty ordinary things I think… I look at A LOT of photos of different styles of terrazzo floors (hehe) and I spend a lot of time looking at different types of rock formations and marble and quartzite slabs and I try to find small details that I can attempt to recreate in my clay patterns. I also look at lots of fashion imagery and paintings to pick up colour palette combinations that spark something! I spend heaps of time creating mood boards on Pinterest and quite often get into wormholes of looking at different interior spaces rather than ceramics as such! I think interior spaces give me ideas for forms and colour palettes to suit different home styles or moods! I LOVE mid century interior styling too! I also just try and think about things that I would really like to have for myself in my own home and that’s usually when the best ideas come to life!

What advice would you give someone taking the leap into working full time for their creative business?
Ask for help!! Talk to people about what you want to do and ask friends who have experience in different areas for help and advice. It’s amazing how helpful even something as simple as some advice and guidance can be! If you work in the type of job that you can cut down while you start incubating your business I strongly suggest this! Having the backing of even a modest income is really helpful. Think about asking your boss if you can cut down one day and work each day for an extra hour so you can still meet their needs but get some extra time for your own project! And most importantly (in my opinion) don’t over capitalise! Don’t spend money you don’t have and start small and grow your business as time goes on, rather than trying to have it completely perfect from the get go!! (financial stress = difficult to be creative so watch over spending!)

If you had to choose a different career, what do you think you would do?
I would be a carpenter! (so I could build my own house to fill with ceramics of course!)

Listening?
Mmmm Can’t go past a really good soulful female voice but actually pretty much anything! Depending on my mood you will catch me in my studio listening to anything from soul and r’n’b to 70’s rock and roll and country and then of course on a late Friday night in the studio some gooood disco tunes!

Watching?
Probably some stupid cooking tutorial on youtube HA! But actually I just recently watched a cool show on Netflix called ‘Blown away’. Its a reality TV show about glass blowing and it was AMAZING! I don’t really get that much time to watch TV, so something short and sharp like this that I can potentially binge watch in a long sitting is ideal!

Guilty pleasure?
I know McDonalds is the devil, but... maccas in bed if I’m extremely hungover is the only cure and it probably always will be haha I can’t lie! 

Life mantra?
Treat others how you would like to be treated - always! Karma is real!

Thanks Tantri!


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