Banana smoothies, drawing and child-like imaginings. These are just a few of the things that tickle the fancy of Australian artist Emma Labattaglia aka Pax & Hart. Living with her beautiful little family on the Mornington Peninsula, Australia, Emma spends her days creating the most unique, simple and loveable prints for children (and the young at heart)...
With creativity running in the blood of Emma's family she studied Visual arts, and then Fine Arts at university. "I always watched my Opa draw in his studio, and it was my dream to be able to do the same. I honestly didn't think my dream would come true, I am just so appreciative for everything I am doing, and the support and encouragement I have received." Since starting Pax & Hart Emma has worked with some amazing kids clothing brands such as Mini & Maximus, Bandit Kids, Salt City Emporium and is currently collaborating with Jimmy Cricket on some bunny wallpaper.
We are very excited to catch up with Emma to hear more about what inspires her and her wonderful brand...
What do you love most about what you do?
The thing I love most about what I am doing is that I am able to be creative everyday. I love that I can just sit down, be imaginative with my thoughts, draw, and then have the opportunity to share them with people.
That's my idea of being lucky, because I get to do something I love, and be a Mama at the same time. It brings out the child in me, and that has to be a good thing! I also love that I can share my artwork with people to enjoy in their homes. I think of my prints hanging in someone's house, their child's room, or theirs and it puts an enormous smile on my face.
What inspires your illustrations?
I am inspired by my children, I love the way they get obsessed with an animal or object, i.e. mainly bunnies in my house. I think we can learn so much from children, their imaginations, their innocence and desire to learn and enjoy. I love children's art, it is the best in my eyes, totally uninhibited. I have also, 'tried' to keep the imagination I had as a child. I love fashion, contemporary art and interior design too. I am inspired by all of those things.
You work mainly in black and white, what does this palette add to your work?
My prints are black and white, but funnily enough I love colour. I surround my family with colour in our home. I think I simply relate drawing and prints to black and white, nice and simple, which is why my prints are predominantly black and white. I think that makes them versatile too, good for people like me who need to tone it down, and for the monotone lovers.
Where is your favourite place to shop for kids in Melbourne?
I actually live on the east coast just out of Melbourne, and being a Mama, online shopping definitely suits me best. I wouldn't know where to start with my favorite one, I have too many!
What was the best thing about being a kid?
The best thing about being a kid for me was having no responsibilities, life was simple and fun, lots of playing with my sister and two brothers, making cubby houses in trees stands out in my mind.
If you were to make the ultimate milkshake what flavour would it be? And what would it look like?
My ultimate milkshake, would be - not a milkshake, a smoothie! I am obsessed with banana smoothies.