Flox Interview

Flox, aka Hayley King, set up Flox Design in 2003, producing her stunning artwork in forms as varied as women's clothing, interior murals, prints and private commission work. Formerly part of The Cut Collective, Flox loves opening up new ways to apply her art and push her creative boundaries. She’s a big supporter of One Percent Collective and produced our beautiful ‘We are 1’ artwork.


What’s rockin’ in the world of Flox?

At the moment, I’m in the middle of re branding. I’ve been working a lot on self-fulfilling projects this year, going back to my roots as a fine artist. I think my focus has changed for the time being, and I’m more interested in pooling experiences and taking a breath gaining perspective of what Flox is, and where it’s going. I’m really excited about bringing other creative’s and professionals on board, to help me solve these questions. Flox is eight years old now, so I think it’s grown up in a sense, and I’m trying to honour that along with my audience, and perhaps push it to that next level of brand perception.


You created the wonderful 'WE ARE 1' artwork. What does We are 1 mean to you?

I think We Are 1 is essentially about equality.  I jumped at the chance to design the We Are 1 logo, as I am currently involved in a number of charity based briefs, and this one in particular creates an opportunity for businesses, artists and musicians to actually contribute directly to groups that really deserve and need a chance.

From an aesthetic point of view, the logo is bold, clean and black'n'white to compliment such a simple, strong and unified message.


How have business and technology influenced your creativity?

I always feel like I’m two steps behind everyone else when it comes to technology as my process of working creatively employs a lot of the old-school techniques and practices. I still, for example, use an old overhead projector most days a week, plus hand cut all my stencils (I won't allow myself to get things laser cut). The hands-on approach is something that I’ve always been very fond of, and there’s something nice about putting works out there that illustrate a sense of labour, love and time.

I guess the biggest technology that has influenced my way of working on a day-to-day basis is that of social networking. I’ve never paid a cent for advertising and probably never will. This was always my philosophy as I used the street as a canvas to connect with people in the beginning. Nowadays, I don’t get to do much of that fun stuff on the street (hence answer to number one) so now with Facebook I can really connect on a daily basis with people and document what’s happening in the “House of Flox” so to speak. People love to see process; they love to see what’s happening behind the scenes so keeping an (almost) daily log is something that has become very important to my practice.


What place does generosity have in the world of art?

Last month I stepped out of my comfort zone and taught a Summer School class out at the gorgeous Corbans Estate Arts Centre. I was asked some months ago to be involved, and I thought that it would be a great lesson for myself and a unique opportunity to pass on some of the knowledge that I’ve learnt over the years. For me, the craziest thing was teaching processes and techniques that were pretty much self-taught!  As the class evolved I began to understand the importance of all the tacit knowledge I had gained. Experience is a powerful tool and is something that cannot necessarily be taught. It’s a skill that is gained over time and with dedication. I am grateful on a daily basis of where I am so it is really important for me as an artist to give back now, share my knowledge and encouragement to help others achieve their own goals. I think on the whole it is important for artists to create accessibility for others as art is really there for everyone to enjoy.


Which creative body or individual has created the biggest positive social change in this world? 

I would have to say Motown Records. I don’t know if these guys created the biggest social change but it was certainly positive as far as the Civil Rights Movement went; not to mention the music that came outta that place! These guys were not only making music, they were making history. During the 60s, the music began to break down racial barriers, bringing about a real social change.

“I would come to the South in the early days of Motown and the audiences would be segregated. Then they started to get the Motown music and we would go back and the audiences were integrated and the kids were dancing together and holding hands.” – mokey Robinson


Imagine the world the way you want future generations of children to inherit it.

Having a child, this question often pops up in the back of my brain in some form or another. Recently, I headed out to Anawhata, an idyllic spot out on the West Coast. We stayed in a beautiful, humble, functional batch with an amazing view of the Tasman. It really made me think and contextualise things in life; our wants as opposed to our necessities. 

I’d just like for things to be very simple and for there to be an ongoing respect for our Mother Earth. Clean and green, simple.


Who would you love to collaborate with? 

I had a wonderful and unexpected opportunity some years ago now in Melbourne to paint with some of the girls from the latest Curvy book. They were launching the new publication at City Lights Gallery and I was just in town at the time – “in the right place, at the right time” – and got to jam with some real talented graff girls including Vextafrom Melbourne and Fafi from France. I was real shy back then and hadn’t been painting on the street for that long so I guess I’d love to have that same opportunity again, (but this time paint a massive and well-planned production wall) with a group of passionate and talented ladies from all around the globe. Mass international chicky collab! 


Tell us three things that inspire you.

My friend who is obsessed with typography got me onto this site, which encompasses the beauty and skill of hand-drawn type, which I am sooooo attracted to it’s just not funny. Typography is something that I have dabbled in over the years but I believe it will become a lot more prevalent in my work. I get a real sense of hands on craft and innovation and perhaps this is what draws me to it in the first place.

Paper Cutting: Contemporary Artists, Timeless Craft by Chronicle Books: This book illustrates the potential of paper as an artistic medium in itself. I first found this book about 8 months ago and it has become my main source of inspiration for current bodies of work. I’ve been cutting some pretty big stencils lately and acknowledging the aesthetics of the cut, as opposed to using them as vehicles to paint.

Curvy Magazine – I guess my infatuation with this book stems from my experience in Melbourne when I got to paint with a number of the girls featured. There have been very few New Zealand female artists to be included so I have always thought it would be cool to attain some page presence! The magazine helps support and showcase the talents of young women across different art, illustrative and graphic design fields on an international level. Truly inspirational.

Are you keen to join Flox in the giving evolution? Click here to get involved.