This series profiles the design talent in our regions and invites them to show us around their towns. This week we meet Cambell Attwood to learn more about his creative journey, the design studio he founded Afternoon, and living in the Bay of Plenty.
Where did you grow up, Where did you study?
Home for me will always be Whakatane. I grew up just out of town in a small country community called Otakiri. Pretty much green pastures for all the eye can see. Primary & intermediate was a skip down the road to the local Otakiri School and High School was a bus trip into Whakatane to Trident high. My last two years of High school were attended at Hamilton Boys High as a border. Little fish in a massive pond when it came to moving to a bigger city. Art & Design has always been a passion through school so once I finished high school, I decided to pursue it further by studying a bachelor or Design Communication at Otago Polytechnic.
Where is your current hometown in NZ?
I currently reside in Mt Maunganui. I couldn’t think of a more perfect place that offered a lifestyle while giving my career plenty of opportunities.
How many years have you been in the industry and can you tell us a little about the highlights of your career history so far?
I’ve been working since 2016 so a little over 3 years. A highlight for me was heading out on my own and beginning to freelance. Freelancing is what lead me to eventually starting Afternoon. It was an easy decision because I knew what I wanted to do and achieve as a designer.
Do you have a project that is memorable because it challenged you but that you ended up loving and being really proud of? If so what lessons did you learn from that project?
A massive learning curve for me was the Real Rad Food project. The main challenge wasn’t any of the working conditions. I loved working with Hannah every step of the way, she’s awesome. The challenge was knowing the number of people that this rebrand would reach so it made me challenge every decision I made. I wanted to make sure I was putting work out there that represented my clients and my own design process.
What are you working on right now?
Right now I am juggling quite a few new projects but as they are new brands so I better keep the details under wraps. Personally, I’m designing a few products for Afternoon. I want to create a range of clothing, merchandise and prints for the brand so keep an eye out for that.
What is the creative scene like locally?
Mt Maunganui has a range of creative business that all produce awesome work. A lot of people who are out on their own doing the work they truly love which is awesome to see.
How does the environment there shape your ideas?
A lot of my personal design and art is inspired by the easy-going lifestyle of being a beach town. It has that surf culture to it that I love. I know a lot of my ideas come to me when I’m out surfing. It’s a place of bliss where I am able to relax and focus on a few things while waiting for the next set to roll through.
What do you love most about where you live?
Being at the beach is the dream. It provides an escape when needed. It’s my happy place to enjoy downtime or catch a wave.
What are the challenges (if any) about where you live and work?
Exposure has always been a massive challenge but I don’t believe it’s hindered from a location as much anymore. We work in a digital era where social platforms are differently helping gain an audience from different parts of the globe. Exposure has become more obtainable but will always be a challenge as I look to break into bigger markets and get in front of bigger brands.
What is the must-do experience you’d recommend to anyone visiting?
The first thing you should differently be doing is head to the beach. Grab a surf lesson, climb Mt Maunganui, or just a day to lounge in the sun. It’s a great place to relax and unwind. Next on the list is an Afternoon spent at Rising Tide, sitting in the sun enjoying great food and company. Amazing service with local artists playing acoustic sets in the background.
Where can we find the best coffee or meal in your region?
I believe Mt Maunganui & Tauranga are truly blessed with a range of amazing food places. My two go-to coffee places would have to be Little Long in Tauranga. Great staff, Great service and their space is very relaxing to work in. The General is my local at the Mt. Again the people and service are amazing. They really go out of there way to make you feel welcome. If you looking to dine out at night time I would suggest Rising Tide or a little bistro called Mamma Mia. Italian food with a smile.