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When you have boundless creativity, a beautiful inspirational family {including a little baby girl with the biggest blue eyes you ever did see} and immense talent, then you might sound like a fictional character, or someone featuring in an overseas magazine – you know, those ones that looks like Pinterest on a page. But, in fact, you are local powerhouse Jessica Anne Barnard.

Following the birth of little baby Lila Bear, as her parents so lovingly call her, they started a photography business AND just yesterday Jessica launched a new endeavour known as Motif. She tells The Sun House more.

 photo motif.jpg

Jess, you are a mother, designer and photographer. How did you start and how long have you been doing this? 

Design and photography both started out as hobbies. I have a basic knowledge of graphic design and am always happiest when crafting my craft. I also can’t remember a time when Gary and I weren’t shooting. Especially Gary, he has this mad raw talent when it comes to taking photographs. It was the arrival of our baby girl Lila Bear that was THE push forward for us. I really battled to find inexpensive non-permanent modern decor for my sweet girl’s nursery, so I did what I always do, I made it myself. First the decals, then the mobile. When Bear was born people really started to take not of our pictures. The feedback from all our friends and followers on social media sights was astounding! When the universe is screaming at you to do something you can’t ignore itBoth MOTIF and BEAR & BLOOM are brand spanking new. We’ve been shooting semi-professionally for just over a month now and I just launched MOTIF yesterday actually :)   

What sort of products do you make? Do you also provide services?

I have a range of super easy to install wall decals. They are a pretty rad alternative to wall paper and paint and a great choice for the tenant because they’re removable. I also hand make bespoke mobiles & accent pillows for babies & kids. Yes, I would say I provide services. I do take custom orders. 

 Where do you find inspiration for your creations?

For this range specifically, I drew from simple basic shapes. I am inspired by many things and everything – the people in my life, other creatives, nature, social media, trends and most importantly the of love making something beautiful with my own hands.

What are some of the challenges of being your own boss?

TIME MANAGEMENT! I have a very busy little one year old… It’s very hard to know when to stop. I work mostly when she sleeps and that’s at night which takes away from husband and wife time. I feel like I have one thousand different balls in the air at the same time. 

 photo bearbloom.jpg

How do you perceive the South African creatives/design landscape?

Innovative, handmade, environmentally conscious, self supportive with a focus on great quality no matter the medium. I love that the artisan is coming back in a big way. People taking such pride in their trade and putting out beautiful quality. It’s the small local business owner who needs to be embraced. And I think South Africans as a whole are loving local.  

 What is your favorite colour/ material to work with, and why?

YOH! My favorite colour changes regularly. I am a huge fan of white but that’s not technically a colour. I’m a bit nuts over pastels to be honest. I love amazing quality, natural fabrics like cotton, linen and leather. If you use great quality materials your products will be great quality and give good wear over time.

What would you do if you won the lotto?

First, I would whisk my family and friends on a divine holiday somewhere amazing like the Amalfi Coast. While away, I would commission the build of my dream home – an all white Victorian number with turrets and towers and round rooms, smack on the beach with a Scandinavian inspired interior utilizing lovely raw materials like wood, polished concrete & copper. I would invest in myself and give back by setting up a studio space, sharing my skills and knowledge with people who wanted to learn. I think knowledge and education in any form is more valuable than money, teach a man to fish and all…

I’m coming on that trip to Amalfi for sure! Where to from here?

I am starting to explore a kiddies linen line, exciting! I would adore to team up with other brands & creatives that I admire & believe in. Collaborating with other like minded creatives always results in something awesome!  

What has been your proudest moment since you started?

There’s been a few:

> Being featured on Gareth Pon’s blog for one. It’s crazy when the people you look up to and admire turn around and admire you back… 
> Having one of our shots Exhibited by the Nandos SA Youth Day #16Pictures initiative.
> Gary will soon be an officially “published photographer”, if you will. A picture he took is in the latest Edgars Magazine. Haha! Small time but we all start somewhere. It’s a really great shot too. 
> Last week I had a great day, Angie from Lucky Pony, who I have a mad creative crush on, received her babies mobile and loved it. I battle so much with self doubt, it can be so suffocating sometimes. It’s such a great feeling to know that something I made is genuinely loved by another person.  
Instagram – @redrabbitears
Twitter – @redrabbitears

Instagram – @bearandbloom
Twitter – @bearandbloom

Instagram – @motif_sa
Twitter – @wallmotif


7 Responses to “Motif/Bear&Bloom Feature {+giveaway}”

  1. Megan Hartwig

    OOH LA LA….Such a FABULOUS GIVEAWAY! Hello!? Oh please please please pick me? I am following both you and Motif on Facebook and Twitter and I have shared this giveaway on Twitter too(@flutterbymegs)!I am loving the Maxie Stripe decal from the Motif Store :) Fingers crossed! xxx

  2. Melanie Fee

    OMGoodness.. sweet gracious….. this is SO rad!! I heart these designs like crazy & is exactly what I would love to put in my little luv bugs on the way nursery!! I think I love the black hearts, but they are all pretty A-mazing! thanks for the sweet chance ya’ll!!!


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