A LITTLE INSIGHT INTO LITTLE HANGS
To celebrate our launch of LiTTLE HANGS, I thought I’d share with you a little insight into my backstory as the two are very closely interwoven.
A child of the 70’s, I was born and raised under the golden light of the West Australian sky with the great good fortune of a family that embraced the artistic and nurtured the creative. Growing up in a coastal suburb of Perth surrounded by wide open spaces and a seemingly endless coastline in a family where it was always natural to be making things. My Mum, a school teacher and Dad an engineer always had little artisan projects on the go. Mum became the accidental macrame warrior, knocking up life size hanging ferns, floristry arrangements and beautiful home cooked meals. Dad, equally cool, tinkered as a weekend silversmith and carpenter, teaching my sister and I how to hand roll sushi years before the Japanese onslaught. My aunt taught art to gifted students and would often bring their work home, sparking conversations about texture and colour. I grew up surrounded by art, exhibitions from a young age and an ever present sense of the beauty of the world helped build my love of the arts and an appreciation of the creative process.
I’ve always been a curator of sorts. I believe part of how we keep memories alive is through keepsakes. So just as my Mum kept a Baby Book for my sister and I with my first stitches, first haircut, hospital tag, birth details, trophies, paintings and home made cards, I did the same for my kids. Years on, they still love them and quite often the dinner conversation revolves around them. My keepsakes collections are mammoth - old letters, notes from school friends, serviette sketches, Mum’s 70’s designer clothes, recipes hand written by my grandmother and a stash of home made cards. So when my kids’ artwork started coming home from kindy and then school, I found myself conflicted. In my eyes, every piece was a masterpiece (of course it was, I’m their Mum) and I could never quite bring myself to throw any of it away (hoarder).
For a time, various pieces of my kids art would adorn the fridge, bedroom walls or entrance hall. At one point, I was so inspired (sleep deprived), I did an all nighter, framing 100’s of pieces of my kids artwork into the wee hours just in time for the next breastfeed. I had art covering every inch of our hallway with the most spectacular Paris Hang ever known to woman. I was so proud of myself. I remember the joy I felt every time I walked through the door. Friends and family would marvel at how bright, energetic and colourful our space was. I was nailing life.
Until the weather warmed up, walls started to expand, and one by one, each night, the blu-tacked frames would peel away onto the floor. Then came the laminating machine. Similar result. Meanwhile, the kids were getting craftier, artwork piles were growing, storage boxes breeding and I wondered what to do with it all?
Fast forward two decades, three kids, various corporate roles and not much time for anything else, I found myself becoming increasingly disenchanted with the corporate grind. I felt like I was destined for something bigger. At the same time, I was starting to realise that happiness and success in life are really contigent upon living genuinely and being authentic. A bolder life was meant to be had, one with more passion.
So I started making changes and kicking old habits. I began to make choices that aligned with my core values, focussed my time doing things that made me feel good and sought relationships that would inspire me to grow. I studied and became a certified Yoga teacher. I learned how to surf (and earned serious points with the kids). I started taking more road trips. I’d always loved photography so bought myself a new camera, kept taking photos and managed to build a client base to enable me to shoot professionally. I added a meditation practise to my daily routine. And slowly, one by one, I began ticking off the “To Do Lists” that had forged and festered in my head for years.
One of them, the monster of all projects .. digitising my kids’ artwork. 1200 pieces in all. Hours upon hours of sorting and grading and photographing, I found myself loving every damn minute. And in the process, I discovered I was curating and creating incredible bespoke pieces of art for my own walls, all designed by my kids! Each time I looked at them, I realised I was creating a road map of my kids’ pasts, a reminder of their development and the things that have impressed upon them. In a world of increasing dependency on screens and technology and the ease with which we can disconnect from others, these pieces became family anchor points for reconnection. And I came to realise, that if others share these thoughts and challenges of limited time, resources and growing piles of kids artwork, maybe they too could benefit from a service like this. And so LiTTLE HANGS was born.
This business is very personal and has come to life out of pure passion and a lifelong love of art and a desire to embrace my own and others’ creativity. I have an Arts Degree in French + Political Science, a half degree in Interior Design, a creative mind and a broad experience of sales and marketing through my previous corporate life.
My vision with LiTTLE HANGS is to always create pieces that give meaning and personality to your walls and in the process, help your free spirited little artists feel unique, talented and valued.
Love Virginia X
Photography by Virginia Venn + Jody Pachniuk