In Conversation with Morgan Jamieson

Artist Morgan Jamieson with her limited edition Alf the Label Luxe Medium Pouch printed with Banksia artwork.

We've partnered with friend, Alf customer, mother of two, and inspirational Australian artist Morgan Jamieson to create a limited edition printed Banksia Luxe Medium Pouch, as part of our Banksia collection.

Alongside the custom-printed leather pouch, we've created a limited edition Eucalypt colourway of best-selling accessories the Luxe Knot Key Ring and the Luxe Elsie Wallet to create statement Carabiner Capsule. We're also introducing a brand new design, the Luxe Petite Lilian. She's the ideal grab-and-go handbag for your everyday essentials.

Morgan Jamieson is an acclaimed regional Victorian Artist, and mother, based in Ocean Grove. Living on the coast, she has a strong connection to her native surroundings which continues to inspire her practice. Her distinctive style conveys authenticity and an intense, and experimental use of colour and shape from nature’s form.

The limited edition piece focuses on the geometric form of the individual banksia flower and pods. Morgan places emphasis on the individual shapes within the pods and the intricate shape and detail within them.

We sat down with Morgan to chat parenthood, the work-life juggle and how art fits into her (and her children's) life.

You’re a mother of 2 toddlers, a sought after Victorian-based artist, and collaborator of our limited edition Banksia Collection. How did you fall in love with art, and are your little ones following in Mum’s footsteps?

My love of art has been there since I was a young girl. My sister and I used to love drawing, from a young age. As I grew older, I excelled at art in school, I did private art classes outside of school, finally going on complete a Bachelor of Visual Art at University.

My son Bass, who is 4 likes to draw, but it's not his fave. He really enjoys swimming at the beach, playing super heroes, climbing trees and kicking the footy! My daughter Vinnie however LOVES to draw and paint. She comes home with about 20 paintings when she has been at daycare and will happily sit and draw for extended periods of time. 

My kids are VERY 'outdoor kids', swimming, beach, river, climbing trees (and fences!), playing in mud. I always kind of struggled to find an activity for my son when the weather is bad, so its been nice to know that my daughter has a go-to inside activity on those Winter days!

What was the inspiration behind the ‘Pods’ print in our Banksia collaboration collection?

'Pods' was part of a collection that I completed in 2020, which was inspired by the aesthetic and geometric shape and pattern makeup of the native flora that hug the coast of Pt Lonsdale in Victoria. 

You're a successful business owner and mother. Do you have any tips for parents juggling the work/life balance?

It's certainly a juggle that's for sure. I made the decision a few years ago to leave my job of 13 years so that I could stay at home with my kids while they are little, and with the support of my amazing husband I also wanted to use this time to take my profile as an Artist to the next level. I had grand plans.... and then the global pandemic hit! Daycare was irregular, lockdowns became the norm, and 'week to week' looked very different in our house. We had little consistency and we were both working from home (thank you grandparents!). 

I try really hard to 'embrace the chaos' rather than fight against it! Having two kids under 4 while both parents are working from home is tricky, but it's been tricky for everyone, and everyone's situations are unique. My husband and I are a well-oiled machine now! I am also a big believer in putting my health first; I'm a far better Mother and a more organised business person when I'm feeling my best. I run four times a week, I cook everything from scratch, I make low tox cleaning products for our home - all of this adds to my sense of control and wellbeing.

We love to take the kids away and we try to do this every 2 or 3 months (pending lockdowns!). We don't take laptops and we spend lots of uninterrupted time with the kids. This has been really fundamental for us - it gives us something to look forward to and a clean break from thinking about work, which can be hard when you run your own business!

Here are some tidbits that I have learned so far while trying to navigate the work life juggle:

  • Pack the lunches the night before (a must!)
  • Get everyone's clothes out the night before (another must!)
  • Have a shared google calendar with your partner (so that there's no doubling up when both of you need a night out with friends!)
  • Don't work late every night - it's not conducive to a good sleep
  • Exercise before the kids get up, then it's done and you start the day with a good mindset!
  • Make one extra meal on the weekend and pop it in the freezer, you'll thank yourself later in the week!
  • Meal planning is your friend!
  • Grocery delivery is also your friend!

We were first introduced when I fell in love with your art, and you joined the Alf community in 2019. What is your favourite piece?

I still looooove my Ari backpack, I love how versatile it is! I ALWAYS get compliments on it!!

What are the essential items you always carry in your handbag?

  • Baby wipes (my kids are out of nappies but I'm a creature of habit)
  • 2 sets of keys (I'm a bit weird)
  • Spare kids' clothing (somehow they always end up fully clothed in the ocean!)
  • Panadol and Gastrostop (I have Crohn's Disease)
  • Buddha Balm (so versatile)
  • Snacks for the kids (obvs!)

Much of our Alf Community are new parents. Is there anything you wished you had known that you can share with us?

There is so much that I wish I knew the first time around. But second time around there was so much I wish I didn't know. It makes you second guess yourself! New parents are inundated with advice, mostly unsolicited. Don't read too much online and just go with your gut feeling; what works for someone else's baby and family won't necessarily work for you and your family.

When it comes to baby's sleep (which can be a contentious issue!) if it's working for you, that's all that matters, and if it's no longer working for you, there's plenty of help out there. Just don't feel pressured to be doing things a certain way. Enjoy your baby, you don't get those early weeks back. 

Everything is just a phase! What may be causing you some stress or sleeplessness now, will probably be over in a week or two and you'll forget it even happened. Children's brains grow and change at a rapid pace - it can be hard to keep up!

Shop the Banksia collection >

Alf the Label x Morgan Jamieson Banksia Collection featuring the Luxe Medium Pouch, Carabiner Capsule and Lilian Tote in Eucalypt.L-R: Luxe Medium Pouch in Banksia, Carabiner Capsule featuring the Gold Carabiner, Luxe Elsie Wallet and Luxe Knot Key Ring in Eucalypt, Luxe Petite Lilian tote and Luxe Elsie Wallet in Eucalypt, Luxe Medium Pouch in Banksia.

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