It feels like yesterday that I made the move from The Big Smoke and relocated to the beach-side town of Newcastle…18 months on and I haven’t looked back. Ocean swims, coastal walks, Wednesday night trivia, and weekends with the family. Okay, I did some of that in Sydney, but it’s just better! Living in Newy is easier and super chilled out. Honestly, life’s never been so good.

Side note of thanks goes out to my bestie (you know who you are) for 9 years of chipping away at this former (rather stubborn) city-slicker and convincing her to move north. I owe you.

It’s not just about the sea change that’s making life a breeze. I’m super grateful for my new creative home, Onwards. What a space, and what a crew. This studio has become the perfect environment for KO Studio to thrive. The crew of creative peeps who also call Onwards ‘home’ are not only awesome individuals, they’re inspiring, supportive and fabulous company too. We’re a quirky bunch, never too serious, and at times a little bonkers. It is this wonderful camaraderie that encourages me to show up every day, keep pushing the business forward and enjoy being a Creative. Pocket Design, thanks for building something so darn great!

In other news, KO Studio welcomed the very talented Senior Designer Mike Smethurst to the team in July. It was clear from day one that Mike’s calm and enthusiastic approach to creativity was nothing short of magical. He has slipped into the KO Studio team smoother than a 90’s R’n’B Tune. We welcome Mike with high fives all round, and can’t wait to grow KO Studio to new heights with Mike in 2019!

Our long-standing client partners have been stepping things up a notch this year, offering us new challenges and expanding the scope of creative opportunities. We’ve also joined forces with several start-ups, helping them make their mark on the world and step into the market with confidence.

It’s been a social year for KO Studio, becoming a member of the Hunter Business Chamber has exposed us to a range of practical workshops, seminars and savvy business directors, and expanded our network in the local business community.

In April, the Onwards crew ventured to Brisbane to check out The Design Conference. Let me start by saying WOW! This was an extraordinary event, opening the flood gates to make some new creative mates, and gain a ton of industry knowledge. It was an inspiration explosion, and for some us, a chance to score more freebies than we could possibly fit into our hand luggage – I’m looking at you (Tom Henderson). 

To help us through the Winter, we attended the locally grown Make It, Made It Conference. An incredible event dedicated to creative makers who are creating cool stuff in their own way. Once again, we made new friends, and left the event ‘bursting with new ideas’ – and partied like it was 1999.

Internally, we’ve been doing some very important house-keeping… our new website is live and super fresh with recent case studies – and there’s plenty more to come. As any creative studio can understand, this is never an easy task, but we’ve managed to make it our priority. It feels awesome to finally share all the work we’ve been producing throughout the year.

So, yep. It’s been a year and a half since returning to Newcastle, but I am a very happy lady.

Bring on the Summer and a new year of creativity and collaboration!

Miss KO x

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