Kylie Johnson, Dreamer, Paper Boat Press

Success isn’t always about the big brush strokes ...

A mere four feet tall, her hands filled with one dollar coins, a six-year-old Kylie Johnson was lead around a school fete by her grandparents, encouraged to buy anything she pleased with her fortune. But nothing of interest caught her eye. Back in the car, a quiet Kylie whispered a request to go the newsagent, where she invested in a box of pencils. From launching her handmade ceramics in 1996, Kylie has grown Paper Boat Press tremendously, including a recent collaboration with US-based retailer Anthropologie. With two poetry books – Count Me the Stars (2008) and A Once Courageous Heart (2010) – also up her creative sleeve, spare time can seem a distant mirage. But as demand for her whimsical words hand-stamped on to ceramic pieces continues to grow, her passion and the realisation of her dream to be a full-time artist gives her the courage that the hard work is worth it.

How do you like to start your weekend?
Slowly and quietly … and if the weekend starts on Friday, as it should, maybe a cocktail or two.

What’s your favourite thing to do on a Saturday morning?
A yummy breakfast or brunch with friends (after a sleep in).

How do you like to unwind?
A long bath, a good movie (cinema or couch – either works), or a mini road trip somewhere always gives a breath of fresh air to head and heart.

What are your essentials for a well-spent weekend?
Rest, inspiration, and fun, and great people to do all of those things with.

What’s something you’ve been meaning to do on the weekend but haven’t got around to yet?
I’ve a list of friends I’ve been meaning to have over for dinner, as the weeks and months pass, the list gets longer. And, there are friends in both Sydney and Melbourne I’ve been meaning to visit, on separate weekends, the year’s already looking crowded.

What’s your favourite thing to do on a Sunday evening?
I love going to the movies because it’s usually quiet, as most people are psyching themselves up for the week ahead … that’s my theory anyway.

What are you looking forward to next weekend?
Bon Iver at the Tivoli is at the top of the list, but truthfully every ‘next weekend’ I look forward to working less! It’s my goal to get that ‘work-life’ balance a bit better, I tend to fit a little too much work in on weekends. It is the one downfall of working from home.

What are you reading at the moment?
Murakami’s epic 1Q84 (big read, but wonderful).

What inspires you?
Travelling to Japan.

What was your childhood dream?
To be an artist and a writer, seriously … strange but true.

What has been your greatest achievement?
Career-wise I am thrilled to be earning my living as an artist and a writer, and that my funny little business is doing so well, but also that I’ve had the privilege of having two volumes of my poetry published.

What is success to you?
Living your dream whatever that is, and living with kindness to others and our planet each day. Success isn’t always about the big brush strokes, or out there for everyone to see.

What are your words of wisdom?
Listen to, and follow your heart.

Only a local would know that … Brisbane is all grown up and has more to offer than they (or even we) know.


Perk up … Somewhere in New Farm
Relax … At home
Dine …  The Continental Cafe, New Farm
Indulge In Therapy, Red Hill
Shop … Nook or Shibui Homewares, both in West End
Catch-up Cabiria, The Barracks
Be inspired GoMA



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