Say gday to more people, and ask them how their day is going. Thats my thought for today. Why you ask? Because there's a chance they may end up becoming one of your best friends.
Ten years ago I was surfing at my local beachie when Lotte Barnes paddled over and said gday to me. We chatted, laughed and instantly became amigo's. These days we always hang out surfing, adventuring, drinking tea and just chatting about the world, and how we can creatively make a difference. I think anyone who has ever crossed paths with Lotte would agree that she is a one in a million and we're extremely lucky to have her in our life. If you see this legend make sure to say howdy, best thing you'll ever do...
Hello and Welcome to Good Amigo with Lotte Barnes. Today we’re going to be chatting about ice cream, tattoos and punching stuff.
How psyched are you on a scale of 1 to 70 right now?
What a rad intro - Already loosing my marbles with excitement over this, so probably sitting at like a 66 out of 70. Important to leave some room for the unknown, as who knows the adventure Goodcheer is about to take me on.
(Hypothetically if you believe in reincarnation) What do you think you were in your former life?
Possibly a sabre-toothed tiger or a Teenage mutant Ninja turtle - most likely Leonardo. I was overly into both these things as a kid - clearly a connection to a former life!
Your definition of Art is…
Something that cannot really be described in words but if I was to try, the person who has described it best in my opinion is Oscar Wilde by saying, “Art is the most intense mode of individualism the world has ever seen”.
What was the best year of your life and why?
2009 - When I was 25 years young. I had just begun a year and a half of travels around the world that changed my life in the most positive way yet.
Riding waves makes you feel?
Graceful, calm and determined all in one, It’s the place were Mother Nature and I hang out in all it’s beauty.
Tell me a story from living in Canada…
Canada holds such good memories, so much happened while I lived there. I really feel I grew creatively and experimented with a lot of different mediums. It was also the first place where I co- founded a community based non for profit group called ‘Open HeArt’ with a few good friends, which is an outlet for young and emerging artists to showcase their talents. Profits go back into the Vancity community through different forms of charities. Our whole concept was simple - [ People ] + [ HeArt ] = [ Change ]. And it is still doing great things in Vancouver today.
What’s keeping you busy at the moment?
Well apart from just returning from an incredible adventure to India, I’ve created the Surf Dive ‘N’ Ski - Winter Denim campaign ‘Till Death Do Us Part’. It’s been a rad project because I got to collaborate with other creative minds like Where There’s Smoke, Jason Ierace & Pat Capocci to name a few good humans.
Also, as a side project, I recently completed my first cafe fit out for a new healthy minded endeavour called Sanduba. This has been a huge challenge but an incredible one. I’ve learnt a hell of a lot and seeing the project develop from a blank canvas to the finished work was my favourite part. That feeling of an idea becoming reality for me is what creating is about. And lastly in the works are a few more creative concepts, based around collaborations with like minded people to project some extra goodness into the world. So stay tuned for the Goodfolk project & hopefully another ‘Factory Of Yeah’ this year!
What’s your opinion on the saying “If you want something done ask the busiest person you know?”
What do you need done? I’ll fit it in no worries! Ha, yeah my Dad recently told me this one and a very true one at that. I completely agree with it, and feel it aligns with my life. I love being busy and making the most of my days and try to make myself available to others the best I can, but keeping balanced to me is ever so important and I do find times where I have to pull back, go inside my cancer star sign crab shell and have Lotte time to feel level again.
Favourite Tattoo on your body…
Hmmm hard one, the collection has added up over the years, and they all hold such significant meaning and map out my life. I think visually the half sleeve dandelion on my arm, as the attention to detail and art alone in it still blows me away. But emotional, I can’t go past the one on my ribs that represents my Dad and the endless respect and love I hold for him.
I am getting tattooed again this week, so my favourite list could change!
How important is a good attitude?
A good attitude to me is what sets people apart, what drives some people more than others and what attracts other like minded individuals to each other. Positivity is infectious and projecting goodness to those around you, in life, and in general is something I am mindful of. Just like having good manners - Please & Thankyou go a long way in my books.
Scenario: You open an ice cream shop one day called ‘loopy scoopy’. After operating and experimenting for 12 years you perfect a flavour called ‘love’ that people come from all over the world to taste. It’s mind-blowing! It eventually wins a Nobel Prize and once every political figure sets their taste buds on it the thought of war becomes non-existent. Lotte, between you and I, what were the ingredients?
I love this, because anyone who knows me, knows I love, love. World Peace ice cream would consist of - Cacao from Mexico, hand picked jasmine flowers from Tibet, coconut from Brazil, green tea from China, rosewater from Turkey, crushed ice from Alaska, ginger from Africa and lastly, lemon myrtle from our backyard. 7 key ingredients from every continent of the world. Boom.
Why do you think people assume you’re vegetarian?
Haha I think because I’m a ‘fun free’ kid as my girlfriend calls me, as I’m allergic to peanuts, dairy and citrus to name just a few, so I guess I eat quite a strict diet. I love vegetarian food but I don’t call myself a vegetarian by any means, as I eat about 60 % veg and 40% meat. And I try to support ethically treated meat as much as possible. I actually recently learnt what this is called - a Flexitarian. It’s officially been added to the oxford dictionary. I’ve thrown it around to sound all fancy, but really it sounds wanky and ridiculous, but I’m sticking with it.
What drives you to create?
It starts from within, as a desire to want to create something new and unique where possible and to experiment and see what the outcome is. Being lucky enough to be a creative for a living presents myself in the middle of it all. I’m constantly challenged to think creatively and that alone drives me. But the real drive is planting an idea and seeing it so clearly when others can’t, then bringing it to reality for all to see and share.
You once told me this epic story about dancing on stage with M.I.A at Coachella then sneaking backstage to boogie with Drew Barrymore before rubbing shoulders with the likes of Kanye West… Explain that experience in 4 words.
"Extremely wild teenage dream” - though I was 25 years old but screamed like I was a 14 year old! It was wild and a story for the grand kids.
You’re so flippin positive Lotte, do you ever wanna punch stuff?
Ha - yeah of course, you have to have the downtimes to appreciate the good times. It takes constant effort to keep projecting good vibes, and to not punch things, but as I mentioned before, staying balanced and maintaining my wellbeing is what keeps me level. Plus one incredible & humble soul once told me - breathe it all in, love it all out. And that has stuck with me ever since.
Who inspires you?
My inspirations change depending on what I’m working on or interested in at the time, I’m currently inspired by people & brands such as Uniform Wares for their beautiful, functional and classic watch collection. Koskela for their innovative and creative studio space. Poler Stuff, as they just want to make me go outdoors and explore, Best Made Co, Serena Mitnik-Miller, Kayla Varley to mention a few.
But the people that stay the same and are my main source of inspiration are my family and loved ones and the creative hub that is building ever so strongly closer to home. People like Misfit Aid, The Whole Creative, Where There’s Smoke, The National Grid, Renee Carey, Rick Foureyes (as his style of tatts are the best in town), Blacklist Studio, Lynes & Co, Wildthings Gallery, The Flower Drum, and of course Goodcheer. There’s this energy that is infectious and you just want to be apart of it and create with other like minded folk. So yep, I get inspired by many, near and far.
What do you want to be remembered for?
Hopefully for challenging the creative boundaries, standing apart from the pack, projecting love and passion in everything I do. A heap of positive vibes, hugs and great cups of tea. Oh, and obviously the world peace-love ice cream.
Many thanks for having me. x o x o