Artist and author Deborah Hide-Bayne takes her inspiration from her beautiful surroundings and unique lifestyle in the Coromandel, New Zealand. She writes about life at home with her young family: painting, cooking, baking, preserving and loving life. Her books will inspire you to live a more sustainable life, transporting you to a simpler place, where time slows and there is a wonderful smell coming from the kitchen. Here, the author of ‘Coromandel Flavour’ and ‘Coastal’ talks about her creative passions and her plans for the future.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
My business is a creative one – I make art, I write, design and illustrate books and I take photos. That is all inextricably linked with living a more sustainable life and growing, cooking and, most importantly, eating food.
Becoming a parent and being at home more made me come back to basics – living an authentic life for myself (and my family) seemed the most critical thing, both for my own mental health and happiness but also the wellbeing of my family and the planet, which are both important to me, and dependent on each other.
I’m a greenie but I honestly believe that ‘should’ is not a word that will encourage anyone. I want a t-shirt that says, “Don’t SHOULD on me!” I hate that feeling of being judged and people telling me I ‘should’ be doing things differently. Instead, could it be fun living a more sustainable life and following my passions? I set out to try…
Creativity is something I live and breathe. You know there are some things you would do if no-one paid you, and if no-one saw the results but yourself? Well, those are the things I try to do and record so that I can hopefully encourage others to do the same.
I am one of those people who love learning new things and thrive on new experiences.
Those are the things that I’ve successfully turned into a business, with the support of some great mentors and my family.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
It started when I was doing a boring office job and I suddenly had this moment of realisation – was this it? Surely life had to be more exciting and fulfilling than this? I made a big list on a piece of paper of things I would rather be doing than sitting in an office: cooking, eating, art, writing and photography. Then I tried to think of a project where I could do all those things at the same time: writing and illustrating a book charting a year at home with my baby seemed to tick all the boxes – and that was my first book, Coromandel Flavour. I just chipped away at it, learning how to take food photos, how to lay out pages in InDesign, how to plan chapters and stories and eventually, I had done so much towards the book that I felt obliged to finish it! It was a huge learning curve and I’ve now sold 3,500 copies.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
The realisation that just because I can do everything myself doesn’t mean I should. Delegate where you can, is my biggest piece of advice.
Also, building alliances and collaborative relationships has been really valuable for me, and has led to lots of interesting projects I may not have discovered on my own.
Never be afraid to admit that you still have things to learn, is one of my daily reminders.