You will often see my mate Jason Grant hanging out at some of our favourite coffee joints or buzzing around town and the Byron Industrial and Arts Precinct, beaming with happiness and good vibes. I caught up with Jason recently at Barrio, in the Byron Industrial and Arts Precinct, for a coffee and to interview him for our BTS w Terase series, because this guy is just way to lovely not to share with you all!
I first met Jason about two years ago and instantly felt an easy connection to Jason and this relaxed easy vibe, and no-nonsense approach to work and life. At the time Jason was style “commuting” if you like, between Bondi and Byron! All the while, working out a plan to continue to work with the brands he loves in Sydney and beyond, and creating a home and balanced life in Byron for himself and of course the lovely Sophia (his Boston Terrier).
Jason first came to Byron several years ago, shooting homes and locations for his second book. A hot tip, introduced him to Kimberly Amos owner of the Atlantic Byron Bay (his favourite home away from home until he moved here), the two met and instantly became best of friends, Jason proclaiming, soon after “I’m moving here!”.
The main driver for Jason to move to Byron was his desire to escape Sydney, to live a simpler, creative, more balanced life and feel better connected to the rhythm of nature.
Jason is still frequently in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, for work and enjoys the freedom of being able to dip in and out of the big cities, with regular flights from the super accessible Gold Coast Airport.
Jason is a big believer in manifesting your intentions, and boy oh boy has he been able to create and realise his dream life here in the Bay! Living in a converted warehouse that oozes a downtown LA meets NY vibe with all the perks of Byron Bay coastal living. The warehouse conversion also happily doubles as a studio and creative space for Jason to unleash his creative awesomeness! And this is where you’ll often find Jason styling (and often behind the camera shooting the images too) big brand campaigns using his pristine white walls as the backdrop (or simply creating his own paint colours …… because the dude is frankly a creative freck’n genius!). Jason, will also regularly take shoots offsite, to say, a secret field in the hinterland somewhere, that is showered in the most perfect afternoon glow sunlight to grab that perfect shot!
One of the many things I love and respect about Jason, is his ability to tackle and succeed at so many facets of the “interior design” world. From consulting and designing interiors for new and refurb houses and commercial spaces, to styling and shooting campaign’s for big and small businesses across a range of industries …… to brand strategy consulting ……. to writing three books ……. for goodness sacks. I mean, if the guy wasn’t so bloody lovely, you might be tempted to dislike him for being so freck’n talented!
So, enough from me telling you about how amazing my mate Jason is! Here are a bunch of questions, I asked Jason during our interview, so you can get the low-down straight from the man himself!
TD : do people often wrongly pigeon hole you in terms of your design / style?
JG : I guess when you have a signature style you are known for, sometimes people think that’s all you can do. I try not to limited what my style is though, as it’s always evolving, but I guess the core of it, is me.
TD : how would you best describe your style in 5 words! Yes Jason, just 5 words!
- (With a touch of) luxe TD: haha OK ……. I will let you off with this one :O)
TD : who are some of your favourite style inspirations?
JG : I’m inspired by many artists, makers, visionaries and other creatives, who put themselves out there. I’m also lucky to call many of these people my friends, I fell very really lucky to be surrounded by so many creative friends near and far, Byron is a creative hub. Ilse Crawford and Kelly Wearstler are power-house standouts for me, whose unique points of view, style, focus and strength inspire me reguarly.
TD : what is the first record you bought?
JG : well actually, I think it was a cass-single. I can’t recall specifically buy it, would have been something by Kylie though ….. hehe!
TD: where do you like to Eat. Play. and Drink in and around Byron?
JG : where I eat and shop and live is fundamentally, all about connections. I love to support friends that do great things and people with great businesses. There is a great community / network here, that have embraced me whole heartedly, for which I am so very grateful.
JG : Byron is such a creative hub full of inspiring people with a great foodie scene. It’s impossible to choose just a few, so here is my not so short ….. shortlist! Hope you can write fast Terase!
St Elmo: at the bar for dinner and a cocktail. A great spot for dinner for just two or a larger group and an old favourite of mine.
Light Years: my favourite local. I’m a regular here, actually, I’m pretty sure they automatically just fix a pineapple margarita as soon as I walk in! Amazing food, music, space and staff never disappointing,
No Bones: for amazing vegan food.
La Casita Brunswick: Mexican and margaritas, just how I like it. Super cool, super casual and super tasty.
Fleet Brunswick: for special occasions it’s my most favourite restaurant in the world. It’s a combination of amazing food, and service. Feel in love with this team from the first time I visited.
Fels Kitchen: yummy salads and sweet treats.
Combi Cafe: best smoothies and avo toast! And super lovely staff.
Milk Bar Brunswick Heads: love their street food, easy style food and especially, their Sri Lankan curries!
Folk: super cool space and great food and coffee.
Raes on Wategos: for cocktails and dinner with the best view in town. Always a special treat, a little magic in paradise.
Byron Bay Peanut Butter Co. Store: for all kinds of yummy treats and crunchy (of course) peanut butter created and run by two of my best friends (oh and yes I collaborated on their new store too).
JG : Here is my list for great coffee in Byron and the surrounds (I grew up in Melbourne, so I appreciate a good brew, note mine is usually a coconut latte).
JG : the list is potentially endless! But this is my edit, of where I like to hangout and shop.
Clems Cargo: best vintage outlet around. I love working with them to source one of a kind pieces. I also love just popping in for a look see and a good chat, there is always plenty of vintage gems to be found here.
Nikau Store: best range of indoor plants and handmade ceramics you’ll find in one beautifully curated space.
Pampa: amazing handmade rugs and so much more. I love their colour palette and this Argentinian / Aussie duo are awesome people too.
The Society Inc. my friend Sibella Court has set the bar high for when a stylist next opens a store! Head here for her signature hardware collection and all kinds of hard to find cool stuff. I absolutely love her new Byron Bay outpost, shared with local legends McTavish (best surfboards and clothing).
Heaths Old Wares: another vintage treasure trove filled with hard to find and one of a kind vintage pieces.
Fossil Vintage: vintage pieces all the way from France in down town Byron Bay.
TIGMI Trading: awesome collection of rugs and furniture from all over the globe.
The Beach People: you’ll find their flagship store at Habitat in Byron Bay, a favourite go to for bed linen and beach towels.
Pop & Scott: old mates from way back in Melbourne, I love their original furniture designs and painted pots.
Driftlab: a cool edit of fashion brands for men and woman.
My friend (Artist) Jai Vasicek has an awesome gallery in town, there’s always something interesting happening there.
JG : I’m not a fan of trends, trends tend to almost, always ruin things. I think great things are always in style, I like people to find their own style and live a unique story. I say if you love something, don’t worry what anyone else thinks. It’s important to be original, unique and true to yourself. I mean, it would be boring if we all had all the same things right?!
TD : what styling trend what you like to see more people create in their homes?
JG : I’d like to see people consider more and more, what they bring into their homes. Focussing less on just buying better things, and more on what really makes them feel great having in their space.
Heirlooms are a long forgotten thing in my view, having beautiful pieces that can be past on, should definitely be back in style. Less is often more, and a good edit is always the key. I also, don’t like to encourage a disposable shopping mentality.
TD : when you’re feeling depleted and need to decompress and get reinspired where do you go?
JG : alone time is important. I’m either on or off, living a creative life without too many restrictions
So I head straight to the ocean / beach or the river side, to my friend Kim’s property in the hills (River Hawk Ranch). For me, a swim in the water just about fixes everything! I’ve always been aware and appreciated the calming and creative effect nature has on me. Its my happy place. A swim or a walk with my dog Sophia, creating with my hands, or collecting fallen nature finds (I’m always dragging something home) is the perfect escape and recharge for me.
TD : your Instagram account is beautifully curated. How much time each day do you allocate to creating the images and stories that feed into your account? Do you have a content plan? Or do you prefer to post content more spontaneously?
JG : I’m pretty good at being efficient. I try to spend less and less time looking at Instagram. Posts are considered (and are always within my style / brand parameters), but not over thought. My content is organic and authentic, and mostly mine or my work (creating images is part of my job, and has always been this way, even before Instagram). So most days there is content being created as part of my job or part of my day, more and more I’m actually shooting with a proper camera too! Yeah, my Canon is never pretty much never far from reach. I’d actually love to shoot a book of my own (the first three I worked with photographers to produce the imagery), I think I’m ready now to have a go on my own!
JG : easy as! Hollywood or Venice Beach, Los Angels California with weekends in Palm Springs!
Well that’s it folks! I hope you’ve loved reading my BTS interview with Jason, as much as I enjoyed sharing a snapshot of this awesome humans story with you.
Until next time.