Multi Talented

Be Friendly design studio is a name to watch as its founder Matt Stuckey becomes increasingly involved with the design of new local interiors.

Be Friendly design studio is a name to watch as its founder Matt Stuckey becomes increasingly involved with the design of new local interiors. His Minima Art Rooms in North Adelaide is the studio’s most ambitious project to date. During a backpacking holiday eight years ago Matt Stuckey was giving out bumper stickers to everyone he met. They read ‘Be friendly’ and it was only a matter of time before it became his nickname. Fast forward a few years and the happy slogan was Stuckey’s obvious choice when deciding on a name for his business. The newly formed Be Friendly design studio is the Adelaide-based illustrator’s multi-disciplinary practice, recognised for its creative flair and prodigious output. Stuckey’s portfolio is broad and varied and encompasses everything from art direction and custom typography to illustration and public art. He has also designed small-scale interventions for retail interiors and identifies this area of his practice as one he would like to expand. Interestingly it was through his organisation of the hugely successful Oi You! Urban Art Festival that led to his most ambitious interior project to date – the Minima Art Rooms in North Adelaide. “I had a meeting with Arts SA’s manager of public art and design regarding Oi You! and she also let me know about the Minima Hotel’s new marketing strategy to align their brand with local creatives,” says Stuckey. “And I thought excellent, because I’ve wanted to paint an entire hotel for a few years now.” A meeting was organised with the hotel’s marketing manager Finn Miller and Stuckey’s dream was soon a reality. The project’s initial stages involved some guerrilla tactics on the part of both Miller and Stuckey. Painting the first two rooms in secret was intended as proof of concept and luckily it worked because once the owner saw them he green-lit the project. The hotel’s ensuring makeover involved all 46 rooms receiving a different painted – and sometimes sculpted – wall mural. In his role as curator Stuckey invited 43 South Australian artists, designers and illustrators to participate in the year-long project. With an outcome that is as visually dynamic as it is stylistically eclectic the makeover newly positions the family-owned Minima Hotel with a strong point of difference; just as Miller hoped. But the project’s greatest success is the impressive snapshot it provides of the State’s diverse creative talent. “Some artists came on board for the thrill of it, but a lot wanted to be involved because they saw the potential in the project,” says Stuckey. Graffiti artist Vans the Omega is represented as is illustrator Kate Gagliard. Although the launch of the Minima Art Rooms only took place in August of this year Stuckey already has plans to paint over each room. The intention is to keep the hotel fresh, seeing as it has so many return guests. Stuckey will be kept busy, but this won’t be his only ongoing project. He is constantly seeking out new design opportunities and is masterful at managing more than one project at once. Be Friendly continues to be a name to watch.

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