horizons series | Joanna Kawecki

Continuing the breathtaking feature of Australia’s coastal scenery in October’s Horizons episode we are excited to take you to the architectural marvel that is the Tokyo International Forum this month. Following Joanna Kawecki, founder and Editor of Champ Magazine and the complementing creative force to her twin sister Monique we were able to get a glimpse into what it is like to be a Creative in a city as vibrant as Tokyo.
Exploring architecture, light and shadow, Joanna talked to us about how for her the global creative landscape is one that is both borderless and interconnected - full of opportunity to the creative minds excited to marry their curiosity with profound knowledge.

1. As a foreign Creative based in Tokyo – do you feel the local culture and community have shaped your own creative lens? Any stories of people you’ve met that have left a particularly deep impression on you?

There is a such an amazing local community in Tokyo that has certainly shaped me in so many ways, I absolutely love my morning Yoyogi Park runs with Jun Takahashi of Undercover talking about music and films, to working with Yoon at Ambush and deep diving into art and design. But I would say I’ve always been drawn to and most inspired by creativity which transcends boundaries of cities or any social constructs. We are all global citizens of the world no matter where our base, it’s about the ideas and actions you make that can influence the world. Even since Day 1 of Champ, we’ve always seen the global creative landscape as borderless and interconnected.

2. You have a thriving community built around Ala CHAMP – for those aspiring to join your cause what would be tips you’d give to them besides a healthy portion of curiosity and a good understanding of culture?

Research as much as you can — knowledge is king. Be conscious about the world and everything that forms its foundation; not just in fashion or design but across all industries. It’s important to break rules and existing constructs — it’s the only way to reach progress through an artistic lens. One thing also in common with all Champ Family and global creators is that they see the world with optimism and equality — it’s all about doing things with real heart and a pure creative vision. Most importantly also, it’s about doing things differently to everyone else. There is so much to discover that isn’t on the internet — whether out in nature, or hunting in a second-hand book store, a museum library or a friends studio — I guarantee it’ll become a chain reaction where you’ll discover something new. There’s nothing that compares with the exchange of energy and new dialogues that come from a physical discovery.

3. With CHAMP CREATIVE you also tap into the world of taking your approach and applying it to work you do with other brands – what are projects that excite you the most when you do that and why?

The best projects are where you find the right solutions to be able to execute ideas, and bring in favourite creative collaborators and friends to join forces and perspectives together to create something completely new — it’s all about working hard and having fun!

At Ala CHAMP, we have the freedom to connect with, feature, and collaborate with anyone we are drawn to or feel that is supremely talented and different from anyone else.

From dinner parties to talk panel events, driven by pure

passion, we can move quickly and do things completely on our own terms. Yet with CHAMP CREATIVE, it’s about balancing art and commerce to achieve a positive outcome for that brand, so working with the right businesses who are not averse to taking risks and are equally globally-minded and forward-thinking is imperative.

4. Working across continents – what has been your most challenging and fun part of the experience and why?
Working across different time zones can be a challenge for some but I love it! It can be really interesting when for example you’re waking up in Tokyo but can jump on the afternoon vibe of a peer or friend in L.A. It really puts things in perspective that things are bigger than our immediate surroundings. Whilst we are really just small fragments in this giant universe, all our actions matter and can influence even someone miles away, or light-years away!

Personally, I am beyond passionate about figuratively putting the pieces together in this global creative puzzle. I really do see our creative community like that: a giant tapestry where everyone’s skills, specialities and even characters and personalities are individually unique, but when connected right, they form the strongest “big picture” for our world.