MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: FIONA HAGGER

Say hello to Fiona Hagger, the Founder behind Finer Space.

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Fiona is a One Roof member and the founder of Finer Space. She hails from the fine island of Tasmania; is a fierce adventuress and lover of all things wild and free. Her favourite colour is a deep dark shade of red, which incidentally reminds her of wine. Fiona also values functional design rather highly (dresses with pockets, please). On a Sunday morning you will find her slowly devouring a story over a bottomless pot of tea. And, of course, she is a a great appreciator of meaningful art and is endlessly grateful to our creatives for presenting the world to us through another lens.

Fiona appreciates that although we may find this artistic lens to be at times confronting, it may be inspirational, sometimes fun and engaging, or perhaps it may feel familiar and real. She believes our lives are enriched and often better understood through great art. Accordingly, she firmly believes that everybody should feel that they can access, appreciate and acquire authentic artworks (just as everyone should feel that they can conveniently access a pocket). And this is the basis of why she wanted to create Finer Space.

A short summary of what Finer Space and why you started it?

Finer Space is an online platform that offers high quality fine art prints, designed by emerging Australian artists and printed by artisans in Brunswick. I have a dual aim of promoting and supporting our artists, and providing a more accessible avenue to purchase wonderful artworks.

It often came up in conversation with people that they would ask me questions around how they could find art, and on the other hand, I know some incredibly talented emerging artists who were wondering how to sell their artwork. It seemed to me to be a logical leap to create a site where both desires could be fulfilled at once. The more mainstream print sites are cheap, mass-produced, factory made prints with thousands of average images to choose from... I wanted to create something of extremely high quality, created locally with care and love, that celebrates our artists.

Is there anything exciting you are working on over the next 2-3 weeks or any big wins that you would like us to highlight?

Is winding down for Christmas considered exciting? I’m excited for it! Sales will close on the 6th of December to ensure all artworks reach their new owners by Christmas.

What is your biggest tip for someone starting a business?

Try not to get too emotionally invested in a particular idea or way of doing something. Have a ‘why’ or purpose to your business, and then test ideas and methods, seek feedback, refine, and do it all again. Be flexible and open to constructive suggestions. Resist stagnation. Appreciate failure.

What do you find beneficial when it comes to working from a co-working space such as One Roof?

Everything? Yep, pretty much everything about One Roof makes working there preferable to tapping away on my laptop alone at my kitchen table. I’ve never worked in such a supportive, encouraging, friendly and mature environment before – it’s such a wonderful community to be a part of and hugely motivating.

Tell us about YOU, what do you like doing when you unplug from work?:

Any of the following at any time and in any amount: literature; the sea; olives; oil painting; the modern art era; shacks; my family; rational thinking; Sigur Rós; old growth forests; and Mosel Valley riesling.

How can people get involved with Finer Space?

Well I’ll start with our website – it’s a rather beautifully clean and calm affair designed by graphic designer Douglas Hagger – pop over to perve on some sexy artworks. We’re getting into the social stuff – you can find us on facebook and, in particular, instagram. But the form of Finer Space’s communication I’m most passionate about is The John Dory, our wee ‘newsletter’. I enjoy writing and poking around issues to achieve a deeper or broader understanding. An artist’s ‘why’ is often fascinating and can provide great insight into their work, which in turn will often make you look at a piece of their art or an issue in a completely different way. The John Dory has rather unintentionally become an avenue to pursue this interest in greater depth through interviews with artists. I’d recommend signing up to the John Dory if you want to get to the crux of what Finer Space is all about. 

Beyond Finer Space is the broader issue of showing appreciation and support of committed and talented artists and artisans. They do, and always have done, form an essential part of society and culture, and are often undervalued. Involvement can range from buying their work, to visiting exhibitions and creative spaces, annual art school graduate shows, festivals, and art fairs… or even just telling an artist that you love their work.

What have you found most rewarding about starting Finer Space?

Definitely the time I spend working with our artists. I really can’t speak highly enough of these excellent beings. They are all (as many artists are) deeply dedicated to their practice, and are so adept at their respective mediums. But beyond this, they are genuinely such kind and decent humans. And far too humble to readily acknowledge their innate and learned artistic skill, which is where I come in. 

As mentioned above, my ‘why’ of Finer Space is not only to provide greater accessibility to wonderful art, but to also help promote and support emerging artists. And it’s definitely the latter part that gets me out of bed in the morning. I believe absolutely in their ability, and anything I can do to help these talented and wonderful people is deeply rewarding.

And finally, what is your life motto?

Emerson’s ‘Life is about the journey, not the destination’. It’s not a saying I’ve consciously styled my existence around, but I find it to be an apt descriptor of my life so far. I’ve never been one to pursue something specifically for an end result if it means a life of drudgery and/or compromising my values to get there, and this has often meant that I’ll arrive at things in a rather round-about way! But hey, you can’t put a price on life experience. Another potential motto?

WANT MORE OF FIONA?

Find her on Facebook here, follow her on Instagram here, or check out her website here.

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