Sonya Romeo is Lee & Allan. Lee & Allan is a Gold Coast based design studio, creating custom homewares and boutique textiles inspired by the vibrant Australian landscape. Sonya was kind enough to elaborate on how Lee & Allan came to be, and what the future holds.
Where are you from/ where are you currently?
I am originally from Townsville Far North QLD, I grew up on the outskirts of the town two doors up from my grandparents with horses, chickens and lots of room to run around. My mother calls me a gypsy as I left home at a young age to live in Port Douglas and Cairns. I now reside on the Gold Coast. I interpret my mother’s opinion of me as being a free spirited, very independent and not afraid of taking off on my own to travel or explore places.
Ending up on the Gold Coast was a bit of an accident. I had been living in Mossman (North QLD) for a while, actually my eldest son Jack was born in the Mossman hospital. I also lived in Cairns, however decided to move to Brisbane to seek out better work opportunities. I ended up staying with extended family on the Gold Coast, got a job and here I am nearly 15 years later married to a local who was born and bred just 6 doors down from where we live now. My Nonna still asks me when will I be moving back home….20 years later.
The Gold Coast is a diverse and buzzing city. Inspiration is never hard to find as there are beautiful coastal and country surroundings right on our door step.
Who / what are you influenced and inspired by?
The biggest influences in my design style is my family history and nature. I grew up riding horses and attending a lot of racing meets in Central and North Qld therefore love to see and explore our beautiful Australian surroundings. I am also obsessed with analysing my day to day surroundings. My husband often asks me if I have gone off into ‘’my world’’ as it is nothing for me to curl up in the corner of a window and sit and admire the outdoors for hours on end enjoying my own solitude.
We also have so many fantastic artists in Australia and sometimes I think they go un-noticed. Some of my favourites are of course Florence Broadhurst along with Jenny Kee and Linda Jackson. Past artists include William Morris and off shore artists of today include Anna Maria Horner, Joel Dewberry and Amy Butler.
How would you describe your work?
I would describe my work as being a contemporary and elegant interpretation of Australia and its beautiful surroundings.
What is your favourite artistic medium?
I would have to say pencil. I love sketching ideas and inspirational motifs into one of my many journals. From there I can scan them into my computer and manipulate them within The Adobe Creative Suite. However lately, I have been working with Ink, water colour and acrylic.
What are you up to currently?
Currently I am working on an outdoor fabric collection with 2 business partners. We have just recently received our first samples and are extremely impressed with the results. We are hoping to launch the collection to co-inside with this coming Australian summer. I also teach Visual Arts streaming in textile design 1 day per week.
Where do you want to be in 5 years?
Working on different creative projects out of my design studio. We recently purchased a commercial shop which I would like to turn into a creative hub sometime in the future 🙂