Freehand - Revolution Aotearoa


The first place to stock our prints was Post Shop Porirua. The manager there was a guy named Ted and he paid cash out of the til for them on the spot. I walked out with a couple hundred bucks. Talk about encouraging. I continued knocking on doors and although there were the odd ones who didn’t order, there was amazing feedback. That was all I needed to keep going.

Somewhere amidst the action somebody suggested we go to a publishing house in Wellington as they were looking for Māori designs. Game changer.

Learning Media Ltd was a company that published learning resources, books and magazines for the Ministry of Education. Wiremu put together a portfolio, and off we went to the big smoke. Rimu, Karma and I waited in the car so I could move if a parking warden came along -  cos free parking, and no warrant or rego lol. It was a mistake bringing that damn dog. Everybody who walked by the car got a crazy pitbull making sure they kept away from Rimu. The back window was well and truly licked and the rest of the car fogged up by the time Wiremu came out of that hui. Bloody Karma.

Wiremu had arrived at the appointment early and got there at the tail end of another meeting, so all who were in the room decided to sit in on the interview. No pressure. 

He scored  a contract to provide Māori motifs, kowhawhai etc and was to be paid per design. A  question that was asked of him at the interview was if he used freehand. To which he replied yes - I mean all of his designs were done by hand. What a stupid question (eyeroll).

We discovered some time later that Freehand is actually the name of a design programme. LOL

And so the graphic design seed was sown as were the onset of Government Department contracts.

 Rimu and his best mate Karma

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Hahaha, crack up the dog Karma, he made sure to leave a lasting memory in that moment by his actions. Love the freehand, made sense to me, lol. What an awesome outcome, life changing and so meant to be. Nga mihi


I (we) literally went in off the street to Learning Media after a tip-off from a friend.

I remember that day well. We were pretty skint at the time I wasn’t gigging much then. I walked in that buiIding pretty much broke and came out with a $2000 contract.

I walked out of that building cool, calm and collected as…on the outside, on the inside I was jumping up and down like a little kid, I couldn’t wait to tell Geneva, my walk got faster as I got closer to the car haha!

Bloody Karma….we were lucky it didnt rain that day, because she would of hit the windscreen 100% to attack the wipers and probably wreck my prestine manilla folder portfolio in the process hahaha.

Yea, once Rimu came along things changed a lot. Levi’s all of a sudden were really ugly and the 2 for $40 jeans at DEKA or Farmers became real cool! lol

Ah yes Freehand….yea I remember thinking to myself “well how else do you think I did it??”

Up until that time most of my time was spent gigging, playing guitar and drawing. How out of touch was I!

The real pivotal moment was when I delivered the completed job…that was the game changer for me, a eureka! moment you could say.

Although those times were hard for us, we were only had to pick up the phone for anything we needed. Our parents were always there for us, and helped heaps whenever we needed it.

But it was important that we did this on our own as much as possible. Only In absolute emergencies we would call up for help, like if I needed a new music equipment or computers…necessities. lol

Wiremu Barriball

Haha not the eye roll😂

Byron Maxwell

Another awesome blog….keep them coming….lucky karma was confined to the car or else!!!!! All those long days n nights working on your art work….accolades to you Wiremu and You too Geneva for being a driving force behind your business….

Gayle stephens

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