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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | June 27, 2022

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Creative chats with Cork & Chroma

Creative chats with Cork & Chroma

| On 11, Oct 2016

In the little streets of South Brisbane there stands a creative studio behind a large glass window. Take a peak and look through, and you’ll see a class of creative people – wines in one hand, paintbrushes in the other. Blank canvases are killed with colour, and the sound of music and human chatter draws you near. Welcome to Cork & Chroma. 

This week The Creative Issue had the delight in talking about creative journeys, self-taught art and opening up a business, with Cork & Chroma’s owner and Creative Director, Hillary Wall. After recently opening up her new Surry Hills studio in Sydney, Hillary takes us back to the basics with how Cork & Chroma first began.


The Creative Issue: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your passion for creating.

Hillary Wall: I’m a self taught artist who has been drawn to the creative experience since a very young age. Creative expression felt natural to me as a child and was the language that I understood. I was taken by the experience of making something from nothing in your own unique way. It felt that that time nearly stopped when I was ‘being creative’, and I could fall into my own world. I now currently live with my husband BJ and our dog Trudy in Sydney operating the Surry Hills studio. These days outside of C&C stuff I’m playing with clay, practicing ukulele and walking Trudy through Sydney.

TCI: What was the inspiration behind Cork & Chroma?

HW: Cork & Chroma was inspired by a painting hobby I picked up in my first year at Uni. One day I found myself passing through the University art supply store so I picked up some canvases, paints, and brushes. With only the faintest idea of what to do with them, I started experimenting; using art as a form of therapy to cheer me up and reconnect with myself. C&C is what I wished had existed for me when I first picked up those brushes. Occasionally my two best friends and I would have a night where we’d share bottles of wine and paint for fun in our apartments, those moments are what stuck with me. To me, those nights were the basis for the C&C experience.


TCI: Describe a session at Cork & Chroma.

HW: When you arrive with your BYO wine, you’re seated at a table and after you get your paints pumped and wine poured, we start! We’ll kick it off with a cheers of the glasses, the artist gives the first step for the painting, and in between we play music. Then, step by step, we work on the painting until it’s finished! Anyone over the age of 18 can attend, no matter if you’re a professional artist or have never picked up a brush, our nights are inclusive and good honest fun for everyone.

TCI: What were some of the challenges and achievements you have experienced with Cork & Chroma?

HW: I’ve certainly had my fair share of challenges, and still do. As a first time business owner, I was tasked with making decisions in areas that I had little experience in. Having to change roles and learn new skills quickly benefited me in the long run because I was able to learn about my business from the inside out, but it was frustrating at times. As far as achievements, I felt that a great achievement when BJ joined the team last year. When we started C&C, it was our goal to be able to work together, and to meet that goal has been a dream.

Cork & Chroma

TCI: How does creativity influence who you are, and how your business operates?

HW: Creativity certainly influences how our business operates, because we aren’t set that something has to be a certain way.  In business and in life, BJ and I like to operate from a ‘how could we?’, instead of ‘we cannot.’ viewpoint. And when we keep our minds open like that, it leads us down a creative path of problem solving or brainstorming.

TCI: What’s your favourite painting? And lastly, the most important question of all: What’s your favourite wine?

HW: My favourite painting changes constantly! Right now however, I am loving one of our pieces called Moroccan Blue; it’s all about brush strokes and contrast. My favourite wine is Cabernet Sauvignon. I grew a taste for that varietal while living near Napa Valley in California. That being said, I don’t know if I’ve met too many glasses of red wine that I couldn’t make friends with!

For more information, and to book classes with Cork & Chroma, visit their Website, Instagram and  Facebook page.

Images Credited: Cork & Chroma Facebook and Instagram.