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Leo Greenfield is one of those rare creatives who excels in multiple disciplines. An illustrator first and foremost, his ethereal portraits are drawn completely from memory. His work has featured in everything from Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar to Architectural Digest and The Weekend Australian, often paired with the fruits of his other labour, writing.

Mister Wolf: You’re wide awake and you’ve just thought of something brilliant. Where did your inspiration come from, and does it normally hit in the AM or PM? Can you elaborate on your favourite routine?

Leo : Inspiration can hit at any time, especially if I am out and about walking. My work is all about observing and documenting daily life, and I’ve found that special moments appear when you’re least expecting them.

How did you find your feet in the world of illustration? Did you train professionally?

I have always loved drawing, from as far back as I can remember. When I was very small I’d ask my dad to draw pictures for me, and I remember being fascinated watching him work. At university I was involved in the student newspaper, and I created a weekly magazine with a gang of mates. I wrote and drew for the publication, reporting on fashion and art. Later I would study Fine Art at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, and although the focus there was on conceptual art creation and installation, I continually returned to drawing. In developing an art practice I believe that all you can really do is follow your instincts, and that is the line I have followed.

A lot of people dream of earning from their art. How did you turn your passion into a paying gig?

I think having patience is the most important factor in developing your art practice and craft. Courage helps a lot too, especially the courage to dream. I believe that dreaming is a major part of the creation process. It’s where ideas start. They can sometimes appear not as vague thoughts, but as problems that need solving.

I then put together a mood board of brands and creators that are doing things really well, and try and pinpoint what it is that makes them stand out. I think that works in any category of design. From there we have a really great visual and verbal study for both me as the designer and for the client as well, to ensure we are all on the same page and starting from the same point.

This is really important because I think creative and design people often have different ideas to their clients of what the final product should look like. By starting with the mood board, you have a visual reference and verbal cues so that you are both speaking the same language from the get go.

I have always loved drawing from as far back as I can remember

Talk us through your process. Where do you find your inspiration, and how do you go about bringing it to life?

My process always begins with sketching; I think through creating, and I eventually start to find the forms I want to see. I often write too, and keep journals that reflect ideas I’m considering or stories I am trying to tell.

I am keen to document daily life in drawing, so as to remember the moment more deeply. Sharing the images online via blogging and now social media is a vital part of the process. I think the sharing of images ‘activates’ them, and makes them feel relevant to a wider conversation.

As for inspiration, the simplest of moments can become such interesting subjects to draw. I bring them to life through ink drawing and painting, creating in my studio from memory. I want my work to be a counterpoint to photography, so I don’t take reference images. As I often work alone I am also keen to collaborate with others, especially printmakers, I think teamwork is vital in any art practice; it allows me to let go of my work and grow things into larger projects. Some of my favourite projects are prints I’ve created with Simone Tippett, a master printmaker.

What exactly makes a Leo Greenfield illustration a Leo Greenfield illustration?

My unruly lines are for me what makes my drawing style unique. I never quite know where a drawing will start and or end. I just have to throw myself in and see what happens. When I start a drawing there is always a risk that it won’t go where I want it to go, but I run with that. I often joke that the drawings are more in control than me than I am of them, especially those cheeky cat characters.


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How do you see a traditional art form like illustration fitting into an ever more digital world, both personally and more broadly?

I think the effect of digital media on our lives—especially social media—has allowed traditional crafts to strengthen their place in culture. If anything I think it has helped what I do. It’s interesting to think that digital media allows you to watch the evolution of a whole generation of artists as if it was a livestream.

I am interested in creating different experiences for my audience online and offline. Online provides a window into the making process, and it’s an honour to share that with others and create conversation around that. To see the work on a screen is an important element of my work, but then there are the physical studio pieces—the paintings and the installations that are designed to be seen in real life.

It’s 9pm on a Monday and you still haven’t eaten—are you cooking or ordering in?

Right now it is an isolation Monday, but I am dreaming about heading to 10 Williams Street in Paddington for a cheeky pasta. For now I must cook at home though, so I’m whipping up a little puttanesca and enjoying a little break from my desk.

For the artist looking for inspiration, what would you recommend they do with their spare time? What inspires you?

For me and my practice sport is vital. I love living in Sydney as I can go for a swim and a run in the morning. I love being outside and active, as the rest of the day I will be drawing and writing at my desk. Two years ago I got dragged along to a yoga class and wasn’t too keen at all to try. Now I swear by it. It’s corny, but so effective for fitness and feeling calmer, which in the up and down world of art is most welcomed.

When I am not outside, podcasts such as This Is Criminal, Radiolab and This American Life keep me focused while I’m working away at my desk. The radio is the perfect media for me as it’s a studio buddy and is all about words, rather than images, which gives me space to explore the visuals I need to create.

Leo’s Podcast List for focus and pastime

This Is Criminal

Current podcast: “The question becomes, when is enough enough?” Today, we’re talking about forgiveness.

Radio Lab

Investigating a strange world.

This American Life

Current Podcast : During a time when a lot of us feel like we are living in a holding pattern, stories of people feeling stuck



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Looking for more Leo? He can currently be found on the cover of WISH magazine, or you can follow him on Instagram (@leo.greenfield) to be drip fed his latest work. Our recommendation? Hit that ‘follow’ button.


Leo’s Mister Wolf MW1 Pick Model 179

Traveller, photographer, architect; Nick Souksamrane boasts the sort of dream CV that you’d make up if you were trying to catfish someone. But trust us when we tell you he is 100% real. While he’s the first to admit that he’s still finding his feet in the world of design, Nick has already extracted a wealth of learnings over the course of his short career. So we asked him to share a few.


Mister Wolf: First thing’s first, it’s 7am, you’re up and about of the world can wait?

Nick: I’m not a morning person! But if I am awake then, there’s probably a very strong coffee in one hand and my phone with news in the other⁠—mostly to catch up on what’s happened overnight.

Have you always had a love of design? What led you to become an architect?

I can’t recall when I first developed a love of design, but I’ve always had a liking for simplicity, a love of putting things together and a love of photography.

From a young age I absolutely adored reading maps with beautiful graphics and basically spent all my spare time doing that. At about age 12 I started designing whole cities in my own versions of street directories. I remember there was this one particular city which filled a notebook of 96 pages… I got so detailed I drew how I imagined these cities’ buildings looked, and from there, I guess designing buildings was just a natural progression.


Morning Light. Architecture by BVN

At about age 12 I started designing whole cities in my own versions of street directories


Where do you find your inspiration for new projects?

I’d definitely say from travelling—I try to see as much as I can. Also from getting out to see other designers’ work around town, reading and watching talks of other designers speaking about how they derived their work. I really believe the more you see and absorb, the richer your design sensibility would be and the more you have to draw upon.

Architects need to marry form with function. Do you have a process that ensures neither side of the equation suffers for the other?

No, I can’t say I do. But I do think it’s fine for form to follow function. However, form should never really dictate the function beneath… That’s my opinion anyway.


What sets a Nick Souksamrane building apart from those of other architects? How do you ensure your work is uniquely yours?

I don’t think my work is any more special than that of other architects if that’s what you’re asking—there’s just so many great architects around. I’m also still trying to find my feet as an architect as I experiment with different expressions project to project. One thing I do is strive to craft simple and subtle architecture; the complexity behind creating something perceived as simple is a challenge that I really enjoy.


Roslyn St, Potts Point Durbach Block Jaggers


How would you like to develop your craft into the future?

As mentioned earlier, I’m really still just trying to find my feet as an architect. Part of me has a love for simple and uncomplicated design, however the other part of me would like to experiment with design a little more—be a bit more bold and radical perhaps. Maybe it’s a combination of the two and a balance somewhere in between which will eventually form the essence of my work?

I think advances in technology will also play a crucial part in assisting the way we do our craft—smarter and more efficient perhaps. It should not inform the way we design, however. I could do another whole segment on that topic!

The Philip Johnson Glass House


It’s 7pm on a weeknight – are you working, resting or creating?

I’m usually still in the studio working on projects at that time. I find during the day I like to discuss, collaborate and share ideas with colleagues. It is in the hours after that my head is down and where I find myself most productive—further proof I’m not a morning person!



For those readers with some time on their hands, with a love of architecture, what would you recommend they catch up on as soon as possible? What do you think might inspire them?

Again, I think travel and physically seeing the architecture would be the best way to understand works—there are lots of great examples here in Australia so we don’t have to go far. There are also lots of great talks happening. One off the top of my head is The Architect’s Bookshop (Surrey Hills) are hosting a series of free online talks called Isolation Talk Series—Adam Haddow of SJB speaks to Australian architects during these isolated times. Definitely get onto those!

Also a favourite coffee table magazine of mine is CEREAL. The magazine’s composition, photography, architecture and design content just seems so seamless. The texture and weight of paper also feels just right!

Nick’s isolation recommendations 

For the architecture fan: Isolation talks by The Architect’s Bookshop

Current podcast: Criminal (Latest episode: learning how to forgive)



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Tickets available NOW! 🙂

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Keen to check out Nick’s work? Head to his aesthetically pleasing Instagram—@ncik—to bask in the magnificence of his photography, which features his own architecture from time to time.

Fundamental to the creation of an enduring watch design is the design of the watch face or dial. Find out how Brooklyn-based designer Nadia Shen created Mister Wolf's distinctive dial design... and where to get the best tacos with a view in Brooklyn.

Mister Wolf is a truly international brand. While based in Sydney, the components of our watches and the people involved in our watches design come from all around the world.

When it came to creating MW1, our first watch design, we enlisted the help of Nadia Shen of Britelines. Nadia is a graphic designer and strategist based in Brooklyn by way of Hong Kong.
She has an eye for tasteful, harmonious compositions and imaginative and intelligent design.

Here she shares some insights into her process and the design of the Mister Wolf MW1 watch.

Mister Wolf: What kind of work do you do typically, was this a new type of project for you?

Nadia Shen: This was definitely a new type of project for me. I haven’t worked in fashion very much or in product design. It was really exciting to take on something so different and something so new.

I have a small design studio here in Brooklyn and typically I do a lot of branding and digital design. I work mostly with architecture and interior design firms and on hospitality projects.

These design concepts by Brite Lines were for a New American bistro with strong emphasis on locavorism, sustainability and organic and bio-dynamic wines.

How did the founder of Mister Wolf – Leighton Clarke – find you and your studio Britelines?

It was through mutual friends. One of our mutual friends is a really close friend of mine from high school in Hong Kong and Leighton was looking for a designer so he put us in touch. I think we had a conversation and we seemed to be on the same page. I think I had a good understanding of what he was looking for and good communication so we decided to move forward.

How did you approach the brief if it was something you hadn’t done before?

I approached it in the same way I approach all of my projects. The first step that I did was to do a really careful brand audit. Take a look at the market and see what other people were doing and what the trends were, what people were gravitating towards. I think that is always a great way to start a project.

Some of the custom collateral pieces created by Brite Lines for Rivertown Lodge, a boutique hotel located in the centre of Hudson, New York.

Then you put together a mood board of brands that are doing things really well and try and pin point what it is that makes them stand out. I think that really works in any category of design. From there we have a really great visual and verbal study for both me as the designer and for the client as well, to ensure we are on the right page and all ready to start from the same point.

This is really important because I think you can talk about things and I think creative and design people might have different ideas of what the final product should look like in their heads. But by starting with the mood board setting, you really have a visual reference and verbal cues so that you are both speaking the same language from the get go.

Mister Wolf watches are unisex, when you first thought about the watch design, who did you think would be wearing it? Who were you visualising?

I think generally Mister Wolf watches are for someone who is wanting something elegant and well-designed.

Leighton was very much about keeping the price point very affordable but also wanted things to be very high-end and to accentuate craftsmanship.

A watch should be pretty versatile. I think now people tend to have a couple of them and you can transition between them based on the season or your mood and they are a more casual accessory.

The dial design of the MW1 watch by Brite Lines.

Can you tell me a bit about the design process?

I worked specifically on the face design. I worked closely with Leighton and once the design was approved then I believe the design was handed off to industrial designer Tom Fereday who made any adjustments as needed.

I feel like the work happened very quickly. I think Leighton and I shared a very similar vision of what the design should be and I picked up what he was looking for pretty fast.

Do you think you’ll continue to do projects of this type?

I would love to, as a designer I am always trying to broaden the client range and it is really great to work on something that initially is out of my wheelhouse. I think it is great to approach a project like this with fresh eyes and come at it from a different angle. It is always great to learn something new. I think when you get so used to working with the same type of clients this type of project brings a fresh perspective.

Nadia is coveting the MW1 32mm Model watch for herself.

Finally, if you could have any Mister Wolf watch, which one would it would be?

Model 381. It is the women’s size – 32mm – with a copper case, natural leather band, rose hands and white face. It’s so classic and neutral – a perfect everyday piece.

Nadia’s insider guide to Brooklyn, New York


Want a pastry? You should visit Nadia’s own cafe.

My husband, two friends and I opened a cafe, Parkette Brooklyn, in our neighborhood of Sunset Park last November. It’s been a wonderful and fulfilling project – we designed and built the place from scratch, each of us lending our expertise. We serve delicious coffee and fresh French-Belgian pastries which are baked locally. It’s also served as a great opportunity to meet new people and to get to know our community.

Parkette Brooklyn, 4022 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11232, United States;

You should really try… Eating tacos with a view in Sunset Park.

The outdoor space in our neighborhood of Sunset Park is very special to me. I feel so fortunate to live across from the actual Sunset Park that the neighbourhood is named after. It boasts the second highest vantage point in all of Brooklyn. The New York City skyline sprawls before you and from the top of the park you can sit back and watch the sun dip behind the Statue of Liberty all while eating some of the best tacos in NY (Mexican food is something else the neighbourhood is known for)!

Sunset Park, 41 St., 44 St., bet. 5 Ave. and 7 Ave. Brooklyn. Directions via Google Maps.

You don’t have to go to Brooklyn… To shop there.

There are so many incredible places to shop in Brooklyn. I always love wandering around Greenpoint and poking my head into all the small shops. As a new mom, I do a lot of shopping online these days and a favorite is my dear friend’s children’s store darling clementine.