STYLE Insider: Flox Talks Artist Crushes, Guilty Pleasures and David Bowie

X September 7, 2020

Originally published on mindfood.com
September 4, 2020

Mural artist Hayley King – aka Flox – burst into the scene with her beautiful botanical, nature-inspired art in the early 2000s. Since then, she’s become a household name, putting her trademark creative stamp on art prints, murals, homewares and children’s books.

My artist crush right now is…
 Jonathan Brown (based in Hawkes Bay). He’s an old mate of mine and I am loving his work right now. They have this really refined look, while at the same time have this real classic kiwi twist. Look out for him, I reckon he’s our next best thing.

The last piece of clothing I bought… a pair of fitted Dickies overalls. I’m a sucker for new painting outfits, and am constantly on the lookout!

If I had to describe my artistic style in three words… botanical, nature-inspired, layered.

My favourite pick-me-up… a yoga class. When I feel like I need to centre the breathing again, then I’m all about a good vinyasa session, it just brings me back to my presence.

The best book I’ve read lately… the Justin Cronin trilogy; The PassageThe Twelve and The City Of Mirrors. Insanely good reads, I’ve done the first two, now I have to find the time to read the last one!

The song I have on repeat… ‘Turn Your Lights Down Low’ by Bob Marley & The Wailers, with Lauren Hill. This is a super special and deeply personal song for me.

My favourite place to dine in Auckland… I’ve reestablished my love affair with Saan on Ponsonby Road again lately, seriously great cocktails and I’m all about that tofu satay dish.

The one thing I can’t live without… creativity – I feel fortunate to have this outlet in my life and I’ve realised over the last few years that it’s another form of grounding.  I feel so fulfilled when I’m in my happy space.

My guilty pleasure is… eating Pic’s Peanut Butter straight out of the jar.

A design rule I love to break… I love to work on new logos – I like the idea of having multiple logos for diff parts of the biz, instead of one all-encompassing singular stamp.

When I was a kid… my parents always thought I’d be some sort of dancer! I used to prance around the house in a little tutu and was quite the little performer.  I did dance and gymnastics through school – but art was also always there for me, and so I eventually made that choice.

If I could have dinner with any person on earth, dead or alive, it would be… someone outrageously famous. Probably Bowie. Might as well shoot for the stars!

My favourite hidden gem in New Zealand… Houhora Heads, in the Far North. This is a special place for me as I have very close friends living here who are practically family. So many memories created through childhood through to my adult years, and so many more to come too hopefully.

If I wasn’t an artist… I think I would have gone down the architect route to be honest. I’m so in love with architecture and interior design, and I’m in awe of the vast array of skills that it takes to be a professional. I get to work with some of these people at times, and it’s always a real fulfilling process.

The last six months have taught me… balance is key. I’ve learnt to slow down, reflect and take stock. I was buzzing through airports constantly pre lockdown and I knew this way of life was pretty unsustainable. It’s been really exciting looking at ways we can redefine the brand to suit our domestic audiences. It’s been a good challenge, and I’ve been loving it.


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My Story

As an aerosol and stencil artist with a fine art degree, Flox has been making her mark on the inner cityscape of Auckland since 2003.

Her trademark native birds, ferns and flowers are a celebration of Aotearoa’s environmental taonga. Using distinctly vibrant and confident colour on a scale combined with delicacy they have magically transformed grey walls into vibrant depictions of the natural world.

Flox swiftly expanded her practice into prints, publications, murals, graphic design, live painting, projects and workshops for both schools and the wider public. She has been involved in numerous collaborations, charity work and both group and solo exhibitions.

Her accessible narratives have broadened the appeal and shaped her into one of New Zealand’s most recognised contemporary artists.

In recent years Flox has focused on refining new ideas, exploring other cultures and pushing her own artistic boundaries. This resulted in a three-month Artist Residency in Taiwan and a journey to Udaipur in India, to expand her international audiences.

Seen everywhere from Berlin, Hong Kong, New York, Taiwan, India and the US, Flox continues spreading her wings and making her presence felt across public spaces and homes worldwide.

Flox Portrait