Pillowtalk: Dan and Hilda Mitchell
Here at SUKU, we have developed a love for finding and chatting with creative couples that have practices that inspire us. Dan and Hilda encapsulate what we love most about these special Pillowtalks - finding two souls each with individual pursuits that inspire and care for each other. A friend of SUKU once described a successful romantic partnership as two people running in parallel; Hilda and Dan’s relationship conjures that exact image. In terms of their careers, Dan left London, where he co-founded LN-CC, to live in Hilda’s homeland of Indonesia where he now heads Potato Head’s creative direction, while working on his super successful (and amazing) record label, Island of The Gods. Equally impressive, Hilda designs and runs her own childrenswear label, Zephyr Blues, that focuses on artisanal prints and incredible cuts and fabrications. We had the wonderful opportunity to shoot them in their home which speaks to their incredible style, celebrating the beauty in craftsmanship and creation, clearly also evinced in their respective work. We spoke about the creative energy that runs through Indonesia, their new found love of early mornings and the music they could listen to forever
Early mornings or late nights?
Hilda: If you asked me this question 5 years ago I would answer late nights in a heartbeat, but after being a parent then you probably know which one I have to answer ;)
Dan: I named my last company LN-CC (Late Night Chameleon Cafe) so that says it all. Although these days I’ve been getting into the sunrise.
How did you two meet? What was your first impression of each other?
H: Ok this story is rather special, so bare with me if I have to go on a bit… We first met in a club called Fabric in London, I was dancing with my friends and this dude just came and started dancing with us...and I was like...he’s cute :P I remembered he was wearing like a black long cardigan and black baggy pants, I thought he’s got a cool style. But that was it... nothing happened or no numbers been exchanged. A year later when I moved to London for study, a friend invited me to this party that his friend dj’ed so I went and turned out it was Dan’s party. So we finally met each other properly. And the rest was history :) It’s funny how the universe works..I’m sure everyone has their fairytale but for me ours is rather epic!
D: Rub N Tug Fabric room 3… Haha doesn’t sound very romantic!
How would you describe your partner’s practice?
H: Inspirational, dedicated, talented, and insanely creative. He always said... you can be anything you want to be as long as you put your mind to it and work hard.
D: She is the Yin to my Yang.
How do your creative practices compliment each other? Do you often provide advice, support and help in each other’s work?
H: My work is very small scale to what Dan does, but his opinion matters the most for me, simply because we get each other and complement one another. I fully support him on whatever he does even if I don’t get it at first ;p
D: She’s the biggest critic of my work and always give me feedback which I need as she has better taste than me!
What brought you to Bali, and what sustains your love of Indonesia as a country?
H: I’m from Indo so this will always be my first love, and we’ve been coming here especially Bali since we were together, so that connection [has] been very strong over the course of years for us. As for him I think he just loves Asia and the chaos of it all...you know, ride your bike with no helmet and shoes type of thing ha!
D: Hilda brought me to Bali and we never looked back .
Both of your work seems to be grounded in a love of Indonesia, with Zephyr Blues prints and Potato Head’s focus on local artisanal craft. What is it about Indonesia’s culture and creativity that inspires you most?
H: Everything, Indonesia is very rich in culture and no other way to celebrate that than being proud of it and share that to the world.
D: Indonesia is for me the most culturally rich place on the planet - and Bali is an energy vortex as two Ley Lines meet literarily below the island. That’s why it’s such a magical place in my opinion. Indonesia has it all on many levels and I feel incredibly blessed to be here.
At SUKU we try to instill small practices and rituals that ground us, do you have anything that you do daily that provides a moment of calm in your busy lives?
H: Training (fitness) has been a life saver for me, not only physically but mentally it has helped me on so many levels.
D: Morning rituals and meditation and just saying thanks for having this experience on this planet. And then I just visualise what I want or need to do and I just make it happen.
If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
H: In My life by The Beatles, because it’s a personal reflection of someone’s life and what better way to tell it.
D: Black Merlin - Kosua (sorry for the plug. Haha)
What’s your idea of paradise?
H: A place where illness, poverty, hate and pain does not exist.
D: Peace on earth.