What started as a bedroom experiment in her cosy Brisbane apartment, Tempest Hurricane is now an expanding brand with 37K followers that she successfully manages alongside her full-time hustle – working in UX for a Melbourne advertising agency. With a new venture into producing a calendar and connecting with the Patreon community, we are excited to see what 2018 holds for Tempest Hurricane.
We sat down together over a glass of red to learn more about her intentions, the reality of managing many projects, and what else we can expect in the future from this pioneering pin-up girl.
When did you start your Tempest Hurricane account? What was the intent behind it?
Tempest started a couple of years ago, back in August 2015 from my bedroom. It was a bit of an eff you to (ex-) friends who said I couldn’t show my body in a certain way because of their boyfriends and husbands who follow me, and god forbid, they saw it! So, after a few texts with my best mate, we decided I should start a separate account as an experiment, and she helped me name it based off a spinoff from my “everyday” account, my love of burlesque performers from the 50s (Tempest Storm!) and what happened next was a little unexpected but heaps of fun.
You’ve built a formidable brand there! We love that you’ve launched a calendar for sale for 2018 too. What is your driving motivation to continue with the account and to further build on it?
Thank you! That was a fortuitous accident to be honest, but I have to admit I’m proud of where it’s taken me. My biggest motivator would have to be teaching myself photography – it has really changed the tone of the images I share and has become more about the joy of the image-making process and my overall aesthetic rather than the lingerie itself. That said, it did start from a formidable lingerie collection, which has probably tripled in last two years. After the calendar launched, I’ve been revisiting why I do this and where I want to take it… but I definitely feel it will continue to evolve at it’s own pace – well I hope it does!
What else do you have on the horizon? Any projects, collabs or events?
For me, it’s a bit of a juggling act between full-time work in an ad agency and making the time for photos, plus time to see friends and very important downtime. Project wise, I’d love to do more series-based work (think Cindy Sherman-esque) and a mini exhibition-style show, as I’ve definitely realised there’s an element of dressing up in character that I quite enjoy portraying to the lens. I’d also love to expand my work to include portraits of others, but that involves a whole new level of confidence in my skills, plus a mini equipment upgrade… I’d love to give it a go and see what happens. That’s been the best thing about this whole process, in that while there was never a “goal” when I started, it’s become a bunch of little goals that have come to me organically, which has been really enjoyable and probably why it stuck.
I’ve got a few things in the works; I’m trying to teach myself how to sew (sans machine which is a bit tricky!) and also set up a Patreon account for paid subscriber content. Then there’s the lingerie roulette challenge I want to kick off on Instagram this year too. It’s a celebration of regular lingerie themes with the idea of bringing lingerie collectors together. I announced it at the beginning of the year through the gram, so that reminds me I really need to recommit to that! I feel like January has been a hectic month, I’m only now committing to my goals for 2018!
I’d also love to create a book about photography and my process down the track… inspired by the one and only, Bunny Yeager, pinup photographer and self-portrait queen. But that’s a future, future goal!
Who is your dream brand to collab with? Let us put in a good word!
I’d love to work with JBC Lingerie in Melbourne, purely because they have such fun, fresh, inclusive, sassy pieces, plus their shoots look like a massive party!! Then there’s the ultimate dream of working with Agent Provocateur, as they’re the brand that really cemented my love for collecting and I had the best experience in-store with their Agents who made me feel so comfortable and sexy in what’s often such a vulnerable process of trying on underwear. I don’t always love their campaigns, but the campaigns circa 2006-2009 were on point; Vestry of Virgins anyone?
Last but not least, Queen Vivienne is my ultimate collab… Pie in the sky! Oh and I really want to do something edgy, comfy and reflective with to Barwyn and Back – hopefully, they’ll read this 😉
We know you’ve got a busy career to boot, how do you manage your time across account upkeep, ideation and all the other things running a small brand entails?
To be honest, I’m not as committed as I’d like to be and could always be doing more. Sometimes the algorithm on Instagram gets me down and I’m not sure it’s really working for me. Regardless, I have to make time for it, and I dedicate between 2 and 5 hours each weekend to take photos, select them and then think about when to post or how to feature them. I like to take stories every morning too, so I keep my account real and in the moment… My feed is more for my curated shoots and looks. That said, I still post the occasional iPhone selfie.
Ideation wise, it’s either based on a set I want to capture or imagery I’ve seen on Tumblr and scouring vintage lingerie pics in books I’ve collected… As for the business element, I’m still getting my head into it and it’s fairly new, but never underestimate friends and their invaluable experiences and advice they bring to the table. The number of times I’ve banged on about something biz wise to a friend and turns out they’ve experienced it too has helped me brainstorm ideas and solutions and also conceptualise a shoot. The calendar came from a chat with a friend of a friend, and while I’d thought about creating something, I didn’t truly commit until someone told me to just do it… and now it’s here and IRL. A pinch-me moment for sure!
Thanks for chatting with us, Tempest Hurricane!