The Story behind Steph Brooke Studio

by Steph Brooke

Grab a glass, we’re going to start from the beginning - this didn’t happen overnight and I’m not going to sugar coat it.

Working a draining corporate job in Investment Management, I was feeling stuck and in need of a creative outlet. I wandered into Jackson’s Art supplies in January 2020 and was fortunate enough to be helped by Helen. I’ve always drawn and been creative but I had no idea about paint, lightfastness, mediums or brushes. I rejected a fishing trip (very unlike me) to sit alone and paint, and after 12 hours had passed - I hadn’t moved. It was all encompassing and I had been lost in a world of creation. Obviously the painting was terrible, but I wanted to make a hundred more and I wanted each of them to be better. I caught the creative bug.

Through the power of just saying ‘yes,’ a series of invitations would follow from Darwin’s creative circles where I ended up having my first solo exhibition in Darwin city as apart of the Fringe Festival. I’d never attended an exhibition let alone participated in one, so I was nervous to say the least. Unexpectedly, the exhibition sold out and a door to a new life opened up for me.

I kept painting while working full time, but my job didn’t allow me enough time to do what I truly loved in painting. Unsatisfied at work, and another day of tears in the toilet led me to a meeting with my boss to communicate my feelings. Our discussion inspired her to give me a book to read, called ‘Meant for More,’ by Mia Hewett. While I don’t think it was the mission, I had a lightbulb moment - I am investment manager, investing my time in other peoples assets and future. Let’s flip this script - I need to invest in myself, and my future. I quit my job and I was going to get out there and chase that dream. 

The rhythms of running a creative business took flight. I was producing as much work as I could, and I will always will be incredibly grateful to say everything was just sold out! I started to see the world differently, like an artist. I had harnessed the power of curiosity and behind every little thing was a source of wonder and inspiration. My new world was surpassing my expectations. I was a working full time artist making a healthy income from my work and living the life! I was doing it… all of it….

Wearing a lot of hats caused a personal and creative burnout. Because life is busy, this was the year we got married and had fallen pregnant with our first baby. I had Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) throughout my entire pregnancy and I was completely disabled. When it rains, it pours - am I right!? This was a crisis I wasn’t prepared for, which presented me with two solutions. 1. Ask for and accept help or 2. struggle through alone and probably fail. 

Accepting help, the pursuit of the creative dream continues… My ever supporting husband and family have always encouraged me in my creative career, and they showed up for me once again. So what does that look like now? 

My husband Reeves built me a studio space from recycled materials and has now taken a role as a director in Steph Brooke Studio. He is the brain surgeon behind our operations and logistics, makes sure everything gets done, and looks after me in-between. My mum is on the advisory board, providing the ‘you can do it,’ spirit in my ear - a lifelong journey for her as my mum. Our fabulous team Southern Buoy in Mornington, VIC manage all of our printing and framing at a world class standard with FSC certified materials to support our vision in sustainable practices. My sister/BFF Eve has taken on a role in supporting me to bring joy and happiness to all of our beautiful collectors (there may or may not be wine involved on the days she is here). 

We support charity events and fundraisers with my work through our vision to make a positive impact in our community. We are branching out into creating an Australian Artist Collective to connect and inspire through the textiles space. We also have an International Travel Art Masterclass on the horizon too… watch this space! 

We do this all together as a family, connected and with a shared vision. We encourage rest and a balanced life with quality family time. We prioritise what feels good for our collectors, our community and planet. This feels like a milestone moment for me as I turn 30 years old, and I wanted it to be documented to share. I want to be the person to tell you that if you have a dream; You are meant for more & you actually can just go out there and get it. 

With Love, 


Words by Steph Brooke, Photography by Joshua Pucci 

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