Our Featured Hustler of the week is Karina Sharpe, a past High-End Hustler & founder of Image Up Club.
Karina is a conceptual artist, creative director, image producer and co-author intent on using her creativity for the greater good. Founder of the creative powerhouse, Image Up Club, she uses a blend of art-direction, photography and precision detail to craft high-creative imagery to help purpose-driven brands make big impact.
Where are you right now?
I’m sitting in Image Up Club’s new HQ in Moffat Beach. I’ve just finished a GF donut my beautiful friend dropped off and am preparing to delve deep into with my team on a conceptual project with a theme of fantasy.
Tea or coffee?
Coffee all the way, unless I’ve had too many..
Tell us a bit about what you do at Image Up Club?
Image Up Club is a dedicated image production studio. We produce high-creative imagery for purpose-driven brands so they can make a big impact and stand out. For us everything starts with art or creative direction, because strategy and value-alignment is such a vital part of imagery for the conscious consumer space. Every day is different. Some days we are making face cream look delicious enough to eat, other times we are making teapots float. It’s the best.
Why do you do what you do?
I’ve always been creative, and image production has captured me for the last 8 years. A few years back I stood in the epic desert of South Australia and listened to the earth call me to account. It asked me what I was willing to contribute during my time here. That led me re-launching my business for purpose. I believe that by creating epic imagery that helps purpose-driven brands stand out and be the obvious choice, we can make a big shift towards positive commerce. So now I get to do what I love, but it has more meaning and contribution.
What rituals do you have in place to help you get the most out of your day?
My best days start with getting up earlier than my 2 boys so that I can land in myself first. Then I try to stay in the family bubble for as long as I can before I leave for ‘work’ – this is easier to write than to do. Planing, centering myself regularly, and leaving space for break all helps me get the most out of my days.
How do you get into flow?
I feel like there are two types of flow: productive flow, and inspiration flow. For the first type, the type that gets things done, I break down the task into manageable steps, set aside the time to do the next step, eliminate distractions, and be ready for the start-part to be uncomfy. Then I try to reward myself.. For inspiration flow, when I am trying to pull through new ideas, I go to nature, talk out loud, brainstorm with my team and allow time for all the ideas to land.
What is your favourite thing about running your business?
I have 3 favourite things: almost every day we create something that didn’t exist before; we get to champion brands trying to make the world a better place; and I have the freedom to chase ideas.
What book, podcast & song are you jamming to at the moment?
I’ve been in a production phase for the last 2 months, so for me that means I’m deliberately not consuming much external content. But most recently I read ‘The Practice’ by Seth Godin and ‘Untamed’ by Glennon Doyle. I’m grooving to ‘Molotov’ by Kira Puru and ‘I think I’m drowning’ by Two Feet. You didn’t ask me about TV, but I can tell you I am currently re-watching Russian Doll on Netflix.
If you could have dinner with 3 people (dead or alive), who would they be & why?
Hmmm, well based on the event of the last 12 months….
1, My mum, because I haven’t seen her in person since Feb 2019.
2, My Nan, so I can ask her all the questions I never asked her.
3, Myself at 7.
What has been your biggest takeaway from High End Hustlers so far?
Well, it is definitely not a single takeaway, but the combination of 5 things. For me, HEH has provided a level of confidence, knowledge, support, conviction and connection beyond what I expected. I feel empowered, enabled, and have a true north to check in with on every task. I also have people genuinely cheering for me, and a group of women I would trust my vulnerabilities with. I also have the same bunch of humans that will call me on my crap if I am trying to play smaller than I promised to play.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
I see myself, with my team, creating big epic work for epic causes, in a bustling creative hub in Moffat Beach. I will also have 2 teenages, but I can’t imagine what that looks like.
Best piece of business advice you have been given?
I’ll give you 2 🙂
- Know your why and make sure it makes the 80-year old version of you happy. If you have this, it will be aligned with your self and well as business and decisions will be obvious and big effort will be easier.
- If you feel like you are making things up as you go along, don’t allow that to automatically mean you are an imposter. Truth is, You are probably a pioneer.
Want to connect with Karina & keep the conversation going?