The thing I find most striking about Cam is his willingness to talk, share and collaborate. He's a man with a million ideas, but understands the need to focus and work hard. And that, I think, is the key to creative success.
A bit over 2 years ago, Cam was directing television commercials for major Brisbane production companies, and is now running a furniture design business; makimaki furniture. He says the change in career came when he realised he wasn't really enjoying what he was doing, and now he has found his passion. This isn't an uncommon story, and I found his insight into why, quite profound. He says it's common for people to find dissatisfaction in careers and jobs that aren't creating something tangible. Many roles are never-ending tasks with no quantifiable end product, and he believes we need something that is tactile, where you use your hands, and can see the progress and completion of a project. He is humbly aware that not everyone is able to make the leap from a job that is not fulfilling, to something more satiating for our soul's desires. He feels fortunate to be able to do that full time, but says even if it's just a hobby, we need that tactile experience.
It is clear that Cam is both very talented, and cares greatly about looking after his customers. Most of his work is custom made, tailored to suit spaces and requirements, with much thought and problem solving gone into each piece. His preference is to create large pieces, in particular dining tables. He says they are the centrepiece of the room, and he certainly makes sure that his work is just that. Hand crafted from beautiful timbers, his work is simple yet elegant, and just darn beautiful.
Cam lives in Red Hill with his family, and as I'm writing this, a new little baby girl will be arriving soon. We talked about the amazing time that Brisbane is in right now, with so much growth, but not being too big, and how creativity and quality are coming to forefront as people here are appreciating these things more and more. Like many of us, he loves the climate and the green pockets of this city, and the character homes that fill the inner city suburbs.
Cam credits a man named Roy Schack for his foundational skills in woodwork. Roy is a world class furniture maker, and hosts woodworking classes here in Brisbane. Cam says he still thinks about what Roy taught him during his week long course, about making everything you do to perfection, and he finds Roy's generosity with time and knowledge inspiring. I can see that he is putting this inspiration into practice, as we finish our hour long chat.