The Team

Hollow Pocket director art music poster print

Michael Smith

Michael has always had a love for art. His love for art stems from his family’s constant desire to create new and unique things, including drawing, painting, designing, and even creating abstract mosaics. He grew up around it all. His original inspiration for designing and creating art came at nine years old when he saw his grandad draw on the bedroom wall with a crayon during a house renovation. 

As he started to get older, he found himself bouncing around homes with his mum and sister. Eventually, Michael ended up in a caravan in Dairy Flat with nothing other than his sketchbook and his Mum’s iPod with her 70s, 80s, 90s, and early 00s music downloaded on it. He started to draw and let his imagination do the talking from there; he found that everything he put on paper had a story behind it. 

Michael’s graphic design story started when his mum brought home a household laptop for the family to use. Whenever he got a hold of the laptop, he would download drawing programs, mainly “KID PIX”. This program allowed him to experiment with goofy brushes and the animations that came with them. It was here that he fell in love with digital art. 

When he found Adobe Photoshop, Michael found himself in a world creating visual content for YouTubers, making logos, thumbnails, and channel banners. As Michael neared the end of high school, he began focusing his talents on art and artistic expression, taking visual art, pattern making, fabrics and photography. When Michael graduated from school, he decided to attend Youbee to hone his creativity. 

 Hollow pocket director art music poster print

 Kieran Smith

Kieran grew up in Bridgwater, a small port town in England. At 10 years old, he was moved to New Zealand to start a completely new life. In a new country with no other family than his Mum, a love for music was inevitable. For him, music was where he turned to completely escape his surroundings. Sitting on the bus to school every morning was always the highlight of his day, as he listened to downloaded music on iTube. 

Starting with Eminem and Dr Dre, he stepped into a world of music, nothing like he’d experienced before. Over the following six years, Kieran spent his time curating his music taste to new and upcoming artists worldwide. Even new genres, progressing on from the typical rap scene.

Fast forward a few years, nearing the end of 2015, Kieran realised that working in a traditional environment wasn’t his envisioned life. However, he saw the way his mum had worked tirelessly to provide for him since he was born and knew that taking risks was exactly what he needed to do. 

But before he could take that leap of faith, he followed his mum’s wishes for him to complete university… or at least he’s working on it. There’s a huge difference between creativity and marketing–it’s like comparing an illustration to a detailed report. So, while Kieran continues with his marketing degree, in hand with his love for music, he strives for a new future, one where he isn’t working for someone else.

Ryan Hollow Pocket art posters culture

Ryan Earwaker

Ryan grew up on a small family farm in Dairy Flat, Auckland, and recently graduated from the University of Canterbury, where he studied Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Ryan has always had a strong passion for learning. This passion led him to learn and create many projects he never thought possible when he was younger. His time at University further refined his learning ability. He is now very confident that anyone can learn anything if they are just willing to try.

Music has always been a factor in Ryan's life. Originally music was a common denominator in all social events he hosted, to such an extent that a photo from a given period can always be traced to one or more songs. Then during University, music was another common denominator while finishing off an assignment or preparing for an upcoming test. This connection between music and memory is apparent and hence why Ryan has joined Hollow Pocket. To learn more about art and hopefully create something unique to share.