Following a cameo in London spending ‘quality time’ with her ancestors Jasmine Phull returned to Melbourne to chronicle the best of the cities creative minds. The editor and writer describe her book ‘profile pub’ as a love letter to Melbourne. A tribute to the creativity and diversity the city has to offer. The publication features 16 profiles on a selected creative bunch including Miami Horror, Emma and Tom (Juices) and Jerome Borazio of St Jeromes. We decided to profile the lady behind the profiles and asked Jasmine Phull about her pocket sized Melbournian tribute.

You describe your book as a love letter to Melbourne, what qualities do you see Melbourne encompassing it that makes it worthy of such a thing?
To put it simply, home is where the heart is. It took me a while to see it but after a lot of coming and going, I realized I’d completely underestimated all the amazing projects  taking place in our fair city. Considering our size and distance from the ‘rest of the world’ we’re a bumbling pot of ideas and most importantly, the juice that really makes you get up and go, ‘drive’. I also like the sense of sincerity and community, two things you don’t get in the bigger hub bub cities.
Where had you returned from when you started said book?
I’d been spending some quality time with my ancestors the Brits, but if you’re someone who’s trying to get somewhere, there’s no where quite like Ol’ Blighty. London was my accelerator. It enabled me to knuckle down and progress ten fold. Its rain and sunshine fed the seeds of my editorial/journalism career. It’s all there if you’re up for a chase.

How did you go about selecting the talent in your book?
Basically I sat down and compiled a list of Melburnians who lead interesting careers. If I wondered how they got to said interesting career, they were a perfect candidate for Profile Pub. Ever met/read about a person and pondered their journey to your dream job? Profile Pub is that map, from start to finish.. well not finish but their ‘now’.

Besides Melbourne, what other cities in the world inspire you?
Wow. I feel listing cities would only highlight my ignorance. There are so many amazing cities in the world and too many that I am yet to discover. From those that I have, Vienna, Florence, London and India may just be the forerunners. Traveling is the most invaluable experience but planting your feet on home turf is always the nicest. In my case, it took a little nudge from the rest of the world to help me see what was in right front of me.

Is Melbourne a good place to be a creative?
It sure is. The best people to be around when you’ve got ideas simmering are your fellow innovators. We’re like sponges constantly taking in and letting out thoughts and plans;  once you’ve got some direction international borders will help you solidify and progress your career. Of course, I’m only basing said theories on my own experiences.

Favourite talent in your book?
They are all amazing people, who’ve taken ordinary steps to reach their extraordinary goals. Stefan, the cinematographer, talks about not being the most talented of his peers but definitely the most persistent. Emma & Tom, of Emma & Tom’s juices, talk about spending the least amount of capital while being willing to take on a number of roles. In the end it’s your baby and you need to do everything and more in order to help it grow. All 16 interviewees are proof of this.

Tell me about your current projects?
We are currently publishing, online, handwritten mini interviews with the many other Melburnians who are doing it for themselves. It’s all about personality on paper, messy writing, doodles et al, all complimented by Buzzby Gray’s amazing photography. The second Profile Pub is released mid-late 2012. Other than that, I’m a fulltime copywriter, the Pop Ed for JB Hifi mag and freelance writer. My article on Microbreweries in and around Melbourne will be published in Qantas’ Inside Traveler’ late November!

What advice would you give to people aspiring to reach the heights of those in your book?
Be willing to put in the hard yards and keep talk to a minimum. An idea is fab but put into action to get respect. Talking won’t get you anywhere, it’s the walk, however, laborious it may seem, that gets results. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and reach out to people. Also working for free can sometimes be more rewarding, experience wise/networking wise, than working for the dollar. Just make sure you weigh up your options.

Can you ever see yourself writing a break up letter to your city?
Yea. I will break up with Melbourne and I’ll be forced to use the old ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ spiel but who knows when that’ll be? It won’t be far off but that’s the life of someone always looking for more. I’ll get to a point where no matter how many times, I shut my eyes, and no matter how tight, every time I open them I’ll see the same thing. It’s hard to realize the same place in a new way but if you go away and see new sights, hear new sounds and smell new scents/stenches when you return those that, you thought, were stale are now radiating with prospect. For me, new landscapes mean new eyes. Though I’ll always come back, Melbourne is my only constant - everybody needs one of those.

Issue 1 of Profile Pub is available online at Pugnacious George.

24 October 2011
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