Nich Zalmpy’s a rare breed. A designer without inner-city affectations. A laid back, lean Byron boy who moved from Melbourne to surf more. He let us inside his home in the Hinterlands after we pored over his folio. If attitude affects the final product, then Zalmpy’s part of a school of Byron talent using their beachside lifestyle to look at things you can only see if you slow down once in a while.
I concentrate way too hard on getting my own name correct when meeting someone that I’ll often not remember who I’ve just been introduced to. I’m Zalmpy, as I’m known in the Graphic world, or Nich – my regular joe name. Introductions are pretty hard.
If you have been to Byron you would know exactly why [I moved here]. Otherwise it was that slight weather issue Melbourne seems to have. I couldn’t spend another winter in Indonesia and warm weather and surf was all I really cared about at the time. Byron was full of both, along with a strong presence of the creative side. I miss the city and its constant creative influence but if I was to leave Byron I’d miss the Surf and Sun. Byron is winning at the moment but I can hear the city calling.
Byron’s outer regions away from the coast are full of so many hidden gems that are surrounded by lush sub tropical rainforests, farms and rolling hills. My girlfriend and I love living out here in Bangalow. It’s so peaceful and I’m so much less tempted by procrastinating in the ocean. I’m now actually getting a lot more work done and to top it off the walk home from the best old pub is now only 2 minutes!
Byron has a big hippie organic vibe to it, which isn’t really my style, and a lot of art and design comes out looking like organic fairies. I’m more of a ‘70s rock ‘n roll guy. So motorcycles, Sabbath, black and denim. In saying that, in the past year I have been doing a lot of work with Byron based motorcycle clothing label Thrills Co. They have narrowed down their market so well and are killing it for such a young brand so it’s been a pleasure to be able to work along side some very talented people there.
If I could describe my design as a food it would be a heavy dark Ale. Enjoyed and understood by only a select few and just a little too much for the light-hearted. Either that or a nacho pizza. Just a bit weird and radical.
I would never call myself a photographer despite having formal training in analog film photography but as someone that documents a time and place that can be looked back on and remembered. A visual memory maker. For any of my art I look for a deep dark connotation, not necessarily consisting of a specific meaning. It’s also where I can get a bit weird and produce something that may be slightly uncomfortable.
My girlfriend Holly McCauley is my favorite person to collaborate with, she just has the most amazing talent for making anything look good. We have done a few projects where I will create something and she will style it in a way that creates a finished professional look. I’ve certainly learnt a lot from her when it comes to that side of design and styling.
If Levi’s wanted to take me on as graphic artist or designer I certainly wouldn’t say no. They have such an amazing history and have stayed true to it whilst keeping on trend. Otherwise I’d love to master the trade of letterpress printing and I feel a place like the Distillery in Sydney would be such a good opportunity.
The Road House on Bangalow Road make the best coffee. Liam and Josh are basically baristing wizards not to mention the whiskey by night.
There’s a new record shop Guitar Bazaar in Carlyle St. selling new and old vinyl, vintage record players and more.
One of my favorites that most would pass would be Fingal Head just north of Byron Bay. Have a swim in emerald green waters tucked away in the corner of Dreamtime beach then get to the Sheoak Shack for a beer, pizza and live music all complete with that tropical holiday vibe.
Lismore car boot sale held every first and third Sunday each Month. A gold mine for trash and treasure. Boxes of vinyl, vintage clothing, crazy cowboy stuff and awesome market food. Then drop by one of the many waterfalls out that way.
Best Road Trip
I’ve had some pretty interesting solo road trips along many coastlines in an old Volvo wagon but recently Holly and I went West in search of red dirt, a good bad Chinese restaurant and the best country pub. It was Saturday night and we found a cheap motel by the pub. We had no idea that we would somehow become best mates with the local pissed farmers aging from 20 – 60 years old at the pub then be invited to kick on at one of their houses, singing bob Dylan songs and drinking Mercury Cider of all things.
Dream Road Trip
The Nullarbor solo on my motorbike with not much more than a tent and surfboard.