It all started a few years ago as a side-line, when a chance cancellation of a scheduled advertising job led interiors photographer Paul Barbera to shoot behind the scenes at his artist friend's studio. Finding himself gravitating towards the world of raw, un-styled visual story-telling (a far cry from the polish of conventional editorial shoots) Barbera formed the premise for Where They Create - a voyeuristic insight into the working processes and spaces of creative studios.
Soon after that epiphany moment, Barbera's blog wheretheycreate.com was born. He began to realise that the thrill of getting right into the creative bowels of a studio was shared by other like-minded creatives. So, thanks to his roving travelling assignments, the Melbourne-born photographer started taking pictures of more spaces - in the same unobtrusive vein of his initial studio visit shoot - subsequently posting them up on the site.
While the blog offers an overview of Barbera' journey, the book could be taken as a far more personal voyage: all 32 studios which Barbera handpicked, visited and subsequently documented - of which Wallpaper* HQ is one - had to be studios of people whose work is close to his heart.
Authored by writer Alexandra Onderwater, Where They Create combines panoramic overviews with curiosity-satisfying detail shots. In the book's megamix of cluttered desks, curious cubby holes and stuffed toys, nothing is spared. And if the visual tidbits aren't enough, Onderwater's upbeat interview compilations and the candid day-in-the-life insights into these hotbeds of creativity will no doubt enlighten.