Street art & shopping: An interview with Jenny & Yolande from Ying & Yang Design

While out exploring North Perth last weekend, we happened across Ying & Yang Design on Fitzgerald St and discovered they have some incredible murals by Steve Browne on the exterior. 

As we were snapping some photos, a lady called Jenny came over to say hello. Turns out, Jenny is the co-owner of the store and a street art enthusiast to boot! Although it was nearly 6pm on Sunday evening, Jenny invited us inside and introduced us to Yolande, her business partner and best friend of 40 years.

Friendly, funny and bursting with positive energy, the ladies proceeded to tell us about their passions in life and the creed that they live by everyday (see photo below). It was such a pleasure to chat to this bubbly pair that we asked if we could interview them for Streets of Perth. Here's what they told us...

SoP: Nice to meet you ladies! Why did you decide to commission street art for your shop's exterior walls?

Jenny: I'd seen some of Steve's murals in Mount Lawley and I've become such a fan of his work now, it's so different and original. It has a quirkyness about it that's magical and mystical. And as a result we thought, "We have to have Steve do the outside of our building!". We gave him carte blanche too; We said, "Just do whatever you want to do. This is us, this is who we are - go for it." 

Yolande: I actually asked him to go a little bit deeper though, so the underlying theme is all about not being afraid; Like if a child sees a monster and doesn't think of it's scary, I love that. That's why he's called his recent series "Monsters as Friends". I just think it's lovely to take that leap of faith, which is really what we did with this business. We thought, just take the leap and do it, don't be scared. It's not all horrible out there. 

Jenny: And we don't want our art to always be the same when people visit, so Steve comes back occasionally and changes things! We want to keep evolving it - as Steve evolves, we'll evolve. We want to change it all the time, although Steve's becoming very famous so he's really busy nowadays - but we hope he'll keep coming back!

Yolande: We've had these murals for nine months now but we still read something different into them every time. Steve incorporates all these little codes into his art so we're always seeing new things.

SoP: Amazing! So what does street art mean to you both?

Yolande: I'm a very creative person so I enjoy reading into art and forming my own interpretations, I like to see what the story is. Art has meaning and I just love that you can make the outside of a building beautiful, not just the inside. And Perth's street art is phenomenal! I particularly love the laneways around the city with all their different artworks.

Jenny: I just love it all! Plus, I hate when people do horrible things to walls so to us, it's precious that we've now got something beautiful on our walls and people respect it. We used to have a lot of graffiti here, all over the back wall - but now the taggers stay away, it's like a code among artists. 

SoP: Thanks ladies, it's been a pleasure.