Life & Style

The face behind Squidless Studios' quirky canvas creations

Welcome to SPILL – where we’ll be taking you behind the scenes with our favourite local business owners and creatives to find out where they go to eat, what playlist they’re listening to, where they take their out-of-town friends, and ultimately, what makes them tick.

Introducing, Madison Battams – the lovely lass behind Squidless Studios.

spill madison battams squidless studios newcastle nsw
Madison Battams

Firstly, where would people across Newcastle recognise your work from?

A few places – Tatt Bratt’s opening week, Vera Wine Forum, The Conscious Exchange store, Jack Jack’s first exhibition, when Honey Street was Honey Tree Vintage hiding in Planet Islington and most recently, on Beaumont Street!

Where are you from?

Originally a country gal from Gloucester, now in Hamilton.

What made you decide to make Newcastle home?

Better job opportunities, escaping the pit of being stuck in your small hometown, and I loved the Newcastle art and music scene.

What’s your morning ritual?

Wake up early, walk my (very lively for that time of the morning) dog Nando to whatever coffee shop I am feeling, get my coffee and usually end up getting it wrenched out my hands by Nando deciding to go ‘run mode’ on our leisurely walk.

Where’s your late-night hangout spot?

The Hamo Station.

What’s your coffee order?

Soy cap in the morning followed by a soy iced latte an hour later.

Speaking of coffee, which local venue knows your order off by heart (i.e., where’s your local/go-to coffee spot?)

Biggs or Papa’s bagel bar – the best places in my humble opinion.

Tell me about your biggest career highlight…

When HUNTERhunter asked me to do a feature… for the second time!

In your spare time, what are your THREE top favourite things to do in Newcastle?

- Op shop / vintage shop
- Walk my dog along the wharf
- Go to a cocktail bar followed by whatever pub I said I would never go back to, then finish with a snack pack at Oasis.

If you wanted to dazzle your out-of-town friends and family, where would you take them?

My go-to place is Bartholomew’s for its amazing venue.

Beer? Wine? Cocktail? Mocktail? What is your tipple of choice and where do you frequently visit?

Cocktails always – if you ask the staff at the Blind Monk, they will tell you they are sick of making me Bloody Marys.

On the daily, what’s guaranteed to make you smile?

Getting to live my dream life in Newcastle.

What do you NEVER leave the house without?

I forget everything, I would like to say there’s a definite something but it’s a miracle if I leave the house and I have my phone, keys, and shoes on.

We’re all about keeping it local here at HUNTERhunter – tell me THREE of your favourite local businesses that you live and breathe by and why you couldn’t live without them…

- Sourced Vintage on Darby Street for supplying me with the best second-hand clothes.
- Vera Wine for supplying the best independent wines.
- Planet Islington for giving me the best and cheapest option of whatever random knick-knack I want at the time

What are you reading/watching/listening to now?

I am obsessed with throwbacks and am listening to an “indie sleaze” playlist for all the nostalgic bangers.

If you’re needing a short break away from Newcastle, where do you go and why?

My hometown of Gloucester is beautiful, I have friends and family there and it is FREE.

What would you like to see more of in Newcastle?

More festivals, more markets, and more big-name musicians using our turf to play shows.

Lucky last – who would you recommend we interview next for SPILL?

Shan Primrose (my bestie).

Is there someone you would love for us to feature on SPILL? We'd love to hear from you!