Meet the creative brains behind Work-Shop

Introducing Matt Branagan and Chester Garcia, the creative brains behind Work-shop. Recently relocated to Redfern, Work-Shop currently has 84 artists teaching 90 programs, 3,295 visitors have been involved in their workshops and they have already held 165 events. If you haven’t been to an event hosted by these guys, you’re missing out. Check out Work-Shop, get creative and get involved. We’re so lucky to have them in our neighbourhood.


For those who don’t know about Work-shop, what is it?
Work-Shop is a resource of creativity for the Sydney community. We offer classes in a broad range of subjects, anything from Unicycles to Ukulele, designed to be affordable and accessible. We aim to get people putting away their phones for a couple of hours, learning a new skill or hobby and meeting new people.

How did you guys meet? What lead to the idea and creation of Work-shop?
Our roots began in Melbourne. I grew up there, Chester grew up in the inner west but had moved there 6 years ago to set up a digital agency. We came together through a mutual friend, and a passion for street art and culture. I was based in Sydney and had just come out of working on a pop up called Real Food when Chester moved back home. We caught up for a beer at Dick’s Hotel in Balmain and started scribbling down ideas for cool pop up’s around Arts, Food, Music… until we thought, if you could learn anything what would you learn? And who would you find to teach it to you? We wrote down a big list of awesome workshops we wanted to learn, and Work-Shop was born!

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What have been the most popular workshops?
Ukulele by Tom the Pom, such a great teacher. Intro to Street Art by the mercurial Sid Tapia. Stencil Art with inner west babe and awesome teacher Syke, and of course, the rockstar of hand lettering, Gemma O’Brien.

What other services does Work-shop offer?
We recently opened The Makery on Oxford Street in a beautiful heritage listed corner shop. We provide a shopfront to local makers, artists and designers, giving them the opportunity of a high street presence without the hassle or cost. They can connect to customers on a grassroots level and share their story and passion of what they do. We also offer unique events, bucks and hens, and corporate team building with a difference.

How do you get the wide variety of creative people to teach the workshops?
We source the best local creative talent, and we are blessed that the inner west is full of it! We have a list of fun shit that we’d love to learn but we also get approached all the time. We always partner up with rockstar businesses like Young Henry’s, Black Star Pastry and TTotaler.

Does social media have an impact on your business?
Huge. We rely on social media to spread our message to the masses. Instagram is particularly helpful to share the joy of people discovering their creativity.

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Work-shop has recently relocated to Redfern and you have also opened a shop on Oxford Street. What do you love about your new location?
We reckon Redfern is perfect for us. It has a real energy of reinvention about it right now, with new bars and eateries springing up everywhere. It has a strong local community and we are really proud to be welcomed into it!

Darlinghurst has become an emerging creative precinct, with the likes of co working spaces like Homework and The Hub, so we are super excited to be part of it.

What have you learnt about the creative people of Sydney since starting Work-shop?
Sydney is bursting with creative souls and they just needed an outlet. We are constantly rewarded by the smiles on faces as they head of into the night!

Are there any future plans or projects for Work-shop that you can share with us?
Expansion! We are looking at a space in Melbourne, we believe our concept would work well down there. We also have some exciting collaborations in the works with Etsy and the City of Sydney.

Following the famous quote “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”, why do you love what you do so much?
We get to spend our days constantly being inspired by the depth of creative people in this city. One day we are learning to draw tattoos then the next we are hula hooping or running a magic show. You can’t beat that!

Finish this sentence: I Love the Inner West because…. the diversity of the people, food, arts and culture. It is really leading the charge for this in Sydney. I love that amazing street art appears around every corner.

Best place for a caffeine hit in the Inner West? Scouts Honour

What/where was the last great meal you ate in the Inner West? Moon Park in Redfern

What’s the Inner West’s best kept secret? Work-Shop ;)


Work-Shop HQ
80 George Street, Redfern

The Makery
106 Oxford St, Darlinghurst 2010

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1 Response to " Meet the creative brains behind Work-Shop "

  1. I had a fantastic experience at the Trolley’d Work-Shop in April. Fun people, fun evening and great info! Totally recommend their ‘events’.

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