Meet the Locals – Tiff from this within

Originally from Melbourne’s Mornington Peninsula and trained as a teacher, Tiff Newman is another example of the amazing twists and turns life takes to lead people to Bali. These days she has swapped teaching for content creation with her agency this within, which specialises in branding through meaningful storytelling. She has two dogs she adores, we had a chat with her to see what else around Bali puts a smile on her face.

this within Bali

What led to the creation of This Within (a journal and creative agency)?

I guess I got to the point working in commercial fashion where I felt the content became meaningless and irrelevant. It’s not that it didn’t resonate with the audience, it just did not resonate with me. I look back at that part of my life, and while there were so many lessons to learn, I really do cringe. I had come from education (former secondary school teacher) and persisted in an industry that did not suit me at all. Something had to change.

this within (umbrella for within creative and within journal) became about creating content with depth. I knew the type of content I wanted to create, the type of clients I wanted to work with, but it wasn’t until I had a conversation with a few friends of mine from New York that I gained clarity on what this within was going to be.

It took me a good year to understand my own brand both as a digital agency and journal. Since we began creating more content around culture, food and creatives, it has taken on a life of its own. I am not so interested in having thousands of followers on social media. I am more interested in creating content that is real. I believe that making real-life human connections is everything. To be able to have a conversation around creative value and what it means to be creative in this day and age is truly something special.

On the site, you mention being based between Bali, Melbourne and New York. How does the creative scene differ between those locations?

Apart from the obvious seasonal differences, the three cities are very similar which I why I love all three.

In Bali, people have come to the island to explore and chase their dreams. When you scratch the surface here (like any city), you will find the authentic people here to make a difference. I guess the island is a constant source of inspiration from the local village life, street art to the latest cafe that has opened. The only downfall is that Bali time tends to rub off on the expats very easily.

In New York, the hustle is real. Everyone is trying to get ahead of the game, constantly creating and connecting with others. It is fast paced and you can never just wing it. If you want to catch up with someone or organise a meeting, you must plan in advance. The creative life is demanding and you’ve gotta roll with the hustle.

As for Melbourne, the scene there is heavily influenced by food, fashion and art. There is always something going on in the city or the surrounding suburbs. Whether it’s fashion week, spring racing, film festivals or gallery openings, people come out no matter what the weather. It is truly the best city in Australia to live.

this within Bali

If you’re in a creative rut, where do you go in Bali to recharge?

I always head up to my parents’ house in Tabanan. Our home is situated in a quiet village surrounded by rice fields with a picture perfect view of all three mountains. The air is clean and the surrounds green. I love wandering the village with my puppies (@lolaandmoxfrombali) in the morning.

With so much fresh and beautiful food around (not to mention the gorgeous café settings), do you have any tips on the secret to better food photography?

I would make sure the lighting is good and placements of the food feels natural and that it is in focus. Always double check your photo. I shoot with an SLR but sometimes if I am out and about, an iPhone photo is just as good.

Also download an excellent photography app. Snapseed and VSCO are my favourites.

this within Bali

Where are your favourite Bali cafes to hangout in with your laptop?

Eko Cafe if I need some quiet time. I love it there because it’s not trying to be a part of a certain scene. I don’t have to feel like I need to look or dress a certain way to be there. It’s come as you are.

My other go-to is Matcha. I have spent quite a bit of time there recently and I can without a doubt say they have quality food and make an excellent soy latte.

If I had to recommend one more, it would be Kim Soo, because DREAMY.

How would you spend your perfect “Bali day”?

Morning: Coffee and green juice on the balcony watching my dogs play
Day: Lazy beach session at Serengan or Pandawa with my best girlfriend (no boys allowed)
Afternoon: An hour and a half massage at Murano Day spa
Night: Take away Ulekan on the couch, red wine in hand while my friends and I watch a movie

What is your go-to weekend getaway on (or around) the island?

Tabanan always. However, I have developed an appetite for Balangan recently. The view is magic and there is always a good wave or two for our friends to surf.

this within Bali

Are there any foods you miss from Australia that you get visitors from home to bring?

I definitely miss having access to good wine. (haha I know, I know). Everything else I can get here and if I can’t (like my Indian spices) my parents are always coming over for a visit.

Your five must follow Instagram accounts?

@lolandmoxfrombali (guilty plug)

Local knowledge quick list:

Best coffee: Matcha Cafe

Best brunch: Eko Cafe

Best sunset spot: Berawa Beach

Best warung: Cabe Rawit in Kunti I

Best massage: Spa Bali on Drupadi