Duration: Seven years as a freelance illustrator.
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Education: BFA in communication design from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Career path: My dad is a landscape architect and my mom is an artist, so I naturally wanted to make my own art. I loved to draw and design, so I felt graphic design would be a great starting point for my education. However, I preferred my illustration electives over typesetting and wondered if I could make a career out of drawing. After working in corporate design for three years, I knew I wanted to get back to my illustration roots and make a go of it.
Cultural influences: Myths and legends are great sources of inspiration for my work. I read a lot of fiction and historical books; some recent favorites are the gritty works of Ron Rash and Dominic Smith’s Bright and Distant Shores and The Last Painting of Sara de Vos, and I’m currently reading Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad. I also enjoy opening my mind with visits to art galleries and exhibitions. When I was in Berlin in 2013, I visited the Martin-Gropius-Bau museum’s exhibition on Anish Kapoor; I was really inspired by Kapoor’s use of color, scale, and positive and negative space. In 2015, there was a retrospective exhibition on the graphic design of Les Mason at Fed Square in Melbourne; I especially appreciated the surreal themes of his covers for Epicurean magazine. Inspiration fuels my concepts, and I always like to have a strong concept before I sit down and design my illustrations.
Favorite projects: The ones in which I have total creative freedom to go a little crazy and have some fun. I like the limitations imposed by a brief, but I also like to see what I can get away with!
Work environment: I work from a studio in my house. I have a drawing table and a separate workstation with a computer and a scanner. I like working alone and singing along badly with Lil Wayne.
Philosophy: Draw every day. Enjoy what you do.