Let’s just ignore how shamefully long it’s been since my last blog post, ok? Ok done, thanks.
I thought while I’m on holidays (for just a few more hours) it’d be nice to check in with the blog and what better way to do that than with some behind the scenes goss on my new Aussie series.
So I guess I should start with, why the Australian theme? It’s no secret that after 2 years of living in London I miss everything about Australia and the reason I started the Aussie series in the first place was because of mum. I usually don’t like it when people roll off their suggestions for what I should do next creatively, it’s usually Christmas or baby orientated, but that’s just not how it works for me. I prefer creating something that I genuinely want to create and has come from a strange place inside my own brain. But after my Stardust series I didn’t really know where to pick up because I’d combined some of my favourite animals with space, that’s me done.
Or so I thought.
Then mum suggested “why don’t you do Rupert?” Rupert was a wombat that we used to visit at the Coffs Harbour Zoo when my sister and I were young, he was a family favourite.
I suddenly had an epiphany, a series focused solely on Australian animals and flora including little Rupert the wombat, moving away from the usual animals that are saturating the market at the moment. Plus, putting on my patriotic hat by representing Australia. Thanks mum!
I didn’t really know what scene I wanted the animals in or what they should be doing, but that’s usual for my process at this early stage. So I just printed a bunch of different Australian animals and started drawing over my lightbox:
I received a really nice response on the social medias when I posted my first wombat drawing way back in December 2015, so even from that point I felt very encouraged and that the Australian theme would hopefully go down well.
I then started playing with the rainbow lorikeet birds I’d also drawn which sat quite well with the wombat, great colour contrast and I like how they looked as if they were gossiping to each other! Reminded me a lot of this photo from 2010 when a friend’s birds loved hanging out on my head!
I got this far and hit a wall.
It’s bloody hard enough to find the time to do anything when I’m usually so tired with work, especially creatively.
So months went by, a couple of false starts and my confidence was shot because I couldn’t get anything to work. I had been really getting into patterns lately, as you do, they’re kind of everywhere, so I ended up creating a mixed Australian animal pattern using a heap of the drawings I put down for the series. I was just messing around, I’d never really experimented with patterns like that before but loved the aesthetic of it, although it didn’t have a particular scene behind it, it did express the overall ‘Australia on my mind’ quite well.
Then finally after I had some success with other designs, I came back to Rupert and went in a different direction, creating a focal point in the circle by adding some modern geometric symbols and white space – again, not like my previous work but I liked where it was going.
So quite a different approach for me this time, which I now realise is so important. The patterns have really opened my eyes to other products I could create and I’m super excited about where that might take me and the Alykat brand.
I really have been enjoying everyone’s enthusiasm on these Australian themed works. We really are a proud bunch us Aussies, and it’s amazing how patriotic you can get living overseas!
All five designs in the Aussie series are available as Limited Edition of 50 giclée A3 (297mm x 420mm) archival signed and numbered prints. Also available as signed digital prints in A5 (148mm x 210mm) and A4 (210mm x 297mm).
While my website shop is under construction, to browse and purchase any work, please go to my Etsy store here.