I collaborate with licensees around the world, who turn my artwork into beautiful products. One such licensee is Vevoke, which is an Australian giftware brand and make stylish, natural canvas tote bags and marvellous bone china mugs printed with my illustrations celebrating the diverse and wonderful landscape of Australia and New Zealand. Vevoke's sustainable and stylish giftware is sold by destination boutiques throughout both countries as well as through their new, online shop: Hello Sunday.
I didn’t know that much about Australia or New Zealand before I began drawing the iconic cities and regions that lay right on the other side of the world to me. Most of the imagery in my mind had been gathered through wildlife documentaries, TV crime dramas such as Top of the Lake or iconic films like The Piano and My Brilliant Career. An introduction to the real Australia and New Zealand was therefore well overdue!
I discovered a diverse and dramatic landscape inhabitated by strange and sometimes dangerous creatures! The pink, striated rocks of the Flinders Range and fertile land of the Barossa Valley in South Australia, layered with mile upon mile of vineyard, are in sharp contrast to the deserts of Western Australia, home to lizards and cute creatures that I never knew existed. I also discovered that there is an Exmouth in Western Australia, and like my home town of Exmouth, England, it is a small, beach town with mile upon mile of golden sand. :-)
Different again is the Gold Coast, where, in my illustration of this sun-soaked region, people seem to spend more time in the sea than on land. With a tropical climate, colourful and vocal parakeets flutter and squawk over the Curumbin Valley.
I enjoyed getting to know some of Australia’s iconic cities and have Melbourne in my sights … I want to enjoy a Plat du Jour in Laneways, like the people in my Cityscape.
Every afternoon I take a break from designing my latest Cityscape and enjoy a cup of English Breakfast tea, drinking out of my New Zealand bone china mug that sits next to ceramics from Japan in my design studio.
It’s nice to know that I have a little piece of NZ culture with me in England but I also have some natural Australian wildlife close to home too … Black swans are native to Perth and you can see a little one swimming down Swan River in my Western Australia design. Many years ago, someone brought a few of these black swans back home to Dawlish in Devon, England, which is just a few miles from where I live. I sometimes see a couple of them, swimming up and down the Exe Estuary and it makes me smile when I realise how far they have come … further than me for sure! Hello black swans, hello Australia! :-)