I was honored to be asked to co-curate issue 9 of Curvy alongside jeweller Elke Kramer and photographer Claire Martin this year. As a young illustration enthusiast it was one of the first books I was given that inspired me, and encouraged me to draw, eventually submitting work and having since appeared in four issues. To accompany the Semi Permanent event happening this week in Sydney the team at Curvy are hosting a Curvy panel of which I will be part of - speaking about my work, the book, creative community, answering your questions, and discussing why I chose the creatives I did for the issue. One of the key points I really want to touch on is the importance of creative role models and how necessary it is for us all to do what we can to support each other in this industry. For the rest of the week I have decided to share my six chosen feature artists in the hope they will inspire you to pursue your creative goals, or at least set some.
One of my first choices for Curvy was Gemma O'brien. There are many reasons why I had to include her, obviously her talent, but also for her incredible motivation and work ethic - she is inspiring even for established artists as she just never stops and is passionate without restraint about what she does. I asked her a few questions below...
You are so busy at the moment, holding classes, speaking at events and working with what seems to 100 clients at once. Are you able to tell Curvy about some of the favourite projects you are working on right now?
I like the variety of working on commercial projects, artworks, speaking and teaching workshops. I just spoke at the design conference Typo San Francisco which was definitely a highlight of the year so far for me. I'm also enjoying working with Volcom Stone, Smith Optics and on a piece for an upcoming exhibition at the Tate in Sydney called All Your Gold.
What are three tips you would offer an aspiring typographer?
Record the variety of typography and writing in all its varieties wherever you go - it's a great resource and place for inspiration outside the computer. Know the history of your craft & hone your skills. Understand the difference between using typography in an advertising or commercial context and in an artistic context.
You recently became an ambassador for Volcom Australia which is really exciting, how does it feel to align with a brand and ultimately be a role model for females and creatives?
It's a great honour to be signed with Volcom and be a role model for young females and creatives. I think there are lots of overlaps between the lifestyle and spirit of creatives, artists and people who surf, skate and snowboard so it's nice to find overlaps in those two worlds. So far I've enjoyed working on a variety of artwork for them, from murals to designs for apparel.
Typography for you is:
A visual way to add another layer of meaning and vitality to words.
What is next for you?
I'm heading to Rome at the end of May to do a masters class in typography run by the NY School of Visual Arts, so I'm excited to be adding a more theoretical component to my practice. For the rest of the year I've got a variety of new commissions to get started on when I'm back in my studio and will be creating a new body of work for a show at The Jacky Winter Group gallery space later in the year.
The Curvy book will be available from tomorrow, and will feature Gemma along with many other illustrators, and for the first time fashion designers and photographers, you can order yours online here . Keep checking back this week as I share the rest of my feature artists with you.