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Entries in Melbourne (1)


Jet Setting-Melbourne with Emma Leonard

You know when you see someone's work and you think...."WOW,  I want to be THAT good!!!"  Emma Leonard is kind of like that for me. I love the energy and spirit her dreamy girls have.  Her illustrations are also a great example of how working  in a few different mediums and styles can work beautifully together as a collection. So let's go to Melbourne Australia and see how Emma works and lives!
Where do you find inspiration? What is the first thing you do when you start on a project?
I find inspiration everywhere! Other illustrators and artists such as Miss Van, Audrey Kawasaki, Abbie McCulloch, Kat Mcleod, Beci Orpin and many, many more. Also from poetry, stories, fairy tales & folk tales, Natural History Museums, and magazines like Lula, Frankie, Russh, Yen, and Uppercase.

The first thing I do when I start a new project is to almost always to head to these sources for inspiration, as well as my collection of art and illustration books, then start making lists of all of my ideas.

How did you get started illustrating? Did you always want to do this for a career? When I was small, I remember telling people I wanted to illustrate children's books, but somewhere along the way I must have just forgotten and only just realised that illustration was the career for me about 2 years ago, when I decided to return to study.

What is a typical day like for you? Do you have a studio? My studio is in my home, first I answer emails and update my blogs, I am also a full time student  so during the day I usually have classes. My afternoons are usually spent updating my etsy store and packaging prints or at the post office sending them, and then at nights and weekends I do my freelance illustration work which could be anywhere form 2-5 different projects at any one time.

What is you work process like? What materials do you love?  I make a lot of lists first then move onto really rough and tiny little thumbnail sketches, from there I will work up a line drawing then scan it and make any more changes digitally,  I find its good to look at it on the computer screen, form a fresh perspective just in case there are any more changes to be made, then I print it off onto tracing paper and transfer onto the work surface. Line drawing and rendering comes first then colour is applied last. I love to work on Bainbridge Illustration board with graphite pencils in a variety of weights, a kneadable eraser, and a really good sharpener. I also really like the flexibility and spontaneity of watercolour, I love the contrast of quite tight and controlled linework with the intuitive, loose colour.

Any recommendations to all the illustrators that want to do this full time-I have found the Internet to be a really invaluable tool, if you don't put yourself out there, no one knows you exits, which is why my blog, website and Etsy store are so important to my business. Keeping them up to date with regular posting helps to create a loyal following. I have found that my Etsy store and participating in design markets were a really effective way to reach potential clients and build a profile, and also a way to get great feedback about what people really love about your work, which can be a nice confidence booster every now and then! It's really important to identify your audience or market and figure out a way to exploit it to your advantage.


What are your favorite places to EAT in Melbourne?  Do you have a favorite type of cuisine? There are sooo many good restaurants in Melbourne, its hard to choose! My favorite type of cuisine is good Mexican, so I love to eat at Mamsita and Newmarket and I also really enjoy Hellenic Republic which is Greek. 

What are your favorite eating spots? For a fancy spot I like The Press Club (Modern Greek).  For low end the Taco Truck have the most amazing tacos. I have no idea how they can make something so fresh and delicious in such a tiny little truck!. A great date spot is Gingerboy (Hawker-style Asian restaurant)

Do you go out for fancy cocktails in Melbourne or have a favorite sweet treats spot?Cookie for cocktails, but they get very busy so you might be waiting a while, and Sugardough for their brownies.

Where do you SHOP in Melbourne....do you have a favorite store to buy a great party dress? Metropolis for art and design books, La Miette Belle for delicious macaroons and Alice Euphemia for a party dress made by Lover, my favorite Australian designer.

Do you go to vintage shops or flea markets?  I love vintage shops, my favorite is 'Tarlo & Graham' for their amazing taxidermy collection and you can always find some treasures at Camberwell market if you get there early enough on a Sunday morning.

What do you love best about Melbourne? I love that there is always something happening in Melbourne! The city is known for it's street art and has a really vibrant creative culture, there are always exhibitions to see, art and design markets to visit and new restaurants to try, so no excuse to ever be bored!