Anthony

Calvert

My name is Anthony Calvert. I think of myself as an information graphics illustrator who was put on this planet to represent any situation as a step-by-step instructional illustration.

I make information graphics for all sorts of clients and sometimes they’re made into animations. I also make a great cup of tea.

My work is all about making beautiful illustrations that inform and entertain. Kind of like Mr Squiggle, for adults. I spend a lot of time thinking about how to improve the illustrations on airline safety cards, because waiting for a plane to take off is very boring.

I’m most known for combining humour and information graphics, like the time I drew a ‘Dos and Don’ts’ guide for the once-a-year Spring Racing Carnival (and its mass of punters) for Metro Trains.

I am an illustrator of information graphics because it combines my boundless curiosity with my love of visual communication. It also allows me to work in my pyjamas.

I studied a BA of Graphic Design (Hons) at the University of Canberra. It led to a ten-year career in the magazine industry—which I think gives an editorial sensibility to my illustrations—along with a large HECS debt.

I grew up in Canberra, but I now live in Sydney where there’s 99 problems but a beach ain’t one. I live just a short walk from the Sydney Swans home ground but I support the Carlton Blues. It’s complicated.

My studio is always filled to bursting point with art books, comics and a small shrine to Astroboy (the patron saint of Otaku.)

It’s really important to dedicate time to personal work because it allows experimentation with different techniques and often leads to new commissions. I’m really excited to experiment more with animation because it brings my static illustrations to life. The Light is a self-published graphic novel version of the short animated film I worked on for Radio With Pictures. It was immediately picked up in the United States by Public Radio International's The World and has since appeared on ABC iView and was a finalist in the Australian Teachers of Media (ATOM) Awards.

Lately in my personal work I’ve been screenprinting my illustrations onto a range of tea towels. Here’s a ‘Round of Applause’ tea towel for the ‘reluctant’ dish dryer.

Recently I’ve been playing around with a more conceptual style. This is a portrait of the young Australian mathematician Ivan Zelich. It was published in Stand Up For The Future, one of a series of books from Penguin Australia filled with stories of change-making Australians that aimed to excite and inspire young people across the country. At age 17, Ivan co-developed a groundbreaking mathematical theorem that was published in the International Journal of Geometry, making Zelich and his collaborator the youngest ever contributors to the journal.

Most of my work starts with research and finding reference material. I then create a series of digital sketches. Once they’re approved, I start black and white linework (this is the most time consuming part). Then I add colour and export the high-resolution artwork. Then I take a nice, long nap.

Here’s a recent illustration I created for the Australian Financial Review. I loved being able to include visual references to some of my favourite films (hint: ‘This is going straight to the pool room’, ‘You're gonna need a bigger boat’, and ‘I have another motto. It's “live and let die”'.)

Not long ago I illustrated the paediatric guidelines for Médecins Sans Frontières. The brief was to produce a series of monochromatic medical illustrations and accuracy was highly important as the guidelines would be used by medical staff in the field. It was really satisfying to know that my work is helping MSF give medical care to children in developing countries.

One of my favourite projects recently was a series of gym etiquette illustrations for Fitness First magazine. I discovered the rules and rituals that govern this peculiar subculture are worthy of a David Attenborough documentary!

One of my all-time favourite projects was the series of illustrations I created for Sydney Film Festival in 2018. I’m a huge film buff and I’ll never forget walking around the city seeing my artwork on cinema screens, banners, buses, posters, televisions, taxis, trains, T-shirts and more.

Here’s another piece I’m really proud of. I worked with the Canberra-based agency New Best Friend to illustrate the Centenary Treasure Map for the ACT Government. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to illustrate a map of my hometown on its 100th birthday.

One of the most technically challenging jobs I’ve ever done was for the Collins Arch property development in central Melbourne. I had to use the architectural plan to visualise a ground floor with retail, a hotel, people, a park, and transport, in an accurate and visually interesting way.

I’ve always wanted to work with a publisher on one of my personal projects. I think How To Instagram could be a best seller targeting the over-50 market.

I was lucky enough to create work for an art installation at Vivid Festival in Sydney. It was developed to mark the 25th anniversary of The Fred Hollows Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation which has restored sight to more than two million people around the world. I tried to imagine what it would be like to see the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge for the first time. I painted with a special UV paint so the artworks were invisible until discovered using a special ultra-violet torch. They literally popped out of the darkness! I visited the installation several times and it was great to see people shining their torches on the murals and exclaiming when they discovered the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House.

Volunteering and donating my skills is something I always make time for. Working as a freelance illustrator can be a solitary profession so it’s a great way to engage with people and make a small contribution to the community.

That’s me! If you want more, check out my full folio and Instagram. Got a brief? Contact me and the good folks at Jacky Winter.

With Jacky Winter you work directly with the artist alongside a hands-on producer—it’s a power-up for your artwork commission.

With Jacky Winter you work directly with the artist alongside a hands-on producer—it’s a power-up for your artwork commission.

With Jacky Winter you work directly with the artist alongside a hands-on producer—it’s a power-up for your artwork commission.