Brolga

My name is Brolga. I am an illustrator, because drawing things feels good. It’s that simple.

I make colourful drawings that morph into toys, murals, books, paintings, and ad campaigns. My work is all about vibrancy and constant experiments with colour and line.

I grew up in Queensland but I now live in Melbourne, where mullets are trendy rather than essential. I spend a lot of time travelling, because inspiration is best found outside of your natural habitat—whether adventure or misadventure (I might be the only person to get stitches from being attacked by a peacock. Look, this was a long time ago and I’ve worked through it. Let’s not judge).

The three things currently inspiring me the most are surfing, gardening and discovering new places. I am often asked where I find inspiration for my work; the answer is that I keep a notebook with me while travelling and capture interesting things as I spot them. When I get home, I usually have a whole swag of ideas to work from.

In the past I’ve lived in Brisbane, Perth, Tokyo, Galway and New York. I studied illustration at the Pratt Institute in New York, which felt like some kind of creative wonderland. I originally studied multimedia, but it turns out that my brain just isn’t wired for coding. One of the most formative experiences of my career was going on weekly visits to The Whitney in New York and discovering artists like Stuart Davis, Frank Stella and Fernand Leger.

I love drawing straight from my imagination. Most of my work starts with endless pencil sketches to slowly whittle the idea down to its core. Then I take everything into Illustrator to experiment with colours and bring the line drawing to life.

What interests me most about illustration is the diversity between collaborations. Every project has its own quirks and challenges.

Here’s a recent mural I created for Gami. I loved getting the chance to paint some large-scale characters in the middle of Melbourne’s CBD.

My secret skill is knowing who looks like the boss at any given place—this comes in handy when being opportunistic and approaching people to get walls for murals.

I really loved working with T2 on their 'Tall Tales' Christmas series. I’ll always remember the awesome feeling of seeing the final product on shelves that year.

Here’s another piece I’m really proud of. It was created for The New York Times.

One of the most challenging jobs I’ve ever done was painting a mural at the World Trade Center in New York. I was able to get a really solid team together to tackle the massive, corrugated surface.

It’s really important to dedicate time to personal work because that’s where I evolve my work. Here’s a few of my favourites! Lately in my personal work I’ve been building up a world of characters to be used in some upcoming secret projects.

I’ve always wanted to work with an animation studio to pilot a cartoon show. I think something like this would be really cool animated and with a script behind it.

While I’m not doing client work, you can probably find me travelling and painting murals.

Volunteering and donating my skills is something that is nice to do. Every so often I’ll contribute artwork to a cause; most recently I did so for Headspace. It was lovely to help out such a forward-thinking organisation.

If you want to find out even more about me, here are some recent articles about my practice in Life Without Andy, the Dr Martens blog, and Global Street Art.

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.