Lachlan

Conn

My name is Lachlan Conn. I make colourful drawings and animated GIFs. Sometimes I make comics too. Or objects. Or maybe music. My work is all about limited colour, pleasing shapes, and gentle humour.

Drawing is magic.

I grew up in Geelong but I now live in Newcastle, which is almost the same city, just further north. In the past I’ve lived in warehouses and shopfronts in Hobart and Melbourne, but now I live in a three bedroom house with a backyard and a banana tree.

I studied printmaking at the University of Tasmania. That education still informs how I approach using colour digitally: limited palette; lots of overprinting. I originally studied printmaking, graphic design, and sculpture—but I dropped out to pursue my interests in making gig posters and awful, inept noise-music. I was 19. I didn’t know what I really wanted to be doing. I think of myself as a creature who was put on this planet to do their best.

One of the most formative experiences of my career was travelling to the United States on a road trip/music tour. I realised how much of my visual shorthand was derived from American popular culture, and how that culture comes from a very particular time and place. Since then I’ve tried to create work that draws more directly from the actual world around me in my daily life.

My studio is currently in a shambles because I’ve been super-busy. My desk is always covered in my daughter’s drawings, treasures, pencils, and charging cables.

The key to conquering the paralyzing, almost limitless, possibilities of creating art digitally is setting self-imposed constraints. The best thing about working on commercial projects is making something out of nothing with interesting people. Also, uh, gettin’ paid to draw.

The three things currently inspiring me the most are Grug, Werner Herzog, and the colour green. When creating my work, I try to make sure every image has its own kind of internal logic. This might relate to perspective, or impossible hair, or how reflections behave—but it’s always consistent.

Here are three recent portraits I created for Stand Up for the Future, an anthology of profiles and portraits of young Australians, published by Thames & Hudson. I loved their stories and I loved working with the talented team behind the book.

I created this series of short animated films created for Apple and worked with the amazing team at Flutter to create six pieces promoting Black Coffee’s show on Beats 1 Radio.

One of my favourite projects recently was this pair of murals I painted for The All Story, a new gallery and bookstore here in Newcastle. The opportunity to step away from my desk, work at a large scale, and tootle around on a scissor-lift for a couple of weeks was very satisfying.

I really loved creating the mural for the Jacky Winter HQ. I’ll always remember how surprised I was that Jeremy chose this option, and that building-size printed wraps were even a thing.

Here’s another piece I like. It was created for the cover of The Lifted Brow magazine.

I also worked on a weird little 'artist edition' water bottle that was pretty fun to make ...

It’s really important to dedicate time to personal work because it’s a chance to play around with processes I love, like risograph printing.

Most of my work starts with almost unintelligible scrawls in a sketchbook. Then I block out shapes and composition in Illustrator. I will usually move into Photoshop for final drawing.

Recently I’ve been playing around with 3D modelling (and physics) to see how I can use these tools to generate images and animations that are slightly out of my control. I’m really excited to experiment more with making objects, because three dimensions is one more dimension than two.

While I’m not doing client work, you can probably find me tweaking and tinkering with my website. Either that or making dumb stickers, like this one.

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.