Lara Allport :: Sydney Cricket Ground (via Pixeloco Creative)

No one loves a high-detail vector challenge more than TDA Boss Lady, Lara Allport. Briefed to illustrate and ‘show off’ the new SCG architecture, Lara set to work using aerial photo references to create this extreme landscape beauty.


Insights/foresights :: with Edwina Buckley

Introducing Edwina Buckley, full time artist and creator of deliciously detailed, hand-painted illustrations.

Edwina specialises in making beautiful prints and repeat patterns for clients within the fashion industry, but her pieces are lauded by all manner of clientele – from food festivals to large hotel chains.

So when The Galeries, Sydney approached Edwina to create two bespoke Christmas paper prints for their in-centre gift-wrap service, they had selected precisely the right artist for the job. The brief was to create something untraditionally Christmassy yet festive – with one print being a little more feminine and the other more masculine. A huge fan of botanicals and birds, Edwina decided on a Pink Cockatoo design – uniquely Australian and with a feminine colour palette – and a more masculine Toucan print.

Edwina then collected images of the birds in various positions, mocking up the layouts before painting them in her signature, watercolour style.

We think you’ll agree that the end result is nothing short of a Christmas miracle.


We caught up with Edwina to chat about her insights and foresights into the industry.

What’s your dream project or brand to work on?

My dream project or brand to work on would be for a really strong international fashion brand, such as Gucci or Nike – completely different brands – but each strong in their own right. I’d love to create prints for their collections. They often have really bright, playful prints, which is my thing!

What do you see trending in illustration this year? 

I’m seeing quite a few clients requesting Australian motifs – prints and wrapping papers with beautiful Australian birds and flora. I follow a lot of botanical artists, and birds and flora of all varieties are always popular.

Name your top three Instagram accounts to follow?  


In the future all art is destroyed, and you can only save one piece – what would it be?

‘Bridge Over A Pond of Water Lilies’ by Claude Monet.

Or anything by Claude Monet or William Turner.

To check out more of Edwina’s work or to write his next brief, click here.

The Drawing Arm on Show :: Simon Barrett :: This is Haute

TDA Bossman, Simon Barrett, is set to show a collection of original paintings – This is Haute – at Bow and Arrow in Manly. Opening tonight at 6pm, This is Haute is a study of high fashion in the form of familiar and well-loved boot designs.

Acrylic paint on linen canvas, the pieces demonstrate a perfect balance of shape and colour – you’ll be kicking yourself if you miss it!

Insights/foresights :: with Ben Fearnley

Meet Ben Fearnley – award-winning designer and 3D illustration and typography aficionado.

Originally from the UK and now based in New York, Ben has a killer eye for detail, bringing concepts to life through a combination of CGI and digital art and imagery.

“When I was 15 I decided that all I wanted to do was to work in design and illustration and to make a living doing something creative, so I dropped everything else to make this happen.”

Ben masterfully models each element from scratch, before adding texture and colour and then lighting them in a 3D environment. It’s no surprise he only works with the best of the best, including Nike, Sony, Pepsico, BMW and Red Bull.

And of course, now he’s working with us!

What’s your dream project or brand to work on?

Two of my favourite brands are Apple and Nike – because of their innovative, forward-thinking nature – always being one step ahead of the game. And I’ve been fortunate enough to be commissioned by both of those brands in the US recently! Both projects turned out to be successful and fun, so fingers crossed it can continue.

What do you see trending in illustration this year? 

In my particular area of illustration (digital and 3D) I’m seeing a trend toward more simplicity in artwork – not going all out and filling an image with a crazy level of detail just for the sake of it, if it’s not adding to the concept.

I’m also seeing multiple-exposure influencing the world of illustration. And a lot of fun, hand-drawn typography and calligraphy, and a prevalence of geometric shapes and pattern work being integrated into artwork.

Name your top three Instagram accounts to follow?  

I would probably say number 1 would be @ben_fearnley? Yeah, I heard he’s pretty good on there (jokes)!

@handmadefont – a great curated gallery of illustrated typography from around the world.

@vault49 – an amazing design agency based in NYC with a sharp eye for craft and illustration.

@ladbible – for when you need a break from design / just to have a laugh!

In the future all art is destroyed, and you can only save one piece – what would it be?

I would like to keep the painting of the Whistler’s Mother by James McNeill Whistler, so I can the paint over it and deface it in the same way that Mr Bean did.

To check out more of Ben’s work or to write his next brief, click here.

Lara Allport :: 8Hotels

When you imagine an airport hotel, what springs to mind? Mad Men? Brigitte Bardot? The Golden Era of Travel? Well now it does – with 8Hotels’ latest offering at Sydney Airport, The Felix.

Artist, Lara Allport, was tasked with capturing its modern-with-a-1960s-twist design, which she did with aplomb whilst drinking a dry martini.

The boutique hotel will be open later this year, and is sure to take off.

The Drawing Arm New Recruit :: Nico

Extending a warm welcome to our latest recruit – Sydney-based artist, Nico! His highly detailed and colourful artworks can be found in public spaces and private collections around the world. There are literally hundreds of Nico’s street-based works decorating Australian surfaces alone!

Nico’s main goal in life is to bring a positive change to the urban landscape and broader society via the creation and dissemination of uplifting artwork.

Now that’s a cause we can get behind!

Carly Casey :: Le Cordon Bleu

Le Cordon Bleu celebrated their 21st Birthday at the MCA on Saturday, with some gourmet entertainment served up by Carly Casey.

Combining watercolour with charcoal and Posca Pen, Carly captured the culinary school’s rich and delicious history, delivering a piece worthy of its own blue ribbon.


Simon Barrett :: Northern Beaches Council

Exciting times ahead for the Northern Beaches community – the folks at NB Council are creating a new cultural space and want the locals’ input into what that might look like! And to get the ideas flowing TDA Boss Man, Simon Barrett, delivered some thought-provoking artwork with creative icons a’plenty.

Watch this (cultural) space for updates and to have your say, click here.

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