The Drawing Arm on Show :: Kareena Zerefos :: Untitled

Ever artful, Kareena Zerefos, will be showing a selection of her new works on paper as part of ‘Untitled’ at Traffic Jam Galleries, opening this Wednesday, March 7th, 6-8pm.

With these pieces Kareena explores the notion of the feminine, as icon and archetype, addressing her vulnerabilities and insecurities around womanhood and creativity as she transitioned into motherhood. The banksia is used as a personal symbol of woman and mother and of letting go; the ego death that comes with being a vessel of life.

Watercolour and graphite on paper.

Illustrating the Future of Property Marketing

There’s a transformation underway across Australia, in terms of development and infrastructure, and we’ve noticed a trend emerging from within the property-marketing scene, namely, the use of illustration to enhance a campaign and deliver vibrancy and a sense of community – something that is now essential in this competitive (and possibly downward turning) market.

What’s changed?

In the current climate, smart developers are choosing to invest more heavily in creative strategy, answering the question, “Why should this place exist and who will care”? Gone are the formulaic days of delivering the same suite of materials, in the same way, in the same style. Hard quantitative and qualitative research on target markets is being done upfront, leading to more intelligent and considered projects, and buyers are demanding much more in the way of sophistication in communication.

Developers are investing in property marketing that extends beyond a logo and a glossy sales brochure – we are seeing campaigns that are playful, distinctive and specifically geared to engage the local community, just as much as potential buyers and investors. Under increasing pressure to make their projects stand out, they’re using illustration to rise above the clutter.

The branding of a site has a significant impact on how people perceive and react to it – new developments are often met with a negative or change resistant attitude and in some cases, resentment. But it’s becoming apparent that beautiful, illustrative campaigns are more readily welcomed. Having a place-making story matched with good branding and a device to tell that story i.e. illustration, seems to be bridging the gap between seller and buyer – calming and reassuring purchasers by better communicating the benefits.

When building an engaging and effective suite of visual assets to present a project, it’s important to demonstrate sensitivity to the concerns of neighbouring residents and business owners. The campaign strategy informs how a project ‘talks’ and, perhaps more importantly, ‘listens’ to its surroundings – visual ideas that demonstrate an understanding of buyers’ needs have a huge impact on the success of a project. What we have been particularly thrilled to observe of late is that developers and creative contributors alike seem to understand the importance of locating the soul of a development.

Finding the compelling story that sets a development apart is essential but that story also needs to be visually distinctive. Place-making focused campaigns have the opportunity to ask questions and steer the conversation in a specific direction. The use of illustration can help to create a unique campaign that not only informs, but illuminates.

Is illustration a ‘trend’ in property marketing?

If we were going to pick one trend this year – delightfully – it would be the use of illustration. The need to create an impression of what is coming before it actually exists is a challenge that can be easily overcome via this medium – you are literally only limited by your imagination.

Here are our top five favourite examples of great illustration used as part of a property marketing campaign:

1. Local Peoples – ‘Habitat’, Abbotsford (VIC)

Agency, Local Peoples, collaborated with local artist, Antra Švarcs, to bring their ‘Guide to Good Living’ brochure to life. The illustrative component of the project’s collateral showcased the lifestyle that buyers could enjoy at Habitat – Abbotsford. Purchasers were invited to be open, breathe deeply, eat local, make friends, feel refreshed, travel often and think smart with simple, brightly coloured, evocative scenes depicted in Antra’s blissfully playful and jolly style.

Melbourne-based illustrator, Antra Švarcs, sourced inspiration for her unique Habitat illustrations from the surrounding spaces and places. We feel the images she created truly evoke a sense of serenity and nostalgia. The colour palette has a distinctly home wares feel to it – a clever and fitting choice for the target buyer profile.


2. The National Grid (TNG) ‘Charlie Parker’, Harris Park (NSW)

Coronation Property’s boutique 111-residence development in Harris Park (on the corner of Charles and Parkes streets) went to market under wide acclaim and with strong take-up. The National Grid (TNG) delivered the branding, placemaking and marketing concepts for this project and attribute the success of the campaign to collaboration and the use of illustration.

There was some serious talent at this projects’ table – award-winning architects, FJMT, celebrity landscape designer, Jamie Durie from Durie Design, Shannon Vos from VOS Creative (former winner of Channel 9’s – The Block, Glass House), famous sculptor duo, Gillie & Marc, and street artists, Shannon Crees and Elliott ‘Numskull’ Routledge (organised by Authority Creative).

TNG collaborated with the architect, illustrators and sculptors appointed to bring the idea to life and Charlie Parker – half man, half elephant, and always depicted with his little bird mate – was born. The Charlie Parker identity and illustrated story was seamlessly weaved through every touch point of the campaign – from the guerrilla street posters and pavement decals to the digital and print advertising that created intrigue and mystery around who this Charlie Parker character was – right through to micro-detail touches like the subtle silhouette of Charlie seen peering out of the window in one of the exterior CGIs (Binyan Studios)…and Bunny Girl and Dog Man enjoying the luxurious pool! Read more here.

3. Frost Collective‘Amara’, Alexandria (NSW)

Frost Collective produced a beautiful property campaign for Amara Living’s, Amara in Alexandria. The brand idea – happiness from beauty – drove all brand and marketing communications and set this development apart by tapping into our love of curated, creative lifestyles.

Frost Collective commissioned Dutch illustrator, Bodil Jane, to create a series of lifestyle images and representations designed around the theme of happiness. These beautiful bespoke illustrations reflect the development’s essence and help to inject personality into the campaign. Bodil’s work was used across all brand executions.

4. Heavenly‘Fitzroy Place’, London (UK)


With an increase in off-the-plan property developments in Central London, each one claiming to be more central than the next, Heavenly were challenged to create a standout campaign and effectively champion the incredible location of this development in the heart of the West End.

The brand idea – the spirit of creativity – was inspired by Fitzrovia’s rich cultural history, with its list of former residents reading like a roll call of London’s creativity including Charles Dickens, Virginia Woolf and John Constable. The hand-illustrated area map showcasing London’s top attractions was accompanied by beautiful portraits of some of the area’s most famous former residents. In the display suite, an artist illustrated the building’s facade – live – directly on to glass with white Posca.

5. Studio Brave‘The Hugo’, Footscray (VIC)

The Hugo is a multi-residential development in the emerging suburb of Footscray. The marketing campaign positioned the development in a unique way by capturing the spirit behind the developer’s vision, and the rich culture and diversity of the area. They titled the project ‘Footscray Reimagined’ and commissioned local artist, Andy Murray (Gatsby), to illustrate visions of a vibrant Footscray lifestyle. The illustrations added great depth and a realness to the project’s marketing collateral. Gatsby’s depictions captured the beautifully honest side of the area – adding authenticity and charm to the campaign – that really helped see this project get noticed above all others.

How can we help?

Illustration is often thought of as a niche art form reserved for kid’s books and gig posters. The commercial applications are so often misunderstood, overlooked or under-utilised. The truth is – in this visually driven, hi-tech world – illustration is an extraordinarily powerful tool that can draw much wanted attention to a project and set it apart from its competition.

And we are here to help!

The Drawing Arm New Recruit :: Nick White

Brisbane-based artist, Nick White, has been doodling since he could hold a pencil, and has been a professional illustrator for over half of his life.

Having already achieved one of his biggest life goals (to create the world’s first fully illustrated novel), Nick now has the freedom to pursue other areas of creativity!

He enjoys getting artfully lost in other cultures, movies, architecture, snow- and sea-related activities, language, beer and of course, Golden Crumpets.

Created in Illustrator.

Thomas Cantoni :: Magma Magazine

Paris-based illustrator, Thomas Cantoni, is one of the best in his field and, accordingly, he only works with the best, including Chanel, Porsche, Nike, Heineken – even Daft Punk! We think you’ll agree that his airbrush art and vector curves are tres bon, to say the least.

Created in Illustrator and Photoshop.

Mark Long :: Cracker Barrel Australia (via HAVAS Melbourne)

When’s the last time you caught up with a friend without playing catch up on your phone at the same time? That’s the question Cracker Barrel posed to cheese lovers Australia-wide with their free cheese packs, designed to inspire real conversations and tech-free times.

In keeping with the theme, Mark Long’s delightful campaign characters and graphics were created with a real, tech-free lead pencil.

Created by hand and then digitally remastered.

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!

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