NFTs :: An interview with Dave Homer

Urban Decay NFT

Dave, assuming our readers haven’t been living under a rock and have some idea about the surge of the infamous NFT in almost every culture-led industry in the world right now, tell us what you make of it? 

It’s a completely new concept and space and I think we’re all trying to understand the possibilities and how we can best use them. There is a lot of silliness out there in terms of financial worth and a lot of confusion about what this new technology will mean for all of us. The bottom line really, is that no-one has any real idea of what is ahead for NFTs, the Metaverse and crypto. I’ve chosen to simply focus on the idea that I can sell digital art which has genuine rarity and celebrate the fact that there are collectors out there who are willing to invest in artists and visual art.

NFT marketplaces – what has your experience been with the different digital marketplaces for crypto collectibles and non-fungible tokens?

I have two current collections, my first is simply titled ‘Urban Decay’ (the project name I go by in the NFT space). Foundation and I set that up very early on, before I had any real understanding of the communities or the platforms themselves. It’s a great platform for 1/1 artists and is set up on an invitation-only model. I launched my second collection named ‘The Rogue Elements by Urban Decay’ on Opensea in February. They are both quite similar, I’d say that Foundation is a little more exclusive – the gas fees are a bit higher and therefore my prices are a little higher over there. Opensea seems to be a little more affordable in terms of gas fees and is the predominant platform in terms of the general public. Opensea has had its issues with some bugs and reliability but I really think that is going to be the experience across all of the platforms at this early stage.  Both Foundation and Opensea use Ethereum and there are many others that use alternate crypto currencies, but I haven’t dipped my toe in any of those just yet.

Why is 10,000 the sweet spot for most of these computer-generated NFT collections and why have you chosen to go with individual pieces over minting a whole collection at once? 

Good question! I think the first really big projects like Crypto Punks and Bored Ape all launched using the 10,000 piece model so it seems that set the benchmark for a lot that followed. I don’t know how long that will be sustainable though as people and teams are now exploring different project models as we try and discover what works well and what doesn’t. I have chosen to be a 1/1 artist, meaning that each piece I create is 100% unique and doesn’t rely on the use of traits. Basically I am just an artist selling art. I didn’t really make a conscious decision to do it this way, it’s simply who I am. The big 10,000 projects usually have a team of devs, vcs etc. all contributing to the projects, whereas I am just one artist making work and selling it in a completely new and exciting marketplace.

Contrary to the typical artworld/gallery model (and years of lobbying by famous artists back in the day) – artists may see onsale earnings, as the works grow over time in value and change hands to new purchasers of your NFT. Can you explain how creator earnings works through the blockchain system?

THIS is the game-changer in my opinion. As a creator, you get to set the percentage of any future on-sales that you want to receive. I’ve chosen 10% which means that every single time that one of my pieces gets traded from one collector to another, I get my 10% split. It’s built into the blockchain smart-contract and is therefore impossible for purchasers to avoid. This is huge for artists, every single time one of my works gets traded, I am paid as the creator and owner of the IP. Never before has this been the case, and this is what I am most excited about. As artists, we have traditionally been left out of the future investment possibility of our own work and this is going to change artists’ lives.

What are the highs and lows of producing NFT artworks? Is there any actual money to be made in all this fabulous flurry of getting our art into the meta, or are we seeing the bigger brands drowning the smaller players with bigger exposure? 

There certainly is money to be made. However, when I first entered this space, I was told that all you needed to do was list your work and you’d make a fortune! Nothing could be further from the truth. Selling work in the NFT space is really about building community and telling your story. Collectors are buying the artist just as much as they are buying the art. I spend hours every single day on Twitter and Discord introducing myself as much as my work. The big brands are coming, no doubt, but I really believe that there is a huge market out there for 1/1 artists like myself who are willing to take time building a community and brand that will last.

Can you define who your buyer might be? 

That’s a really tough one, there are certain collectors out there who have huge NFT collections (whales) and some who simply collect art that the ether just really loves or who are looking for something to flip for profit. My collectors seem to be a mix of these, I honestly haven’t been able to categorise who they are at this stage.

JPEGS aside – tell us a little about building a community around the artwork collection. What the best ways are to create hype prior to a collection launching and navigating your way round the world of Discord/creating your timelines/roadmaps and what the benefits are once you’ve purchased a piece of artwork (different worlds, games, airdrops, giveaways, future art drops etc.)?

Some of the ones we’ve seen doing this well recently are Dour Darcels & Joan Cornella

I spend most of my time on Twitter and speaking in Twitter spaces. Discord is certainly useful, however there is so much happening there I find it a bit confusing. I am basically meeting people and making friends on Twitter and building my community slowly that way. Each time I drop new work, I obviously promote it as much as possible, but I haven’t laid out any specific roadmaps or timelines. As I said previously, I’m basically just an artist selling art as opposed to the bigger projects who offer other utility in addition to the art. I have done some airdrops to my collectors and biggest supporters and I send gifts to the wallets of everyone who buys my work.

Finally, say you weren’t the nice man you are – now you’ve minted a piece of artwork and sailed it off into the Open Sea, what’s to stop you minting another piece of the same artwork and selling it on another site? Like is this really an honesty-based system in which no one would ever do that? 

It does happen, and there’s no real way to prevent someone screenshotting your work, minting it and passing it off as their own. That said, those people usually get found out very quickly and the community is very good at making it known that it is stolen art. The platforms are quite good at de-platforming those accounts, but there’s really nothing to stop them creating a new one and doing it again though. Above all, the community is the most efficient at exposing the frauds out there.


The Drawing Arm New Recruit :: Cécile Gariépy

Introducing the completely gorgeous, Cécile Gariépy.

Based in Montreal, Cécile is an illustrator who loves images that tell stories. Her work is playful, with an emphasis on colour, composition and character design. Cécile creates illustrations for a wide selection of mediums and clients, ranging from American newspapers to Quebec food products and packaging, as well as the annual birthday card to her mother!

We are so happy to welcome you to the team, Cécile!

Insights/foresights :: with David Wardman

We’ve been on the hunt for an architecturally leaning artist for some time, so we were very excited to discover David’s beautiful, intricate line and watercolour work.

With a career spanning more than three decades, David offers an illustrative alternative to CGIs, effectively bridging the gap between the blank canvas and the vision for a ‘future place’, inviting you to become part of the narrative.

We sat down with the man at The Red Door in Leura, to chat about his insights and foresights into the industry.

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

A couple of years ago IKEA asked me to create a series of illustrations demonstrating how we might live in the future – both socially and physically – showing the sort of architecture and interiors we may inhabit.

The finished illustrations demonstrate practical and plausible changes based on a continuance of how we are changing already, for example, a more open living space (perhaps shared between families), growing our own food, pod-type houses, greener and cleaner cities and towns, free public transport, oh and of course IKEA furniture!

This for me became an ideal project, and certainly influenced how I think as an illustrator; ensuring that I am always forward thinking in my work.

What do you see trending in illustration this year? 

We are at the cusp of the greatest change mankind has ever seen and, as we begin to understand this deeply, we as illustrators and visualisers cannot help but be influenced by this. I think we’ll see the use of ‘looser’ and simpler illustrations to educate, inform and reflect the changing times we’re in.

Name your top three Instagram accounts to follow?  

I don’t do that much on Instagram, I must admit, but here are my top picks!

Tom Schaller, Architectural Illustrator and Fine Artist

He calls his work ‘The Architecture of Light’ – with light being such an important part of the illustrations.

Michel Streich, Illustrator

For his use of simple but succinct imagery to make social statements.

William Hogarth, 18th Century English Pictorial Satirist (they didn’t call them illustrators then)

His work had a direct purpose – to draw attention to the social issues of his time.

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

Guernica, Pablo Picasso – for its energy and ability to describe visually such a terrible tragedy.

A close second would be The Girl with a Pearl Earing, Vermeer, for its enduring beauty.

Mulga :: Dreamstarter, by ING (via VCCP)

It makes us very merry that this Christmas Wrap, created for ING Dreamstarter last year, is getting another run!

Designed for their range of ethical and eco-friendly gifts, the paper is bright and characterful, and printed on 100% recycled paper with eco inks.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Note the homeless bees and binned bananas, inspiring you to think twice about consuming consciously this Christmas ??

Ainsley Knott :: Mornington Peninsula Shire

Too delightful not to share – the second round of illustrations for The Briars, Mornington Peninsula – a beautiful property steeped in local history.
Artist, Ainsley Knott, has been tasked with capturing the vision for the property’s revamp. The future looks dreamy to us!
Created in Photoshop.

The Drawing Arm New Recruit :: Liza Rusalskaya

We’re so pleased to announce that self-taught, Belarus-based and totally charming 2D illustrator, Liza Rusalskaya, has joined the fam.
Liza loves to capture the transient beauty of everyday moments; a breath of wind, the rustling of leaves, the way a shadow is cast. Her artworks invite you to pause and experience this beauty.
Guided primarily by simplicity, smooth lines and interesting colour combinations, Liza’s work is completely gorgeous. And we’re forecasting some gorgeous collaborations ahead.

The Drawing Arm New Recruit :: Blacklist

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Just a bit thrilled to welcome Sydney’s Blacklist to The Drawing Arm team!
Blacklist is the work of Nathan Johnson. A typographer, illustrator and artist, Nathan has developed a unique and identifiable style of hand drawn typography and lettering.
Super lovely and super talented, Nathan knows how capture people’s attention and imagination amongst the noise. You could say he’s been around The Block a few times!

Simon Barrett :: Melbourne International Comedy Roadshow

A recent collaboration to produce the key visuals for the Melbourne International Comedy Roadshow 2019.
Hitting the road about now.
Drawn by hand and then digitally remastered.

Ash Schmitt :: Hoyne Design / The Place Economy

Featuring case studies, essays and research gathered from across the world, Hoyne’s The Place Economy brims with practical insights into effective placemaking, and what it takes to create places and spaces where everyone prospers.
Ash was thrilled to contribute several illustrations to the three-book project, with 100% of the proceeds being donated to Habitat for Humanity – an organisation providing housing solutions in sustainable communities in the Asia-Pacific region.
Created in Illustrator.

Mulga :: Burt’s Bees :: The 6am Agency

Most of us know that the global bee population is in dramatic decline, but what you mightn’t know is that these little guys are responsible for more than 30% of the foods we eat.
So we were stoked to help Burt’s Bees create a little extra buzz on the topic – with a mural installation on York Street by Mulga, telling the story of the foods we’d miss out on without the bees, and raising awareness and funds for these important critters.
Created with eco paint from Ecolour Paint.

Simon Barrett :: Pitch2Punchline

If you’ve ever fancied cracking a joke in front of 300 people at Sydney Opera House, now’s your chance! Applications to Pitch2Punchline, the world’s first Media and Marketing Industry Comedy Gala Extravaganza, are officially open.
With fun-not-funny artwork by Simon Barrett, and proceeds going to mental health organisation, batyr, it’s going to be a hoot with heart. Of course, if the idea of telling jokes on stage makes you wanna cry not chuckle, simply grab a ticket and watch the hilarity unfold from the safety of the gallery.

Lara Allport :: Davenport Campbell

A fun project that wrapped up just before Christmas, Lara was briefed to create a series of large format panels, inspired by Australian natives and scenery, for a vinyl mural installation happening later this year.
We can’t divulge which company will be enjoying the artwork in their brand new digs (we’ve been sworn to secrecy)! But the full piece spans 15m in length, so it won’t be a secret for long.
Created by hand and then vectorised.

Van Data :: I don’t know where I’m going but I’m on my way

The magic feeling of being able to express yourself visually, and thus communicate with people from all walks of life – that is the reason Van Data does what he does. A self-taught artist, his style is descriptive, intricate and editorial in nature.
And he’s beautifully captured the ‘first week back’ vibes, don’t you think?
Created by hand and then digitally remastered.

Mulga :: Randwick City Council :: Beach Breaks Carnival

You may have spotted these guys, adorning the flags and flyers of this year’s Beach Breaks Carnival at Sydney’s Maroubra Beach. Created by hand by Mulga, the summery characters would liven up any party, and will appear on future festival artwork in years to come!

Created by hand and then digitally remastered.

Ben Brown :: Rockpool Dining Group

When the team from El Camino Cantina announced they were bringing their legendary Tex-Mex, famous frozen margaritas, and sombrero-splashed party vibes to Manly, we rejoiced with a collective, “Si”!
Having already created several ‘Skeletons Driving Muscle Cars’ pieces for El Camino in The Rocks, Ben Brown was brought in again, this time to install an Endless Summer inspired ‘Skeletons in the Surf’ style mural.
The result is bright, bold and mind blowing, the likes of which the Northern Beaches has never seen. In fact, we reckon this 365-seat restaurant (with a dining terrace overlooking Manly Wharf, no less) is going to add some much-needed spice to Manly’s night life. Arriba!

Edwina Buckley :: Coral Expeditions

Edwina created a series of lovely watercolour illustrations for Australian cruise company, Coral Expeditions. Depicting some of the sights and delights you might witness whist on expedition, the illustrations lived in print and online. It was smooth sailing on this one.
Created by hand and then digitally remastered.

The Drawing Arm New Recruit :: Bobby Haiqalsyah

Introducing Bobby Haiqalsyah, illustrator, letterer and Co-Founder of Melbourne Lettering Club – a network for like-minded letter lovers to share their passion and

Having spent several years working within branding and advertising, Bobby is now happily settled into a life of lettering and illustration – he spends his days crafting, educating and connecting people, and generally making cool things happen.

And we’ll be making some cool things happen together in the coming months!

Mia Taninaka and Lara Allport :: Lost Paradise Festival

We’re fast approaching festival season and we’re thrilled, as ever, to share the visuals by Mia Taninaka and Lara Allport for Lost Paradise Festival 2018.
This year, instead of creating just one hero illustration, we developed a suite of festive frames, telling a story of two adventurers on their voyage through hidden wonderlands.
Mia sketched the frames, adding colour to some to direct the palette, and then Lara digitally remastered each one to produce the stunning finished result (keeping everything on separate layers so the animation team could work their magic).

See the full animated video here:

Lost paradise 2018

Here it is ?? Your 2018 line up has landed! Tickets on sale now from the Lost Paradise websiteGet ready for our biggest and best year yet ?

Posted by Lost Paradise on Wednesday, 5 September 2018

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The Drawing Arm New Recruit :: Stefan Hunt

We are delighted to welcome Illustrator and Film Director, Stefan Hunt, to The Drawing Arm’s creative ranks.

Stef’s work is naive yet poignant, and a reminder that we were all once children. His favourite subject matter is death, as it puts everything into perspective and is the most universal truth we all share.

In 2017 he launched his most ambitious creative project yet, We’re All Going to Die. Consisting of a published book, a short film and sold out multimedia art festival in Sydney and, most recently, Byron Bay, it aims to empower people to fear less and live more. The festival has also toured New Zealand and the USA.

Having already worked with us to deliver an illustrative makeover for a well known not for profit (visuals to be released shortly), we can’t wait to see what Stef does next.

Mulga :: Commercial Illustration

Mulga is Sydney-based artist, Joel Moore. He draws beards and zombies and zombies with beards and creatures wearing hats and various other oddities such as knife-fighting bananas. He is well-known in Sydney for his signature characters, often composed of textured shapes and intricate lines, they pulsate with untrammelled colour.

Mulga can usually be found outside, painting large-scale murals and writing poems to his beloved monsters.
Created by hand with Posca Pens and then digitally remastered.

Elliott Routledge / Lara Allport / Shannon Crees :: Coronation Property

Set to become a destination for creative types, Charlie Parker, a boutique development by Coronation Property, has art woven into its very fabric.

The campaign visuals, inspired by Gillie and Marc, created by Elliott Routledge and Shannon Crees, and digitally remastered by Lara Allport, were used across everything from sales brochures to display suites and a vibrant, large-format mural wrapping the entire site.

It’s so awesome to see Sydney following in the footsteps of creative cities like London, Lisbon and Prague, and designing an urban landscape that’s increasingly rich in public art.

Simon Barrett :: City of Sydney Concept Work

“The idea was to capture the detail and energy of Sydney’s most iconic architecture, in a super bright, free form style. I’ll paint these on giant canvases at some point and sell them for thousands of tonnes of moneys.” – Simon Barrett
Created by hand and then digitally remastered.

Jordan Clarke :: Walk Through the Fire

Working predominantly in the mediums of embroidery and digital collage, Jordan is fascinated by all things dark, whimsical and vintage.
Her creations are a collision of Victorian vignettes, rockabilly pin-ups, religious iconography, 20th century circus, tattoo art and fairground lore.
And we are completely captivated.

The Drawing Arm New Recruit :: Andrew Dennis

This week we’re welcoming mural, street and textile artist, Andrew Dennis, to The Drawing Arm.

Andrew is a collector and amalgamator of artefacts, from retro furniture designs to primitive African masks and memorabilia. His constant search for unexpected connections between different facets of human history is a source of artistic intrigue and inspiration.

A prolific mural artist in particular, Andrew describes his style as ‘a cabinet of curiosities’.

And were pretty excited to add him to our cabinet of curiosities.

Mural created with exterior acrylic.

Dave Homer :: Knock Knock New York

Splitting his time between Sydney and the States gives TDA artist, Dave Homer, an opportunity to take in all the sites and delights of the big apple.

These illustrations are part of an ongoing series of New York apartment doors and street furniture.

Created on a Wacom Tablet.


The Drawing Arm New Recruit :: Chris Nixon

We’re super stoked to welcome Perth-based illustrator, Chris Nixon, to the team! Inspired by the West Coast and with an emphasis on the handmade and crafted, Chris’s work can be found across a wide range of media, from children’s books, animation and commercial illustration, to large-scale public art.

Where digital illustration is concerned, his process is to work as traditionally as possible before remastering, to get the best of both worlds.

Chris has installed many large-format artworks around Australia, and has exhibited in Bali, Berlin and Tokyo.

Mural created with exterior acrylic.

The Drawing Arm on Show :: Beastman :: The Human Intervention

In his upcoming show TDA artist, Brad Eastman (Beastman), depicts the potential future of the ? via a series of painterly systems; balancing geometry, measurement, movement and colour to create symbolic, contemporary landscapes.

Aptly named, The Human Intervention, the collection takes on an aerial viewpoint, allowing us to look down and consider our impact on the natural world and the complex interplay between nature and the man made, and to creatively observe the consequences of our actions.

Beastman doesn’t seek to answer the question of our role in nature, instead he evokes enquiry through the considered composition of key shapes and lines that resemble the manipulation of natural landscapes and environments.

Opening 6pm May 4th, Backwoods Gallery, Collingwood.

Acrylic on canvas.

Brent Smith :: Modus Operandi :: Dream Weaver

Tropical, hazy, unfiltered…these are the words used to describe Dream Weaver, a Limited Edition IPA from Sydney’s Modus Operandi.

Funnily enough they also describe artist, Brent ‘Biffy’ Smith, reasonably accurately. Brent created Dream Weaver’s signature citrus illustration, which will adorn t-shirts, posters, stubby holders and the brew itself in an MO venue near you.


Carly Casey :: Barker Street Canteen

Some projects leave you grinning from ear to ear, and this mural gig for Barker Street Canteen was certainly one of those.

Commissioned to bring life and colour to the cafe (that sits within Prince of Wales Hospital), Carly designed this beauty and executed it over the course of three days, much to the delight of passing patients.

And the lovely cafe owners were smiling too: “You are simply amazing, Carly. You have truly lightened up this space and its impact is greatly felt by every person who walks in.”

Yep, this one delivered a bigger buzz than a triple shot cap.

Created by hand, with love.

Stuart Smythe :: Waiting Day

Stu always knew that being a creative was his calling – being surrounded by creative people opens his mind to the beauty that exists in every thing and every place.

He believes that artists have a responsibility to give, to entertain, to beautify, to educate, to evoke thought and to share goodness.

And it really shows in everything he does.

Created by hand and then digitally remastered.

Mowgli :: Element Skateboards

Based in Barcelona, Mowgli a.k.a. Adrian Morris, is an illustrator, adventure seeker, photographer and all ‘round artsy guy. His artworks are often character-based, with muted colour palettes and some serious tribal vibes.

Created with calligraphy ink brush pens and then digitally remastered.

Shannon Crees :: Glue Store, Westfield Miranda

With a background in fashion illustration and street art, Shannon creates works on canvas as well as large scale murals, both locally and internationally.

She was the only Aussie included in the high profile line up of ‘Best Graffiti Artists in the World’ at Banksy’s Cans Festival, London. And her pieces have been displayed at the MCA for Australian Fashion Week and in Sydney’s Town Hall.

Shannon is one of many remarkable, strong female artists on the TDA roster.

#internationalwomensday #IWD2018

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!

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.

Mia Taninaka & Lara Allport :: Lost Paradise Festival

Here it is folks; Mia Taninaka’s delightfully whimsical Lost Paradise 2017 festival artwork. Digitally remastered by Lara Allport and given wings by the LP animation team! Tickled pink (with a selection of giant feathers), we are.

Watch the animated video here.

Caspian de Looze :: Beach Breaks Carnival

Randwick City Council was blessed with another perfect winter’s day for this year’s Beach Breaks Carnival – the annual community event held on Maroubra Beach Promenade. And while the temps were still fresh, the custom / on-the-spot art created by Cas and fellow artist, Vinnie Gracanin, was fresher. The locals were wowed and, as always, we were proud.

Dave Homer :: See Shirts

If you’ve got a message that you think is tee-worthy, you might consider calling in the Big Guns o’ Type Design, a.k.a. Dave Homer. That’s what See Shirts did and they haven’t looked back – they’ve been too busy looking forward whilst gallivanting around in their bad-ass range of political active wear.

Russell Tate :: Viadux (via Hydrant Creative)

If you said to us that Water Network Systems as a topic of conversation was perhaps not that interesting, we’d have agreed with you. Until Russell Tate made it so pretty and easy-to-understand, that is!

All that was needed to jazz up this ‘dry’ subject matter was a bit of Russ’s sweet vector / infographic flair. You could say the project really flowed from there.

Illustration Trend Forecast

The rise of commercial illustration has been wonderful to witness over the last decade, with increased use across branding, marketing, advertising, packaging, editorial and TVCs. And it’s not just the ad industry that’s digging in – this year we have overseen commissions from an extremely broad array of industries; from FMCGs, craft beers, festivals and financial advisers to nurseries and plastic surgeries – hell, even the property development industry has cottoned on to the desirable, cut-through capabilities of a beautifully executed illustration campaign.  

We always get asked at The Drawing Arm – “What’s going to be hot this year?”

Here are our top three picks:

3D Typography

Bang – straight to the point messaging with all the delicious, glossy, shiny, colourful, textural, eye-catching mayhem in the message itself. This technique is still proving to be a huge hit in the advertising world, with its fierce adaptability to suit almost any brief whilst keeping the message front and centre.  

(Featured here: Brandon Els – ‘Paint me something’)  

That’s Unreal!

Surrealism is about unexpected juxtapositions and surprises. We are seeing more and more strange creatures and extraordinary landscapes mashed together with real products and people – surprising, delighting and often confusing the viewer.  

(Featured here: Thomas Cantoni – ‘Bisokplat’)

A New Perspective

With cut-through imagery becoming increasingly important to a brand’s success, illustrators are looking for new ways to present the ‘all-too-familiar’. With many illustrators taking their cues from selfie-culture, flat-lays, GoPros and drones – we are seeing great creations where the traditional idea of ‘perspective’ has taken on a new lease of life. From overhead view, wide-angle to extreme close-ups, the aim of the unusual perspective is to bring a fresh look to well-documented subjects.  

(Featured here: Ainsley Knott – ‘Bubble like soup’)

What is The Drawing Arm and how does it work?

The Drawing Arm is a specialist talent agency representing some of the finest illustrators in the world.

With a deep and diverse pool of artists at our fingertips, we cater to the varied needs of today’s commercial world – from mainstream advertising to cutting edge campaigns. And not only do we provide world class creative talent, we manage the entire illustration process from start to finish – ensuring an impeccable result that’s bang on brief.

Hailing from across Australia and beyond, our artists specialise in a whole range of styles – from vector magic to lovingly hand-crafted typography. So whatever you’re after, we will have someone to fit the bill.

Founded and run by owners of The National Grid – A creative thinking and design company – The Drawing Arm is operated by a team of people who really get how the creative commercial world works (after all, we work there ourselves every day).

For this reason, we’re able to help our clients through every phase of the illustration commission process – from selecting the right artist, or connecting you with your preferred artist, to briefing, fine-tuning, right through to final application and file delivery.

We pride ourselves on delivering the goods, on time and within budget.

So if you are after something really special for your brief – please get in touch, we are here to help.

The Drawing Arm New Recruit :: Martin Houra

We’re very excited to welcome self professed ‘obsessive tea drinker’, Martin Houra, to the TDA brew crew! Martin creates photo-real CG imagery from his Sydney-based studio, focusing on highly polished and retouched visuals, architectural visualisations and experimental animations. And he’s collaborated with and created for the likes of Audi, BMW, Coca Cola, Lego, Nike, Samsung and Volkswagon. Now that’s a delicious blend.

The Drawing Arm on Show

RUMBLE, the art show by Kentaro Yoshida and TDA’s Ben Brown, kicks off tomorrow night at Goodspace – L1, 115 Regent St Chippendale. The two artists’ styles have merged and resisted to create artworks stripped back to their barest elements, as well as other unexpected visual outcomes! Let’s get ready to rumble, fellow-skeletons.

The Drawing Arm on Show

Attention Melbournites! The Other Art Fair – Australia’s leading fair where art lovers meet and buy direct from the very best emerging and undiscovered artists – opens tomorrow at The Facility in Kensington. The artists have been hand picked by a committee of industry experts, and our very own Jamiee Paul happens to be one of them! We discovered her a while back…now you can too.

The Drawing Arm on Show

Make sure you grab a ticket to this year’s Adobe ‘MAKE IT’ Conference, and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for TDA Boss Man and Lady, Simon Barrett and Lara Allport. They’ll be eagerly awaiting your awesomely intelligent questions as members of the Creative Careers panel. Tix on sale now – you definitely want to MAKE IT to this one.

Brent Smith :: Healthy Buddha Gardens

We all like to eat delicious, organic produce…but building the garden in which to grow it, well, we might need a little help with that!

Enter Healthy Buddha Gardens. With a snazzy logo care of Brent Smith, and the goal of promoting health and wellbeing as a lifestyle, these guys will get you growing in no time!

It’s what the Buddha would want.

Lara Allport :: Frasers Property

When advertising a stylish development such as Sydney’s Central Park, one must do so in an equally befitting style. Who better for the task than Vector Queen, Lara Allport. Her artistic yet realistic depictions of this award-winning downtown destination go live today, as part of a widespread digital campaign. We think they’ve got some serious CGI-clutter cut through!

Artist Spotlight :: Shin Wakabayashi

If Japanese paper craft is your thing or even if it’s not, we’d like to introduce you to burgeoning artist, Shin Wakabayashi.

Inspired by video games and with a love of sharp corners, Shin cuts and then sculpts paper into type, characters and highly-detailed scenes.

We have a feeling we’ll be seeing more paper art out in the world this year, so be sure to bark up our tree if you want to know more!

The Drawing Arm on Show

TDA artist, Elliott Numskull, along with fellow Sydney artist, Georgia Hill, are exhibiting their first large-scale artwork together this Friday evening at COMMUNE Waterloo.

The pair have been collaborating and combining their unique artistic styles on murals and installations across Australia over the past 18 months. They’ll also be displaying their own personal works as part of the exhibition, so get down there and bask in the communal glory.


Ash Schmitt :: Mr. Burger

Mr. Burger and Ash Schmitt – a better client / artist match there never was! And when the new Mr. Burger store in Tasmania opened just the other week, it did so with two classic Ash Schmitt murals proudly in place. They wanted something irreverent and amusing with references to the local area and the characters therein. So Ash imagined a scene with the Mr. Burger truck parked recklessly in none other than David Walsh’s spot at MONA. And it’s gone down as well as their tasty burgers!

Jeremy Lord :: YMCA

To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of their Bridge Project – which helps to break the cycle of reoffending for at-risk youth – the YMCA wanted to tell the stories of some of the project’s participants. To accompany these stories, abstract portraits were created by Jeremy Lord and hung for the event – creating a beautiful result that everyone was very proud of.

Artist Spotlight :: Brent Smith


If you love ice cream, skulls and soft porn, then Brent Smith a.k.a. Biffy Brentano is sure to set your heart a’flutter. His lo-fi artworks often depict fantasy and surf culture scenes and a detached experience of everyday life. We’re very attached to him, however.

Courtney Brims :: Bavarian Bier Café   


We talk about Courtney’s pin-ups for Bavarian Bier Café a lot around here – they are just so delightful each one of them deserves a special mention! So meet Pretty Purrsuasion – the latest in her range of craft beer beauties. The prettiest kitty we ever did see.

Dave Homer :: Brand Influence Group  


If you ever need a snazzy illustrated portrait for your Tinder profile and / or company website, look no further than Dave Homer. Dave has a way of capturing that sparkle in your eye – at least, that’s what the charming folks at Brand Influence Group said after they had their whole team illustrated for their brand new website. Looking good, guys – swipe right!

The Drawing Arm on Show


TDA artist, Thomas Jackson, and a host of other talented peeps are on show at BRICK IT UP – a street art exhibition brought to you by B-SIDE Creative Space, in collaboration with the Northern Beaches Council. The exhibition opens tonight night so get down there and immerse yourself in the street art amazingness (and maybe even grab yourself an early Christmas prezzy)! Open every day until Sunday 18th.

Lew Keilar :: Commonwealth Bank    


When it comes to live scribing, Lew Keilar is the king! He was recently invited to scribe at a Commonwealth Bank event at UNSW as part of the Cyber Security Education Lab launch – seems his talents with a whiteboard marker are not a well kept secret. Watch the full video here.

Insights/foresights :: with Simon Barrett


Introducing Simon Barrett, The Drawing Arm’s Co-Founder and Resident Illustrator.

Simon’s distinctive and often humorous style combines bold typography, blatant colour and bemusing characters to ‘tell it how it is on the tin’. An expert on the ever-changing design and advertising scene, he dons many a hat to deliver work across branding, design and illustration projects here at The Drawing Arm.

Most recently Simon’s illustrative talents were engaged to rebrand the world-famous, New Image Art Gallery in Los Angeles. But he is just as proud of his packaging work for Aussie-made beef jerky brand, Jumping Jerky.

And he’s just launched his brand spanking new website – featuring a collection of Limited Edition prints (limited to 100 pieces only, delivered worldwide)!

We hit Simon up for his insights and foresights into the industry. 


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

I get pretty excited about every job that comes into The Drawing Arm. I don’t hop around in the background like an excited pup expecting a job will be mine, instead I get equally excited about helping curate who we put forward for an illustration job, as I do about working on a job (or thereabouts).

So, from a business point of view – setting up The Drawing Arm and seeing it flourish into a commercial illustration agency has been a big dream project to work on.

From a brand point of view – commercial illustration is an interesting world. On one hand, you see brands aligning themselves with a style or styles that talk the same talk as they want their audience to, on the other you see illustrators who really refine their style so brands have to fit with them.

I’m a massive believer that ‘fish don’t climb trees’ that is, we align the right illustrators with the right projects, you can’t make someone draw something and make it look completely right if it’s not their thing – it generally ends in a tonne of effort and a poor result.

SO! From a dream project point of view, I’d like to produce my own work, get published, make people smile, paint massive canvases that hang in amazing galleries around the world and travel, a lot (with the occasional childrens’ book and packaging project in between).

What do you see trending in illustration this year? 

Positive affirmations written in calligraphy and b&w desert photographs with illustrated planets mostly…jokes.

There’s a lot of talk about how virtual is becoming almost too virtual and people therefore don’t respond to it (car ads, property renders, architectural).

I think the art of detailed sketching of renders (theatrical and fashion style) will surge and become more apparent in mainstream and I think good typography will continue to reign supreme.

We’re very picky at The Drawing Arm, we try our hardest to represent talent that we see working really well in the commercial world.

We try to have a healthy balance on our roster of talent who we believe will be of huge benefit to people seeking to commission illustration and people we see, eventually, becoming a huge benefit to people seeking to commission illustration!

The commercial world of illustration and advertising is often very trend based, so you see styles move in cyclical forms.  


Name your top three Instagram accounts to follow?  

@thomascampbellart – because his art is wonderful and keeps me bright.
@kookslams – because it reminds us that life ain’t that bad 🙂
@thenationalgrid – shameless self promotion of our sister company who produce brilliant branding.

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

’Pegasus’ by Jean Michel Basquiat. I’m a big believer of noting thought as it happens.


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

Artist Spotlight :: Rohan Cain


Ro is a super versatile illustrator and tackles many different styles, but his favourite medium is textured, layered, cut and collaged paper! With a lateral mind and storyteller heart, his fav illustration project to date is his work for Laneway Festival 2015 – he says it was right up his alley (or laneway, to be more precise).

Kareena Zerefos :: TEAMEVENT


We work on all sorts of wonderful illustration briefs over here – so when TEAMEVENT said they needed a live artist to attend a Bat Mitzvah we thought, what fun! Kareena came to the party (literally) and was an absolute hit, creating gorgeous 5-minute sketches of the guests in their party frocks.

Artist Spotlight :: Marty Schneider


Marty’s mad illustration skills have been used to great effect across the advertising, publishing, fashion and music industries. A fan of the night and the first three hours of the day, Marty reckons that life is essentially about amusement, enlightenment and paying your bills. Naturally, he thinks his solar powered calculator is the most notable illustration prize he’s ever won!

Artist Spotlight :: Russell Tate


When asked about his pets, Russell describes them as “CC3232; an accurate web colour for goldfish” – an appropriate response for someone who lives and breathes illustration as Russ does! He cites his most illustrious job to date as illustrating space shuttles for NASA – you could say his career in the creative biz has reached dizzying heights!

Artists Abroad :: Mark Long


Based in the UK, Mark illustrates a regular column for The Independent, using brushes, ink and good ol’ fashioned print techniques to create expressive, humorous and carefully stylised images. His subject matter is varied – people, animals and anthropomorphised inanimate objects – nothing is off limits and the sky’s the limit for Mr Long!

Mulga :: NSW Business Chamber :: Skillsroad


If you happen to spot a sorbet-loving gorilla out on the roads, you’ll know you’re looking at the new Skillsroad Caravan. The vehicle, emblazoned with an eye-catching Mulga original, is taking to the streets, offering job placement support to 15-24 year olds looking to kick-start their careers! Warm fuzzys (of the primate variety) all ‘round!

Courtney Brims :: Bavarian Bier Café


Courtney Brims has created yet another gorgeous pin-up girl for the folks at Bavarian Bier Café. Lovers of all things craft beer and classic cars are sure to fall in love with Sweet Caroline! Yes, she’s mighty fine.

Insights/foresights :: with Dave Homer


Meet Dave Homer. 

One half of former legend creative team, Debaser, and now a key part of our team of illustrators at The Drawing Arm.

After almost a decade of design for the music industry, working on award-winning album artwork for Empire of the Sun, Cold Chisel and a million others to name a few – Dave has ventured out into the wider world of commercial illustration. 

Commuting between New York and Sydney, Dave still enjoys his music-related work, but he is currently concentrating on illustration and hand-drawn typography, typically combining the two.

His ever-growing international client list includes Capital One Bank (USA), Whole Foods (USA), Kiehls, Polk Audio, Optus, IBM, Telstra, Vodafone, Jetstar and Converse.


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

That’s really hard to say. Some of my favourite clients and projects have come from the most unexpected brands. Back when I worked mainly in the music biz, I would have said working on a new Sonic Youth record would be my dream project! These days I really get excited to work on projects where a brand has faith in what I do as an artist, and wants to collaborate with me on a specific idea. Something that has a bigger scope than just a single image and requires me to communicate a number of ideas across different platforms and mediums. I’m also working on a book of my illustrations at the moment, which is pretty much turning out to be my dream project!

What do you see trending in illustration this year? 

I think we’re going to keep seeing styles that move away from being exclusively digitally created, and more toward work that has something of a hand-created feel. People tend to be less impressed with technical wizardry now, and seeing that a piece has been carefully thought out, considered and created has real value. I obviously use a lot of technology and hardware to create my work, but it all starts with a thought and a pencil and paper. I think hand-drawn typography in particular will continue to be prevalent, as it’s so effective at conveying personality and individuality. 


Name your top three Instagram accounts to follow?  

@powwowworldwide   @brooklynmuseum    @natgeo

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

I’d keep the original pencil sketch studies of Edward Hopper’s, “Nighthawks”. I love the painting, but in some ways, I like the scratchy, sparse little sketches much more. There are some hanging in the Whitney in NYC, and they are just such vague little outlines of an idea on old scraps of paper, but they have a real spontaneity and energy to them, and only hint at what the final piece will become.


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

Mia Taninaka :: Lost Paradise Festival


If you haven’t yet seen Mia’s delightful Lost Paradise artwork, you must actually be lost. The piece, which is popping up all over the web, is inspired by this year’s theme, Hidden Wonderland. It features two characters in the process of unlocking the doors of perception, as well as various portals and worlds hidden between layers. Truly paradisiacal.

Artist Spotlight :: Mowgli


Mowgli a.k.a. Adrian Morris is an illustrator, adventure seeker, photographer and all ‘round artsy guy. Currently based in Spain, his artworks are often character-based, with muted colour palettes and some serious tribal vibes.

Caspian de Looze :: Beach Breaks Carnival


Each year Randwick City Council hosts Beach Breaks Carnival – a vibrant community event on Maroubra Beach Promenade – and each year Cas rocks up with his Posca Pens to add a little sumthin’-sumthin’ to the local kids’ boards. From psychedelic skulls to his much loved wave art – the end result is always meticulous. Cas, you’re a total legend.

Artist Spotlight :: Dave Collinson


Dave is a wearer of many artistic hats. He is well known as a Storyboarder Extraordinaire; his illustrations abound with a delicious mix of digital layers, linear scenery and larger than life characters. He also works in video games and animation and, in his spare time, paints murals for local cafes. Hats off to you, Dave!

Shannon Crees :: Warringah Council


Everybody loves a hit of beach ping-pong in the sun – especially when the playing surface is this snazzy! The ol’ DeeWhy table was looking a little rough and rusty, until Shannon smashed it with a winning new design and restored it to its former glory!

Artist Spotlight :: Lara Allport


Lara is not only the Boss Lady of both The Drawing Arm and sister company, The National Grid, she’s also a talented illustrator. Lara’s known for her much-loved vector illustrations, one of which is being used for this year’s Bondi Beachfest! Lara, you’re the boss.

Ben Brown :: Urban Purveyor


If you like your Tex-Mex with a side serve of tasty wall art, get down to El Camino Cantina in The Rocks, Sydney. Ben Brown has certainly added his flavour to the restaurant, with Mexico-inspired murals featuring skeletons driving muscle cars – it’s not just the food that’s hot.

Dave Homer :: Microsoft


What better way to delight hard-core Microsoft Surface fans, than with their very own Dave Homer-created personalised artwork! Dave created custom profile pics and skins for a bevy of lucky users – and all on the new Surface 4 – to show off exactly what that piece of tech can do!


Artist Spotlight :: Lani Paxton


Lani’s illustrative style is a fusion of intricate patterns and textures combined with realistic elements. She uses graphite or fine point ink pens to create her incredibly detailed artworks, and she plays guitar to keep those fingers nimble!

Kareena Zerefos :: Art Gallery of NSW (via Ernst & Young)


And here we have super-cool-under-pressure TDA artist, Kareena Zerefos. Kareena’s painting a live portrait of Australian singer/songwriter, Sia, at this year’s Archibald Prize Preview Event in front of a 200-strong audience. No biggy! Just another live-scribe feather in her already-feathery artist’s cap!


Courtney Brims :: Bavarian Bier Café


Next time you’re enjoying a delicious schnitzel at the Bavarian Bier Café, look out for Bella Birra! She’s the latest in a string of pin-up girls created by Courtney Brims for their craft beer range – and she’s sure to set hearts and taste buds aflutter.


Artist Spotlight :: Eve Bracewell


With a background in textiles, Eve takes a crafty approach to her illustration work. She experiments with any material she can get her hands on – from watercolour, pencil, charcoal, and acrylic to paper cut-outs from dusty old second-hand books. Eve also shares a studio with fellow TDA artist, Kareena Zerefos. Here’s to keepin’ it in the family!

Artist Spotlight :: Mia Taninaka



Inspired by magical and spiritual themes prominent in eastern cultures, Mia Taninaka’s creations paint a picture of an enchanting world awash with colour, flavour and celebration. Both wisdom and wonder speak through her anthropomorphic works, as she explores the realms beyond the surface layers of reality.

Jeremy Lord :: Random House


A big congrats to Jeremy Lord, who has just been shortlisted for the Crichton Award for his delightful illustrative work on ‘Meet…Weary Dunlop’. The Crichton recognises new talent in Australian children’s book illustration, and winners are being announced in August (but he’s always been a winner in our book)!


The Drawing Arm New Recruit :: Bo Virkelyst Jensen


Danish-born and Berlin-based illustrator and icon designer, Bo Virkelyst Jensen, is a believer in the beauty of simplicity. His delightfully clear, crisp and intelligent illustrations display strong conceptual thinking as well as a subtle dash of Danish humour. And we’re grinning ear-to-ear to have you on the team, Bo!





Ben Jelfs :: AAMI Insurance (via Edge)


If you’ve ever wondered what Angelina Jolie would look like as a llama, well, wonder no more! Illustrator/magician, Ben Jelfs, created Angellama for AAMI’s latest social campaign. And we think she’s the most luscious llama we’ve ever seen.


Artist Spotlight :: Ëlodie


Based in Paris, Ëlodie Nadreau studied in Bordeaux and has illustrated for the likes of Stella McCartney, Nina Ricci and Victoria’s Secret. Her style has been described as poetic realism at its finest, combining traditional illustration techniques with a flair for Photoshop to create truly mesmerising visuals.

Artist Spotlight :: Lew Keilar



Wickedly talented illustrator, story-boarder and live artist, Lew Keilar, has been described as a Champion of the Drawn World. With over 20 years of experience, Lew can create a mood with the flick of a finger or a curve of a line. His work is free-flowing and spontaneous, yet reassuringly confident, bold and defined. Just like the man himself.

Numskull :: Optus (via RE Sydney)


While Bafcat was painting his Optus mural in the Macquarie Centre, TDA street artist, Elliott Routledge a.k.a Numskull, was city-bound – creating his ‘Yes moment’ mural in the George Street store. Numskull’s artwork takes cues from the modern language of emoji, and brought a smiley-face to everyone who saw him in action.


The Drawing Arm New Recruit :: Mark Van De Beek


We’re pretty darn excited to welcome Melbourne-based illustrator, Mark Van De Beek, to the gang! Music is front and centre when Mark is illustrating, and his work has been snared by the likes of Tame Impala, The Dandy Warhols, Soundgarden and Slipknot, to name a few. When he’s not illustrating, you’ll find him behind an actual snare, drumming for local rock ‘n’ rollers, Devil Electric.





Bafcat :: Optus (via RE: Sydney)


Our beloved Bafcat, avid comic book reader and lover of cartoons, has just completed an epic mural in Optus’s Macquarie Centre store. Asked for his visual interpretation of a ‘Yes moment’, Bafcat drew inspiration from conversations between friends and loved ones all over the world. And weren’t we all delighted by the finished result? A question met with a resounding, YES!


Dave Homer :: Urban Purveyor


If you’re launching a beer called Flamin’ Hellcat, you better have a visual that packs some serious heat. Enter Dave Homer and his skull-toting, leather shorts-wearing heroine. We think you’ll agree she brings the hellcat vibes with muscle car and flames to spare. Who’s thirsty?


Artist Spotlight :: Jeremy Lord


Quintessential French typography, suicide girls and burlesque themes abound in Jeremy’s illustrations, but the half-French illustrator doesn’t like to limit himself stylistically. His work hints at a myriad of influences and covers a great many styles – from hand-rendered lettering to airbrushed, photo-real and tattoo-style design – Jeremy is undoubtedly a chameleon of the illustration world.

Artist Spotlight :: Bec Winnel


Specialising in ultra-feminine portraits of women, Bec’s dreamy, pastel images project an air of positivity and confidence. Favouring coloured pencils for their immediacy and portability, Bec’s subjects fade into the paper they are drawn on in the cleverest of ways, and are often accompanied by icons of bygone eras.

Artist Spotlight :: Ben Brown


Black Friday wouldn’t be complete without mentioning our very own master of the dark arts, Ben Brown. His illustrations have a rock star/pirate meets Andy Warhol flair, and he specialises in poking fun at celebrities – peeling back the layers of pretence down to bare bones. Frighteningly awesome.

The Drawing Arm New Recruit :: Ash Schmitt


We’re super stoked to welcome Ash to The Drawing Arm – his quirky style and distinctive colour palette was just too much for us to resist! A keen hip-hop lover, Ash loves creating album art – so far he’s worked with talented musos including Homeboy Sandman, Aesop Rock and Mike Shinoda! What a dude.





Tom Schwigs :: CHE Proximity


Crackerjack typographer, Tom Schwigs, has just created a “What’s your problem?” mural for CHE Proximity’s Sydney office. Equipped only with markers and a knack for crafting hand-drawn typefaces, Tom laid out all 99 problems on their curved feature wall. Which just goes to show; you may have 99 problems, but a Schwigs ain’t one.

Artist Spotlight :: Ben Jelfs


Ben discovered his love of illustration whilst working as an Art Director in Ad Land. Now, a full-time illustrator and all round top bloke, Ben’s sophisticated technique combines graphite and digital colour to deliver illustrations and storyboards with charm and personality to spare.

Artist Spotlight :: Ainsley Knott


Intrigued by the everyday, Ainsley reminds us that the simplest moments can often be the most inspiring, if you just slow down and take the time to notice. Ainsley’s moving back to the UK in late May, but will still be available for illustration commissions.

Artists Abroad :: Dave Homer :: Sport Magazine (UK)


In the lead up to the US Masters, Dave Homer was tasked with creating the cover art for Sport Magazine’s feature on Jason Day, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth. Rather than stick to the standard golf illustration style, Dave tipped his golf-hat to Augusta National’s signature shrub, using lots of colour to create a super lush and azalea-laden scene.

Artist Spotlight :: Beastman


Sydney-based illustrator, Brad Eastman a.k.a. Beastman, developed his truly unique style over many years spent drawing characters in sketchbooks. He’s influenced by nature’s repetitive geometric patterns, and his distinct and tightly detailed works depict fantastical parallel worlds inhabited by beast-like beings.

Courtney Brims :: Heritage Foods


Heritage Foods were after some unconventional illustrations for their produce catalogs. Who better to create some weird and wacky yet beautiful illustrations than Courtney Brims! The custom illustrations certainly met the brief, featuring clover-covered, mulberry-tailed flying pigs.

Tom Schwigs :: News Life Media


Tom recently worked his type-magic on camera for News Life Media. Here are a few of the work-in-progress shots from the inspirational staff video. The final piece was also printed and distributed on notebooks for staff – what a nice way to start 2016!

Edwina Buckley :: Regional Flavours – sneak peek


Edwina’s been busy illustrating chickens, bees, beets, honeycomb, carrots and more of Australia’s famed produce for the upcoming Regional Flavours Festival. Here’s a taste of what to expect – stay tuned for more info. on this amazing free food festival which takes place in Brisbane mid-2016.

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