Mermaid Parade, New York Magazine And Everything In-Between

Howdy doody beautiful people!

I am back on the farm in sunny 21 degrees Queensland winter, slowly taking apart and digesting all the overseas inspiration of the past few months. In all honesty, both Chad and I are a little exhausted after the last 2 weeks spent flying around the UK attempting to catch up with as many friends and family members as it is possible to squeeze into 1 long haul. By the time we finished, our bed and the chickens were calling us!

So where do I begin? I just looked back at my last, rather long ago post from Wollongong, the awesome all-girl group show CounterCulture I did last winter, pic below!

So literally on the train back to Sydney I received an awesome commission from New York Magazine (and proceeded to fall on the floor in a feignt!) for their fantastic online culture site The Cut – I illustrated an article about ‘Hatfish’ – those guys you see on online dating apps hiding their hairlines under hats. Super fun project, can you guess who my model was (hint, he lives with me!)

There have been a variety of other nice editorial and other commissions whizz in and out of the studio, including the MAC Art OF The Lip Campaign which hit The Gold Coast Airport to coincide with The Commonwealth Games – and I got to see my artwork on display for the first time in the flesh!

Speaking of Comm Games – I was totally delighted to be invited by Gold Coast Water & Waste to create a mural at one of their pump stations, in advance of the events. I submitted a proposal, in which I would cover the site in local tropical birds and foliage, and was delighted when I received the commission. Around 12 sites around the city were painted by different artists, and mine took 14 days to complete, with Chad assisting, working up to 18 hours a day and covering all the details with a size 4 paintbrush! Here are the results, which were honestly worth all the effort!

After all that work, mostly done in 31 degrees humidity and over the Australia Day holiday, it was totally amazing to see the finished result – I even got to show my parents who popped over from the UK for a visit upon completion:

Huge thanks to Callie Marshall for these beautiful photos!

Aside from commissions, many of which I still cannot share due to campaigns not yet being Live (sorry!) I have been working on my ongoing Coney Island series, focussing on carrying my favourite drawings from my 2 bulging onsite sketchbooks onto these wood veneer panels. I am hoping to exhibit the full series, along with all my other Coney art, in 2019, somewhere on the globe (I will keep you posted on locations as I know them….)

This year I also got to go back to my beloved New York City for a blissful 2 weeks, my main excuse being this commission for The 2018 Coney Island Mermaid Parade Poster! When I last visited in 2016, having illustrated The Dresden Dolls Coney Island Show Poster, I was honoured to introduce Amanda Palmer, Neil Gaiman and their friends to my amazing friends at Coney Island USA – who asked them to be Mermaid Royalty! So it was rather apt that I got to illustrate their likenesses along with their darling Merchild Ash for the poster:

Here are the glorious Royal Mermaid Family in their Mermaid drawn chariot on The Coney Island Boardwalk, on Parade Day.

This was the first time I had marched in the parade and my sailor friend Kyle and I got the full VIP service – which began in the ampitheater dressing rooms with the royal fam, saw us marching behind the royal chariot and sitting on the judges stand getting free beer courtesy of Coney Island brewing Co:

Mermaid Parade was literally one of those dreamy lost days of summer where everything was so magical it all just seems like a distant dream. I can’t believe it really happened!

Oh, and whilst I was in NYC I also got to house sit for my dear friends Marck and Lawrence at their glorious Greenpoint abode – look at the view from my studio window! Chrysler building, tick! Here’s a sneakpeak of some of the secrets I worked on whilst I was there, and of course more live drawing in my favourite place in the world!

I also got to visit London whilst I was away, and Chad came too. My best friend Becky got married on a hot summer day in the picturesque Northamptonshire countryside, in a church dating back to the 1400s, and I had the honour of both being her bridesmaid and helping to illustrate the wedding invites, paint the signage and design these fabulous bridal party kimonos!

Kimonos are now available to order here, and you can choose from a heap of designs or custom design your own – plus there are discounts to order your own bespoke set of bridal party kimonos!

Just for you, my dear subscribers, I’m offering **10% OFF SITE WIDE** until 14 August (over £20), just enter code: SUBSCRIBE10 at checkout.

You can use the code on my fabulous flipflops/thongs/jandles too!

With that, I must get back into the studio to get my teeth stuck into painting Coney. I’ll just leave you with this one last thing – the latest in my Superheroines series, and my all time favourite cartoon/rainbow-inspiration – Rainbow Brite! TTFN my loves!

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