Studio Visit

Georgia Perry

Lucy Feagins
Lucy Feagins
27th of July 2012
Rhys Muldoon CD art designed by Georgia Perry whilst working at Debaser
Experiments in type by Georgia Perry
Tim Finn gig poster designed by Georgia Perry whilst working at Debaser
Suitcase illustration by Georgia Perry
GEORGIA PERRY.  What a champ. I had the great pleasure of meeting this lovely and immensely talented lass in Sydney recently, and I must say she is every bit as cheerful and entertaining as her amazing creative work.  She's like a smiling bundle of positive energy and talent.  (Killer combo). PLUS she is one of those people who you warm to in an INSTANT, like you've been friends forever within moments of meeting. Georgia is a master of many skills.  By day, she's a graphic designer.  She works fulltime at much respected Sydney design studio Boccalatte, tackling all manner of creative briefs under the expert direction of Suzanne Boccalatte, one of Sydney's most respected design industry figures.  Aside from this, Georgia is also an illustrator, with a seriously impressive folio of both commissioned and personal work (much more to see here). But inbetween long stints on the computer screen (and goodness knows how long graphic designers spend staring at pixels all day), Georgia really loves good old fashioned arts 'n crafts.  Her love of all things handmade led her to create and install an amazing hoola-hoop sized dreamcatcher in the windows of cult retailer The Standard Store in Sydney last year.... and as luck would have it, this brilliant and slightly random project caught the eye of Sydney stylist Megan Morton.  As is her way, MM shot an email off to Georgia out of the blue, and before you know it - Georgia was signed up to teach 'Dreamy Dreamcatcher' classes for kids at The School in Rosebery.  AMAZING.  This is the kind of magic that seems to follow Georgia Perry around. For more Georgia Perry goodness do check out her website, EXCELLENT blog and new-ish WEB SHOP - where you can buy prints of her stunning work (including many of the works pictured here) and perhaps even your very own handcrafted Georgia Perry Dreamcatcher! ALSO see here for so many super gorgeous shots of Georgia's dreamcatcher classes at The School in Sydney - SO flippin' cute.  *UPDATE new Dreamcatcher class just announced on Saturday Sept 15th - book here! Massive thanks to Georgia for sharing her dazzling work with us today!
Georgia Perry makes a new friend at her Dreamy Dreamcatcher class at The School in Sydney.
Can you tell us a little about your background – where did you grow up, what did you study, what path led you to design / illustration originally?
I grew up in Broken Hill, a tiny place on the red and dusty edge of NSW, think Mad Max, Priscilla Queen of the Desert and huge expanses of red dirt and beautiful blue sky! My parents were always creative when we were kids, working together across painting, ceramics and print making. We had a pottery kiln in our backyard, and a constant stream of creative (and weirdo) people who were friends with my folks, flowing through our house. It was just a part of who they were, which definitely filtered straight into me. I was always drawing, making collages or crafting things from clay that I’d nick from my Dad. I also definitely inherited Mum’s love of extreme colour! During high school I worked out what Graphic Design was, and it seemed like a way I might get to work across all those areas – and still make a living. Luckily I was right! So I knuckled down hard, finished school, and with the blessing of my family, left Broken Hill behind and began my four-year honours degree in Adelaide. I loved every second of it, and it’s since seen me work in South Africa, London, Amsterdam and now Sydney. A long way for a lil' country bumpkin, huh?!
Serpent illustration by Georgia Perry
Aside from your commercial design / illlustration work, you are also an expert maker of giant dreamcatchers! How did you discover this expert skill and how did you come to be teaching at The School?
Expert?! No way! The whole dreamcatcher thing just happened so serendipitously! I live right by Crown Street in Surry Hills and over a few weeks I watched the beautiful The Standard Store open up. I love getting off the computer and making things by hand and always had this idea of making a hoola hoop sized dreamcatcher (but had nowhere to really showcase it) so I introduced myself to Nicola and Orlando at the store and showed them my work and they said I could display it as an installation in their window! Hurrah! (I’m also doing a very special Spring window for their first birthday in September so keep an eye out for it!) The even more magic part happened when Megan Morton saw my dreamcatcher, loved it, emailed me out of the blue and asked me to teach tiny ones to kids at The School in Rosebery. So it’s all been very fun and dreamy indeed!
Georgia Perry and her Dreamy Dreamcatcher class at The School in Sydney!
What have been one or two favourite creative projects (either commercial or personal) in recent years?
My work has grown so much and become so varied in the last few years. Between personal work, freelance and the more client-oriented stuff I do at Boccalatte (where I currently work full-time) I’m lucky to be exposed to so many different things. Two favourite recent projects would definitely have to be the dreamcatcher classes I’ve been teaching at The School (working with kids is so unpredictable and fun) and the Sydney Film Festival campaign I designed this year with my incredible Creative Director Suzanne Boccalatte. They are both so different – one cute and crafty, the other a huge campaign (and the biggest thing I’ve ever worked on) splashed right across Sydney from city flags to taxi backs to posters plastering the streets – I love that contrast! And I hope for my aesthetic or “hand” to be visible in everything I do, no matter how varied the format becomes.
Sydney Film Festival campaign designed by Georgia Perry with Suazanne Boccalatte at Boccalatte.  Campaign photography by Helen White.
You work full-time, as well as taking on lots of extra curricular creative projects! Sounds pretty busy at Georgia Perry inc! What does a typical day at work involve for you?
I’m so lucky that between Boccas and my own work, I never quite know what’s around the next corner. In an average day I’ll normally be answering emails and looking at Instagram from bed (ok I’m obsessed), working alongside my supremely talented and hilarious team at the studio, maybe lunch in Chinatown, maybe do some researching for projects in the afternoon, before coming home to spend the evening working on freelance illustration, drawing in my sketchbooks and planning / emailing for upcoming projects. I think long days and late nights is a familiar theme for little creatures like me trying to carve yourself a spot somewhere.
Can you name for us 5 resources across any media (i.e. 5 specific magazines, websites, blogs or other) which you visit regularly for a bolt of creative inspiration, or just to be kept in the loop!?
I sometimes get so overwhelmed by the masses of information / inspiration that can be found online, so I often find myself retreating to my favourite books including those from No Brow (I obsessively collect every release!) or Unit Editions. I also can’t go past Patternity (a total treat for anyone else who sees patterns in everything), Recollection (an archive of Australian graphic design from 1960-1980), and Graphic Bird Watching, which showcases the work of female graphic designers. Promoting the ladies is cool and important!
Illustration by Georgia Perry
Which other designers or creative people are you most inspired by at the moment?
I’m constantly inspired by the creativity pouring out of this country. I’ve recently started collaborating on a project with some people in LA who have commented that they 'don’t know what’s in the water down in Australia' because there are so many people here doing so many amazing things. So 'Cultural Cringe' my bum, I say! I’m inspired by people like Craig & Karl (who collaborate everyday across the globe), my mate (and sometimes mentor!) Dave from He She It They I (he and wife Steph make beautiful work with so much heart), as well as the ever amazing Sonny and Biddy from We Buy Your Kids. Basically just super nice people who are excelling at doing their own thing and pushing their work to the limit across many different areas. They’re the kind of people I look up to!
A Spectrum of Sad illustration by Georgia Perry
What are you most proud of professionally?
I'm just proud and grateful that I get to do what I love everyday. For real! It's a rare and amazing thing.
De nieuwe bibliotheek posters by Georgia Perry
What would be your dream creative project?
Finishing and publishing my children’s book! I’ve been planning it in my head for about five years.
What are you looking forward to?
Summer – when Sydney truly shines.
Will and Kate illustration by Georgia Perry

Sydney Questions

Your favourite local neighbourhood and why?
I really have to say Surry Hills. It’s where I lived when I first arrived in Sydney four years ago not knowing a thing, and it’s been very kind to me ever since.
Where do you shop in Sydney for the tools of your trade?
My favourite places to shop in Sydney have to be Kinokuniya (for books and cute Japanese stationery and stickers), the big newsagent on Oxford Street (it’s so well stocked AND they sell Jupiter Bars! How good are those?!), and then there are an assortment of $2 shops dotted all over Sydney that I frequent on the regular. I go seriously wild for a good $2 shop.
Where / what was the last great meal you ate in Sydney?
How can I choose?! Sydneysiders are truly spoiled eating-wise. On my birthday recently, I had a genius seven course pasta degustation that my friend Mitch came up with at Buzo in Woolhara. I also can’t go past Petaling, which serves up amazing Malaysian hawker food in Haymarket for a lunchtime or late night feast.
Where would we find you on a typical Saturday morning?
Depending on the kind of night I had previously I might be going for a nice walk in my hood to buy some flowers, having breakfast with a friend somewhere or Yum Cha at Marigold, which is always a hectic and delicious start to the weekend.
Sydney’s best kept secret?
I can’t tell you or it wouldn’t be a secret (but just to whet your appetite the walls are stacked to the ceiling with boxes of super-sized sequins)!
Nicki Minaj portrait / V cover by Georgia Perry

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