As someone who cannot draw, I tend to obsess over people who can draw, which, as it turns out, is pretty helpful considering my job. Tegan Iversen is my latest obsession. Her work reminds me of the type of flat, pop art inspired illustrations you might find in a Daniel Clowe’s graphic novel of the 1990’s. Tegan documents everyday life with a bit of humour, from eating chicken nuggets for lunch, avoiding cleaning her bedroom, to overtaking station wagons with L Plates. ‘My work explores the everyday – places I’ve been, clothes I like, films I’ve watched, food I’ve eaten,’ she says. For Tegan everything is potential subject matter, her artwork is like an endless visual diary.
Growing up around her family’s party shop business, surrounded by strange and exciting party ephemera has inspired the tone of Tegan’s aesthetic today. Often acting as her mother’s creative accomplice in the shop, Tegan notes ‘we were always making balloon centerpieces, decorating the shop windows and making cards to sell. I am definitely influenced by the vibrant colours and patterns we were constantly surrounded by.’
Tegan graduated from VCA with a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the end of last year, with an impressive grad show titled Everyday. This body of work consisted of a collection of 90 hand drawn and digitally coloured prints, displayed en masse in a grid formation, documenting tiny details of Tegan’s daily life, over 90 days. Tegan used this project to combine her illustrative practice with digital techniques, drawing each outline by hand, and filling in fields of colour using Photoshop. ‘I love the flat, bright colours that Photoshop paint bucket creates!’ she says.
Life after uni is sure to be big for this busy 21-year-old. Last year her artwork was featured in the Derwent Art Prize at The Mall Galleries in London, and she has already contributed to a number of indie publications, including Melbourne University’s Farrago, Voiceworks and local zine Filmme Fatales. Currently she is pulling together the last bits for a group show opening this Friday called The Little House, and next month will be exhibiting prints at Supergraph in Melbourne. She’s also excited to have been selected as part of Flinders Lane Gallery’s emerging artist exhibition Exploration opening in June. Her mission this year is simple to ‘draw more’, with the hopes of getting signed to an agency in the near future. In the meantime, she is content capturing her life, which generally consists of ‘walking around the city, watching Muppets Most Wanted at home, and eating wedges with mates.’
The Little House opens this Friday 23 January, 6.00-8.00pm at 12 Crawford Street, Newport, VIC.