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Tessa Chong

Creative People

Today we introduce the work of local illustrator and animator Tessa Chong.

Earlier this year we came across the impressive music clip Tessa made for local musician Super Magic Hats, featuring an illustrated landscape of Japan, and we were transfixed!  Keen to find out more about the woman behind this project, we recently chatted to Tessa about her creative inspiration, and her passion for animation.

15th November, 2016
Lisa Marie Corso
Tuesday 15th November 2016

Local illustrator and animator Tessa Chong has always been a keen observer. She watches the world with a delicate and curious eye, and records her observations in her signature painterly style, with humour and candour.

Over the years, Tessa has worked across various mediums and disciplines, including painting, advertising, art direction and graphic design, but has always boomeranged back to illustration and animation. ‘I really love animation, it is so engaging’ she says. ‘I find the storytelling aspect of it all really fascinating, and seeing your creations actually move is endlessly satisfying!’

Earlier this year Tessa was commissioned by local musician Rob Masterton of Super Magic Hats to design some album art and make a music clip for him. Tessa had never made a music video prior to this, but was up for the challenge. ‘I’d never done a music video (or anything beyond a short GIF) but couldn’t resist, as the brief was quite open and I had a lot of ideas to explore!’ she says. After four months of solid work, in conjunction with her good friend Lee Arkapaw, Tessa had completed her animation for Super Magic Hats’ song ‘Transpose’. The clip documents the transient cityscape of Tokyo, a place that holds a special place for Tessa, and one that she has drawn upon for reference repeatedly throughout her career.

Tessa describes her illustration style as ‘observational and naïve’ and relies on her astute ‘people watching’ skills to capture a moment. She documents many of these moments on her blog The Sketchorialist, and on a recent trip to Japan created an exhibition series based on illustrations of locals and tourists taking selfies, from school girls on a class excursion with their smart phones to tourists huddling around selfie sticks.

Inpsired the colours, subject matter and personality of the likes of Andy Warhol, Maira Kalman and David Hockney, Tessa aims to bring humour to her work, while capturing the nuance of everyday life. Having worked for Obus, Elk and The Australian Ballet to name a few, Tessa is keen to continue observing, exploring and animating.

To see more of Tessa Chong’s work visit her website here.

Selfie stick moment captured on the streets of Japan as part of Tessa’s ‘Selfie’ series. Illustration by Tessa Chong.

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email