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Max Hamilton's Flora and Fauna

Creative People

Growing up in the south of Sydney, illustrator/designer Max Hamilton has lived near the coast her whole life. It’s the natural flora and fauna of these surroundings that has been the biggest influence on her work.

After starting her career working in textile and graphic design, these days Max relishes the opportunity to focus solely on her illustration practice, creating impossibly lifelike portraits of Australian wildlife and native flora.

23rd January, 2018

Max Hamilton’s home studio in the south of Sydney. Photo – Emma Wand.

Max at work with her subjects! Photo – Emma Wand.

The flora and fauna that surround Max’s home are her main sources of inspiration. Photo – Emma Wand.

I work in pencil and watercolour, starting out with rough sketches before working on the final pieces,’ says Max. Photo – Emma Wand.

Max takes care of every element of her business – from the illustration to the packaging. Photo – Emma Wand.

Studio details. Photo – Emma Wand.

One of Max’s incredibly lifelike bird portraits. Photo – Emma Wand.

Max’s lush surroundings provide endless inspiration for her work. Photo – Emma Wand.

I feel most inspired when the house is quiet, the breeze is blowing in through the studio door, the music is on and I’ve just had a nice cup of tea,’ says Max. Photo – Emma Wand.

Sally Tabart
Tuesday 23rd January 2018

‘It has been so fulfilling creating artworks by hand, after many years working mainly on computer!’ – Max Hamilton.

While many artists often find themselves the ‘black sheep’ of their families, Max Hamilton was brought up surrounded by creativity. ‘I come from a family of art lovers, and my parents and grandparents were always drawing, painting or making something while I was growing up, so this has really shaped who I am,’ she reflects.

Mind you, like so many creative types, Max’s career path has been a meandering one. Before committing to illustration full-time, she spent over a decade working in textile and graphic design. Now, she’s been working for herself for ten years, and balances her illustration work with commissioned design jobs, including contributing a few designs each season to baby wear brand, Wilson and Frenchy.

Max creates all her work in a home studio overlooking her garden, where there are always visiting birds that tend to find their way into her drawings.  
With each illustration taking around two days to complete, there is no shortage of love and dedication in her work. ‘Illustration is now my main focus – I am so happy to finally be able to say that, as it is what I have always wanted to do’ she says, ‘it has been so fulfilling creating artworks by hand, after many years working mainly on computer!’

In true small business fashion, Max takes cares of every part of the process from drawing down to packaging works. ‘I work in pencil and watercolour, starting out with rough sketches before working on the final pieces,’ she says of her process, ‘each original artwork is then scanned, printed and packaged by me.’

Max sells via her online store and has a few loyal stockists (here and here ), and dreams of one day illustrating a children’s book. 
As for her career highlight so far – ‘getting a “like” on Instagram from Ken Done on a sketch of [her] dog!’ We’d be pretty chuffed too!

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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 – we would love to hear from you.

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