This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

Rising And Shining Through Early Motherhood With Designer + Illustrator, Georgia Perry

Family

Georgia Perry is a designer, illustrator, partner, mum and businesswoman. She lives in Seddon with her partner Dave, who is also a designer, and their glorious daughter Daisy (9 months). 

We talked to Georgia about navigating IVF, finding her rhythm as a pandemic parent and her experience with postnatal depression. She’s an open book – with all the pages beautifully, vibrantly designed.

27th August, 2021

Georgia and baby Daisy in the family’s Seddon home. Photo – Georgia Evert.

Georgia found out she was pregnant the day before Melbourne’s 2020 lockdowns started. Photo – Georgia Evert.

The couple went through IVF after trying for a few years to get pregnant. Photo – Georgia Evert.

‘With IVF everything is so…deliberate? There are so many points where you have to consciously keep saying, “OK yep! We’re gonna do this! We’re doing this! This is the right thing to do! Let’s keep going!”’ says Georgia. Photo – Georgia Evert.

Given Daisy was born in the middle of a pandemic, she still hasn’t met lots of Georgia and Dave’s family. Photo – Georgia Evert.

Georgia and Dave have done the bulk of new mothering by themselves without their regular support networks that make up the classic ‘village’ due to restrictions. Photo – Georgia Evert.

Daisy is a squidgy bundle of joy! Photo – Georgia Evert.

‘Unfortunately after we left the hospital I really struggled with postnatal depression and anxiety. Still being in various states of lockdown / restrictions, not having my own mum or much support around, etc. It was kind of a lot,’ says Georgia. Photo – Georgia Evert.

Georgia had three months off work after she had Daisy, but found she needed to get back to her creative outlet as soon as possible. Her mental wellbeing is tied so closely to it! Photo – Georgia Evert.

Georgia has found an unexpected community on Instagram, where she receives from other new mums going through a similar experience. Photo – Georgia Evert.

The designer + illustrator cites routine and rituals as the parenting method that works best for her. She turned this enthusiasm into a deck of illustrated meditation cards named Rise & Shine last year! Photo – Georgia Evert.

‘While the world is still in this state of flux, I find the tiniest things can help delineate and give meaning to the day,’ says Georgia. Photo – Georgia Evert.

Ashe Davenport
Friday 27th August 2021

‘I’ve been sharing a bit more personal stuff and it’s been such an unexpected source of comfort and encouragement. To realise there are other new mums in the same position as me, doing this without family around, in and out of lockdown, etc. It’s honestly been so uplifting.’ – Georgia Perry

Georgia Perry makes things that trace people back to joy: a checkers umbrella, a wall chart of flowers, an enamel hair barrette that reads ‘paradise.’ On Instagram she shares new drawings and encouraging words in uninhibited colour palettes. I went into our conversation wanting to know the cause of her optimism, as if it were some kind of affliction. And how she managed to see such spectacular colour in the shadows of our modern world. 

Georgia’s mum was a florist. Right up until she passed away in 2009. She loved helping people celebrate their lives, and cheering them up when they were sick, even when she was sick herself. Georgia is the same way. She discovered she was pregnant with Daisy the day before Melbourne’s first lockdown, and an exceptionally lonely induction into parenthood followed. Yet she continued to make things to delight, like her illustrated card deck ‘Rise & Shine,’ a build-your-own-morning-ritual of yoga poses, meditation and words to ponder. 

When I asked her about her seemingly relentless optimism, she said she didn’t want to be known as ‘the sunshine and unicorns girl.’ She’s surprisingly dry. But I think she hit the nail on the head. Georgia Perry is warming the world and reminding us that there is magic in it. She sees colour in the shadows, because she paints them any way she likes. 

How have you navigated new parenthood? How lonely has it been on a scale of 0-6,000?

I found out I was pregnant the day before the very first lockdown in Melbourne, so I was truly entering uncharted waters. I barely saw any of my friends or family throughout my whole pregnancy, and we didn’t have any of the corny, but life-affirming rituals like babymoons / baby showers that I’d always imagined. I was so happy to be pregnant, but the world felt (still feels) insane and overwhelming at times, so it was a tricky time to navigate emotionally. 

To cope, I just did a lot of meditation and reading and watching TV throughout my pregnancy. Then, given it was so hard for me to get pregnant, and also the fact the world had been turned upside down in 2020, I chose to have a planned c-section. I’m not going to lie – it was amazing. I have fairly traumatic associations with hospital and medical stuff after losing both of my parents so young, so anything that gave me a sense of calm and control – I embraced. It was the best choice for me, and the day of Daisy’s birth was truly the most amazing day of our lives.

Can you speak to your experience getting pregnant and how that all went down?

We tried for years to get pregnant before I found out I had stage 4 endometriosis. I had no idea how common it was and, unbelievably, the only way to have it formally diagnosed is via surgery. We were told you can often get pregnant naturally / easily after the surgery, but it wasn’t the case for me. About a year after the endo surgery we started down the IVF path.  

What is it like choosing pregnancy so consciously?

With IVF everything is so… deliberate? There are so many points where you have to consciously keep saying, “OK yep! We’re gonna do this! We’re doing this! This is the right thing to do! Let’s keep going!” Rather than, say, just falling pregnant naturally and it just being done. There is certainly nothing spontaneous or romantic about IVF. Having to take so many active steps toward getting pregnant (hormone injections > a million blood tests> egg retrieval > embryo transfer, etc) gives you so many opportunities to overthink and psyche yourself out. Especially given everything going on. My partner Dave and I had so many late nights awake asking ourselves, does the world really need another kid right now?

We were super lucky all in all, as we only did one cycle of IVF and got two viable embryos. The first one failed, which was unexpectedly devastating / a low point, but thankfully the second one stuck. 

How did you find those early days of pandemic parenting? 

Unfortunately after we left the hospital I really struggled with postnatal depression and anxiety. Still being in various states of lockdown / restrictions, not having my own mum or much support around, etc. It was kind of a lot. I think I also just severely underestimated the level of hormonal fallout that can come after the birth of a baby.⁣ Just. So. Much. Uncontrollable. Weeping. ⁣Dave and my sister, Brighid were incredible though. And I sought out the help of my GP and a psychologist super early, which was life-saving. And eventually the dark fog did dissipate. 

I hear you. I’m so glad you got the help you needed. Parenting is hard enough without state-sanctioned lockdowns. 

Pandemic / village-less mothering is pretty insane. There are lots of ups and downs. We still don’t have all of our usual coping mechanisms available, and there is a lot of family that Daisy hasn’t met, but we’re doing ok. 

One of the hardest adjustments since having a baby for me has been fully accepting that your time is no longer your own. You go from doing whatever you like on a whim to this little creature being completely reliant on you 24/7. It’s such a complex feeling.  

How have you found the transition back to work? 

I had three months off work after Daisy was born, but (for better or worse) my wellbeing is so closely tied to my work and having a creative outlet. I had to get back to it as soon as I could. This has only been possible thanks to my incredible partner Dave, as he’s taking some time off work and does the lion’s share of the baby-raising during business hours.

I really like the idea of Daisy seeing her mum working and doing something that she truly loves. I’m hoping long term that I can strike a good balance between feeling fulfilled with work and balancing family stuff. I think it’s a continual work in progress.  

Where is the most unexpected place you’ve found support?

Instagram! I’ve been sharing a bit more personal stuff and it’s been such an unexpected source of comfort and encouragement. To realise there are other new mums in the same position as me, doing this without family around, in and out of lockdown, etc. It’s honestly been so uplifting. 

What sparked ‘Rise And Shine’ for you? What other daily rituals do you have?

I LIVE for routines and rituals, which definitely helps when you have a baby. I was approached by Hardie Grant to create Rise & Shine at the beginning of 2020 – little did we know how important daily rituals and “self-care” would become. 

While the world is still in this state of flux, I find the tiniest things can help delineate and give meaning to the day. For me, it’s things like putting music on and lighting incense every morning, stopping for a proper lunch every day and then turning on calming lights and lighting a candle at 5pm. Small actions like that keep me grounded in the moment. 

This Week

Homes

Stylist Nat Turnbull’s Serene Melbourne Home

Stylist Nat Turnbull and photographer Sam Wong turned a rundown Melbourne property into this seriously stunning home, with the help of archi...

Interiors

A Dreamy Seaside Artist’s Studio On A 19th Century Farm

Watts Studio and Amiconi Architect collaborate on a new artist's studio on historic Spray Farm on the Bellarine Peninsula. It's a work of ar...

News

Everything Is Free At Sydney Design Week 2021!

Hear from designers like David Flack, Yasmine Ghoniem + more at the completely free, completely online program of panel discussions this Sep...
Sponsored

Architecture

A Poky Post-War Cottage Becomes A Mediterranean-Inspired Delight

The Green House by DOOD Studio achieves perfect synchrony between its retro roots and contemporary renovation.

11 Brilliant Lighting Designs That Will Light Up Your Life!

From delicate frosted tubes to sculptural glass chandeliers, these are the finalists in the Lighting Design category of The Design Files + L...
36.05

Podcast

Dinosaur Designs Co-Founder Louise Olsen On Building An Iconic Australian Brand, On TDF Talks

Lucy Feagins talks to the legendary designer and artist about building an iconic Australian design brand.

Shopping

Bonnie And Neil's Nostalgic New 'Goldie' Collection, Plus 2 x $1000 Giveaways!

Be transported to the summer days of yesteryear through Bonnie and Neil's new 'Goldie' collection. Plus we've got two $1000 vouchers to give...

Creative People

Hand Painted Textile Designs Inspired By Canberra’s Modernist Architecture

Sarah Annand of Oat Studio combines a career in the local textile industry with photography, painting and architecture to create delightful,...

Food

Clem Day's Brown Butter Vanilla Cake Filled With Chocolate Sour Cream Ganache And Boozy Blackberries

The final part in our series of spring feast recipes with Clem Day – this decadent layer cake is a total knockout!
Clementine Day

Stays

This Mid '60s Sibbel Home In Healesville Is A True Family Legacy

It's a family affair in this spectacular modernist home in Healesville, Victoria, originally built by owner Fleur Sibbel's father and design...

Architecture

A Mid-Century Reimagining Of A Bells Beach Home

Bones House by Lachlan Shepherd Architects is a mid-century inspired makeover of a brick veneer home facing Bells Beach.

News

How To Style Houseplants In Every Room Of Your Home

A new book from plant stylists Ivy Muse gives you a breakdown of exactly which houseplants belong in which room of your house.

Shopping

This Stunning New Outdoor Furniture Collection Celebrates The Stories And Skills Of First Nations Artists

Made-to-order with high quality, environmentally  friendly materials by local craftspeople, the 'Woven Skies' collection is something spec...

14 Brands Making Waves With The Wiggly Trend

From undulating limestone vases to wiggly steel coat-stands, here are 14 wavy furniture pieces and homewares we love!

Interiors

Five Mindful Spaces To DIY At Home

Get inspired with tips for creating mindful zones at home using Dulux paint – from cosy reading nooks, to calming corners for meditation....

The adorable family unit outside their Seddon home. Photo – Georgia Evert.

FAMILY FAVOURITES

Rainy day activity?

Drawing and painting. I can’t wait until Daisy is old enough to join in. 

Go-to album?

Sound of Silver by LCD Soundsystem. Yes I still live in 2007.

Sunday ritual?

Dog walk and takeaway croissants.

Favourite cafe?

Common Galaxia in Seddon

Weekend getaway?

Daylesford for open fires and op-shopping.

View Comments

Similar Stories

Family

An Honest Conversation On Single Parenting By Choice + Donor Conception With Takeawei Ceramics Founder, Chela Edmunds

Chela Edmunds of Takeawei ceramics shares her story of becoming a mother to 18-month-old Ocean via sperm donor and IVF.

Family

Singer-Songwriter-Survivor Ngaiire On Motherhood, Music + Building From The Rubble

We visit the dazzling Ngaiire at home on Darkinjung Land on the NSW Central Coast, with her three-year-old son Nadav, or ‘Dovey’ for sho...
Ashe Davenport

Family

Author and Cook Julia Busuttil Nishimura Talks Prawns, Postnatal Anxiety + Magic Family Holidays

Two of our FAVE columnists hash out the thoughts and feelings (a lot of feelings!) about new motherhood. This is a conversation you won't wa...
Ashe Davenport

This Week

News

How To Style Houseplants In Every Room Of Your Home

A new book from plant stylists Ivy Muse gives you a breakdown of exactly which houseplants belong in which room of your house.

Shopping

Bonnie And Neil's Nostalgic New 'Goldie' Collection, Plus 2 x $1000 Giveaways!

Be transported to the summer days of yesteryear through Bonnie and Neil's new 'Goldie' collection. Plus we've got two $1000 vouchers to give...

Homes

Stylist Nat Turnbull’s Serene Melbourne Home

Stylist Nat Turnbull and photographer Sam Wong turned a rundown Melbourne property into this seriously stunning home, with the help of archi...

Creative People

Hand Painted Textile Designs Inspired By Canberra’s Modernist Architecture

Sarah Annand of Oat Studio combines a career in the local textile industry with photography, painting and architecture to create delightful,...
36.05

Podcast

Dinosaur Designs Co-Founder Louise Olsen On Building An Iconic Australian Brand, On TDF Talks

Lucy Feagins talks to the legendary designer and artist about building an iconic Australian design brand.

Shopping

This Stunning New Outdoor Furniture Collection Celebrates The Stories And Skills Of First Nations Artists

Made-to-order with high quality, environmentally  friendly materials by local craftspeople, the 'Woven Skies' collection is something spec...

Interiors

A Dreamy Seaside Artist’s Studio On A 19th Century Farm

Watts Studio and Amiconi Architect collaborate on a new artist's studio on historic Spray Farm on the Bellarine Peninsula. It's a work of ar...

News

Everything Is Free At Sydney Design Week 2021!

Hear from designers like David Flack, Yasmine Ghoniem + more at the completely free, completely online program of panel discussions this Sep...
Sponsored

14 Brands Making Waves With The Wiggly Trend

From undulating limestone vases to wiggly steel coat-stands, here are 14 wavy furniture pieces and homewares we love!

11 Brilliant Lighting Designs That Will Light Up Your Life!

From delicate frosted tubes to sculptural glass chandeliers, these are the finalists in the Lighting Design category of The Design Files + L...

Stays

This Mid '60s Sibbel Home In Healesville Is A True Family Legacy

It's a family affair in this spectacular modernist home in Healesville, Victoria, originally built by owner Fleur Sibbel's father and design...

Interiors

Five Mindful Spaces To DIY At Home

Get inspired with tips for creating mindful zones at home using Dulux paint – from cosy reading nooks, to calming corners for meditation....

Architecture

A Poky Post-War Cottage Becomes A Mediterranean-Inspired Delight

The Green House by DOOD Studio achieves perfect synchrony between its retro roots and contemporary renovation.

Food

Clem Day's Brown Butter Vanilla Cake Filled With Chocolate Sour Cream Ganache And Boozy Blackberries

The final part in our series of spring feast recipes with Clem Day – this decadent layer cake is a total knockout!
Clementine Day

Architecture

A Mid-Century Reimagining Of A Bells Beach Home

Bones House by Lachlan Shepherd Architects is a mid-century inspired makeover of a brick veneer home facing Bells Beach.

Similar Stories

Family

An Honest Conversation On Single Parenting By Choice + Donor Conception With Takeawei Ceramics Founder, Chela Edmunds

Chela Edmunds of Takeawei ceramics shares her story of becoming a mother via sperm donor and IVF.

Family

Singer-Songwriter-Survivor Ngaiire On Motherhood, Music + Building From The Rubble

We visit the dazzling Ngaiire at home on Darkinjung Land on the NSW Central Coast, with her three-year-old son.
Ashe Davenport

Family

Author and Cook Julia Busuttil Nishimura Talks Prawns, Postnatal Anxiety + Magic Family Holidays

Two of our FAVE columnists hash out the thoughts and feelings (a lot of feelings!) about new motherhood. This is a conversation you won't wa...
Ashe Davenport

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.

Please email us here.