We’re SO excited to launch our second ever collaboration collection with Melbourne artist and illustrator Evie Barrow. Collaborating on this season’s newest styles, we knew Evie’s artwork would bring a whole new dimension to our raincoats and jackets.
Evie Barrow’s hand-drawn style celebrates the textures and imperfections made by hand. Her light-hearted, playful view of the world is laid out in pencils, acrylic and textiles, bringing a smile to big and little kids alike! With illustrations and textile characters gracing the pages of Frankie Magazine and interviews with Craft Victoria amongst other exciting things – we knew this was going to be one AWESOME collaboration! We caught up with Evie to talk inspiration, developing your own style and what’s up next in 2018…
What first drew you to being an artist?
If I go way back it began watching Saturday morning cartoons as a kid. I was addicted to them, it was the best part of my week and like many kids, I’d try to draw my favourite characters. Although I was always dissatisfied that I couldn’t recreate the smooth flat colours that I saw on screen with my coloured pencils. This eventually lead me to a career in graphic design and more recently I’ve turned my focus to art and illustration.
How has your style developed over time?
I’ve always been drawn to character design, bold colours and creating by hand. Originally I worked with textiles, hand sewing characters that I’d designed. These characters started as drawings until drawing them became my main focus. In the past few years especially I’ve experimented a lot and because of that, I feel like my style is still developing. In some ways, I’m heading full circle back to my days as a kid, coloured pencil in hand.
Where do you usually find inspiration for your works?
Mostly from closely observing daily life; people on the street, colours and details in nature, walks around my neighbourhood, things I’ve read or watched. I’m a true crime and Wes Anderson fan.
Who or what has heavily influenced your work throughout your career so far?
I’m a bit of a bowerbird with influences and I don’t think I have any one thing or person that’s been a heavy influence. However some influences of note would include; Danielle Krysa who taught me that ever artists have an inner art critic and how to face it, Lisa Congdon for inspiring the thought that you’re never too old to start making art and to change career, Margaret Killgallen for embracing the imperfections created by hand, Charles Blackman who showed me that it’s okay to take the subject of childhood seriously in art, Ben Shahn, John Brack and Alice Neel for not overlooking the the wealth of inspiration in the people and places close by.
How did you develop the ideas behind your artwork for the collaboration with Rainbird?
The idea to create a theme around Australian flora for the women and urban icons for the men came from original chats with the Rainbird team. From there I chose to focus on a hero line work for each range that was both playful and adaptive to pattern form. I researched native flora and iconic landmarks then built upon those elements with other motifs and hidden characters. These worked well when developed and introduced into patterns to adorn their raincoats and jackets.
Advice you’d give to someone who wants to improve their own drawing skills and get creative again?
Practice always. I keep a cheap sketchbook so that I don’t get precious about it and don’t mind it getting messy. It’s a great place to experiment and play without any pressure to create a perfect piece. You have to get all the crappy pieces out somewhere. Try to make it a daily practice if you can and keep at it, be as consistent as you can. Drawing from life is really helpful too whether this is your style or not, it will help you see the world more sharply. Inspiring colours, shapes, compositions, movements will become a whole lot clearer as if in high def and reveal themselves to you where ever you go. Your drawing skills will improve too.
Tell us about your exciting exhibition(s) coming up?
This year I’m participating in two group shows the first one is called, Soft Toy City and will be on at Rubicon ARI in North Melbourne from June 13th-30th. The second show is on from 16th August – 2nd September at Tinning Street Gallery in Brunswick and has a magpie theme. I’m really looking forward to finalising my ideas; there’ll be textiles, drawing and character creation involved, I can’t wait!
Any other exciting plans in the coming 12 months?
I’m currently working on illustrating my first ever picture book and a second is in the pipeline, hopefully, some travel and I’m also due to become an aunty for the first time in August which is probably the most exciting!
Kit yourself out in the Evie Barrow raincoat and jackets here!