Andrina Manon 


Illustrator and graphic designer 

Favourite song to get down to

Today it’s Twist And Shout - The Beatles

How did you get your start as an artist? 

I started posting my work online. I would set myself personal projects and share the documentation on my blog and instagram. A watercolour painting series I created called ‘Being Little’ went slightly viral on Tumblr which brought my work to the attention of lots of people. After that I just kept working! I opened an online shop and starting putting my work into group exhibitions wherever I could.

Name some projects/ collaborations you’re are currently working on and how these came about. 

I just finished an editorial illustration job for The Lifted Brow’s September issue which I’m very excited to see in print! This project came up with a message from a lovely friend I studied with who needed it finished within the week but was super open to what I wanted to do with the brief and basically just gave me free reign!

I also recently wrapped up a collaboration with AHD Paper Co. I created four illustrated Christmas Cards featuring some cheeky Australia native animals. I reached out to AHD with my portfolio because I love them as a company. If you haven’t heard of them before: they’re based in Melbourne, are environmentally conscious and collaborate with lots of incredible local and international artists!

Describe some of your favourite past works, and what made them meaningful. 

One work I’m particularly proud of is a repeating pattern called ‘Bloom and Buzz’. It’s a realistic illustration featuring lots of delicate native flowers paired with bees. The idea behind it was to draw attention to the fragility and beauty of our ecosystems. I actually made this piece for a textiles assessment but after sharing it online, BioPak approached me and asked if they could publish it as part of their biodegradable artist coffee cup series. It was so lovely that the artwork became meaningful in a ‘real-world’ context.

Tell us a little bit about your creative process.

I always start with pencil and paper. I love to draw from life so will sit outside with my sketchbook as much as possible. Otherwise I just take notes or photos of little things that inspire me. Once I feel like I’ve resolved a sketch or a plan, I’ll start painting while transferring the sketch with a lightbox. I almost always use fineliners, watercolours and gouache! When the final artwork is finished I will usually scan it in at 600dpi or so and clean it up in photoshop if necessary (e.g if ya knock a bottle of ink onto your illustration - true story).

What themes do you explore in your work? 

Dreams versus reality, nature, narrative, femininity and everyday life.

Can you talk about your online presence? 

Sure! Recently it has really dropped in and out, I should really be more consistent haha! I really love instagram as a platform for visual and written work so I share most of my work there. I find social media both really inspiring and overwhelming. I really enjoy connecting with my audience but equally enjoy taking long breaks from being online.

How do you view the role of social media to artistic practice? 

For me, it’s essential. I can see there is a very obvious connection between sharing work online and finding new clients. As a freelancer, social media is a wonderful tool. It means that I can set up and work anywhere and connect with whoever I want, whenever I want. It can also help you advertise your dream job and create a demand for it. By this I mean, if you love painting flowers - just do it. But take it seriously! Document your work professionally and share it online! If you show the world that you can paint cool girls and colourful flowers, chances are that someone will like them enough to approach you and ask you to make what you love making for them.

What are some other artists you love? 

Yelena Bryksenkova, Marc Martin, Sha’an D’Anthes, Ashley Ronning, Martina Martian and Chloe Jasmine!

What does the future hold for you? Which upcoming collaborations/projects are you most excited about and how do you see your practice developing? 

In the immediate future, I’m just about to leave for a little trip to Melbourne! I’m going to take my paints and sketchbook and plan to draw lots of lovely things and drink lots of coffee. I’m planning to create an illustrated zine of my drawings from the trip!

Besides that I’m working on a few private commissions and am teaching a few watercolour workshops over the next few months which is an absolute dream come true! In the future I want to push my practice and challenge my illustration style while focusing on new collaborations and projects. In the next few years I would like to work towards writing and publishing a children’s book. 

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