Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sydney Surf Group

Mark Sefton from Sydney Surf Group contacted me recently about designing a tee shirt. The design needed to communicate pretty much what the name of the group stands for: a bunch of like-minded people in Sydney, surfing in all conditions on all kinds of craft. The catch — the design needed to be instantly understandable by surfers and non-surfers, locals and tourists alike.

I don't know if the idea of surfboard fins forming the Sydney Opera House has been used before, but I was pretty chuffed when I landed on it!

Friday, December 17, 2010

New Valla tee

Here's a new tee shirt design I recently did for Valla surfboards.

If you've looked at this blog before, the typography may seem a little familiar... I reckon when you're on a good thing, stick to it!

If you're near Nambucca this summer, swing past the factory and pick one (or a few) up. Can't wait to get mine.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Gruen Transfer

Sometimes my day job as a designer crosses into my world of scribbling. Recently I designed a book called The Gruen Transfer, written by the producer of the Australian TV series of the same name.

As part of the design, I created an illustration for each chapter opener, based on the content of that chapter. I didn't realise the size of the collection until the book was finished—I just drew them as needed.

They probably don't make a whole lot of sense out of context, so if you want to see the whole package, you'll have to go out and buy the book :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Locals

I was recently invited to take part in an exhibition with the theme "Bird" – which is a wonderful fit for me, as anyone who knows me will tell you. My contribution is called The Locals, and features some of the feathered friends I regularly see around my area. This is a bit of a departure for me – instead of drawing in pen, I stitched the lines with cotton thread. Definitely a labour of love! My sewing finger is still full of tiny holes.

It's a little hard to see the detail here... but if you want a closer look you can always buy one :)

The exhibition opens on November 12, at the aptly named Nest in Tumbarumba. Featuring the wonderful Katy Moore, Wendy Campbell, Jane Moore, myself and others.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I've really been neglecting this blog lately. But on the other hand, it must mean I've been busy doing other things! So here's a little drawing I did a while ago. Originally intended to adorn the bottom of a surfboard for the SurfAid charity auction (I ended up doing something else instead), so presently just adorning a page in my notebook.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Audio Riot

A bit of shameless cross-promotion. The Mandelas is a HOT new band featuring the dulcet tones of Joe Hall, complemented by Bill Abel on guitar, Trev Hancock on bass and some weird girl on drums...

This is the second EP we've recorded together, but the first one under this name. I had a great time designing the cover, in particular getting reacquainted with my old ink pot and brush. See and hear more of The Mandelas here.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Worthys

Way down near the bottom of this page is a portrait I did of Derek Hynd, for Surfing World's inaugural competition of all things portraiture – The Worthys.

After months of anticipation, the exhibition is finally on next Thursday at The Sugarmill surf emporium in Narrabeen. I'll be there for sure! For details visit the Surfing World blog.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Surfing Suits

It seems to me that the surfing fraternity is pretty evenly split down the middle – those who surf for work, and those who surf for play. And I don't just mean those who are paid and those who aren't, but the difference in attitudes – the surfers who get really competitive and take each session very seriously, and those who just go out and have a good time (I like to think I'm among the latter).

SurfAid is having its annual 'Surfing Suits' fundraising bash next week. They asked some artists to paint on surfboards which will be auctioned off at the event. I thought the whole idea of surfing equating to either work or play (or even both) fit their theme pretty well, so that's what I did (original pen drawings above, and evidence of their translation onto the board over several hours with poscas and paint below).

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Balancing Act

It's beautiful to see a whole family surfing — mum and dad alternating between catching waves and introducing their young ones to the joys of the ocean. I find it enough of a balancing act just making a section on a hollower day, let alone juggling small children and all the commitments they bring, with maintaining a surfing lifestyle. And although I'm not among their ranks yet, I'm looking forward to one day attempting that balancing act too.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Two by Two

Azza and I have been talking for a while about collaborating on a board (he shapes it, I adorn it). Well, we finally put two and two together, and a couple of weeks ago I was presented with a brand spanking blue tinted quad fish. Over a quiet Friday night and Saturday morning I created what you see here. I figure that with four fins, this fish may not be as all-terrain as a 4x4 but is certainly worthy of being labelled a 2x2. I hope Azza has as much fun riding this as I had painting it.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Foam Dancing

Recently I was invited to contribute some drawings to Kurungabaa, a journal on all things surf. This is what I came up with.

In the process of creating this sketch I realised that more and more, my drawings have become a sort of running commentary on my surfing. This one is no exception. I predominantly ride longboards, and one of the things I love about riding them is that it gives you the opportunity to move around on the board. Almost like dancing on the foam beneath your feet.

Recently I acquired a beautiful 6'6" Valla single fin. Taking it out reminds me of the feeling of first learning to surf, when everything is new, and the only foam you dance on is that of the broken wave. So this drawing is a celebration of both types of foam dancing.

Check out Kurungabaa online, or hold out until the printed edition is out. I for one am looking forward to reading my copy.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Assemblage #2

I was doing a spot of spring-cleaning on my computer and came cross this drawing. It's another assemblage of some of the words that are famously scrawled on our giant blackboard at home. It was really just a quick experiment in seeing what happens when you combine lots of different, sometimes clashing, typographic styles into the one drawing. And of course to indulge in a bit of type-nerdness.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Surfer Joe

A little bit of cross-promotion... Surfer Joe is a blog maintained by my lovely husband, who is aptly named Joe (although that's honestly not where the name of the blog came from). It features photos of 'Average Joe' surfers enjoying the ocean. I even feature a couple of times! I did a little logo for him, which I'm still not sure is really finished but it does the job.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ripple Riding

Joe and I have just returned home from a few days in Noosa. After the unusually large swells over the Festival of Surfing week, the ocean was obviously all swelled out... the biggest sets were pushing 1 foot. Still, we had plenty of fun swimming, walking, admiring sea turtles and koalas, and ripple riding in one of the most beautiful surf spots in Australia.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Shapes by Aaron Frost

Here are some decals I recently made for Azza Frost. Some you may see on one of his Sea Legged boards, and some you may never see anywhere outside of this blog... but they were all fun to draw just the same.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Loose Lips Sink Ships

... and so, it seems, does the government. If our local government has their way, as of next Saturday there will be a 4,000 tonne piece of rubbish (aka HMAS Adelaide) permanently stationed off Avoca Beach. Strangely the two groups of citizens who will be directly affected by this were never consulted. They are the residents of Avoca and nearby suburbs who were never formally made aware of the location (and only found out about it when it was seemingly too late to challenge), and the countless ocean residents for whom an Environmental Impact Statement was never conducted. Those of us with a voice should join the chorus in saying "No Ship!" Please, let Peter Garrett know how you feel by emailing him here, and stop the potential devastation of this beautiful, natural habitat.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

India: A typographer's paradise

Joe and I recently spent a couple of weeks in India. I did have a fairly involved report posted here for a while, but in the interests of keeping things concise I've edited it down to what you see now. If you'd like the full rundown on the trip feel free to email me! India is a typographer's paradise. So I decided to make my own souvenirs by recreating some of what I saw there. The top sketch is a homage to crazy Mumbai, where this slogan featured heavily on most vehicles. If you saw the traffic there you'd understand why. The lower sketch tries to capture some of the beautiful hand-painted tiles that adorned buildings in Panjim, which being a fairly religious place also heavily featured references to God, such as buses named Jesus, and Praise the Lord stickers randomly about the place. In a nutshell I'm so stoked we made the trip there, and if you love hand-drawn type as much as I do, it is well worth the visit.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


The assertion in my previous post that it’s always better in than it looks was tested today, with a tiny, wind-blown peak the only option available. But we still had fun, especially Azza, who was riding his new log that he shaped himself. So in honour of the Log, and of going out and having fun in all conditions, are these little typographic ditties (typefaces inspired by reading through the book Design Connoisseur by Steven Heller and Louise Fili, a great resource for any professed ‘typophile’).

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Where there’s a will...

This little (albeit fairly illegible) drawing is a homage to my husband Joe, who always tells me that when checking the surf I should remember “it’s always better in than it looks”. He is usually right, and as a result we have enjoyed numerous waves on what would appear to be less-than-ideal days, with nobody else about. When it comes to surfing, the most valuable lesson I’ve learned so far is that “where there’s a will, there’s a wave.”

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Type Assemblage #1

Recently I've been experimenting with typographic assemblages based on surfing nomenclature. Visitors to our house often wonder what the meaning of our giant blackboard, covered in surf terminology is. Well, this is it! This particular assemblage was created with a classic twin-keel fish in mind. I've got a few of these up my sleeve, which I will continue posting from time to time. So stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Valla 40th anniversary tees

I recently designed a couple of tees for Paul and Sage Joske at Valla (saltwater constructs) for their 40th anniversary. Paul has been shaping boards since 1970, and is a master craftsman. His boards are as much works of art or instant family heirlooms as they are surfing equipment (and they're exceptional examples of surfing equipment). Sage is now carrying on the tradition. All I can say is one day my kids will have a pretty impressive collection of heirlooms!

From what I gather the tees have been really well received by their customers, and I know I feel pretty special wearing mine around town.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Derek Hynd & The Worthys

Recently Surfing World (that tasteful and prestigious Australian surf publishing institution) ran a portrait competition to honour surfing's outstanding individuals. I entered this portrait of Derek Hynd, which, lucky me, is featured in Surfing World's 300th edition, and is also going to be part of the upcoming Worthys exhibition (check for details).

Derek is such a cerebral surfer – to watch him surf is almost like witnessing a stream of consciousness played out on the face of a wave. Or something. And his pioneering of the new "finless revolution", not to mention collaborating on out-of-the-box surf projects with such top Aussie blokes as Richard Tognetti, made him an obvious choice. If he ever sees this, I hope he likes it.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Numero Uno

As this is my first ever post to my first ever blog, I felt it should be something profound...

But I got nothing.

So instead, here's a little drawing I did for my friend Aaron Frost who shapes boards under the monicker Sea Legged. It's the result of a particularly slow day whilst on holidays up north, and came as a welcome break from yet another game of scrabble (although I still love scrabble).