Creative Layover: Melbourne
G’day mate and welcome to Melbourne, where the weather is erratic and the coffee is delicious! There’s so much to do in Australia’s cultural capital, from dancing at a North Melbourne music venue to cheering in the crowd at an AFL Footy game. This trip, you’ve got just enough time to join us on our slightly atypical tour of the city: a journey through Melbourne’s thriving art scene. We’re highlighting a photographer, a photo manipulator, and an illustrator, all from this fair Australian city for our latest installment of Creative Layover!
Amongst the hidden laneways and sprawling trams lies a population teeming with creativity. People from all walks of life flock to Australia’s cultural center, bringing with them every art imaginable. From cuisine to comedy, dance to architecture, literature to sports, Melburnians welcome it all. Follow along as we introduce three artists who gather influence from a diverse range of muses, making their work quite unique yet quintessentially Melburnian.
Photographer — Wayne Quilliam
Adjunct Professor Wayne Quilliam is an Indigenous Australian and Melbourne-based photographer. As one of the country’s leading Indigenous artists, curators, and cultural advisers, Wayne has spent more than 30 years working with Indigenous groups not only at home but around the globe. Wayne captures the spirit, stories, and culture of his subjects through his lens. For Wayne, photography is an art as much as it is a way to document important traditions and advocate for Indigenous issues.
Wayne’s tips, tricks, and parting words of advice:
On saving time in Lightroom: “I shoot on Nikon, Sony, and Panasonic. Due to color variations from each of the cameras, my photographs often require different edit adjustments to match. Using Lightroom’s camera defaults, I can automatically assign settings to any files from a particular camera type by holding the Alt/Option Key revealing the icon in the bottom right corner of the Lightroom Develop Module, saving me a great deal of time.”
On standing behind your story: “With a career spanning 30 years as a professional photographer, it has been quite difficult to convince the public that one can be a successful creative artist while being an Aboriginal creator and storyteller. For me, standing behind these Indigenous stories has made my art stronger. Every single piece has a story with a strong connection to land and culture. My influence comes from the people I engage with and their land I walk on.”
Photo Manipulator — Colin Anderson
Colin Anderson moved to Australia from Canada as a child. His path led him to an advertising and design agency where he worked as a Creative Director before leaving to pursue a career as a photographer. With his global approach to the creation of imagery, Colin now has clients from all over the world, though he still calls Australia home.
Colin’s tips, tricks, and parting words of advice:
On working on large, complex composites: “It’s not unusual for my layer count to start getting into double and even triple digits, so naming layers and folders is always a good workflow practice to follow. An extra practice I utilize is the ability to color label layers and folders. For example, if I have fire elements I would label that layer/folder red. For fog, mist, or light shafts, I label yellow. People or groups of people I label as grey. Water, splashes, mist, and rain I label blue. Trees, grass, leaves are green, etc. Once this is all in order, I can scroll down my layers and quickly locate these elements at a simple glance just by the colors.”
On noticing the little details: “Creating environments (often from scratch) requires great attention to detail. In everyday life, take in your surroundings and observe little things, like how shadows fall, how light travels through different objects, how light bounces when reflected off different surfaces, etc. Use this when creating your composites. It’s all these little details that make the difference.”
Illustrator — Lilian Darmono
As an illustrator and Art Director with a background in animation and graphic design, Lilian Darmono calls upon her broad cultural exposure to create her character worlds. This globe-trotting artist, who has Indonesia, Singapore, and the United Kingdom stamped into her passport, brings plenty of multicultural knowledge to her work. Every character she draws is inspired by a real-life person with whom she has crossed paths throughout her extensive travels. Starting with pencil sketches, Lilian finishes her work digitally, sometimes incorporating traditional media elements such as ink and watercolor.
Lilian’s tips, tricks, and parting words of advice:
On saving time in Illustrator: “The Corner Widget tool is a brilliant, time-saving device to help you make perfectly rounded corners.”
On cultivating a career as an artist: “Pace yourself — it’s a lifelong game. It’s all about the craft and trying to improve every single day. If you let today’s ‘Good’ be tomorrow’s ‘Mediocre’, then you know you’re doing what you really need to do.”
Thanks for taking this trek through Melbourne with us — we reckon it was a bloody ripper! For more from these artists, check out their social channels below: