Collaborating with Georgia Dawson
Welcome to another ‘Collaborating With…’ interview on this fine (gloomy) Friday!
This collaboration has been kept under wraps – not because it was top secret or anything, but because Georgia and I have been busy lil bees and simply haven’t plastered it all over socials – yet.
It’s my pleasure to introduce you to Georgia Dawson, an up and coming mega talented graphic design student and illustrator. Georgia reached out as part of our collaboration call out a few months ago, and I’m so pleased she did. With a dash of art direction (e.g. a sporadic list of ideas) from me, she’s designed a beautiful and clever gif of my favourite beverage: tea!
Read on to learn more about Georgia, a peek into her creative brain, and why she’s one to watch in the design world.
Who’s That Girl?
Firstly, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am currently studying Graphic Design in my final year (!!) at university! I’m a lover of all things creative – I love love love painting and drawing, illustration, photography and fashion! I also have a slight addiction to indoor plants – my room is slowly turning into a jungle. But what’s not to love about them, right?? Their leaves are so beautiful! I enjoy adventures and travelling, and currently have major FOMO from seeing everyone’s posts about holidaying in Europe – I went this time last year for a holiday and to study advanced graphic design in Italy!
How is 2019 going for you?
2019 has honestly been a blur – starting my final year of university with some hectic and challenging assessments, to taking on some really cool freelance work! I also began making a side income doing what I love (art) – I opened up spots for painted pet commissions! Of course it’s definitely had its ups and downs and anxieties and stresses, but overall 2019 has taught me so much and helped me evolve into my best self!
What’s it like living in Brisbane?
Although not as big of a creative hub as Sydney or Melbourne are, Brisbane definitely has its own creative scene. Its definitely a lovely spot, and my uni is in the heart of the city area with lots of explore. The weather though – can be a bit crazy! The city is always a few degrees lower (and it’s definitely windier) than everywhere else which is fun when you forget a jacket!
What is home to you?
Home to me doesn’t necessarily mean a house. Home to me is wherever I am the most comfortable in my surroundings and where I feel the safest, a place where I can be my most vulnerable self. Home is where I can express myself freely without judgement and with ease. In that sense, home to me is with my friends, my partner and with people I love, and who love me.
What was the path that led you to becoming a digital illustrator?
I’ve always been a creative person, but never really thought to take it seriously – arts was one of those things I understood not to be a real job (from society). I made the split decision in year 12 to focus on my passion for creative expression instead of going down the science route when selecting my university preferences. Originally I was going to do a course in fine arts, but switched to graphic design to dabble in that area. It’s been the best decision I’ve ever made! Through my course I’ve been able to explore many areas of graphic design and find out what I enjoy the most – which is illustration and publication.
Is it your full time gig, side hustle, or a hobby that you’re ridiculously good at?
Illustration and fine art work is currently my side hustle, as I mentioned above I have begun to take pet portrait commissions. I have done freelance graphic design and publication work as well, and I have even designed a few tattoos, which is really cool! The biggest goal for me is to one day be able to sustain myself by being a full time freelance illustrator and artist – with my own shop selling prints, stickers and other things as well as working on cool creative freelance projects with companies.
What made you decide to collaborate with Rust?
A mutual friend commented on your post and I thought – what better way to get myself out there than with a cool and fun creative collaboration? I wanted to make some cool content (that can also be a fun piece for a portfolio) whilst sharing my story and my journey.
Can you walk us through the collaboration – what was involved, what role you played (aside from being a total creative genius), etc?
I sent Rust a message about the collaboration and received a pretty immediate response! We talked about my range of work – different styles etc, and a theme was put forward with a few starting ideas for me to explore and brainstorm from!
What was your process for designing the piece?
I began by reviewing the guidelines discussed, and began exploring the suggested topics. As a gif was suggested for the outcome, most of this process was done digitally. Using photoshop, I began drawing up some sketches. These were refined, and as I was creating a frame animation, a new layer was created for each of the steps in the gif. They were placed in sequence and a timeline was created with each layer a new frame – this was exported and sent across for some feedback!
How did you find collaborating on an artwork compared to doing it solo?
It was fun! I’ve done a few other collaborative works and each time it is different – different creatives have different ideas on what collaboration is. But with Rust it was easy and straight-forward, and they understood my busy uni schedule which made it less stressful for me – I could complete it in my own time!
Do you have any advice for those wanting to get started in digital illustration?
It can seem daunting because materials can be expensive, but even when you’re first starting you can start with traditional pen and paper. There are plenty of free and great quality digital programs that can be used, and you don’t need the fanciest tablet! And I know it’s said a lot, but practice really really helps with familiarity and will make you so much more comfortable!
What’s something that people don’t see/realise that you do (the nitty gritty, behind the scenes stuff)?
I guess just how much planning, time, and effort goes into the things I do. Especially with publication work and having a background in graphic design, so much planning and nitty gritty stuff goes into the work you see as the final product. I’m not just laying out content that is given to me; I’m creating graphics, choosing fonts that will be eye catching but also easy to read – there is so much typographic theory that goes into the decisions made.
With more illustrative work, I guess it’s also how much effort goes into things, but more focused on art supplies and buying essential things to make the whole process professional and successful. Everything costs something, and I think it can be easy to forget about those behind the scenes costs: paper, ink for printing, new supplies, shipping supplies, business cards, labels, etc.
And of course: what inspires you?
SO MUCH! Instagram and Pinterest are huge forms of inspiration for me – in my art I am especially drawn to the weird, the quirky, the mysterious, the fashionable, the dreamy and the strange! Instagram artists like @likrotable, @peomichie, @feefal, @nogobed, @sloppjockey_ert etc give me so much inspiration from their combinations of soft and dreamy to dystopian and concepts that are a bit stranger!
Everyday though, I am inspired by nature and those around me to be my most authentic self, and be the most caring, empathetic and genuine person I can be.
How do you take your tea (or coffee)?
I don’t drink too much tea or coffee, but I do love a good mocha or coffee caramel frappe!
Fave coffee shops/cafes at home
There is a local café called Preeces – they have the most amazing range of cheesecakes that are TO DIE FOR.
Go to outfit
Some kind of funky patterned pants (mum jean or baggy fit), a graphic tee or artist merch tee, my grommet belt and a belt chain, some funky earrings, bright socks and my platform docs!
I have a few! Realising I’ve grown so much mentally from my darkest times, holding a physical copy of the first freelance publication magazine I designed, successfully selling stickers fully created, printed and produced by me, and beginning to get myself into the creative world by opening pet commissions (seeing people want to commission me for work).
Spending it creatively probably with my partner who is also a creative – most likely at Preeces with some cheesecake, or at home where I can spread out all my paint supplies and listen to some vinyls, a podcast or watch a movie. We would most likely cook some tasty food at some point too!
I absolutely love the Jenna and Julien podcast – they are both just unashamedly themselves and its refreshing to see that. Also they are just so funny.
Ultimate travel destination
Switzerland or I’d love to go to Canada or the Scandinavia region.
We hope you’re loving this interview series as much as we are! We are curious in nature, and very much enjoy learning the ins and outs of business and start up stories from other female entrepreneurs.
If you have another wonderful lady in mind that you’d like us to interview, drop a comment below or straight to email@example.com
Until the next brew,
Rust Creative helps women in their twenties fast-track finding their purpose. Through 1:1 coaching, group programs and specialised resources, we offer women clarity and direction so that they can ENJOY the most exciting decade of their lives. And tea, always tea.
The Rust Woman
AKA Our Ideal Client.
She's a savvy twenty-something looking for a safe space to he heard and supported. She's confident that she can achieve her goals, but she doesn't know how she'll get there – yet. She KNOWS she has a purpose but needs a helping hand to uncover it.