An interview with Georgia Perry
Wednesday December 11, 2013·
Georgia Perry, aka GPez, is a freelance illustrator and graphic designer. She's a true-blue, one-of-a-kind, real-deal original, spreading colour and good vibes to everything she turns her hand/cursor to. Our friends at Two Thousand were pretty smitten with the top-notch postcard club she started, sprucing up letterboxes with postcards featuring one-off designs and hand-written messages. If you were up in Sydney in 2012 you may have seen her work for Sydney Film Festival on the back of every taxi, or her Nina Las Vegas t-shirts gettin' sweaty in da club. She's also put her stamp on a pop collage for Rhys Muldoon, a site-specific faceted archway for Craft Victoria – and up at Two Thousand's Garage Sale Trail in October she created a sweet neighbourhood within Surry Hills' Paramount House for city dwellers without a front yard or garage to call their own.
You know the kid in school with the coolest pencil case full of the best textas, stickers and glitter? Well, she grew up, and now has what feels like a walk-in wardrobe-sized equivalent of that pencil case. Georgia kindly let us snoop around her work-from-home situation (the results of which you can see in our very colourful gallery above) and answered our nosy questions.
How would you describe your unique design/illustration style?
Simple, colourful, fun, always growing.
To me there's something so sunny and inviting about your work. Can you talk a little bit about how you approach things?
I don't like my work (or life) to be too serious. There's too much of that stuff going on in the world already. My work is how I express myself, and doing it makes me happy – I think that inevitably comes through in the end product also.
I really loved the postcard club you did! Such a nice idea. What sparked that and how was the response?
I started the Postcard Club after I first went freelance full time (at the start of 2013). I wanted a project that had a clear, monthly routine in the hope it would give me something to do! Little did I know how busy this year would get, and now sometimes hand-writing messages in 100+ postcards each month can be a bit of a nightmare! It's been so much fun though, and the response was awesome.
Did you gain any lifelong pen pals out of it?
Hmm not quite – the relationship is mostly pretty one-sided! But I was so touched by people signing up their friends or kids – they must have thought it pretty weird when a postcard from this random stranger started turning up each month. I have received lots of lovely handmade cards and letters back from some of the younger participants though, which is super cute.
In a bunch of different fields – your own included – I feel like there's a move away from things feeling super slick, mass-produced and 'designy' and more towards things that feel real and hand-cut/drawn/made. Where do you think that's come from?
While most of my work ends up being scanned into the computer / digitised in some way, keeping that rough, kinda cut-out vibe is a big part of what I'm about. My personal aesthetic originally grew from not really having amazing software skills! But now I just don't like things to look overworked in any way. Technology has made it easy for anyone to grab a copy of Photoshop or Illustrator or whatever and call themselves a “designer” but obviously there's a lot more to it than that. I think it's the little nuances and mistakes that make my work fun and… me.
My sister used to worry that the world would run out of original songs. Do you worry about that, but about typography (or anything)?
I don't think so. There are new, creative people being born everyday, and there are an infinite number of ways to interpret an idea or image.
How do you keep things fresh?
Taking breaks, walks in the park, going to the museum, holidays – getting away from work and the internet mainly. I work from home at the moment, and I've realised it's very easy to feel stale or stuck on a job when there's less stimulation around. I'm someone who thrives on the people and the world around me, so sometimes it's important to take a step back and just take it all in again.
What are you obsessed with right now?
Posca pens, ink, fluoro dot stickers, kids books from the '60s, making patterns, classical music, cheese, pickles.
What project have you had the most fun working on?
Probably the life-size rhinoceros I just finished working on for Taronga Zoo – it took four times longer than I anticipated but he looks pretty unreal!