Friday, July 29, 2011

Who Is Art: Honey Cup

Melbourne web designer, Simone, recently made the jump into creating her own illustrated product line, Honey Cup, which is whimsical, sweet and just a bit childish, in the best possible way. Read on to find out more about Simone and Honey Cup.
First I have to ask where you got the name Honeycup for your new product line? It seems to fit it perfectly, even though I don’t know the back story. 

Hmmm, well I wish I could give this amazing story about how I searched high and low for the name, but to be honest… it was as simple as, I needed a username on Etsy and so I quickly looked at some objects on my table which consisted of honey and a cup and joined them together.

Actually though, I think I have a natural talent with names. I always get asked how I come up with names. Granted, Honey Cup isn't particularly ingenious, but I always seem to choose the right name for the right moment. So I guess I am lucky with names!

I really love the name 'Honey Cup' and think it suits my illustrations perfectly. I also love my real name, Simone :) I just scored honeycup australian web domain the other day, that was lucky too!

You recently decided to put all your creative skills to (very good) use through your sweet illustrations. What prompted you to finally branch out into something that was fully yours?

Umm desperation…ha ha! I am a freelance web designer by trade, but to be honest I am not very good at designing for others. I hate people looking over my shoulder and telling me what and how to design. I'd worked in a few advertising agencies and they were just too cut-throat for me. I am much better being in control of my own work, so basically I had to find what works for me, so I can survive this world!

But to be honest the 'Honey Cup' illustrations were not my main focus to begin with, when I first went on this personal artistic journey. I actually did them just as a bit of fun and didn't take it seriously at all. 

My main focus was (curated gallery) and my messenger bag label, called Nomuu. But I began to notice that I was really struggling with the bags, in terms of people being interested. And yet in the background, people were blogging about my illustrations. 

At first I was like, "No this is not how it's meant to go, my bags are meant to be the main focus!!!, but then I was like "You know what, this is how it's meant to go - ha ha". The universe was certainly telling me something, thank goodness I payed attention. Illustrating Honey Cup characters suits me so much more.
Who are the little creatures you draw? Do they all have little stories that you dream up as you work to bring them to life?

I wish I could say that I spend hours thinking up whimsical stories about these characters (just like Beatrix Potter), but I don't. I wish I did, that would be lovely. 

Instead, I literally sketch out the characters, leave a whole pile of sketches in a drawer for a few months and then decided to colour them in a few months later, when I was feeling stressed and just needed to not think of anything. It's kind of like meditation for me. All the noise from the outside world switches off and I am just concentrating on bringing the illustrations to life. I do at times feel the colouring and texturing part takes a life it's own. I don't feel like I am completely in control of it. 

I always envisage the scene to look like X, but it never turns out that way.
I love the Bird Bunny Creature illustration. I may be looking too far into it, but it almost feels as if the underlying sentiment is that we are being called back to the earth a bit, to get back in touch with nature and simplicity. But this could just be because that is how I am feeling at the moment. Do you have a message you hope to convey through your work?

Yes! At first I read your sentence, and I was like, "Na, there's nothing deep going on", but actually you nailed it. I am all about getting back to simplicity and nature. I'm all about observing the simple things in life that we tend to not pay attention to and being grateful for them. But I am not sure if my illustrations articulate that message exactly. I do hope they make people smile and feel happy...even if it's just for a fleeting moment.

I have not yet had the opportunity to visit Australia, although it is high on my list of dream spots to explore. Do you feel that living in Australia has influenced your work? Would you be drawing the same creatures if you had been born and raised anywhere else on earth?

Hard to say. I live in Melbourne Australia. It's a very artsy city. Our state is well known for it's arts and culture and so I would say, yes it has had some influence over me. 

But for the most part I think creativeness was in my genes. My mother is quite a good painter and my father sings (operatic) and worked for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra when I was a child. So I was surrounded by amazing musicians and creatives as a child. That was a really magical time for me to be honest. Such fond memories. Imagine a child surrounded by orchestral music every week. Pretty cool for a kid!

However, just the other day I was thinking that it was actually my father that may have influenced me with my illustrations. I remember when I was bored as a child, or even when my father was bored, he would sketch out really quick quirky characters and then I would copy him. I've been meaning to ask him to draw me some!
Anything else you would like to share about yourself, your life or your work?

Well, maybe some personal insight for those that are trying to find their own creative path.
It ain't been all smooth sailing for me! I've tried lots of things to get to this point, it's been quite a journey. It's been quite a fascinating journey to see it unfold. If you told me five years ago, even six moths ago, that I would be illustrating cute little characters, I would have laughed. I couldn't see at the time that the simplest and most innocent thing suit me best. I was trying to do "big things". However, I'm learning now that, smaller, simpler things suit me much more. I still at times try to think "big", but then I have to rein in my thoughts.

I would also say, try lots of things, make mistakes, try again and never give-up. See everything as a journey, one that you can learn from.

The next thing I need to tackle is really believing in myself and my work! I am not quite there yet!

You can keep up with Simone and all of her pursuits at the links below. Does your work have a story to tell? Contact Brianne here with interest in becoming a featured artist.

My blog:

Much (Petal) Love,

PetalPetal and VintageChild:Modern


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