Whimsy and Woe

‘Whimsy and Woe’, written by Kate McRitchie and published by Harper Collins Australia has bee an interesting project to work on – especially when, because the artwork was going so well, it was decided that hard cover (yes!) was the only way to go. Which sounded great, until I was told it was going to cut into my production time by about a month. So a two month deadline turned into a one month deadline – for 50 detailed pen and ink illustrations! (I decided to go “old school” this time – it was great to get back to the tactility of pen and ink, but with the best of both worlds. Spilt ink bottles (truth!) wearing out pen nibs, but also the ability to scan and make last minute changes if need be. Also good news: this title has turned into a two volume set, so look out for more adventures next year!

Release date: 21 August, 2017

So exciting to receive my box of beautiful hardcover books! Whimsy & Woe by Rebecca McRitchie, out soon from Harper Collins Australia.

Whimsy and Woe

Future Melbourne

Last year I was asked to imagine what ‘Future Melbourne’ might look like for ‘The Melbourne Awards’ (run by the City of Melbourne). I came up with a day-glo mix of the past, present and future, interweaving nature and the built environment with the bonus of being lead into the labyrinth by Vali Myers and her fox. Here’s hoping the ghosts of Melbourne never fade…

Future Melbourne

Intersectionality through the eyes of the ‘west’

Hot off the pixel-press! (literally finished this at 2AM this morning :0) Honored to be part of a series of illustrated articles published as part of the ‘All About Women’ festival taking place at the Sydney Opera House​ : https://medium.com/all-about-women/is-intersectionality-enough-if-the-only-intersections-we-see-are-those-that-affect-women-in-the-6a319534681f#.yol358zej

Intersectionality through the eyes of the ‘west’

Illustrators Australia Awards

The latest ‘Illustrators Australia Awards’ have just been announced, and happy to say that my two entries scored a mention – firstly, my cover for Carole Wilkinson’s ‘Shadow Sister’ (Published by Black Dog / Walker Books) received a ‘Silver’ Commendation in the Books / Single category.

Shadow Sister
Shadow Sister

My other entry unfortunately is under embargo until October 31, 2015 – even though the artwork has been in the pipeline for 18 months or so! Happy to announce that I was commissioned to provide the artwork for Australia Post’s 2015 ‘Traditional Christmas’ stamps, which received a ‘Highly Commended’ in the Institutional / Series category. Can’t wait to show you the artwork , but until then, all I can show is this:


Many thanks to the judges Anita Kunz, Tim Claeys, Lisa Berryman, Bil Donovan and Peter Viska – The rest of the results can be viewed here.

Illustrators Australia Awards

Risographica! 3

My work will be featuring in an upcoming group show at Lamington Drive in Collingwood next week (for those of you who don’t know, Lamington Drive is the gallery of everyone’s favourite Illustration Agency ‘Jacky Winter Group’). Every few years they invite artists to create artwork for a ‘Risograph’ – which is a kind of a newfangled / oldfangled copy machine with limited but seemingly crazy colours.

For this show, everyone was limited to two colours. To give you some idea about how these prints are made, here is the artwork I supplied:


The picture on the left will be printed in fluoro pink, whilst the image on the left is destined to be yellow. All in all, you never know quite what to expect – how the colours will mix when overprinted, and indeed if the paper itself will  line up properly… happy to say I don’t think it turned out too badly:


This group exhibition will see ’28 of Jacky Winter’s finest’ explore the medium of the A3 2-colour Risograph. All works will be sold in limited editions of 10 for $50.00 each, with all profits during the exhibition going to Oxfam’s International Crisis Fund – supporting the response to humanitarian crises worldwide, by helping those most in need when a natural or a man-made emergency occurs.

Opening night is Wednesday October 14, 6-9pm.
The exhibition runs October 15 – November 7, 2015.

Lamington Drive – 101a Sackville Street Collingwood

Artists include:

Andrea Innocent, Beci Orpin, Bobby Haiqalsyah, Craig & Karl, Eamon Donnelly, Eirian Chapman, Emma Leonard, Gemma O’Brien, Georgia Perry, Guy Shield, He She It They I, James Gulliver Hancock, Karl Kwasny, Kat Chadwick, Kate Banazi, Lachlan Conn, Lilly Piri, Madeleine Stamer, Mel Matthews, Mel Stringer, Neryl Walker, Oslo Davis, Ross Murray, Sean Morris, Sonia Kretschmar, Sophie Blackhall-Cain, Timba Smits, Travis Price


Risographica! 3

Look at those Big Eyes!


It was a bit strange to walk into the local newsagent this morning to see a pile of papers with my illustration splashed across the cover! I would love to thank Lindy Percival at the Age / Fairfax for trying something a bit different in conjunction with the Australian release of Tim Burton’s ‘Big Eyes’. In keeping with the ‘Keane theme’, it also has been the first time in a long time that I have used no Photoshop for a published artwork… and I also got a bit of editorial coverage as well 🙂

Can’t wait to see the film…

Tim Burton Big Eyes cover for Saturday Age Spectrum

Look at those Big Eyes!

‘Pip’ Permaculture Magazine


The latest issue of Australian Permaculture Magazine ‘Pip’ is about to wend its way to the eager hands of readers and I’m happy to say I had fun investigating funghi for the cover. In the end we settled for ‘Agaricus Bitorquis’ – a mushroom that resembles a field mushroom but with lovely pink colouring underneath. Pip comes out twice a year.

Find out more at: http://www.pipmagazine.com.au/

‘Pip’ Permaculture Magazine

Chrissie in Brissie


Merry Christmas Brisbane! Hopefully I’ve added Christmas cheer to your streets this year, after being invited to participate in Brisbane City’s ‘Wonder of Christmas’ campaign. It’s great to see the various applications of the work – I’m almost tempted to get on a plane and come and see it for myself 🙂






Chrissie in Brissie

Supergraph Melbourne 2015


Supergraph is on its way to Melbourne again in 2015, gracing the hallowed halls of the Royal Exhibition Building on February 13, 14 + 15. As part of my involvement with Illustrators Australia (who will be holding a stall there) I’ll be joining in by offering an exclusive A4 print for sale. Inspired by a recent trip to Tokyo (my second time this year!) I’ve answered the theme of ‘Natural Selection’ by depicting my visit to ‘Fukoro no Mise’ an Owl Cafe near Tsukishima Station. Touching on themes of misplaced nature, novelty, and the never ending quest for memorable content for one’s next blog post.

Supergraph Melbourne 2015

New Home Accessories

Entering the brave new world of ‘Print on Demand’ apparel, I was pleased to see that Redbubble, purveyors of print, now offer what the Europeans refer to as ‘Duvet’ covers, but for reasons of local colloquialism I shall stick to calling it a humble “Doona”. And they’re huge! Here it is in a most impressive ‘King Size’ version:


I’ve entitled this piece “Sid Wiggy dreams in Technicolor”, revisiting an old favourite theme. I had played around with this idea and colours for quite a while – so it’s good to finally have an outlet  to bring it out to the big wide world. For the curious, Sid Wiggy is the name of a much loved sloth at Avarios del Caribe, the Sloth rescue centre in Costa Rica at which I had the privilege of volunteering back in 2010. Sid Wiggy was one of the more famous Bradypus sloths, known for his ‘Beatle-esque’ hairdo. So I can only imagine that when he dreams, he dreams in hot pink.

But for those uncertain of succumbing to dreams inhabited by our two and three fingered friends, I’ve also uploaded a range of cushions and tote bags as well. Here’s, hopefully, to the beginning of many new large-scale designs 🙂

Doona covers can be found here


This design can be found here – also available as a tote bag and a myriad of other things…


This design can be found here

sloth-phone cover

And this design, again also available as cushions and bags, is available here 🙂

New Home Accessories

Gromit Unleashed – Hong Kong

Joining the ranks of Sir Quentin Blake, Sir PeterBlake, Sir Paul Smith and Joanna Lumley (!) I too have designed a Gromit.

‘Gromit Unleashed’ was a charity venture launched last year in Bristol, UK, in which dozens of oversized Gromit sculptures (from the Aardman Animation series ‘Wallace and Gromit’, natch). Last week the latest installation was launched in Hong Kong, featuring the work of local and international artists. Unfortunately I didn’t get to paint the Gromit myself, but as you can see from the photos they did a pretty good job.

My design is based on my idiosyncratic take on a Chinese dragon – I’ve long been fascinated with the idea that many buildings in Hong Kong have been designed to accommodate  the needs of dragons, so it was a natural choice. The Sculptures will eventually be auctioned off for the benefit of ‘Art in Hospital’, an NGO which helps sick children in Hong Kong.





Gromit Unleashed – Hong Kong

New IA App Available

IA App postcard


Edited March 7, 2014

As some of you may know, I do a bit of volunteering on the committee for Illustrators Australia. Some great initiatives are taking place, one of which is the new ‘IA Pocket’ App, which is now available for download in the App Store, for iPhone and iPad (sorry, no Android, we’re serious here ;)). The app was launched  at the last 9×5 exhibition which happened at the Abbotsford Convent in October.

Hope you kept an eye out for our Avant Card postcard campaign, which features illustrations from Nigel Buchanan, Christopher Nielsen, Andrea Innocent, and myself (my one is above – couldn’t let such a byline pass without at least a passing mention of Mae West :))

Monsieur le Roi


Introducing Monsieur le Roi – a painted French Bulldog who will feature in a “celebrity” auction in October in aid of  “Dress for Success”, a non profit organisation set up to help women get back on track. These wonderful sculptures were sent out to a variety of artists who were asked to transform them into a French theme – so I went with a Louis XIV theme (and yes, he is meant to look slightly inbred and anaemic). Above is a “Before and After” shot. The Auction will be at Smart Artz in South Melbourne on October 23, with the lovely doggies open for bids two weeks beforehand. Will keep you up to date!

Pureheart – Almost here!




Completed this a while back, so I’m happy to say Cassandra Golds’ next book – Pureheart – is due for imminent release! It’s quite an intriguing, multi layered story, which I hope comes across in the artwork. Thanks again to Marina at Penguin for getting me back on board 🙂 More info here.

Portrait of Anna Walker – Archibald Prize 2013

Basement Bird - portrait of Anna Walker

After taking a break from entering last year, I’ve created a painting for this year’s Archibald Prize – A portrait of Illustrator / Author Anna Walker. Happily we’ve known each other for years, so I was very happy when she agreed to sit for me. I’ve had this image floating around in my head for over a year now, so it was good to actually have the chance to realise it. And it got me into a bit of costume design / creation as well – I made the lush ‘Red Riding Hood’ cape and managed to persuade poor Anna to wear it one sweltering day last December. After sketching and gathering reference. I got started on the actual painting in January and put the final coat of varnish on the first day of March.The actual size is about 2 metres x 1.1 metres, so again it was great to give myself the opportunity to work so large, though I did wonder half way through if I would actually get to finish it in time.
Continue reading “Portrait of Anna Walker – Archibald Prize 2013”

Anna Pav

Anna Pavlova by Sonia Kretschmar


Reader’s Digest Australia has a great issue out at the moment featuring ’90 Years of Reader’s Digest Stories’. Better still, they’re ALL illustrated! I was chosen to do an image for a story on Anna Pavlova, the famous Ballerina… the story was a personal account of the unexpected sides of her personality (and I was quite taken by the idea that she toured Australia with a travelling menagerie of birds). The other illustrators featured in the issue can be seen here: http://jackywinter.com/peter-peter/post/reader-s-digest-classic-reads/

Carnivale – 2012 IA 9×5

Sonia Kretschmar 9x5 2012


It’s that time of year again – the Illustrators Australia annual 9×5 show (now in its 17th year). Running a bit late, but have managed to get my piece done. This year the theme is ‘Carnivale’. I remember watching some afternoon National Geographic documentary years ago which mentioned the revelation of the origins of the word as “Farewell to Meat”, which struck a chord as it runs contrary to most of what I thought Carnivals stood for. So I went for the ol’ changing roles motif and gave Miss Piggy a chance to shine. The medium is acrylic and varnish on wood, and is titled “Viva Carne”.

The exhibition opens 6pm on Friday November 6, 2012 at Space 39, 39 Little Collins Street Melbourne. There will be a silent auction on the night, with all work available at a reserve of $195. The exhibition is also open on Saturday the 10th and Sunday the 11th, along with an inaugural “Illustrators Market” with artist made gifts and prints available (yes – I’m to have a stall selling prints, pendants and other delights).

Dragon Keeper Series


Here is a sneak preview for the reissued editions of Carole Wilkinson’s Dragonkeeper series which will be out in May. It was an interesting project to work on, as I don’t really see myself as a “fantasy” artist – it was great to work on something that is quite foreign to me – and I think this will probably help find an even broader audience of those who don’t regard themselves as “fantasy” readers. The books, the first of which was originally published in 2003, have been a global success for Carole. I was asked to help redesign the covers late last year, after Walker Books acquired Black Dog Books (the original publisher).