Photography by Bri Hammond
A peep at a day in the life of Melbourne based illustrator, graphic and textile designer, Alice Oehr. From her meandering morning bike ride to a love for cooking, Alice shares a typical day balancing creative work with life and all its surprises.
This year has been probably the most "routined" of my life – having a few days of a "real job" has forced me to get my entire life in order.
Most mornings I get up and exercise. I rebelled against this practise for years, but with slowly-increasing maturity, and a large portion of the day spent sitting down, it just makes me feel better.
I go for a run around the river with my sister or we go to the gym. We normally do this at six in the morning and later in the day it feels like a distant dream. I have almost come to enjoy this practise – particularly given our pretty neighbourhood, and a feeling of being on top of the day right from the beginning!
After a shower I feed the cat and escort him into the garden to water the plants.
No matter how long I have in the morning, I always like having a sit-down breakfast. I have a life-long obsession with cereal and dairy products, so breakfast is something I get excited about every day.
My sister Lucy and I have nailed the perfect muesli, which we have started making ourselves, so normally I have this. As soon as the temperature drops below 15 degrees it's all about porridge. I make a pot of coffee on the stove and always flick through something as I drink it.
A couple of days a week I go to my job at Arro Home. I start early there so my morning routine is streamlined and I'm there until about six. On my lunch break I either go to Tivoli Road Bakery (we are devotees to this cafe) or just walk around the block. During the day I work on all aspects of running a homewares label – design, production, marketing, sales- it's extremely varied but this keeps it interesting.
If it is a studio day, I leave the house on my bike at eight-thirty so I'll be there at nine. My ride Northside is one of my favourite parts of the day. I vary my route but my preference is one that goes around Edinburgh gardens and through North Carlton. I always clock a few regular cats along the way. Sometimes I stop for a coffee and to have a peaceful read through the paper or write in my notebook en route – I love doing this but I can get stuck there for hours if I'm not careful. Often I buy some bread for lunch too.
I share a studio with Beci Orpin and the Taco Truck/Beatbox Kitchen/All Day Donuts crew so there are always heaps of people around to chat to, and something delicious cooking downstairs in the kitchen. I am obsessed with cooking so it's really nice to be privy to some professional action at my workplace- I am always readily available for taste-testings and discussion on this topic.
I usually begin my day by replying to emails – although this can be a waste of my morning clarity. I work on freelance design and illustrations all morning. If Beci is in the studio we listen to mixes and chat – the lunch menu is something that is addressed first on the agenda.
If I'm on my own I listen to podcasts and mixes while I work – a huge pro of illustration work is that I can listen to things as I'm going and it doesn't distract me – in fact it helps me to get into the zone!
I always like to go for a stroll at lunch time, and to eat my lunch outside, even if I have to brave the elements. I am completely spoiled for lunch choices in Brunswick, there are some excellent cafes nearby, and my favourite Italian places. We often utilise the prep kitchen downstairs and make completely luxurious sandwiches – my personal favourite has double cheese.
I get back to the desk with a piece of fruit and a cup of tea and recommence work until about six. Annoyingly I usually get a second wind around this time, but I have a cat at home who will be feigning starvation.
Too much going out during the week has lead me to attempt a ban on social actives at least a couple of weeknights – although I do often break this. If I'm staying in, my favourite thing to do during the week is come home and cook and eat with my sister. I find cooking to be really relaxing and something to look forward to at the end of the day.
Having lived on my own before, I have realised how important it is to share a meal with someone at the end of the day – it means every day can be a celebration!
After dinner I usually do some more work or watch some iView – or both at the same time. I always read before going to bed and this is the greatest thing I have ever discovered for helping me sleep.
Most Friday nights I have a spritz and a pizza at D.O.C in Carlton with friends. This ritual is followed by an ice-cream from Pidapipo or Brunetti – (depending on just how much marble I feel the need to consume my gelato in.)
Sometimes I will go out for drinks on Friday night – I do love to celebrate the end of the week.
Saturday mornings I usually run around the botanical gardens and along the Yarra, then chill for a few hours at home with the cat – often for the first time all week. I like to go out and do things on Saturday, so I will meet a friend, go to a shop, or I head to the studio to work. Saturday night I rarely party – usually I meet up with friends for dinner and a drink but keep it kind of low-key.
Sundays I love to stay at home all day and I often go and have a family dinner on Sunday nights with my parents.
"There are always flowers for those who want to see them" - Matisse