Photography by Bri Hammond
I'm often up before my girlfriend Bri (unless she has to photograph me for this interview. Good morning Bri!). I usually have a slow, quiet breakfast and coffee by myself and check what's been happening while I slept. I currently have a bunch of clients in Europe and the US and a growing online following there because of all the NBA basketball work I've been doing. Some mornings can be quite exciting for this reason and I'll hurry to the studio to attend to things, but usually I try to cycle in around 9ish.
I used to work from home when we lived in Adelaide, and kept all kinds of silly hours, but since working in a shared studio here in Melbourne I've tried to play businessman a little bit more.
I work at an excellent shared studio space in the Nicolas Building, full of super great animators. Our room is called La Tigre Forte and contains some of the best independent animators in Melbourne. I've only properly lived in this city for just over a year and feel privileged that circumstances led to me working amongst these cool dudes in such a historically creative building. I've also enjoyed being part of the supportive animation community here, which seems to be getting worldwide recognition due to initiatives like Loopdeloop. In Adelaide my people were more illustrators, graphic designers and musicians which was great, but it's inspiring and I'm learning a lot hanging with animators for a change.
My work changes from day to day. Many projects are straight illustration, but an increasing amount is animation work. Either way, I like to be challenged to think about what I'm creating. I've worked for small local companies creating wine labels, band posters or veggie charts right through to bigger entities like the Chicago Bulls, Comedy Central TV and Eurosport, but I try to keep a good balance and bring good ideas and quality to every project. There is a lot of admin and self-promotion involved in most of my days – emailing, Skyping, etc. – which I try to do first so people can get back to me and I'm not left waiting for feedback.
Afternoons are more productive. I'll often put on a podcast, audiobook, music or streaming NBA basketball game and get some serious lines drawn and colours coloured.
Despite having the knees of a 70 year old I'm really into playing basketball. I play in two games every week and every other chance I get.
I find the physical activity and complete different set of tactical brain functions a refreshing shake-up from my usual desk work and concentration on details.
I don't have any actual statistics on this, but it seems like many creative people choose basketball as their sport. It's got individual flair, collaborative teamwork and style so it makes sense.
I try to avoid working during the evening unless I absolutely have to, or it's a fun personal project. I find cooking a relaxing activity and it's been made a lot more interesting since I illustrated a seasonal chart for wonder-gardeners Grown & Gathered. Every week since then they've given us a fantastic box of vegetables to play with.
"These are my new shoes. They're good shoes. They won't make you rich like me, they won't make you rebound like me, they definitely won't make you handsome like me. They'll only make you have shoes like me. That's it."
– Charles Barkley