introducing illustrator Jamii Brown

A big hat-tipping nod goes to instagram for the discovery of yet another talented creative . . . this time around it was a native-moth illustration that led me to emerging-artist Jamii Brown. Three months & several emails later, six original variations of the illustration that I first fell head-over-heels for - Bogongs over the Milky Way - are now available. Read on for the interview . . .

tell us about your creative background & studies

I spent all my time drawing as a kid. Even when I injured my index finger, I just learned to hold my pencil a different way! I studied art at school and am oh-so-close to finishing my Bachelor of Communication Design at Swinburne University.

how did your craft begin and how has it evolved to this day?

Coloured pencil has always been my weapon of choice and more recently I’ve been experimenting with watercolour and paper illustration. I’m a bit of a perfectionist so when I was younger I would destroy all my previous work every time I improved. It’s a bit disappointing as it would be interesting to look back over it now and see how my style has changed.

how do you approach your work?

I daydream a lot and come up with random thoughts and ideas which I write down in long lists all over the place. I’m never sure if anything will come of them. I hope they’ll all have their time eventually. I do a lot of planning, sketching out a composition and agonising over colours until I realise I’ve drunk all the tea and it’s three in the morning.

is there anything or anyone that inspires you or your work // where do you look for inspiration or does inspiration find you?

Mostly I wander around in a daze and inspiration finds me! In saying that, my absolute favourite illustrator is Shaun Tan who is a magical human and his book, The Arrival, is one of my favourite things in the world. I also really love the work of Nicomi Nix Turner and Courtney Brims.

what has your creative journey been like so far? 

Exhausting, confusing and rewarding.

what’s one of the most important things you’ve learnt about being an artist?

Don’t waste time wondering if it’s an unrealistic ambition . . . if you want to be an artist, just go for it!

do you have any insight or advice you’d like to share with aspiring artists? 

Have confidence in your ability and don’t compare yourself to other artists. You might think other people are better than you but I think it’s more that everyone has a different style and possibly a different audience.

is there anything you hope your artwork brings into people’s live or gives to the world? 

I’m interested in imagination and interpreting real experiences into a sort of surreal scenario so I suppose I’d like to bring people into a different world which sparks their own imagination.

what do you love most about Australia?

The crazy awesome animals. Swooping magpies, spotted quolls, red-bellied black snakes, flying foxes and the rest. They’re all great.

Thanks for sharing with us, Jamii !

Jamii's Bogongs are now available instore