Profile: Georgia Perry

Published:  April 20, 2015

Georgia Perry is a graphic artist living in Melbourne, whose work across illustration, graphic design and fine art is drenched in colour and good-time  feelings. Here she talks to desktop about her work for Adidas Supercolor, her collection of gold-tipped enamel pins featuring pop culture’s finest faces (George Constanza!) and the places she looks to for inspiration (Seinfeld, obviously!).



How did the Supercolor project come to you?
I was approached by Adidas to interpret and honour the iconic Superstar shoe for the launch of Supercolor — the Adidas Superstar shoe available in 50 different shades. I’m pretty renowned for being a colour lover these days, so I’d like to think it was a natural choice!

How involved was the team at Adidas, from the initial conceptual stages and throughout the illustration process?
The team were very trusting: after sharing some initial thinking and moodboards, I just had one sketch round and then worked up the final poster.

It’s always nice when a client trusts what you do. The four other artists involved in the project are all at the top of their game, so Adidas was very easy going and open for the whole process.

What were the key points of inspiration behind the illustration?
The ideas we wanted to convey were all around originality, creativity, colour and diversity, so I just looked at different ways of expressing that and tying it in with the Adidas brand.

How does the design complement and incorporate the history of the shoe and the Adidas brand?
I looked at combining old and new, and wanted to create a poster that would hark back to the birth era of the Superstar shoe in 1969. It was an era of colour, peace, love — ideas that resonated strongly with this campaign.

Can you tell us about the imagery?
I included a bunch of different references. Lots of little things that are a nod to the history and spirit of Adidas — elements of hip hop, basketball, street culture, The Gonz, super stardom, diversity — all through a super coloured lens.

What concept or ideas drove the use of the psychedelic aesthetic?
I’d been looking a lot at some vintage advertising books and so the illustration treatment pays homage to popular culture and advertising from the 1960s to 1980s.

We see the Superstar shoe front and centre, with a graphic world of shapes, emblems and colour bursting from it. My work is usually quite simplified and flat, so I really pushed myself to do something different with this one.

What, in your view, is the most successful element of the project?
There were five artists involved who interpreted the theme in completely different ways, from installation to photography to paper craft. It was beautiful to see how different all of the executions were.



What gave birth to the idea to create these pins?
I’d always wanted to extend my practice to include products, so I started by releasing some printed goods (calendars, cards, posters) late last year. I’ve always loved collecting enamel pins. They feel slightly nostalgic … like lost souvenirs to me, and so I thought my aesthetic would lend itself nicely to a product like that. They’re super fun to design and make and people have responded really well to them which is awesome / a nice surprise.

Which celeb is in highest demand?
Larry David no doubt. I think there’s a little bit of Larry in all of us.

Where do you turn for inspiration, and which artists, illustrators and designers have had the biggest influence on your work?
I get inspiration from anywhere + everywhere. Art, books, travel, conversation, food. I adore the work of people like Saul Bass and Paul Rand for its simplicity and sense of colour.

What excites or frustrates you about the current state of Australian illustration and design?
I’m not quite sure what the current state of Australian illustration and design really is? Other than our current government not being overly supportive of creativity and the arts. For example, last year the Australian Government’s Creative Industries Innovation Centre (CIIC) which was a brilliant organisation that worked with creative enterprises (and through which I received a grant which completely transformed my whole creative practice) lost all of their funding and was forced to close. I get really frustrated by things like this — it’s as if being this geographically isolated from everyone else doesn’t already make it hard enough to make a living as a creative!

I just know that we have a wealth of obscenely talented people here that work hard and get themselves noticed on a global level, despite being from Australia where the funding / support / infrastructure for creatives isn’t as robust as other countries.

Thanks to the internet though, I can be working with clients from Australia, the US and Japan, all at the same time. I think it’s evened out the playing field for everybody somewhat. If your work is good it will get noticed, no matter where you live.

What is your favourite project from your own body of work and why?
I don’t really have any favourites. I feel like I’m still growing and learning every day (which will hopefully never change) so I don’t really like to look back at old work.

These days I’m trying to push myself more and more, so I’m loving working across everything from animation to illustration to book design to product design. I love learning new things and bringing something new to every project.

What are you working on currently?
More products for the GP range, a couple of book designs, a branding project. I’m also getting ready for a work trip to the US. It’s usually pretty frantic at Georgia Perry HQ but that’s how I like it.


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