Instagram: @tangykombucha

1. What’s your story? Where are you from?

Hi! I’m Niamh and I’m from Melbourne, Australia. I’m a communication design student at university and I’m also currently an intern at a design agency. 

2. Tell us about your aesthetic.

I like to think of my work as playful and colourful. I have a love for clean lines and symmetry, and perfect curves, and I like to explore simplicity and an abstraction of form and colour.

3. What is your favourite medium and why?

I love vector illustrations! I always use Adobe Illustrator. I love how easy it is to create perfect, symmetrical forms, particularly curves. Working digitally is also helpful when there’s so many different variations of one shape or colour that I want to explore. 

Whilst all my final work is digital, I do still love to use pen, paper and Posca markers when I’m first getting down an idea. 

4. What is your artistic process like?

I almost always start with sketching pen to paper, and like I said I’ll often use Poscas to get a better idea of how colour will play with the work. After I’ve got a rough idea from this, I get started on Illustrator. The final part of my process, which can often take a long time, is experimenting with small details and exploring different colours. 

5. Who and/or what inspires your work? 

Honestly, inspiration can come from anywhere! Of course, other illustrators and artists are always inspiring. I also find inspiration from observing the world around me, music and my friends. 

I love travelling and always find this a great source of inspiration and something that I am very grateful for. I was so lucky to do a semester exchange at a design school in London, and being immersed in the design and art culture in a city like London was incredible.

I am also always inspired by going to art galleries and museums; there’s something so calming about these spaces.

6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?

Art always has, and still does, play a huge role in my life. Art is work and study, but it’s also play. It was always my favourite subject from primary to secondary school, and now I’m so grateful that I’m able to pursue it at university. Studying art has been so insightful, it’s allowed me to expand my art appreciation and view of the world. Through studying it’s become even clearer how important and impactful art has been consistently throughout history, and how this continues to be so. 

7. Where did you study?

I’m still studying, doing a Bachelor of Design, majoring in Communication Design. 

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

I’d love to be working full time in the design industry – maybe at a design studio. I would also love to be working as an illustrator alongside whatever I’m doing. 

9. What about in ten?

This is difficult to think about but I guess along the same lines as five years… so working in a design studio, or having my own illustration studio where I work full time would be amazing.

This idea seems even further off than ten years but… sometimes I think how cool it would be to own my own printing press and store where artists and illustrators can print their work and sell it, in a creative space for creative people. Who knows!

10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?

I hope to create engaging work that gives people a sense of joy and a new perspective, particularly on objects that seem very ordinary; I want to create work that can explore the every day in a fun and playful way. 

11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?

Does coffee count? I love soy lattes! (I am from Melbourne after all) But I’m currently obsessed with oats with banana, berries, peanut butter and cinnamon.

12. Favourite book?

I don’t have one favourite, but I recently loved Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney. 

Some old favourites are Pride and Prejudice and Little Women, and the whole Harry Potter series, which I’ve just finished comfort reading for the hundredth time. 

13. Favourite genre of music? 

I don’t really have one favourite, it can depend on the season or my mood! Eg. if it’s summer and I’m going to music festivals, then maybe techno. If I’m studying, I’ll listen to jazz or the Twin Peaks soundtrack.

Some of my favourite artists though are Blood Orange, Haim, Grimes, Clairo, Mahalia, Ross From Friends, Princess Nokia, Loyle Carner, and Cigarettes After Sex. 

14. What are your hobbies? 

Apart from the obvious one being drawing, I’m learning to skateboard and re-learning how to knit; Melbourne has been in lockdown for ages so this has been a fun distraction. 

I also love hiking, yoga, going to music festivals and going to op shops (thrift stores).  

15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?

I originally started doing an international relations course at uni for a year before seeing the light and switching to design, so perhaps I’d be beginning a career down that path!