Past scenestrs of the day

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Gemma O'Brien - scenestr of the day

Published in SOD  
What do you do?
I am a typographer, hand-letterer and illustrator.

Why do you do it?
It's a creative and rewarding way to make a living.

What do you love about the city you live in?
I love Sydney. I grew up in Brisbane but have been in Sydney for nearly 8 years now. I love the Sydney beaches — especially their proximity to the city.

Where did you go for your last holiday?
Japan and New York.

What's your favourite item of clothing? Why?
American Apparel high-waisted black jeans. Versatile.

What was your favourite TV show when you were a kid?
'Heartbreak High'. Drazic…what a dreamboat.

If you could travel back in time for a day, where would you go?
Easy… to the Jurassic Period.

If we were coming over to your place, what would you cook for us?
Water White is the only person who cooks in our household.

Tell us one thing about yourself that nobody else knows...
A few people know this but not many… I play the cello!

Are you happy with your work/life balance?
Yes. My life/work pretty much merge into one thing. I work from studio in my attic in my house in Redfern. I have a balance between commercial projects and more art based projects — most of them involve a lot of drawing and working by hand which doesn't feel like "work" in the traditional sense of the word to me. Every job is different so it keeps me stimulated and interested in developing new skills.

The latest project I worked on for Kirin Cider pretty much sums up my creative process — it was a challenging yet a rewarding campaign that involved hand painting 38 billboards which were installed across Australia. You can check out the video here:


How do you define success?

I think success is different for every individual. But if you feel like you're continually pushing yourself to be the best at whatever your strength is… never being complacent and ensuring that the things you create are meaningful over time and not only for yourself, then that's successful.

What's your spirit animal?
Chooks … they were my pets when I lived in Mt Glorious in Queensland. I think they're very cute.


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