Evi O, Artist & Designer
Introducing super design hero Evi O. Originally from Indonesia, Evi has rocked Australia with her designs for Penguin Books and is also kicking goals with her first solo show with The Design Files. We caught up with her and chatted balancing inspirational reading with marathons of The Walking Dead as well as her new design studio OetomoNew.
What do you do?
I'm an artist and designer.
Do you have a maxim that you live and work by?
You have to love what you do.
What are the three milestones that have led you to where you stand?
2003 – Life: I'm lucky that my parents gave me the opportunity to widen my perspective and move from Indonesia to Australia to study.
2008 – Design: I scored a dream job as a book designer with Penguin Books Australia.
2016 – Art: I'm very excited to have my first solo show with The Design Files.
What is your dream project?
One that requires collaboration with my fave people.
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
I'm cooking up new products for homewares brand Anekka.
I'm setting up my own design studio with a great friend, it'll be called OetomoNew (our surnames combined, if you wonder what it means). And expect more paintings and a few exciting collaborations throughout the year.
If you could choose to hear any female contemporary present at Make Nice, who would it be and why?
Yayoi Kusama, the artist. I'm a big fan and I'd like to hear her talk about her life and art practice. Look her up, she's amazing and intriguing.
What is the best advice you’ve been given, or wish you had been told sooner?
A project is only as good as you want it to be.
What are you listening to, reading, watching of late, that is inspiring or entertaining you?
I've been reading and looking at lots of art books, a few favourites include: monographs of Cressida Campbell, Ellsworth Kelly and Hella Jongerius, and Hans Ulrich Obrist's Lives of the Artists, Lives of the Architects. I balance these with marathons of The Walking Dead.
Do you have a supportive female network in your field? Was it always this way?
My design work has been mainly within the publishing industry, which if you don't know, feels quite female dominated. We work collaboratively and this leads to a supportive working environment that not only makes work like play, but a great place to grow as an individual. I've met lifetime friends at work.
I also hang out with a handful of clever female friends who run their own things, and each of them is very inspiring and every time we catch up ideas always spark. From my personal experience, there are also some really cool, supportive boys that I collaborate with all the time and to me they are as important as my girls.
What is one facet of your field that you want to see change?
Within book design, I wish there are more places to train young book designers, as I found my past experience working in-house was invaluable and there doesn't seem to be much of this left in Australia. It's such a unique craftsmanship, and true, it is quite a niche profession, but Australia has produced fine book designers and I hope this continues to happen. Once my new design company runs, I hope this could be one of our agendas.
Within the art world, I'm still finding my way so it would not be fitting to comment on something I'm yet to explore.
How can we find our more about your work?
Double Cream by Evi O
Open from 12 to 18 March 2016
14 Little Oxford St
Opening Saturday 12 March, 10.00am - 5.00pm with opening drinks and gelato by Pidapipo from 2.00pm onwards.