Georgia Hill, Illustrator & Artist
When it comes to epic scale and killer designs, there is no one quite like our mate Georgia Hill. There is something about,her striking design, her attention to detail, her sentiment and all that grunt work coming together that blows our mind. It's so great to be able to share the woman and the stories behind these walls. Thanks G!
What do you do?
I'm an illustrator and artist, which right now is about painting big walls, buildings, and exhibition based works and installations.
Do you have a maxim that you live and work by?
I didn't think I did, but more and more I've realised I come back to the words 'What would excite me?' (this might be from some airport self help book, but it stuck). I try to use this across the board, as somehow I came out of uni and didn't fall into a standard job, and the more I seem to push for what really moves me, it works out. I'm not always rich or super fashionable or well-rested, but I've done some things that make me feel like I'm living. The fact I can decide to make my own work and make it as fun or challenging as I like is something I don't want to lose.
What are the three milestones that have led you to where you stand?
• Berlin - I moved to Berlin when I was 24 and thought it would make my career, but it was actually incredibly challenging not just in realising what I want, but also personally and emotionally. It was over 24 months in both Germany and Australia of suddenly being incredibly unsure of myself and my own mind, but eventually you get through these things and you are going to be better for it.
• Having insanely chill, supportive, proud parents who have let me blindly take this path and trust I'll work hard enough to make it worthwhile. I get the feeling they've never doubted me (I might be deluded here!), but I love that impression has carried into my life, so even when things are challenging I trust it will work out.
• Realising everything moves in cycles so be patient - I grew up always wondering whether I should be an artist, architect, fashion designer, stylist and so on, and was always worried I would miss out or take the wrong path. These things on are all now coming together in this frame of my artwork, or are things I've moved past, which is so exciting but also such a reminder to stop fretting and things will unfold in the right way.
Do you have a supportive female network in your field? Was it always this way?
I feel like I really do, which is weird for someone who would chose to work alone, live alone, be alone and not ask for advice ever (clearly some Taurus trust issues somewhere in here). It's not an organised set group where we drink cocktails and it's fabulous, but it's real conversations that seem to happen at just the right time. It's women I get to work alongside, cry at, get drunk with, share rooms with, grow up with, harass on Instagram, meet by chance, turn up in another country and suddenly see again. I made the decision a while ago to be better with the relationships I have with other women, even if they're fleeting, even if we're not all in the same 'circle', because we're all fucking powerful beings and need to help each other get up.
Can you share a creative experience that you have found defining?
I was very into art in high school, and remember having already gone through every text book in the art rooms before I'd finished Year 7. So at the start of Year 8, my teacher set the questions for the class. I must have been reading them with a look on my face that said 'why do I have to spend time on Picasso questions, you already know I love Picasso, why do I have to do things I already know the answer to?'. My teacher looked at me and told me immediately to do my own thing. I think that moment of someone giving me the credit that I was up to the next task was really important in my own confidence and that you need to move at your own pace regardless of the pack - sometimes fast, sometimes slow.
If you could choose to hear from any female contemporary at a Make Nice event, who would it be and why?
Well Stanislava Pinchuk is already taken care of! Next up would be Selina Miles, as I think her approach to film and documentary making is amazing, she comes across as fearless and is creating an amazing body of work that is new and necessary.
What is your dream project?
I'm not sure yet - I love that this work changes in scope and possibilities every day, so I like being open to the next thing that comes up. I want to push into bigger concepts with the scope of architecture, environments and personal experience, and I have some ideas but I'm not jinxing it by talking about it!
What’s something surprising about you, that we might not know?
I have zero tattoos, I am weirdly competitive about puzzles/word games/problem solving, can and will eat a wheel of cheese in one night.
What is the best advice you’ve been given, or wish you had been told sooner?
Haha, this is really interesting, because I feel I bully myself into thinking a certain way until I really believe it. Recently a lot of advice has come from working with Sydney based artist Elliott Routledge, and a conversation that removed the corniness out of setting goals and made me realise that you need to work with conviction and a clear direction. I really enjoy that a lot of people I've met through mural work have years of experience on me, as well as families, relationships and aren't jaded, so I feel like I'm always grilling people for their point of view.
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
I've just come back from a stint overseas, which saw me go to parts of the UK, Iceland, Canada and the US, and was just talking to a friend about how this kind of travel makes all the little things fall away. I'm trying to push myself to that next point, which will be a lot of grant applications and hoping people will support projects that I need to drive myself to be what I want to see. The first big ones are a work with City of Sydney for Art and About, and an exhibition with a Sydney gallery which have been two big goals for me for years.
What are you listening to, reading, watching of late, that is inspiring or entertaining you?
I've been listening to a tonne of podcasts lately - My Favourite Murder way too much, Coffee Break Spanish (I'm trying), Hidden Brain and Bench Talk, otherwise it's sifting through blues and neo-soul on Spotify trying to make my dream playlist. I really have to force myself to sit down to read and take in information, so I try to read for an hour every morning whether that's blogs, links I've saved for later or *real books*! That said I'm obviously I'm not reading enough because I have nothing worth name dropping here...
What do you want to be asked about that no one ever asks you?
I like playing a good round of 'I Have Never', the interesting questions usually come out there.
What is one facet of your field that you want to see change?
For me is the small stuff that people don't even realise they're doing - the fact that you don't have to look far to find a 90% male line up on a paint festival; I've been in cabs where I contribute to the conversation only to have my point repeated by a male and only then it's heard; both men and women be shocked I'm wrapping up a wall 'alone'. All of these little things that we don't even realise we're wired to do and say, but they all carry through to the core of bigger issues, and I really feel like adjusting these small things is one starting point for bigger change.
How can we find our more about your work?
Who would you most like to answer these questions next?