Featured Artist: Lilly Piri

FK chats to Brisbane illustrator Lilly Piri about her whimsical pencil drawings, and new woodwork.

How would you describe the style of your work?
My colour pencil drawings are delicate and soft, with lines influenced by Egon Schiele and Art Nouveau. The subjects are usually humans, and animals with flora and fauna. My wooden animals are like tiny, wooden, European folk art, with an Australian influence.

What is your background and how did you get to where you are today?
When I was about 16, I began lessons with Martina Pook, and she was like a mentor to me. I also studied at the Arts Academy in Brisbane, fine art with Kay Kane and Christine Kirkegard and illustration with Phil Blythe. Jeremy Wortsman contacted me years ago, and that’s how I ended up being represented by the wonderful team at Jacky Winter!

What mediums do you like to work with most and why?
Acrylics are a big favourite, they’re just so good for so many things. Colour pencils, because they can make soft, ghosty colours. Woodworking is also great fun, I like the texture, weight and the whimsy of it.

What has been some of your favourite projects to work on?
Some favourites would be, designing a wallet for Poketo, drawing 3 cat greeting cards for A Happy Death, and most recently, making little wooden animals. I’ve also loved every single portrait I’ve made, because the patrons have always given me the greatest creative freedom. The stories, and favourite objects make portrait drawings very personal, and special.

Where do you find inspiration for your work?
Natural history museums, travel, stories, mythology, vintage annual story and activity books, classic novels, seeing how other artists work, insects, native animals, Wes Anderson films, folk art, vintage toys, clockwork toys, where I live, and without doubt, the almost-four-years that I spent in Germany.

How has your creative style developed and what is your creative process?
My drawing has gotten more refined, it takes me longer, somehow, than it used to. My process is: research, sketch, ponder, draw, and finally think about how I could have made it better.

What aspirations do you have for your work?
My aspirations are for the work I have not yet done. I’d like them to live up to my expectations, in the way they are executed, in the way they look in the finished piece.

What can we expect to see at the upcoming Brisbane Finders Keepers?
High quality inkjet prints, all sorts of wooden animals, badges, postcards, christmas cards, notepads, zines, and, a rather nervous me!


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