Featured Artist: Studio Cockatoo

Studio Cockatoo Frida Print

FK chats to artistic couple Kate & Luke about their unique style of artwork, Studio Cockatoo. We can’t go pass their fabulous Frida art print!

How would you describe your style of artwork and how has this evolved?
The style of our art is modern geometric, it’s vibrant and incorporates a variety of different subjects.  From edited photographs and illustrations we use colour and triangles to create unique artworks whilst still keeping the form of the original piece.  We have evolved over the years from working with different mediums including vinyl and screen printing.

What are your backgrounds and how did you both meet and decide to work together?
We met almost 10 years ago, we were working together in the French Alps looking after chalets.  We spent a few seasons over there living out of a VW until finally I managed to lure Luke back to Australia with the promise of sunshine, swimming pools and V8’s.  On our journey Luke was always taking photos and I sketched a lot, although I’m not sure either of us knew that we would one day turn our passions into work.  We are both Jack/Jill’s of all trades, from white water rafting guide to barista, deckhand to screen printer.  I also have training in IT and Graphic Design.

Studio Cockatoo Budgie Print

Studio Cockatoo Pug print

Who are you favourite artists? and what inspires your work?
It’s so hard to just choose a few, there are so so many wonderfully talented artists out there.  We both love Dean Reilly, Luke has always been fascinated by Hieronymus Bocsh.  I’m currently crushing on Anya Brock, Bec Orpin, Katie McKinnon and have always been a huge fan of Rob Ryan.  In terms of inspiration, our designs are inspired by popular culture and nature; we attempt to capture their essence while combining it with modern geometrical form.

What materials and mediums do you enjoy working with and exploring? And what other areas would you like to explore or expand into?
Luke is happy taking photographs and I love working with pencils and pastels.  We currently have a stack of canvases resting up against the wall and some new pots of paint, we have had many requests for larger works, so that is the plan.

Studio Cockatoo artwork prints

Studio Cockatoo team

Studio Cockatoo work in progress

Describe your workspace and surroundings and what your creative process is.

We live on the Sunshine Coast hinterland and work from our home studio, there are chickens running around everywhere, dogs barking and a 4yr old boy getting up to mischief, so on any given day its rather chaotic.  We are surrounded by trees that are often filled with the noisiest of cockatoos, both Sulphur Crested and black, hence our name.
We each have our parts to play in our creative process, Luke takes photos and I sketch, combining these arts and many hours in Illustrator and Photoshop we finally achieve our work.  Our philosophy when it comes to design is keep it simple and keep it fresh. We do all of our own printing and packaging in house.

What advice would you give other artists/illustrators starting out?
I’ve always been in a believer in do what you love, love what you do. If you are passionate about your work, whatever that may be, you will succeed.  You may start out on one path and through the evolution of your work you might end up somewhere unexpected.  Listen to feedback from your supporters and customers and never be afraid to try new styles.

Studio Cockatoo fox print

Studio Cockatoo elk deer print

What has been your favourite project/collaboration to work on?
I think we can both safely say that Studio Cockatoo has been our best and most favourite project we’ve ever worked on, through its evolution we have met many wonderful creative and amazing people.  Every day we thank our lucky stars for the support we have received and are humbled to think our art can bring pleasure to others.

What aspirations do you have for the future, and where do you hope to see your work?
Our main focus for the near future is to spend as much time with our little boy as we can and to be creative every day in some way.  In the far future we would love to have a gallery.  Not only with our work, but also supporting other Australian artists and designers.
We would love to create one off original pieces or art and see them travel to all corners of the earth.


Studio Cockatoo

One Comment

  • Christina says:

    Not sure I can go past their fabulous Frieda either! Oh, that would look so great in my workshop…

    Lovely to get to know the creative duo behind such interesting and beautiful pieces. 🙂

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