I live at ‘The Nest’ overlooking Byron Bay, Australia with my husband, Gus, & our small dogs, Moo, Tinsel and Gesso.
I love being a professional artist, best-selling author, designer, online workshop phenomenon’ (I was described this way in a newspaper article!), degenerate art supply junky, Art Journal Evangelist and koala mama (yes! Koalas live in my garden).
My passion is teaching women how to defy self-imposed creative gravity.
I believe in delight and laughter. I believe in happiness and trust. I believe in hard work and abundance. I love to be inspired and to inspire (ever noticed how one leads to the other?).
I draw, I paint, I photograph, I art journal, I write, I film. I empower.
After studies in Paris ( ooh la la!), my first job was as a fashion Illustrator. This evolved to a textile designer and then fashion designer.
Working on my ‘Jane Davenport’ Fashion Label was lots of fun. I created a very succesfull Collection for my mother, fashion Icon, Liz Davenport. As well as designing my own label I was the Creative Director for the company. I moved to London to head the UK expansion and worked from Bond Street in London.
I started my photographic career in fashion as a runway photographer. It began in a rather random way. While I was living in London my mother came to visit me. Liz bought so many shoes she couldn’t fit the new camera she bought with her back in her suitcase and left it behind for me to return on a future visit home. London Fashion Week was about to commence and I really wanted to see if supermodels were as beautiful in the flesh as in the glossies, so I snuck in as a photographer and discovered two things:
1. They are
and 2. I loved photography!
I became a fashion catwalk regular in London and Paris and Liz never got her camera back and what started as a hobby, developed into a fashion photography career and I returned to Australia.
There is something rather spectacular about ladybirds ( ladybugs, ladybeetles). They way they parade around the garden in their gorgeous spots and courageous colour. They have a sweet tooth. They can fly. What’s not to love? Seeing them makes me happy, heck! Just thinking about them makes me smile…. so…cute….
I developed Artomology.
My passion for insects lead to me being called the ‘Artomologist‘ as a play on entomology. I won lots of awards and traveled all over the world photographing insects with my artwork exhibited in galleries and large-scale, outdoors art installations. I specialised in working with zoos internationally. I have had 4 books on bugs.
My artwork has not only appeared in galleries, books, magazines and newspapers but in movies, on chatshows and on homewares, textiles, stationery and giant glass screens. I work with some fantastic companies to make this happen.
Photographing insects is not really so different from photographing supermodels as they pose in the latest spring fashion and parade down petal catwalk, but although I have swapped photographing the human kind of social butterfly and stick insect for the real thing. I still can be tempted to do a fashion shoot if it involves an exotic location so I can go and photograph bugs…..
In 2006 my husband and I moved to Byron Bay and we opened our Gallery in 2007. The Institute of Cute was a highlight for visitors to glamorous Byron. We welcomed glittering celebrities, and rockstars from the huge music events we have here. It was a wonderful place to house my Artwork and licensed collections of Homewares, clothing, textiles, posters, stationery and all my ladybird inspired designs. It was such a fun and eclectic space!
I taught drawing and Painting in a weekly workshop in the Gallery.
The Online version of the Institute of Cute opened in 2010 and offered my ladybird inspired treasures, art work, fashion, books and supplies for Artists. By 2011 it became busier than the actual store, and we moved entirely online. It was a hard decision to make, but a great one!
In 2010 I discovered Art Journaling. It was a game changer for me
and stole my heart and gradually absorbed my creative attention. Creating
just for myself allowed my heart and soul to expand exponentially.
I signed up for online workshops galore! Some favourites were with Dirty Footprints Studio, Decor8, Willowing, Suzi Blu, Wyanne and Drawing Tutorials Online. I entered these workshops with my own style firmly in place, but there was always something new to experience.
The community of creatives that form as part of each individual teacher/leader is a huge part of the fun. I was inspired to create my own Creative Community!
In early 2011 I was asked by Connie of Dirty Footprints to teach in 21 Secrets as one of 21 Journaling Artists. I accepted immediately, before I could panic and talk myself out of it!
My class, Draw Happy, was based on my real world classes that I taught in my Gallery. Recording myself was a bizarre experience, and I was shocked that I enjoyed it! I had to learn how to edit my short movies and gather my information into this new format. The online version was a hit and I discovered a passion and talent for sharing a lifetime of creative knowledge through video!
Supplies Me was my first ‘Stand-Alone’ workshop. I launched it in September 2011, and it has been a huge success. I have created ‘I Heart Drawing’ , ‘JOYnal’, ‘Frolicaholic’, ‘Express Yourself’ and ‘Mermaid Circus’ since then. I have taught in subsequent sessions of 21 Secrets and Tam Laporte’s Epic Lifebook. I have SO MANY ideas for classes… the hard part is containing myself and just working on 1 thing at a time!
In 2012 my work was included in ‘Art Journaling Exposed’ and in 2013 I was invited to film a video workshop for Cloth Paper Scissors called ‘The Whimsical Face‘ which has gone on to be a Best Seller. In 2014 I created a series of 12 Art Lessons for Cloth Paper Scissors. In 2015 my first Mixed Media title ‘drawing & Painting Beautiful Faces is released with Quarry Publishing, USA.
I LOVE teaching and my students!
Teesha Moore invited me to Seattle to teach a 3 day workshop at the Artfest Annex in February 2012. It was my first ‘long’ live workshop. LOVED IT! Having work evolve right there in front of me at the hands of my students was such a delightful experience.
I have since created my own ‘Escape Artist’ retreats in Bali, Paris, London and Mexico. I plan on seeing the world this way! It’s wonderful because I get to travel with artists. We love color, creativity, design and details… and we love art supplies!
From time to time I teach at other events and in fabulous locations, like Christy Tomlinson’s She Matters retreats and Donna Downey’s Inspired Studio.
( Click here for details of what’s coming up next)
and one of my favourite things to do is collaborate with them.
My first was with Connie and 21 Secrets
Visit 21 Secrets and Dirty Footprints Studio
I created Draw Happy and Frolicaholic for those collaborative classes.
I went on to build them into stand-alone workshops
The next was with Tamara Laporte and LifeBook.
I have been part of the Lifebook family from the start.
It’s a phenomenon!
I have also had a ball creating Art Lessons and a Video with Cloth Paper Scissors
called The Whimsical Face.
You can also see all my current workshops
In 2013 I was invited to Design stencils for Artistcellar.
I also work with Peerless Watercolors – which I am CRAZY about.
My best-selling Artist Edition Set has 5 of my own colours. A dream come true!
My Stationery Ranges with Ozcorp, the Art Group, Leap Year, and John Sands features my Photographic Art. I have had over 18 Calendars of my artwork published so far.
Ashdene creates my line of Hug Mugs
Quarry is my publisher, and my book ‘Drawing & Painting Beautiful Faces’ is a best seller.