pure and simple
Bonnie Eichelberger has made it her business to create graphic, nature-inspired art.
Bonnie Eichelberger is a Melbourne illustrator and designer whose minimalist style reflects a calming reality we wish we inhabited. We chatted to Bonnie to find out more about her creative process.
Hey Bonnie! Tell us a bit about your style of art. Hello! My illustration style has a minimal and graphic aesthetic that has been influenced by my experience in printmaking and graphic design. My subjects tend to focus on female form, natural elements, symbolism and surreal ideas.
How did you become a professional illustrator? After high school, I studied a diploma of illustration at TAFE, but when I finished I was still quite young and felt I needed more qualifications under my belt. This led me to study a diploma in graphic design. I realised I worked illustration into every brief I had, so it became obvious that was the path I needed to pursue. I took on internships, one of which eventually turned into a full-time gig as a designer and letterpress printer. Making the leap to becoming a professional illustrator only came when I decided I had to make it happen. There’s still a lot of learning to go, but that’s what makes this such a great adventure!
Describe your workspace for us, please. At the moment it’s fairly minimal. I like to have my favourite reference books at arm’s length; some calming plants and incense; good tunes; and my dog Pluto. I also have a collection of postcards and drawings that friends have given me – some of the greatest inspirations!
What’s your illustration process like? To begin, I do a lot of really bad drawings – quick and rough thumbnails to get down all the ideas I have, whether they’re bad or good. From there, I decide which ones might be worth exploring further. I draw from memory and source references to help me with specific items. This can be from books, the internet or my own photos (sometimes this means posing and taking weird photos of myself – I hope no one gets their hands on my camera roll!). Once the drawing is coming together compositionally, I take it into Adobe Illustrator and experiment with colours and textures to produce the final artwork.
Talk us through this piece you’re working on here. This is a personal piece that started with a random drawing in my sketchbook. I drew it after coming out of a really busy time, so I’d say it’s about rest and taking time to be with nature.
How did you find working on the MSI P65 laptop? It was great! I finished the colouring for this illustration in Adobe Illustrator, and the textures I’ve used can often slow things down, but the laptop handled the large files really well. I could also switch between programs super-fast, like my emails and a productivity app I use to track my time. On top of that, it’s nice and lightweight.
What’s next for you? I want to keep making my drawings move! I want to bring them to life more by creating very short gif-style animations. I’ve been dabbling in Adobe After Effects; it’s been great learning a new tool.
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