THERE'S A SAYING that animals often resemble their owners and I believe there’s something similar at play between a creative, their work and space. When I met Melbourne illustrator Luci, I was reminded again of this notion.

I visited Luci in her North Melbourne, wooden rental, after pouring through her website. Her illustrations were cheery, intricate, detailed and much of the same could be said about Luci. Her works include painting, paper cutting and collage. When I visited she was recovering from a cold and a music festival.

Her interest in music plays out in her work and some of her earliest designs were CD covers and posters for a musician friend, created while studying graphic design at university. Her combined talent and love for music means she is good at what she does and her reputation has spread. Out of university just a few years, her illustration and design folio is beginning to stack up.

Luci considers herself more graphic designer than illustrator, and does regular agency work around Melbourne. If there was enough work, she says she would consider becoming a full-time illustrator. This doesn’t surprise me; she’s good at what she does.

Luci’s work desk – covered in trinkets – is surrounded by natural, wooden slat walls, hung heavy with drawings. There is an old fireplace at the back of the room and I wished it was raining outside so we had a good reason to nestle in with a cup of tea. I imagine this would have suited the slightly unwell Luci rather well! Unfortunately Melbourne, a city renowned for its temperamental weather, had put on a mini heat wave, and instead all windows and doors were open to let an evening breeze flow through in an attempt to cool the place down.

Slanted Mansion put some questions to Luci.

Has it been difficult forging a name in Melbourne, a city renowned for its creativity?

Because there’s so much creativity happening, it also means there are plenty of people interested in visual art and design, so I don’t think it’s particularly a bad thing. I still feel pretty anonymous in this sea of artistic delights but it’s definitely a beautiful one to wade through, so I mind not!

Where does your real passion lie – graphic design or illustration. What attracts you to this creative format?

My inclination lies somewhere in the middle: graphic design with an illustrative approach. I guess the intersection happens most frequently in hand-drawn lettering which I could enjoy all day, any day. I don’t know how anyone explains their passions – it’s just something in your bones.

What do you read/listen/view for inspiration?

I’m constantly looking at blog content, daily gems on Dribbble, Flickr, and browsing bookshops is always a nice kick.

Can you describe your illustrative style?

Organic, eclectic, gentle, papery, loose, floral.

How has your style evolved over the years – what has influenced this evolution?

It’s become a little less cutesy – less Amelie and more Alice in Wonderland. I guess I’ve just matured. There’s the mix of simply growing up and partly due to the constant absorption of visual content on the internet and in books. With the world at your fingertips it’s impossible for it not to have some affect on you.

What CDs are you currently listening to?

Tiny Ruins – Some Were Meant For Sea. Best of Fleetwood Mac. Anais Mitchell – Hadestown. Marissa Nadler – Marissa Nadler. Lou Reed – Transformer

What was the music festival you had attended before we visited?

Golden Plains; a very chilled festival just out of Melbourne. Gooooooooood times.

Did you grow up in Melbourne?

I did; in the outer eastern suburbs, at the foot of Mt Dandenong.

What do you love about Melbourne?

Great cafes everywhere, excellent coffee, a perfect cycling landscape, creative humans all over the place.

How old are you?


What are your plans/goals for the next few years?

I’m embarking on a nice, bulky visit to Europe in a couple of months. I’ve never been before, so I’m excitedly uncertain about what it’s going to do to me. Work-wise I tend to just go with the flow; I don’t really set goals, I just like to make sure I’m happy along the journey.

Outside of illustration, what are your hobbies?

Coffee, breakfasting, bicycling. Are they hobbies? One of my friends has just started a monthly book club which I’m loving.

Interview: Sheena Coffey and Siobhan Frost

Luci's cover illustration for Harvest magazine and poster for Northcote Social Club