profile : birdy & me / dancing at dusk

Kelly Smith is the incredible illustrator behind the Birdy & Me label. With a seriously impressive list of clients (Vogue, H&M, L’avion) Kelly focuses on fashion illustration and portraiture and also produces limited edition prints and artworks that are whimsical, beautiful and inspiring all at once. This year she has delved into homewares (yay!) and has teamed up with Lauren Stevenson to produce a collaborative collection of cushions and bags under their brand new offshoot label ‘Dancing at Dusk’….we’re excited!

Do you have a day job, if so what is it? 
Kelly is an illustrator who has worked with local and international clients including Vogue Australia, Portmans, and H&M. Lauren is part of the office grind by day, creative genius by night.

When did your business begin and why? 
B&M : I graduated from art school itching to start drawing again after 4 years of focusing primarily on photography and graphic design. I started a blog and etsy store to display and sell my work and things progressed from there!
D@D: We are brand new, launching our products this Feb at the market. Our business blossomed from a conversation about how badly we wanted to design and create our own products so we thought ‘why not!’ and went for it.

Inspiration/design aesthetic? 
B&M: My work has quite a soft aesthetic; it’s very monochrome with subtle pops of colour. I find most of my inspiration in fashion, film and fairytales. I’m literally addicted to fashion magazines so photography always plays a huge part in my process. I like to create a strong sense of character and whimsy in my girls!
D@D: Both of us are very inspired by colour and pattern. It’s quite a girly aesthetic, but with a lot of tribal, bohemian influences.

Designers you admire? 
We love the work of Kat Macleod, Julie Verhoeven, Stina Persson, Kate Banazi and David Downton. They use colour amazingly well.

What is your favourite part of Tasmania? 
Both of us would probably say Salamanca or the huge amount of coastline. Give us some sun, a park or a beach and we’re happy.

What do you love about what you do...and any little gripes or niggles? 
B&M: The fact that I get paid to do what is essentially my hobby is pretty much the best thing ever! Of course no job is ever perfect, we all get that difficult client, or unexpected deadline. But I wouldn’t trade jobs with anyone! (Apart from maybe Anna Wintour)
D@D: At the moment everything is so new and exciting it’s hard to find any negatives. As with any new business, we’re sure to hit a few bumps in the road as we continue to learn more about it. We’ll get back to you on that one!

What can our lovely customers expect to see you exhibiting? 
We’re launching with a range of cushions, zip bags and cards in two different ranges. We have the ‘Tigerlily’ range which has a bit of a Navajo vibe, and our ‘Sweet Nectar’ range which is all about blossoms and colour.

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Want to see who else will be at our July event? For more interviews with our exhibitors check out our look book.

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