• GIRL CRUSH; Hayley O'Connor

GIRL CRUSH; Hayley O'Connor

When did you first pick up a pencil and know that you had something pretty special to share?

I was always pretty creative growing up but it wasn’t until after high school when I started a Design Cert IV course where I could try a little bit of different types of design that I realised how much I loved graphic design & illustration. My teachers introduced me to cool design books and blogs and I think it just clicked and that was what I wanted to do. I always thought I wanted to be a fashion designer but didn’t realise how many creative jobs you could do around fashion design without actually having to be the product designer. I then went on to study Graphic Design and drew in my spare time for fun. I would put my artwork up on social media channels and portfolio sites and started to get freelance work come in. The jobs started to get bigger & better and before I knew it I was working professionally as an Illustrator and Graphic Designer.

How long have you been combining your passion with your paid job?

I’ve worked for a few different companies in the fashion industry leading up to working as a Graphic Designer at Billabong. They’ve all been supportive of my passion for illustration and have found a way to incorporate my skills into my day job.

For all the up and coming designers, what did you study and how did you pursue your dream?

I studied graphic design but I’m a self taught illustrator. I just started creating and putting my work out there on social media, portfolio sites & networking at events. My Style developed over time but I’m glad I put it all out there from the start . Its more important for people to see your work even if you don’t think it’s perfect yet.

Where do you get your inspiration?

A lot of inspiration comes from where I live. When I lived in Melbourne my work was a lot more fashion lead now I feel like its more inspired by living in tropical Queensland. You can see it in the themes I often draw from – Palm trees, waves, mermaids, beautiful girls.

What would be your biggest accomplishment to date?

I think speaking at the Curvy creative conference was a nerve racking but a proud moment speaking about my career up until now. Also the mural I created at Pacific Fair – I’d never created anything large scale and I worked really hard to get the art right for the space and was really happy with the finished result.

What’s in your art kit?

Lots of Pencils, Markers, Water colour, Acrylic paint, Spray paint – bit of everything I love to experiment with different mediums.

What is your go-to medium (pencil/paper) that works best for you?

I usually go straight to pencil and paper for my more serious pieces but the ones I have most fun with would be my black and white marker pieces.

What is the upcoming show about and is it your first art exhibition?

Wave chasers is centered coastal girls who inspire me and my love of the sea. I featured 3 girls Marina Alonso Rojas, Brigette Cooper & Josie Prendergast. I chose them as I love their style, look & creativity.

Tell us how you live ABKL?

Well I’m at the beach every weekend the second the sun is out and I have way to many bikinis.

Wave Chasers by Hayley O || Friday October 5th 6pm at Hotel Miami on the Gold Coast

If you would like to attend RSVP Hayley at hello@hayleyo.com.au

Or her Instagram