Illustrations with a fashion edge so fine it can cut glass, HAYLEY O’CONNOR is soon becoming the next big thing in the illustration and design scene.
Hailing from Melbourne and now based in sunny Gold Coast, the sweet-faced blonde bombshell is the epitome of an Australian artist. Hayley marries splashes of cool watercolours to portraits of gorgeous females to create vibrant portraits of female beauty.
Having moved to Burleigh Heads from Melbourne a year ago to work as a graphic designer for local surf brand Billabong, Hayley draws inspiration from her daily beach lifestyle, textiles, tattoos and nature.
Her clients include beach and surf brands such as: Beach Riot, Ozmosis, Surf Dive ‘n Ski as well as Samsung, Hurley, Alannah Hill and Ishka.
Hi Hayley, tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m from Melbourne but I moved to Burleigh Heads a year ago to work as a graphic designer for local surf brand Billabong. I go back and visit Melbourne a lot to see my friends and family but the beach lifestyle up here suits me. I studied Graphic design back in
Melbourne but I did illustration for fun outside of my classwork to have a break from the structure and computer time graphic design had.
What’s some of your biggest achievements so far?
I guess my biggest achievements have been getting into Curvy & Semi-Permanent. I always looked up to the artists that were featured in those books and it was a big honour to be featured along side them.
For how long have you had this passion for art?
I was always very creative as a kid. I would draw and paint all the time on the weekends and would turn any class assignment into an excuse to design a front cover for a presentation or make it about art and design.
When did you first get into illustration?
I first got into illustration when I was studying Graphic design. My class mates showed me the works of Bec Winnel & Kelly Thompson and all I wanted to do from that point was reach the level of detail & creativity that showed in their work but in my own way.
What made you take illustrating more seriously and make a career out of it?
I did it for fun at first but would put my art up on a website I made and Facebook. I was proud of the art I created and wanted to show it off but didn’t really think past that point that I could make a living out of it. I started to develop a following and then started to get work enquires to create art for T-shirts etc. I started to get more clients and it all started very naturally. There was never a day [when] I said, “I’m going to be an illustrator now” - it just kind of happened.