Thea Skelsey

We caught up with artist and graphic designer Thea Skelsey, who chatted to us about the DIY creative swell on the Gold Coast, the importance of finding your flow as an artist, and how bubble writing the letter S still has a space in her practice.

Any hilarious stories about you as a kid being creative?

This is probably one of my most vivid primary school memories. Back when bubble writing was all the rage, I remember kids coming to me to draw their S’s for them. Having 2 in my last name, I learned to nail them pretty early on. What a time it was! I still love painting the S’s in my artwork.

Talk us through a typical working day include for you right now.

At the moment, I am living on the beach in Burleigh, the Gold Coast. I wake up and check the surf, take my board out or go for a walk if the waves aren’t working. I grab a coffee and head into Mint Art House, where I work from. I try to be creative in the morning, and do the leg work in the afternoon, so I’ll start with developing new ideas and working on my creative strategy, by then I’m pretty eager to roll out some painting ideas, ending with running orders to the post office and any bookkeeping etc.

Design work by Thea Skelsey The Design Kids interviews Thea Skelsey work-2

How did you develop your style as an artist and what tips would you have for others?

My artistic style grew through my design. Before realising I had a really strong style, I think I was subconsciously painting how I wanted to be designing in my Graphic Design day jobs. It came naturally and never felt forced. There was no need for comparison because it always felt 100% authentically me. As a tip, I would say find your flow. Find what subject matter you love to work with and say no to those commissions that don’t feel aligned with you, otherwise you’ll get stuck creating someone else’s idea of what you do.

What is the design landscape like on your city and where do you fit in?

This Gold Coast is a small city filled with a lot of amazing creatives. Packed full. In the few years that I have lived here, there has been a real shift towards doing it for yourself. Co-working spaces and small galleries are flourishing with brands, designers, artists and everything in between. I have just recently joined the gorgeous Mint Art House of 20+ artists who are all hustling to get more creative events onto the scene. The community LOVES creativity here, there is always something happening. Check us out @mintarthouse, there is also @hota, @thewalls, @levelupgallery @karmacollab, @dusttemple.

Design work by Thea Skelsey The Design Kids interviews Thea Skelsey work-4
Design work by Thea Skelsey The Design Kids interviews Thea Skelsey work-4

Co-working spaces and small galleries are flourishing with brands, designers, artists and everything in between.

What's on the cards professionally and personally in the next 12 months?

I’ll be shaking things up professionally and personally over the year, you will see me broadening my practice and producing a lot more work. The feeling of stagnancy is what makes me question my path more than anything (and the reason I fled overseas twice), so I try to keep things evolving.

2020 for you in a sentence.

Overflowing creativity amongst a new community of absolute legends.

Design work by Thea Skelsey The Design Kids interviews Thea Skelsey work-6
Design work by Thea Skelsey The Design Kids interviews Thea Skelsey work-6

Where to find Thea Skelsey online.

Website: theaskelsey.com

Instagram: @theaskelsey

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