There's an exhibition on!

It's been a while, but you still love me? right?

I've been working hard over the past eighteen months volunteering for Illustrators Australia (IA). We've been moving the organisation to a new administration software system and planning for the future. It certainly been a challenge and I've learnt so much, met some amazingly smart people and hopefully it will stand IA in good stead for the next decade. Fingers crossed.

Along with all that, IA are putting on an exhibition, SHOUT! opening 6pm this Friday, at Collingwood Gallery, 292 Smith Street, Collingwood and runs for two weeks. I have a piece in this! You can check out the details on the IA website here and if you can't make it but what to see (and possibly buy a piece), there is an online auction! (fancy, I know!)

 Opening night: 6pm Friday 13 July 2018 Exhibition runs 13 - 26 July 2018  Collingwood Gallery, 292 Smith Street Collingwood

Opening night: 6pm Friday 13 July 2018
Exhibition runs 13 - 26 July 2018
Collingwood Gallery, 292 Smith Street Collingwood

There is amazing work on display, digitally printed on wood, collaged, drawn, painted, carved - the illustrators have pushed this theme to the max, worth seeing for sure!



On writers and illustrators

This article by Sarah McIntyre was written in April 2016 but it's great information for both writers and illustrators. It popped up on my twitter feed today.

'Can you illustrate my book?' Some tips for writers approaching illustrators [10 February 2016]

As well as being a illustrator, she has a lot of knowledge to share. Check her website out to see her portfolio and her live journal for more of her articles and goings on. Sarah is also active on the usual socials!


 Robot sketches, 2016

Robot sketches, 2016


I’ve often thought that the images available to me as icons for Instagram, Twitter etc were a bit boring and the same as everyone else! So I finally got around to making my own. 

This is the sort of thing illustrators can do for people, why be the same as everyone else? Have something that is made just for you, reflects your personality and helps you stand out of the crowd! And I've updated my about me page!



There be dragons!

 Sneaky dragon

Sneaky dragon

 Scaredy dragon

Scaredy dragon

 Over it dragon

Over it dragon

Next chapters

With submissions to agents and publishers opening in earnest in February I’ve begun to put together a new portfolio. This is why I’ve been a little distracted and not quite so active on the socials. 

I’ve been developing a new style and exercising my thoughts attending intensive courses with Australian Writers Centre. So I have researched the literary agents I would love to work with. Very scientifically, basing it all entirely on the illustrators who I admire and are represented by them. 

In this process I've also listed the Australian publishers who I see my work fitting neatly into their lists. Most of course don’t take unsolicited manuscripts but it is good to have goals.

Soon I’ll be updating my portfolio and bringing it all together as a package for attendance at KidLitVic again this year. The line up this year looks great, I'm hoping to meet a lot of people!



NGV Triennial

I went to the Triennial at the NGV. I have no words. Nothing I type here could possibly do it justice. Ron Mueck’s work Mass, is just astounding, the sheer scale of it, the curation and placement in the room, the colour of the walls…

You can see the scale by the person I caught in the photo on the top left, this person was a about 180cm (nearly 6ft). These skulls are huge.

I would encourage anyone to make time to see this exhibition. Impossible, as it is, to see it all in one day try but at least see some of it if you can.



Better late than…

Welcome to the new year! Late, I know, but it is still January!

This year is certainly looking busier than last.

We spent New Years at Eden. It’s a beautiful place and everyone should stay away! With it having perfect weather and crystal clear waters I don't like my chances of having a private bit of paradise for very long. In fact the small town was completely booked out while we were there.



There is a little creek running through the block where we stayed and I think I scared a platypus! A very loud plop and splash in the water which can only have been made by a large animal in a stream with no fish, so I’m calling it (even if I have no photographic evidence).

I also saw number of different birds, Blue Fairy Wrens and European Goldfinch being the highlights for me. I tried so very hard to take photos and iPhones are good but not up to the task of capturing small birds darting in and out of dense shrubs. Or it might have been operator error.


Happy George

Recently I developed and illustrated a new character, for a disability service. Introducing: Happy George

This little guy ties in with some other promotional material and is soon to be launched on their website.

 Happy George is a friendly frog who like to say hello to everyone!

Happy George is a friendly frog who like to say hello to everyone!

 Happy George is technologically savvy!

Happy George is technologically savvy!

Happy George is being used on colouring in sheets and word searches which I also developed. These will be available for people to download from their website .

It was great to translate the linear to the rendered colour and build up a stock of imagery around it all to describe the world in which George lives.

He will also be in explanatory material on printed documents and certificates.

It was a great project. I had lots of fun testing out techniques I've not used for a while. And it was fantastic to see it so well received by the client. 

Hopefully the participants of the service like him too, because I'd love to do more of this! 

Cheers and chin-chin,


Vote YES!

It's been amazing over the last couple of years to see the parade of unfairness and unkindness on all sides of politics in Australia. Less stealth like, which has been used in the past and more upfront meanness is really the hallmark of the last, I would say, four parliaments. 

The downright misogyny directed at Julia Gillard. Her parliaments lack of action on same-sex marriage. Kevin Rudd and his off-shore detention hell holes. Tony Abbott dismantling of the carbon tax and eating onions, raw, with the skin on. And then we come to Malcolm Turnbull, beholden to the right wing conservative to keep his bum on the big chair. These are just a few of the craptacular highlights of the last seven years (yes, seven years - four Prime Ministers in seven - count 'em - seven years. You can see my eyes rolling from space.)

Malcolm has bowed to the pressure of his party room and they've dreamed up a non-binding, non-mandatory, non-plebicite postal survey about same sex marriage. Rather than do their jobs. It is going to cost over $120 million dollars. 

As I write this the High Court of Australia are hearing a case against running the postal survey. So it may on may not even happen. But in the event that it does I'm nailing my colours to the mast.

YES : Love is love, let people marry.

So my birds for the weeks leading up to the non-binding, non-mandatory, non-plebicite postal survey (if it even happens) are all showing their support for changing the marriage act to be inclusive of all the people.

...and imagine, what the kindergartens of Australia would do with $120 million dollars instead.


Sketchbook scrawls

Lately my sketchbook is all about people. Specifically the back of the head. Train travel and cafés provide lots of subjects, but staring at people can be a bit confronting, for both the stare-er and the stare-ee.

I've seen the panicked look on people's faces, the uncomfortable shift in their seat, hunch of the shoulders and the blush as it creeps across their skin when they realise they are being drawn. 

The back of their head, though is way more non-confrontational and it gives me practice at size, shape, form, hair, fabric, bags, phones, ears and sometimes, even hands. Phones often give you cover, people don't notice anything when they're on their phones, so occasionally I get a face. 

These are untouched photos straight from my sketchbook, no fiddling with lighting or brightness etc. I usually post this sort of thing on my @hilary_cresp instagram if you're interested.

Cheers and chin-chin!


OMG it’s February… and it’s nearly half over!

Well in a blur of new year and summer holiday shenanigans February is well underway and the first half of the year is looking pretty busy. Late last year I was elected as Vice-President of Illustrators Australia (IA) and along with travel plans, Birdies, submissions to competitions, agencies and publishers, it’s given my brain a good work out. 

Train People, sketchbook, 2017

The President this year is Richard Morden, he has published books and worked in the industry for a long time, you can see his work here: and our Treasurer is Sonia Kretschmar she too has worked in the industry for a long time and is a long standing member of IA, she has also been shortlisted for the Archibald Prize in 2011, you can see her work here: - You can follow them both on Instagram too! 

What I’ve found interesting how easy it is for me to do the promotional and advocacy work for the group, which I find almost debilitating to do for myself. In this ‘social media’ age, of which I am not a native, I can push IA and it’s agenda without a second thought. With my own on the other hand, I find myself crippled with anxiety with thoughts of: am I good enough; what will people think of me; who do I think I am; what am I doing wrong… In short, people will think I’m a dickhead… I guess I just have to embrace my inner dickhead and be the best dickhead I can be. Speaking of dickheads, I did this in support of the Women’s March in January.

  Protest Birds,  digital, 2017 

Protest Birds, digital, 2017 

In any event, I’m learning a lot about myself and my skill sets, both illustrative and business. Which is a good thing. Learning more and being open to new ideas and ways of doing things will lead to assorts of fun, new adventures.



...and you could knock me down with a feather

It's a wonderful thing, an unexpected win. The launch of the On The Map event at Artspace8 went extremely well and as a huge surprise to me, my piece 'Missing' won the BMW Mornington Award for best in show at Artspace8. 

  Missing . Pencil on paper, 2016, 84.1x118.9cm (unframed)

Missing. Pencil on paper, 2016, 84.1x118.9cm (unframed)

Saturday and Sunday went by in a blur of people from all over the peninsula coming in and seeing where we all work. It was a great way of meeting all sorts of new people and artists who work in the area. 

Special thanks go to the wonderful sponsors of the event:

Major Sponsors
Bendigo Bank Mornington
Mornington Peninsula shire

Artisan Partners
BMW Mornington
Mornington Peninsula Dental Clinic
Like Minds Create
Design By Bird

Along with our:

Creative partners
Mornington Peninsula Brewery, Range Life Wines, Myers Electrical Services, Poppy Culture, Manyung Gallery, Mornington Peninsula Magazine, Coffee in a Cube, Specialised Art Supplies, Southern Partners.

Collaborative partners
The Pantry House, Fernwood Fitness, The Private Sea, Quirky Collective, Peaches and Cream, Style Temple, Auspicious Arts Incubator, Sienna Jack Hair Salon.

But we mustn't forget the hard work of my studio buddies: Lindy, Luke, Bianca, Dee, Saskia, Fiona, Aniquah, Kim and Mikayla whose contribution in setting up Artspace8 and driving the project to be the best it could possibly be cannot be understated. They are wonderful.



How I fill my ears…

When I’m at my desk/easel/drawing board and the work I’m doing moves from problem solving and creating to process, I listen to podcasts.

If you don’t know what they are you’re missing out and well, get on board! It’s like a radio show but you decide what you want to listen to and when. They are often episodic and the one’s I subscribe to, hilarious because who wants to hear more bad news and people complaining about the government…

Discussion about what podcasts you listen to have become a go-to topic of conversation and I thought I’d list my favourites. But I couldn't choose so I’ve selected only six to begin with.

These are the ones that I do not miss an episode of, because they make me laugh out load and give me so much joy.


1. Stupidly Small

This is a pair of Melbourne (and Regional Victoria) people who discuss stuff and nonsense about the world and life and aren’t afraid of using a bell to keep each other in line. Lorin and Stuart used to be Breakfasters on RRR so they know their fa-shizzle from their fa-nizzle. It’s daily and almost always less than 30 minutes long. Perfect for the trip to work and keeps the everyday blather of talk-back radio out of my ears.


2. The Dollop

Los Angeles comedians Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds have gotten together for an American history podcast. My first reaction to this was, I’m not interested in American History… but I gave it a shot and well I love it. The podcast, intentionally or otherwise, uses humour to show how unchanging human nature really is throughout history. This may or may not be extrapolated by the listener, that's up to you. Give ‘em a go you’ll love it. It is a bit sweary, but that’s the way I roll so if you’re not able to stomach it you’ve been told.


3. My Dad Wrote a Porno

This is fairly new on the block, my sister referred me this one and after the first episode - yes you HAVE to listen in order, I was totally hooked. I didn’t think a podcast could make me laugh out loud like this one can, The Dollop was top in this stakes until this one… yes it has adult themes and is quite graphic but hilarious, weak bladders be warned!  Jamie Morton reads out chapters from the erotic books his  dad has written to his friends James Cooper and Alice Levine. Hilarity ensues.
Honestly - the funniest thing in my ears at the moment.


4. My Favorite Murder

This too is new. Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff get together to discuss true crime. Their discussion stems from their fear and fascination with all of the horrible things that have happened and the only way to deal with it is to talk it out.
Their shock and dismay at the stories told leads to some dark humour which is gets me right where my uncomfortableness begins. Love. It.


5. Mr Rabbit and the Bearded Lady

This is a movie review podcast. I don’t go to the movies. I rarely watch movies. I mostly watch tv and if then, I have trouble committing to anything taxing. These guys help me fill in the blanks of what people are talking about around me. And they are funny, I wan’t do an Elena Ferrante and out the speakers but one does have a distinctive voice who I have seen in other places and is a favourite of mine. They are both know their topic and speak about it very well, having a genuine love of the medium. I really enjoy their discussion (in amongst a myriad of health issues).
I might even watch a movie… you never know. For now though, I’m happy to live vicariously through these guys. 


6. The Adam Buxton Podcast

This I love because of Adam. I know little about him as he seems not to have much of a profile outside of Britain, but what I’ve heard of this makes me think he’s great. He interviews people in a gentle and conversational way. He intersperses it all with great jingles that in themselves are fab and this shows that he understands how people engage with recorded stuff like this.

So these are the first 6 of the ones I listen to regularly. It makes me think I'm learned and educated, but really, it stops the Negative Nancy in my head from telling me I'm wasting my time, and gives me something to talk about at parties.

All of these podcasts are available through iTunes and other podcast apps which you may or may not have on your phone. Look them up, everybody needs a bit of funny in their day!

Cheers my dears!

Birdies everywhere!

I've been a bit slack with the blogging, but busy is as busy does and because not everyone has Instagram here's what I've been doing...

As you can see Birdies have exploded from my pencil and have taken a life of their own. Up to all sorts of adventures. Hopefully a wonderful and generous publisher can see the potential and gives me a call. I have so many ideas for what these little darlings can achieve, you just never know what they'll do next!

Cheers and chin-chin!

To market to market…

Last night I went to the Craft Victoria seminar on market readiness, and I learned so much I though my brain was going to burst!

There were two speakers Penny Min Ferguson of MinPin and Leah Jackson of Leah Jackson Ceramics, a well as the person organising the event from Craft Victoria, Kim Goodwin. They all spoke well, clear, concise and open about their experiences and the tips they’ve learned from going to markets and building their businesses. Lots of guidance on having a successful market experiences - even if you don’t make money out of it… 

To be honest, I knew a lot of this stuff - BUT I hadn’t been able to put it together in a coherent package enough for my tiny brain to see how it worked. But this seminar showed me, which was awesome! And they liked my tea towels - they have excellent taste.

I just need to decide what I really want my business to be. But I really need to thank the wonderful Aniquah Stevenson for her advice in doing this seminar, she is awesome and her work is great - check out her new website

   Time for a tune , Hilary Cresp, 2016

Time for a tune, Hilary Cresp, 2016

In the last couple of weeks I’ve sent off a few illustration agency submissions and to a literacy agency.  But I won’t hear from them anytime soon, they get hundreds of applications and it takes long time to view them, and they only get back to those they want to see more from. So we wait.

AND...mark the weekend of the 11-13 November in your calendars! ArtSpace8, where my studio is, is having and open studios with a group exhibition and market stalls (so I can put what I've learnt into practice), with new work on display and some product for sale. More details to come!

Anyway, I’ve been doing a lot of birdies lately…and one in particular got a bit of a run. I listen to a podcast called Stupidly Big - they do a segment called 'Shiver me Tingies' : what makes you feel good in a happy friendly way like, slipping into clean sheets or hearing the sound of a champagne cork pop. I was part way through making it when, they mentioned on the podcast that someone had already make them something. So I was in two minds as to sending it to them, but in the end I did - they loved it and (with my permission) made it their avatar for Twitter. YAY!

   Shiver me tingies , Hilary Cresp, 2016

Shiver me tingies, Hilary Cresp, 2016

Don't forget that you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram using the @_essayer handle or sign up for my mailing list.

Cheers and chin-chin!

Some you win…

Last weekend I had my work Unravelling in the Derinya Art and Craft Exhibition (DACE), and although it didn’t sell I did have lots of positive feedback.

After picking it up I’ve put it on one of the gallery walls attached to the studio space here in Artspace8. It looks great (even if I do say so myself) and I haven’t got tired of it.

   Unravelling  (1,2&3), pencil on paper, Hilary Cresp, 2016

Unravelling (1,2&3), pencil on paper, Hilary Cresp, 2016

The intricacies of doing a piece quite this large is a challenge but one I’m willing to take up and I have a lot of this on my mind so I think it will form the backbone of a new exhibition. 

At DACE we did make a purchase… Eddie Zammitt and Travis Price collaborated on a limited edition print, which ticked our fancy. It’s a beautiful image well executed by a master of the genre. I love it.

I also took down the exhibition Endless, at Frankston Art Centre (FAC). It had been up there for a while and made a few sales, which was great. The curator there was really supportive as well as being pragmatic, which is of great benefit as I am not alone in being somewhat unsure of myself, so a guiding hand is wonderful. She gave me a couple of leads which I will follow up in the coming days.

Currently, I am working on a groovy little picture book. Hopefully the magic publishing fairy sees it and loves it as much as I do… and publishes it. I haven’t got a title yet but it will be finalised in the coming weeks.

   Birdie,  Ink, Hilary Cresp, 2016

Birdie, Ink, Hilary Cresp, 2016

I used the little darling in a screen printing workshop with Tim Growcott, a fabulous textile artist. Held at Oak Hill Gallery, Tim showed us how to make a screen using photographic emulsion and print on a carousel. The following week he showed how to strip a screen and placement printing - but I missed that day… :(