Adriana Picker is a commercial illustrator and artist who has recently made the move from her home town of Sydney to New York City!
Adriana started her career working as a Costume Illustrator on Features films such as Mad Max: Fury Road and The Great Gatsby, where her costume illustrations were shown at the 2014 Academy Awards when Costume Designer Catherine Martin won an Oscar.
Adriana’s clients have included Mecca Cosmetica, Australian Vogue, Murdoch Books and Quay Restaurant – for whom she recently contributed a large body of work, illustrating Chef Peter Gilmore’s second, highly anticipated book, Organum. She has also provided her talents to brands such as Absolut Vodka, Catherine Martin Home, Real Living Magazine and is also a regular monthly contributor to Australian Gourmet Traveller Magazine.
Her first book ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights – A Lush Wonderland of Colouring for Adults’ was published in November 2015, by Hardie Grant Australia. Her second ‘Where the Wildflowers Grow – A Botanical Wonderland of Colouring’ was published in June 2016. Her third book and first with Co-author Ed Loveday ‘The Cocktail Garden – Botanical cocktails for every season’ will be published in September, 2017. All with Hardie Grant Australia.
How would you describe your style?
Contemporary, romantic, vivid, lush, textural, botanical.
Which themes do you pursue?
Mostly botanical, but I also love to illustrate domestic objects and food.
What’s your process for forming concepts and ideas?
I first start by delving into my library of personal reference photos. I’ve gotten pretty good at recognising something I may want to draw at a later time, even if I have no idea when or what for and will take a quick snap with my iPhone.
Where do you look for inspiration?
I am currently (and for a long time) pretty obsessed with any plant that is variegated. Constantly on the hunt for those! I recently discovered ornamental variegated cotton here in NYC which is just a dream. So any garden or street corner where something is growing really!!
What have been your favourite projects to work on?
One of my favourites would have to be the identity for Vogue’s fashion night out earlier this year. Was such a lovely brief, inspired by the golden age of Dutch still life painting. Lush, with lots of movement and passionate colours.
Do you have any favourite art books?
Unfortunately I had to leave my book collection at home in Sydney! Would have been rather expensive to ship over here! The ones I am missing most are one on the work of Tony Duquette an incredible and very prolific American artist who created the most outrageous and incredible sets and costumes for film and interior designs. I also have been obsessed with this incredible large format book – Lux et Nox by Bill Henson since I was a teenager. Henson’s work is so evocative and I am not surprised I was drawn to it considering how much I loved the work of Caravaggio. I feel there are such great parallels between the work of these great masters and the intense emotional response evoked by Henson’s work.
Your favourite art galleries or museums in New York?
My very lovely friend Emma gave me a membership to the MET for my birthday this year knowing it is my favourite. I draw from there all the time! Such an epic permanent collection and then the rotating exhibitions never disappoint! The Comme de Garcons exhibition earlier this year was just mind blowing!!
How has social media played a role in your career?
Instagram in particular has been a really important tool in establishing my personal brand as an artist and building an audience. For me Instagram has become my most important portfolio. A lot of clients have found my work through Instagram and it is such an easy way to remind brands and art directors that you still exist and are producing good work.
What advice would you give yourself if you started all over again?
Ignore all the rest and just keep producing work. It’s the work that will propel you forward. There will always be anxiety and stress, stop waiting for that one client or exhibition or artwork that will make everything ok, accept the anxiety and just keep working.
Do you have anything exciting in the works?
I am in the process of working on my first exhibition here in New York! Sort of following the formula that worked so well for me with my last Exhibition at The Design Files gallery in Melbourne, I will be doing a series of paintings that hang on a mural. To make the exhibition experience fabulous and immersive.