• Kate Neilson

The era of relatable illustrations: an interview with Chloe Joyce

Instagram was once a place for inspirational quotes and photos of a bird's-eye-view of a bowl of muesli, but these days the 'relatable illustration' movement is hitting our screens, and boy am I okay about it.

One of my favourite artists (she graces both my bedroom walls and Instagram feed) is @chloejoyceillustrations – her work speaks to me on so many levels and I'm quite sure you're going to love her too.

We caught up with Chloe who told us about her journey towards becoming an artist, what she's learned from Japanese philosophy, and why it's important to give yourself a break from your creative pursuits.



Based in:

Sydney, Australia

Describe your ~vibe~ in three words.

'Planty' good times.

When did you first start illustrating?

Not until I was 24. My sister is an artist, but it's not something I ever really though of doing. I enjoyed it, but always thought of it as her 'thing'. I was working in fashion and really thought I would go into designing, but the fashion industry wasn't for me, so I decided to do a design fundamentals course and boom, I'm an illustrator!

Who or what inspires you most?

Gardening or getting out into nature. I like going for a walk or a swim (salt water is the cure for EVERYTHING!) but also just lounging around. It's amazing how creative you can be if you just give yourself some time to be lazy!

Where do you feel the most creative?

I always feel super creative when I'm travelling. Being around new cultures and landscapes is incredibly invigorating and can really shake up how you view your work. When you're working full time in a creative industry, it's easy to get tunnel vision and start recycling ideas. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I do think that getting outside of your comfort zone can be a nice creative shake up.

"It's amazing how creative you can be if you just give yourself some time to be lazy!"

How do you overcome a creative slump?

I don't really, I kinda just ride it out. There's plenty of other equally important things you can do when working for yourself and I think it's important to give yourself a break from being creative, it's bloody exhausting!

What makes up your ideal weekend?

Walking my pup, going for a swim, eating lots of tasty food, and drinking some yummy beer while doing a spot of gardening.

What’s your favourite piece of art that you’ve made?

I really resonate with 'Home is where my ramen is' [lead image] because well... ramen is the bomb diggity and I like to eat it in my undies of the floor watching Netflix. I live a simple life.

What’s the best thing about your hometown?

I grew up in Ulladulla, so I'd say the beaches. God damn I miss those pristine beaches!

What’s the last thing that made you angry?

Ummm, the last thing? I got pretty angry about the size of my burrito last night, it was disappointingly small.

What’s the last thing that really made you think?

I just finished reading Wabi-Sabi by Leonard Koren. It's such a beautiful read about the Japanese philosophy of finding beauty in the unconventional and the imperfect. It's really made me think about the wabi-sabi in my own life and work, and ways that I can embrace and use it.

What advice do you have for other creatives/makers?

Do you. Don't get too caught up with what you think other people want to see, create what makes you happy and what you want to see and it's bound to resonate with others. I would also recommend getting a hobby which isn't your hustle, it'll work wonders for the ol' creative juices! Oh and remember to take time and be kind to yourself. x

You can follow Chloe's work on Instagram @chloejoyceillustrations and check out more of her work here at her website.

Kate Neilson is the founding editor of Twenty Something Humans. She likes to eat her toast in bed and feels awkward writing about herself in third person. Lurk her @katiepotatierose.

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