Pip Compton has been an integral part of Apiary Made. Her wonderful illustrations and graphic design work has inspired us and evolved our branding since the very beginnings. We asked her some questions about her work, ethos and lifestyle....
Hi Pip! To start off, can you tell us how you first got into graphic design and illustration? When did this journey begin?
Hello! Thank you for ‘having me’…
I have early memories of my love affair with art and nature. I was happiest with a pencil or paintbrush in hand. I grew up in a small country town in Southern Victoria surrounded by green rolling hills, and beauty as far as the eye could see. I had three siblings and my parents would often take us on bike rides through the countryside or long walks on the beach. I’d collect ‘treasure’, filling my pockets to return home and lay them out as specimens or subject matter to draw. We had a beautiful garden with loads of feathered and furry friends. I would often sit in the garden and draw… flowers and fronds, plant poses, ruffled feathers on my busy birds. These are my memories and lessons learnt. Fresh air, observation and appreciation.
I was drawn to capturing some of the beauty on paper, or trying to. I loved art at school, couldn’t get enough of it. I studied Biology at university initially, among other things. I would spend many carefully considered hours dissecting plants then illustrating and labelling their parts. The typography in old Biology text books intrigued me.
After spending time travelling over seas and seeing beautiful parts of our world, I returned home inspired and driven to create a career for myself I was passionate about. I knew it had to be in the field of art or design. I landed in graphic design and was thrilled. Highly motivated and a sponge for information.
Your aesthetic is very earthy yet minimal, tonal and refined… how long did it take you to find your aesthetic? What inspires it?
The details of our natural world have definitely inspired my work. I think it’s important to slow down and ‘look further’. We each have a different viewpoint and I believe that’s where originality comes from. Trusting your intuition and being aware of how something makes you feel. I can get very excited about detail: raw edges, tonal variations, delicate textures, subtle hues. I believe we continue to learn and evolve our own personal ‘style’. As a graphic designer my work is driven by a brief. Every client is different and so is each project.
What does a normal day in the life of Pip Compton look like?
I start the day with my children, getting them ready for school… trying not to get caught up in the rush. I aim for some healthy and inspiring conversation, always music, often dancing.
I walk everyday before work, my mind and body need it and crave it. The breathing is essential and the movement is invigorating. I then enjoy a huge nutritious and delicious breakfast… in the garden - if it’s not the middle of winter. My parents always did this and I love it.
I work from a home studio and I collaborate with many passionate people. Each day is a blend of working by myself and liaising with clients and suppliers. I love quiet space for the creative process. Liaising with clients and suppliers includes site visits, press checks, sourcing packaging, signage requirements, talking paper, binding and finishes. Whilst I live in Melbourne I have quite a few regional clients so visiting the farm, the winery or the coast for a meeting is just part of the job.
After school its a juggle of work, soccer schedules, basketball runs, appointments and all the standard parenting stuff. The evening involves homework, dinner and yoga or Body Balance. The kids bedtime routines usually involve stories and massage [yes still massaging my 13 year old son, and he says ‘I can tell when you’re rushing it mum’]. I try and get to bed at a reasonable hour and I like to put together a plan for the next day, some reading and some meditation.
Tell us about one or two of your favourite projects that you’ve worked on over your career.
Working with like minded people can be very rewarding. One example is Tamsin Carvan of Tamsin’s Table. We love nothing more than talking ‘shop’, but drift regularly into inspiring tales and dream up moments of magic and workshops of wonder. We talk openly and honestly about life and love and the challenges of small business. We laugh a lot and some how get the job done in the end.
There’s a certain amount of trust from clients. They let me into their world. I listen a lot and run with my intuition. I gather, process and curate ideas to come up with the ‘essence’ of who they are. It is my responsibility to interpret a clients needs and produce a successful and meaningful response that resonates with them and their audience.
Celeste and Apiary Made have trusted my instinct from the start, allowing my creativity to drive the way. A beautiful brand has emerged and continues to grow and evolve.
I see you’ve been involved in some exciting events and workshops recently, do you have any more coming up?
I initially trained as a teacher and I love the opportunity a workshop presents. Gathering people who share an interest and creating a space for them to pause life and indulge in themselves and the practice. Participants frequently find the reward is more often in the process than the outcome. I encourage them to drop expectations and find joy in the creating.
Tamsin and I are talking workshops. They will most likely be held in the amazing new space, soon to open at The Borough Department Store
I have another exciting side project which will be revealed sometime later in the year or early next year. Absolutely bursting with excitement over it. Feel free to join my mailing community for updates at pipcompton.com.au
How can people see your work?
I prefer to fly under the radar most of the time. I don’t follow any strict rules with social media and my online portfolio is pretty much my instagramfeed. It happens organically and that’s the way I like it for the moment.