• Gemma O’Brien: Artist in Residence

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Gemma O’Brien: Artist in Residence
23.09.15

Artists In Residence, Awards, Design, Gemma O'Brien, Illustration, Illustrators/Designers, Typography



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Levine/Leavitt is proud to announce the latest addition to the Artists in Residence roster – ADC Young Guns ’15 winner Ms. Gemma O’Brien.

The Artists in Residence program presents Young Guns winners the opportunity to receive full representation by Levine/Leavitt in their creative journeys, while being guided by a highly respected board of advisors.  The board, which includes Dave Bett, Design Director at Sony Music, Alex Nowak, Creative Director at Droga5, Cliff Lewis, Head of Art Production at Droga5, Menno Kluin, ECD at Deutsch Inc, photographer/filmmaker Danny Clinch, and Rob Baird, ECD at Preacher, provide highly-personal feedback and mentorship as the Young Guns prepare to take on new creative endeavors in their professional careers post-award.

Gemma O’Brien is an illustrator and typographer based out of Sydney, Australia.  After leaving law school, Gemma pursued her love of art and earned her Bachelor of Design at the College of Fine Arts in Sydney, where her passion for typography originated.  Since then, she’s been featured in numerous gallery shows, hosted countless hand-lettering workshops, and spoken at some of the most prestigious design conferences around the world, including Typo Berlin, Semi Permanent, Field Trip, Creative Mornings, agIdeas International Design Forum and the Typism.  Her clients include Woolworths, Heinz, The New York Times, Vodafone, Taronga Zoo, Smirnoff, and Canon, among many others, and is the proud recipient of 5 Type Director’s Club Communication Design awards this year.  Get to know Gemma below!

What excites you most about being a Young Gun? What’s the biggest advantage of being young and fresh in the business? 

I’ve had the ADC Young Gun competition on my radar since I first started studying design – I was constantly inspired by the work of the young creatives who were selected each year in this group. So I feel very honoured to be joining a long line of amazing designers. I think being young and fresh in the business often means embracing all projects with a yes-attitude – even if at first they seem beyond your skills or vision, saying yes then problem-solving how to bring it to life.  Also, I think it’s a great time  to be able find your own voice and experiment with style.

Who is your biggest influence in the illustration world? The typography world?

My all-time favourites in lettering and illustration are: Ken Barber, Friends of Type, Alex Trochut, ilovedust, Martina Flor, Jessica Hische, Tyrsa, James Jean, Jonathan Zawada.

Who is your dream client?

 Larry David.

Any current personal projects? 

Continuing the #spewbagchallenge : http://spewbagchallenge.tumblr.com/ and a couple of other fun projects that I will reveal before the end of the year!

What’s your favorite part about living in Sydney?

 The beach is 20 minute ride from my studio.

Where do you get your work done? 

I have a studio attic and I’m a night owl, so I like to do the majority of my work between 6pm and 3am.

What is your favorite animal? 

Chooks!