Artist Spotlight: Sye Robertson
I’m an artist and designer in Melbourne, Australia. My full-time job is a graphic designer for a large non-profit, but I’m just launched my own business where I work on my personal creative projects. These include creating artwork for apparel (t-shirts being the main item, and my first coloring book, Unwind with Geometry. I also am a published board game designer with three titles released so far. I love color and shape, Piet Mondrian is my favorite artist, his use of flat primary color and rectangles really resonates with me. Like a lot of folks, I have mental health hurdles, and I’ve found creating the coloring designs to be an important part of my ongoing healing.
Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do?
I’ve always been into making things, but I think I really accepted it as a teenager and then worked to make it a reality. I’m a graphic designer full time, I paint, design board games, and make music. Extending into coloring books felt natural and I’ve found it to be very rewarding.
What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever created?
Gosh that is tough to answer! I’m proud of many things I’ve worked on! Having my first game design published was a big highlight, but so is completing a graphic design project and seeing the client happy with the results. lately I’ve been trying to develop my illustration and painting, working digitally has been really freeing as I can create almost anywhere. My first coloring book “Unwind with Geometry” is almost ready to send to the printers, and I’m really proud of it.
What’s the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative? Pacing. It’s easy to push yourself to exhaustion, so learning to take breaks, work on things in smaller chunks of time, and planning. I aim to work on my personal projects a little bit everyday, even if its just 10 minutes, and I’ve found this helpful to keeping motivated but also see progress. Also, try to find the positive voices in the people around you, and keep some fo them close, as it’s easy to be overwhelmed by negative thoughts, comparisons to other artists, and all the other negative voices. Try to be honest with yourself, often improvement is needed, and that needs to be acknowledged if growth can happen, but it needs to be balanced with celebrating the growth as it happens. So, take a breath, and look back over your progress and feel proud of your progress, even if most of that was earned the hard way. I have tons of failed designs and unfinished artworks, that’s fine! Even when you feel absolutely low about your abilities and worth, you are growing. Not all success looks like checks with lots of zeros, often success is doing something creative for ten minutes despite all the pressures of life, and accepting that you are enough.
Are there other coloring book artists or illustrators that inspire you?
I’m still fairly new to the coloring book scene, so anyone who is creating and sharing their creations with the world is inspiring to me. I’ve found it great reading the blogs from other featured artists on here, so much talent and inspiration!