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  1. Design & Illustration
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Design

International Artist Feature: New Zealand

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Welcome back to our International Artist Series.

Today we're catching up with six incredible artists from New Zealand, home of amazing art, beautiful scenery, and talented people. I asked each artist how their country and culture inspired their work, and they delivered great responses.

Guangyu Li

Guangyu Li is a motion graphics student currently living in Auckland, New Zealand. His 3D work is colorful and magical, offering a look into his imaginative vision of the future.

See more in his portfolio.

Happy New Year

Kiwis are really friendly and kind. I live in Auckland currently. It is a city with diversity, both on the cultural and social level, so it's not too hard to fit in. The local residents pay a lot of attention to sustainable development to preserve what they enjoy. And I do like the environment-friendly and easy life style.
Happy New Year
Happy New Year

Daily Render

Besides the Western aesthetics, concepts from Maori, pacific people, and immigrants throughout the world diversify our society. Taking the public culture and art as an example, I can appreciate masterpieces from notable artists in the Auckland Art Gallery and Museum.
Daily Render
Daily Render

Cyber-Creature

Cyber-Creature
Cyber-Creature

Futuristic Concept Exploration

Since I’m new in Auckland, the art communities I've joined are mostly online. In New Zealand, the industry is really small, so designers and artists tend to connect more and communicate with each other on the internet. Universities also hold some design and art exhibitions, encouraging students to join the art community to develop themselves.
Futuristic Concept Exploration
Futuristic Concept Exploration

Kate Hursthouse

Kate is a calligraphy artist and designer based in Auckland, New Zealand. She specializes in graphical calligraphy work with incredible handmade posters and designs.

See more in her portfolio.

Noon til Night Illustration

I love that New Zealand is an island nation and we are surrounded by water. Where I live is the narrowest point of New Zealand and I can drive from the east coast beaches to the west coast beaches in an hour. It is the most beautiful country in the world!
Noon til Night Illustration
Noon til Night Illustration

Burn Out Illustration

New Zealand's influence comes through in my more detailed illustrations. I often include native flora and fauna, bird life and Maori or Pacific patterns. New Zealand's history of calligraphy is quite small so I have been much more influenced by European and Japanese cultures in regards to my calligraphy work.
Burn Out Illustration
Burn Out Illustration

Illustration

Illustration
Illustration

Numbers & Letters

I have found the art community to be very small here, but that means that everyone seems to know each other and it is easy to reach out to people. I feel everyone is very supportive of each other's work and enjoy seeing other artists succeed.
Numbers and  Letters
Numbers & Letters

Pablo Espinosa

Pablo is a Mexican illustrator and designer based in Auckland, New Zealand. His work is a colorful explosion of mystical creatures and culture. Check out his intergalactic designs full of charisma.

See more in his portfolio.

Illustration

New Zealand is exceedingly beautiful, with lush, dramatic natural landscapes in every corner. Even here in Auckland, the country's largest city, the greenery is overwhelming. The people are equally excellent. Our city is a multicultural hub of optimism with people of all cultures coexisting in peace and freedom.
Illustration
Illustration

Iyariverse

I have been freelancing and working in a digital agency in Auckland for the last seven years, and I've definitely been influenced by the down to earth views of my kiwi co-workers. Hopefully, I've also been able to leave my Mexican imprint of larger than life visuals and living with vibrant colors in our lives.
Iyariverse
Iyariverse

Garage Project

Garage Project
Garage Project

Atomic Forest

The art community in NZ is ambitious, diverse, highly talented and rather accessible. This comes hand in hand with a wonderful social reality in this country. People value simplicity and austerity as conducive qualities for a healthier lifestyle, and the art world is better for it. This is the kind of scene where people propel each other to succeed.
 Atomic Forest
Atomic Forest

Shannon Jahnel Lanktree

Shannon is a Brazilian-born Kiwi currently based in Auckland, New Zealand. Inspired by her passion for games and animation design, her work features incredible 3D and flat illustrations full of life and color.

See more in her portfolio.

The Hills Have Tongues

Although I love a lot of different aspects about living in New Zealand, its natural beauty is my favorite part. With its crystal clear rivers, beautiful mountain ranges, and amazing volcanic landscapes, it's an amazing place to explore and it truly takes your breath away.
The Hills Have Tongues
The Hills Have Tongues

Sushi of the Week

New Zealand's surrealistic landscapes offer a great deal of inspiration. I can't help but imagine the fantastical creatures that live in certain areas and cities. Listening to the Maori myths and legends is also a great way to re-imagine the world around you. My work is influenced both by the Brazilian and Japanese art culture I grew up with.
Sushi of the Week
Sushi of the Week

Wildlings

Wildlings
Wildlings

Wildlings

New Zealand has its famous home-grown artists, as well as amazing creative companies and individuals. From the famous Weta Workshop artists, to individual graffiti artists, toy makers, and game and music makers, we're a very small country, but we don't let that stop us from making it big!
Wildlings
Wildlings

Antony Graystone

Antony is an incredible graphic artist based in Auckland, New Zealand. Armed with a few pens in hand, his work features phenomenal graphical illustrations of cosmic animals and skulls.

See more in his portfolio.

Architects European Tour Poster

As a Brit, I never planned to settle in New Zealand. On a backpacking trip around the globe, I spent some time here and never left. I find the geography stunning, from the snow capped mountains to the white sandy beaches all in one small country. The people reflect the surroundings with a relaxed attitude which suits me perfectly. I’ve never worn ‘Jandles’ (flip flops) so much in my life!
Architects European Tour Poster
Architects European Tour Poster

Cosmic Grizzly

One thing that struck me about New Zealand was the interesting blend of the two primary cultures, European and Maori. As a Brit I have a lot of familiarity with the European side, but the Polynesian side was very foreign to me. Learning about the Maori culture and traditions has definitely played a factor in my work. Before written language was introduced, wooden carvings were effectively books, so each mark can be read to tell a story. The power of symbols and patterns is something I try to adopt whenever possible. Tattoos are also very mainstream in New Zealand, so some of my work features popular tattoo themes.
Cosmic Grizzly
Cosmic Grizzly

Cosmic Skull

Cosmic Skull III
Cosmic Skull

Cosmic Tiger 

Being so geographically isolated, New Zealand has its limitations, but this is much less of a factor as the internet continues to develop. This is not all bad though because it makes for a close and intimate art community. I cross paths with many of the same faces in the local art markets/expos all the time. All the usual opportunities are available here, from mural art, to illustration and fine art, but it's like a microcosm to the rest of the world.
Cosmic Tiger
Cosmic Tiger

Emma Campbell

Emma is a digital creative based in Auckland, New Zealand. Featuring mixed media pieces of drawing, design and more, her work makes a smart impact with its brilliant graphical look.

See more in her portfolio.

Behind the Man

One of my favorite things about New Zealand is the nature. I love being in the outdoors and it is so easy to access beautiful sights, beaches and regional parks. I’m based in Auckland and even when you are in the heart of the city you can still find a quiet spot in a park to stop and take in your surroundings.
Behind the Man
Behind the Man

Girl Skateboards Graphic

I think the New Zealand culture and the country itself has influenced my personal work a lot. I’ve drawn inspiration from Maori culture in some of my patterning and have also referred to Maori history. A lot of my illustrations have reference to nature and I think that’s because of my love for the outdoors.
Girl Skateboards Graphic
Girl Skateboards Graphic

Branding

Branding
Branding

Waikato Heraldry

Most of my friends are also creatives who work in a range of different companies so we keep pretty connected about what's happening through each other. Auckland especially tends to put on really unique art experiences. At the moment there are 47 giant owl sculptures scattered around the city that have been painted by artists and people are encouraged to explore the city to find these works of art. I think these experiences are so awesome to encourage people to explore but to also discover beautiful pieces of art.
Waikato Heraldry
Waikato Heraldry

Many thanks to the artists who took time to answer my questions and share a bit about themselves and how their country and/or culture has affected their work. You can check out more of their work in the links below:

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