Meet the Artists Behind our Issue 39 Takeover


The minds and makers behind our most creative pages.

Each issue, we invite talented and creative individuals to grace our pages with their visual genius. This month, we were lucky enough to have a gathering of artists skilled in everything from typography and food lettering to illustration and beyond. Here are the faces behind the brushes from Issue 39.

Jess Cruickshank
A letterer/illustrator living and working out of a tiny stone cottage in Sydney, Jess first discovered the joys of expressive hand lettering as a 10-year-old, by copying the handwritten pages in The Baby-Sitters Club books. Since then, she’s completed a design degree and worked in advertising for several years before jumping into lettering and illustration full-time in 2015. Jess has created work for clients such as David Jones, Clinique and Shangri-La Hotels and was a speaker at the Typism conference.


Becca Clason02-becca-clason-headshot
Becca has always had a knack for seeing things others don’t. From her home in the mountains of Northern Utah, US, this lettering artist and designer helps brands come to life by creating custom typography out of food, products and a multitude of other items. She’s a one-stop shop; doing her own food and prop styling, photography, stop-motion animation and post-production. Becca’s talents have been utilised by clients such as Disney, American Express and the Washington Post.


Thomas Burden03-thomas-burden-headshot
Since graduating — to (his own) rapturous applause — from Camberwell College of Arts’ graphic design BA in 2007, Thomas has woven a freelance career with longer full-time stints as a senior designer at leading design studios McFaul Studio and I Love Dust. It’s during this period that he developed his inimitable talent for 3D-rendered art work. His creations have graced everything from book covers, ad campaigns and packaging to animations, stage visuals and the entire exterior of a Beirut shopping mall (true story). He’s created works for the likes of Nike, Greenpeace and Esquire. Thomas’ style is best described as ’60s and ’70s National Geographic meets ’80s and ’90s toy section of the [UK retailer] Argos catalogue.

Maricor/Maricar, aka fraternal twins Maricor and Maricar Manalo, are designers who illustrate and illustrators who embroider. Their work focuses on intricately detailed, hand-embroidered lettering and illustration, which they’ve crafted for clients such as Myer, Vogue Japan, Hong Kong Airport and TOMS. They’ve been collaborators almost since the womb, studying together through primary, high school and finally at university where they each graduated with a bachelor’s degree in visual communication.

Ellen Porteus05-ellen-porteus-headshotA Melbourne-based illustrator with a background in graphic design, Ellen has a bold graphic style and a penchant for creating mind-melting looping GIFs. Ellen honed her skills while studying visual communication at the University of Technology, Sydney. After graduating in 2014, Ellen got a taste of the illustration industry by scoring Bloomberg Businessweek as her first commercial client. Her foot in the door, she said ‘laters’ to her graphic design day job and dove straight into freelancing. Since then, she has done work for clients such as The New York Times and Sydney Opera House.


Timba Smits
There’s not much Timba can’t do when he puts pen to paper. Born in perhaps the wrong era, his work is rich in mid-century nostalgia fused with his own brand of fun and humour. Co-founder and self-publisher of cult magazine Wooden Toy Quarterly, and co-founder and former art director of Gorker Gallery in Melbourne, Timba has worked with some of the world’s leading brands including The New York Times, Wired, Maxim, The Guardian, SBS, HBO, Red Bull and Ride Snowboards.

The Letterettes07-the-letterettes-headshot
Eliza Svikulis, Carla Hackett, Kate Pullen and Wanissa Somsuphangsri make up The Letterettes. These four pals share a love of letterforms, four-legged creatures and – most importantly – sequinned jackets. Not unlike Captain Planet and his band of eco-warriors, The Letterettes combine skills to create a vast and varied portfolio, helping to fight irregular kerning and uncertain type hierarchy. The group, who all have graphic design and illustration studies under their belts, thrive on working as a quartet. They use a range of tools – from pencil, to brush, to chalk – and their portfolio includes murals, customised gift cards, signage and workshops.


Luke Lucas08-luke-lucas-headshot
This Melburnian is currently based in Sydney, with a self-made career spanning two decades. In the late ’90s, Luke co-created Fourinarow, a global in-line skating publication. Then, with two other partners in crime, he started Lifelounge – simultaneously a creative agency, online creative culture portal and glossy print magazine – where he began to experiment with conceptual illustrative typography, custom lettering and type design. It wasn’t long before he was attracting illustrative type briefs from agencies, publishers and brands across the globe. He has received awards from D&AD, MADC and AWARD and his regular clients include Nike, Target US and The New York Times.


Dave Foster
Born and bred in Sydney, David graduated with a bachelor of design from Swinburne University at the tender age of 19. After working as a graphic designer for several years, he travelled to the Netherlands where he graduated from a masters in typeface design at the Royal Academy of Art. David’s graduating typeface, Blanco, took out gold at the Morisawa Type Design Competition in Japan. Dave returned to Sydney in 2013, and has been running combined lettering and letterpress workshops with The Distillery ever since, as well as creating typefaces and lettering for international clients.

Allison Colpoys
10-allison-colpoys_headshotAllison is an award-winning book designer and illustrator and a lover of pattern and typography. Formerly a senior designer at Penguin Books Australia, she now works in-house at Scribe Publications, and freelances through The Jacky Winter Group. Allison’s first illustrated picture book, The Underwater Fancy-dress Parade, won two Australian Book Design Awards, an Australian Book Industry Award and CBCA’s Crichton Award for the Best New Talent.

Rudi De Wet
Rudi is a graphic artist whose work is characterised by bold, colourful and energetic executions. Specialising in illustration, hand-drawn type, interior artwork and graphic design, he produces work across all media, and for local and international clients from concept to craft.


Will Lynes
A traditional sign painter and decorative glass artist based in Sydney, Will has always had a way with his hands. He began work as a decorative artist straight out of high school, taking on Italian plaster work and restoration projects while he completed his graphic design degree at The Design Centre in Enmore, Sydney. Will runs his own signage business and uses the natural effects of ageing as inspiration for his paintings. His other major inspiration is his mentor, top artist Dave Smith.



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