Alice Moynihan is an illustrator and designer from New Zealand and currently based at Copenhagen, Denmark. She graduated in Visual Communication (1st class honours) in 2014 from the Massey University, New Zealand. She has completed various freelance illustration and design projects for clients including Capital Magazine, UNESCO, The New Zealand Herald, and Routledge Publishers, etc. Her compelling illustrations are simple yet bold and bright with interesting concepts. Lots of design and architectural elements are also found in her work which is sure to appeal to an audience of any age. Here’s our Q&A with Alice Moynihan.
How did you get into the world of art/illustration. How do you see your evolution as an illustrator?
As a kid I really enjoyed letting loose with a box of crayons or watercolor paints. Art was big entertainment in our family and I loved to trawl through the pages of the National Geographic magazine drawing the colourful people and exotic places. I grew up in a very isolated, wild part of New Zealand so we had to use our imagination to keep ourselves entertained. I think that this probably helped to spark my creativity from an early age. At school I was interested in Science and Art and I decided to study visual communication design at University. Since graduating I have worked as an illustrator/designer for a digital publishing company in Auckland and just recently I moved from New Zealand to Denmark and I will continue to to freelance as an illustrator In Copenhagen.
Yes, I think humour is essential to life. It’s important to be able to laugh and see the lighter/weirder side of things.
What other art forms beside illustrations do you practice?
I am interested in motion and narrative and I make little movies from time to time. I’m hoping this is something I can give myself more time to do. I’ve always liked to sing and play/write my own songs and I’ve recently thought about experimenting and incorporating this into some animated projects.
Ideally, I like to wake up and go outside for a run. Then I’ll have breakfast, tidy my desk and make a strong coffee. It’s important for me to work in a quiet, calm environment and often I need to be alone when I’m generating concepts. After the ideas phase is out of the way and I’m painting or making I often have music or a podcast playing, the slight distraction helps me to focus. I find that I work most effectively in 2-3 hour chunks of time so in between I like to cook, do yoga or get out for fresh air or a bike ride. Breaks are really important and I need to constantly remind myself to take them so I don’t turn into a screen zombie. I think when I’m absent mindedly drawing in my sketchbook in the evenings and in a relatively relaxed mood I tend to come up with my best ideas.
I keep a sketchbook and I will use pencils, pens ink and paint. Sometimes I use collage to help generate ideas. Most of my work is finished digitally so I use a Wacom tablet and Photoshop. Occasionally I get into illustrator but I prefer the more fluid process of working in Photoshop and incorporating drawn elements.
Tell us about your achievements, awards, clients, publications, etc.:
I recently graduated and my final year project was a book about cycling adventures in New Zealand. It was a very fun experience creating the whole project from concept through to creating the design and illustration and then finally the selection of all print details such as paper stock and binding. I really enjoyed the whole process. I was really happy to pick up two international Red Dot awards in Singapore and Berlin for this project which was a nice wee pat on the back.
Well I very recently moved to Copenhagen so I am really excited to get to know this place and discover the creative community here. I’m already inspired, this city is fantastic. I am currently working on a series of illustrated children books for Ipad that will be published next year as well as freelancing with editorial illustration alongside this. I have far too many plans and not enough time! A short list is – I want to get back into painting onto walls and larger formats as well as to experiment with more personal animations and keep working on building my editorial work.
One of my favourite artists/illustrators working today in Brian Rea. His wall murals and short animations are beautiful. I also love Eleanor Davis. Her perspective is weird and wonderful. My music taste is pretty eclectic it really varies from hip hop to country and all in between. At the moment I’m listening to this band Lavender Diamond. It really feels good melodic pop music and this guy Marlon Williams who is a country singer with a beautiful voice. My all time favourites are bands like Tame Impala and classics like Simon and Garfunkel.
I love the author David Sedaris. I stumbled upon his stuff one day and was hooked. He is extremely funny and self-deprecating. There is a chapter in his book ‘Me Talk Pretty One Day’ that describes his time at art school. It was so accurate and hilarious and is something that anyone who has spent some time studying art would appreciate.