Susy Boyer is an Australian illustrator and painter.
“I’ve spent most of my life as a creator and maker of things. From twig people as a toddler, ingenious cubby houses as a child, cartoon drawings in high school, to giant soft sculptures during art college. These pursuits inspired me like nothing else, and I was happily lost in the comforting world of my imagination.
The second oldest of five girls, I was average at most things and struggled to make my mark as a child. To be honest I felt a little invisible. Growing up on a hobby farm gave me a valuable close-up view of nature … birth, death and the cycles of life. And living wild, with fairly absent parents gave me plenty of freedom to imagine and daydream, with lots of places to escape to. Nature remains this refuge for me today.
Discovering a natural ability for long-distance running at fourteen was my social saviour … strengthening my body and self-esteem at a crucial time. Running quickly became one of my greatest passions and pleasures, and has been a loyal companion for forty years. It’s the thing I turn to in celebration or sadness, and is the perfect complement to a life in art which requires many hours of sitting or standing.
Drawing and creativity attracted me from the beginning, and I was enchanted by my father’s architecture studio. But without much outside guidance it took a while before I developed any noticeable skills. Not until I finished high school and entered art college did I begin to show my potential. I studied Visual Communication at The Queensland College of Art, majoring in Illustration and Graphic Design, and after graduating spent five years working as a graphic designer for magazine publishers in Sydney and London. After some wonderful years as assistant art director of The Australian Women’s Weekly magazine, a yearning for more drawing time led me to transition to a freelance career in illustration which I’ve enjoyed ever since. I love working in publishing, especially children’s books and have illustrated over eighty titles, from picture books to readers for the educational market.
I also relish the creative freedom of drawing and painting my own ideas, and in recent years I’ve been exploring this area more. I work mainly with graphite, coloured pencil, watercolour, and soft pastels for my illustrations, and pastel or acrylic on canvas for my paintings. The subject matter in my work is quite varied as I like to draw and paint the many ideas and random thoughts that constantly course through my head.
I’m in awe of visual beauty, inspired by passionate deep-thinking people, and knocked-for-six by the brilliance of nature.
I’m also totally turned on by colour, it has the power to literally stop me in my tracks. Some of my earliest memories are of brightly coloured objects and pictures that fascinated me as a baby. I’m drawn with delight to the colours of everything around me, and the endless combinations one can make to find a pleasing result. Maybe this explains my quirky attraction to licorice allsorts!
I live and work beside the sea, surrounded by nature in the beautiful semi-tropical region near Byron Bay NSW. My sunny studio is filled with the sounds of the ocean and birdsong which I find both calming and inspiring. I also run The Art Room, a studio/gallery space on Queensland’s Gold Coast, where I lived for many years while raising my three sons. A few afternoons a week I step away from my own work and teach drawing to some very talented young creatives ranging from 6-18yrs. Their focus, dedication and enthusiasm is a delight to experience.
Apart from creating art my interests are design & typography, architecture, photography, movies & movie-making, reading, writing, natural living, nutrition and health. I enjoy practicing yoga and meditation, and gain most of my inspiration and ideas while running barefoot on the beach or bush trails.
If I ponder on my ‘life purpose’ I think it is to use my creative skills to bring more beauty into the world to balance out the ugly.