Illo's new signing ... Nancy Chalmers!


Our illustration agents caught up with our newest signing - who is also probably the furthest away from the Illo Agency office! We talk retro Ken Done patterns, working from the beach and find out her tattoos really mean. Please give a warm welcome to Australian illustrator and bohemian free-spirit, Nancy Chalmers.

Q: G'day Nancy! Great to catch you at a moment when time difference isn't am obstacle! Describe to us what your office is like and where you work best.

A: My office is usually a cafe table, hotel room or co-working space; somewhere in the jungle or by beach! As a digital nomad, I never stay in one place for too long ... so it's a rare treat to set up my art supplies and get comfy somewhere. Right now, my office is a pool bar in Bali, last week it was a garden shed in Australia, and tomorrow ... who knows! Somewhere in Sri Lanka!

Q: WOW. Truly living the dream! We're not jealous at all ... but interested to learn who your creative influences are?

A: I'm mostly inspired by tropical life; the incredible plants and flowers of Australia, Bali and Sri Lanka. I'm also a big fan of Ken Done and his bright, vibrant patterns and Australiana designs from the 80s. I love researching prints, patterns and palettes from different cultures and periods in history - from Ancient Egypt, to the rockin' 90s, Mexican tiles to Century decor - I love it all. Also, mythology and magic folktales float my boat!

Q: All those aspects definitely shine through. Big question ... what is your ultimate, dream project?

A: Hmmm ... anything with books. I'd love to illustrate a series of fiction book covers or a children's picture book. That has been a dream of mine forever.

Q: Oooh, we would love to see that! Why did you want to sign with Illo, in particular?

A: I need the community and support that an agency offers. Plus, I love the funky, fresh vibe of the other Illo illustrators - I felt like we'd be a great match!

Q: And finally, we've all been wondering ... what do your tattoos mean?

A: Ahhh, my first tattoo is a gypsy tattoo representing magical powers and intuition, It features the eye of providence to see through time and dimensions, and the moon and stars to channel divine cosmic power. There's also a Protea flower that represents ancient wisdom, the ability to survive in extremes and to shape-shift like Proteus of Greek mythology. Finally, there is a unicorn from my favourite animated film, 'The Last Unicorn'. It represents uniqueness, faith in the unseen and the ability to travel through worlds. It is also for my Dad, who used to sing me a lullaby about the 'loveliest of all' - the unicorn - when I was a child. 

If you're inspired to work with Nancy or get a tattoo - well, we can help with one of those things. Our illustration agents can schedule in your latest project to work with Nancy - reach out today!

at Illo Agency, we pride ourselves in representing a collation of global illustrators, distinctly diverse in creativity and uniquely celebrated by lime-minded clients from across a range of commercial markets.