For our new Big Hearted Gift Card images we enlisted the help of Australian illustrator, Andrea Smith. Andrea’s charming, hands-on work recalls a lost innocence rarely seen in today’s fast-paced times, which was the perfect fit to capture the depth and impact of our Big Hearted Gift stories. Collector pieces in their own right, Andrea’s handmade collages begin as pencil concept sketches, inspired by the narrative and detail of each gift. They are then assembled, by using hand-painted papers, which are hand cut into shape to build the final image.
We recently sat down with Andrea to find out more about her work.
I like the idea that my work is contributing to a better world and I feel passionate about people working together for the better of humanity and I feel really privileged to be a part of it.
Can you describe your technique?
I work with paper collage. It’s a technique that involves painting all the paper to create colour and texture and then cutting, layering and gluing the elements by hand to create the artwork.
What do you enjoy about working in this way?
I like the freedom paper gives me to move things around and create happy accidents. I could do what I do digitally but for me it’s the hands-on process and the labor of love that creates something special.
What inspires you?
Nature is a big inspiration as there are boundless patterns and shapes to explore.
What made you want to work with Baptist World Aid on this project?
I really love the philosophy of giving to others. The world needs more consciousness around inequality and I am really happy to support an organisation that is so pro active in bettering the lives of others.
What inspired you about working on the new Big Hearted Gifts?
That my illustrations were being used to help other people and create a better life for them. I like the idea that my work is contributing to a better world and I feel passionate about people working together for the better of humanity and I feel really privileged to be apart of it. The flora and fauna of each region also inspired my illustrations and the traditional fabric and patterns.
How do you come up the ideas behind each illustration?
I was given a brief, which relates to each card and I took a lot of time to think about each story and it’s meaning and how to represent that visually. I also researched the natural environment and the cultural history relating to each region.
What’s your favourite card? And why?
That’s hard, as I really love all the cards. If I had to pick one, I really enjoyed working on Arts & Crafts. As a mother, I really connected with the purpose of this card, which is to give children their childhood back and the importance of allowing them the opportunity to play and have fun. This card also has a lot of playful elements that were a pleasure to create.
What do you hope these cards will achieve?
To increase awareness of the everyday struggles for people in other countries and highlight the ways in which we can help them.
Describe your work environment
I am surrounded by different images that I am inspired by at the moment as well as books, magazines and paper, lots of paper. You could say it is a happy mess.