Heather Grafton: Designer profile

Posted on 3 November 2016 by admin

Heather Grafton in SO:ME Space at South Melbourne Market

Local illustrator Heather Grafton launched her collection of printed works at South Melbourne Night Market last year, and she has gone on to have her own solo exhibition, got her name in Broadsheet – and now she has popped up in our space.

Tell us a bit about Heather Grafton. What makes your label unique?

Illustrations that are aimed at a more male demographic exhibiting a darker view using a parody on the world we live in – with a fun twist.  A very grown up collection of illustration prints that doesn’t take itself too seriously.  Art work with a little story to tell.

I will also be offering a quarterly subscription to receive an art print each month or a pin each month as a gift for someone special, or a treat for you.

Why did you start your label?

Having previously worked as a graphic designer designing for others, I thought it might be nice to share the inner working of my odd mind with the wider world resulting in Heather Grafton Illustrations. A collection of printed works – some hand finished and framed. Active selling and marketing of my work started in January of 2016 at the South Melbourne Night Market and has grown from there.

What was the inspiration for your current collection?

I draw/create from a love of craft and communication. This has lead to 4 different collections:

“Don’t forget, we are Human…”

The collection looks at the human form and what it really is. The ugly, the beautiful, and the sublime. The idea of looking but not seeing, leaving the eye to add and create for itself.

When creating a drawing I try to look at, and reflect on, physiology studying living organisms and their functions, as well as the environment.

They are subjected to from the world of Haute couture to the Rural living environment forcing on the contrast between man made and natural.


A collection of Bunnie Rabbits in outfits that have been influenced by popular culture Ranging from “Blue Bunnie” who is feeling a bit blue today, to “Fight Club Bunnie” who wears a cape with fencing sword’s as a coat of arms. [With a slight off hand reference to the fight club film.] There is a cheeky little “Tattoo bunnie” hosting a chest piece and ear anchor tattoo.

“When I Grow up”

This looks at what you want to be when you grow up … The Hopes, Dreams and Wishes of a world without anything to hold it back. A world where the walls have not been built yet and anything can, and will, happen.

{ Duels }

A collection of drawings that explores the old tradition of duelling from the 18th century, where men would settle scores and protect their Honour. This set of illustrations is not true to the time, that being ‘a duel is an arranged engagement in combat between two individuals with matched weapons in accordance with agreed upon rules’ but takes the formality of the concept and places it into modern society. The animal heads/bird heads are a play on the concept that you never really know the person you are fighting with, further inline with the truth of combat and the corrupted society of today ‘why would you turn up with a simple pistol over an AK-47’ These rules just don’t apply any more.

Tell us a bit about yourself. What is your background?

A bit about me …

·         I am a girl from a little island called ENGLAND

·         I’m named after a flower

·         I am in love with the image of a ‘Bunnie Rabbit’

·         I’m blond with blue eyes so a perfect Barbie doll “lucky me”

·         I studied at the “university of the art” London college of communication

·         I’m learning to play with my partner’s ZX14r motorbike

·         I must eat chocolate

·         I like to stay up late

·         I love to sleep in

·         I long for the stillness of early mornings

·         I Hung out with the penguins at Penguin Publishing house for a bit

·         I love to design, but love sparkly shoes more

·         A former denim queen and visual merchandising window master

·         I long to see every part of the world at the magical hour of dusk

·         I have more ideas than I can handle

·         I’m Becoming a cheese cake connoisseur

·         I desire to be challenged

·         My evenings are spent aimlessly watching TV box sets.

·         I have a passion for attention to detail

·         Best moment in time is when the grass has been cut and it starts to rain

·         I believe less is more

·         You can tell so much about a person from their shoes

What other designers are you into at the moment?

I have meet so many new designers from doing markets around Australia. My jewellery collection has grown considerably thanks to Manuela Igreja Jewels, and I have fallen in love with the giraffe by For Me by Dee.

What else are you inspired by right now?

As much of my work looks at the world that we live in I tend to be inspired by politics, news and popular culture. Not to forget a bucket load of comedy. Jimmy Carr has the ability to make me chuckle at times when nothing else could.

I popped back to my motherland in June to see family and feed my brain on the architecture and clutter (yes, clutter) of London and the South East. Nothing nourishes the mind more than the British Library – so many books of botanical sciences and engineering.

The Summer Exhibition at the Halls of the Royal Academy in London was full of up-and-coming artists. I was quite taken by a concrete petrol pump, which turned out to be from Brisbane! It said so much in one simple sculpture – the old world dying out set in stone almost (a fossil sculpture of what the old world has become}. One could not miss the whole ‘Brexit’ thing and how the population of a country that used to be the driving force of new creation and development wanted the old traditions of the by gone era back. It really does feel like they have chopped their nose off to spite their own face.  I can see a new collection in the making.

Why do you want to come into SO:ME Space, and what are you hoping to get out of your time in the space?

A space to interact with customers and allow them time to interact with me so that they can work with me to create a customised version of my work with colours and layout to suit their own personal tastes. Or simply take the time to appreciate my creations as presented.

What was the professional highlight of your past year? What work are you most proud of?

Creating a customised print for a celebrity wedding

1st solo exhibitions. Seeing my work framed and on the wall.

Getting my name in the Melbourne Broadsheet.

What advice do you have for people wanting to start their own store or label?

Have confidence and then add a bit more confidence in yourself and your product. A partner that can happily be your backbone and constant support.  Hugs are like gold dust when you put something so raw and personal as your own creations out in a public space. Fill a very big jar with good quality hugs.

What does the future hold for your label? Where are you headed next?

The Royal Academy of Art Summer Exhibition 2017 – fingers crossed that I get in!

Getting the new section of the business fully up and running – a subscription service delivering art to your front door every month.

Heather Grafton is in SO:ME Space from 5 October to 27 November 2016.



Heather Grafton in SO:ME Space at South Melbourne Market

Heather Grafton in SO:ME Space at South Melbourne Market

Heather Grafton in SO:ME Space at South Melbourne Market

Heather Grafton in SO:ME Space at South Melbourne Market

Heather Grafton in SO:ME Space at South Melbourne Market

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