Chilly’s: What was the inspiration behind your bottles?
Mark Conlan: Lately I’ve been delving into a lot more limited palettes across my artwork. The ancient style artworks have always been such a huge inspiration. I’m inspired by shapes and the simplicity of compositions while still telling stories. So for the bottle I combined all of the elements I love to draw upon while keeping it limited in nature and still engaging (well I hope so anyway) hopefully because of this people can recognise its my artwork.
C: Can you tell us a bit about your typical creative process?
MC: I’m quite a traditionalist. I love sketching on paper and carry a notebook with me as much as I can. I always think it’s my pathway to developing as an artist. So generally everything starts on paper, I often try to roughly sketch an idea into a composition as many ways as possible before arriving at something I’m content with. From there I bring the sketch into whichever digital programme I’m using (photoshop or procreate) and then I begin building up the layers of the composition. Once as I’m happy I try a couple more tweaks to the composition and then add any extra textures if necessary. It’s all pretty linear but works well for me.
C: Could you tell us a little about your background and how you ended up doing what you do? Is this your dream job or was it an unexpected turn of events?
MC: I’ve always wanted to be a creative since a young age but never really knowing exactly what. I used to tell my parents that I wanted to be a cartoonist, so I guess I’m not that far away am I? But after leaving school I did want to get into fine art but wasn’t sure where they could take me in terms of a career. Instead I ended up studying animation in college, it was a fantastic experience. Shortly after college I moved to London where I began working as a graphic designer across various roles and agencies.
I guess I was always an avid drawer but never really knew illustration was something I could grasp as a career. After a spot of travelling and moving to Melbourne I began
to look into what it would take to work as an illustrator and dug right in. Literally the best decision I’ve ever made. Now I get to do my dream job every day.
C: What’s been a highlight of your career so far?
MC: I've had lots of great opportunities to work with some amazing clients and brands so far. But what's stood out so far is some of the travelling I've been allowed to do with my job. I've been able to travel to Europe, the US and places within Australia with work. It's not just the travel but all the amazing people and other creatives I've had a chance to meet along the journey. Definitely inspiring.
C: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to any aspiring creatives?
MC: I think the best advice I could give is to be patient. Patience will get you a lot of places. I think it's a given that we must work hard initially to get your work out there but remain patient any your chances will come to you.
To work alongside the contour of the water bottle I wanted to add some that was symbolic of warmer weather while channeling my ancient greek vibes. The two palette combination added some playful direction and allowed the artwork to reverse with ease. Who doesn’t love blue too :)