Sha’an d’Anthes, aka Furry Little Peach, is our favourite artist and Papersmith based in Sydney, Australia. Her vibrant colour palette cheers us up on a cloudy British day. We found her after pining over her Inktober sketches way back when and since then she has written and illustrated her own children’s book ‘Zoom’ and has become an absolute zine queen. Take it away, Sha’an!
1. Hey Sha’an! You’ve got such a vibrant and unique art style. How would you describe the vibe of your work?
[SHA’AN] I try to apply a lens of childlike wonder to the world my work lives within in hopes it evokes happiness and a sense of nostalgia in the people who experience it.
2. We’ve been dying to ask: where did the name ‘Furry Little Peach’ come from?
[SHA’AN] People ask this a lot so I wish I had a more interesting story! But basically furrylittlepeach was the Tumblr URL I chose in high school - I was looking for an excuse to procrastinate during my final exams. I had no idea I would begin to post my drawings there when I made it, nor did I know then that it would become my online moniker - I just liked the word 'peach'. My work has changed a lot since then but I think the pseudonym still suits it which I am so glad about!
3. We love keeping up with your art travel journals. What are your essential tools to bring with you when exploring the world and how do you make time to sketch when you’re away?
[SHA’AN] Oh, I totally have my travel tools down pat! Ready?
- Nahe General Purpose Case (A4) — it’s flat so it fits nicely into tote bags and backpacks.
- Leuchtturm1917 A5 Sketchbook / A5 Field Notes Gridded Sketchbook— I love working in A5 size when I travel because it means it can sit inside my pencil case.
- Blackwing's Graphite Pencil — I only work with soft pencils. I saw a lot of other creatives using this pencil and thought it was all hype, and then I tried it. SOFT GRAPHITE PERFECTION!
- Prismacolor Premier Coloured Pencils — great to sketch with, great to colour with.
- Sharpener / Pencil Shavings Tin — I go through pencils pretty quickly and those teeny sharpeners that hold shavings aren’t big enough for me - I use an old tobacco tin to hold my shavings in between stops.
- A Soft Eraser
- Arches 300 gsm Cold-Pressed Watercolour Paper— torn to size to fit in the pocket of my pencil-case.
- Charvin Panned Watercolours — I’ve always preferred tubed colours for working at home, but panned watercolours are more practical for drawing on planes, on trains and in cafes.
- Tom Lynch Pure Red Travel Brush —this round brush packs down, and is easy to use.
4. You’ve worked on so many different projects from mini zines to murals. Which has been your favourite project to work on so far?
[SHA’AN] I love seeing my work in different mediums, scales, on different surfaces, but I think the project I’m most proud of is my picture book ‘ZOOM’ - it was always a dream of mine to write and illustrate my own stories, I’m so grateful my publisher Hachette Australia had faith in me! It’s so cool that people can experience my work, without actually knowing who I am or anything about me.
5. Who, what, where inspires you?
[SHA’AN] True inspiration can appear out of nowhere, and I’m truly inspired by the world around me! I think it’s a smooth move to remain open to inspiration from anywhere because you never know when it’ll hit!
6. Advice for all budding artists out there?
[SHA’AN] Make the stuff you like to make, not the stuff you think you should be making.
7. Describe some of your favourite spots in Australia to lose yourself in when you’re not in the studio?
[SHA’AN] I love to visit Henson Park in Marrickville when I need a break from the studio. It’s close to my studio, warm, open, green, there is an old grandstand I sometimes eat my lunch in, and best of all: dog-spotting.
8. It's super important for creatives to unwind and recharge, tell us, how do you chill out?
[SHA’AN] Stepping away from your work is super important, and I know a lot of creatives have trouble doing it. I think when you see stopping to breathe as an essential part of the creative process and a way to recharge it becomes a lot easier to allow yourself to take a break. I like to absorb inspiration when I need a breather, this could mean going on a road trip or to a gallery, watching a movie or simply just going on a walk. I do practice what I preach, but I could afford to do it more.
9. What does the rest of 2019 hold for you?
[SHA’AN] This year I’m just excited about the final artwork for my second book which will come out in late 2020, and to continue to grow as a creative.