Discussion: Call Centres and Cumulous Clouds with Lill Desormeaux

A couple of months ago we teamed up with Auckland based leather brand Good Winter to release a small capsule of leather goods. After seeing Melbourne based artist, Lill Desormeaux's intricate line drawings of barren landscapes and expansive cloud formations, we approached her to create us a visual accompaniment for the range. Working within Walter's story she created a mountain ring that was visually simple yet richly detailed, mirroring an aesthetic that we strive to embody within our work.

We managed to steal a couple of minutes with Lill to talk about growing up in 'Deadend', finding inspration in nature and studing ants with her Grandpa. Read on.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Hi, my name is Lill Desormeaux. I was born in Kyneton, Victoria, Australia and currently live in the inner northern suburbs of Melbourne. I moved from my small country town, Woodend, to Melbourne when I was 18. Woodend is known by the locals as ‘Deadend’ and although its pretty beautiful I guess as teenager I wasn’t really going to stick around for very long. I've been living, studying and working in Melbourne for the past few years.

At the moment through I'm learning French so I can speak to my Dad who moved over from Montreal 30 odd years ago. He doesn’t have anyone to speak it with so Im planning to surprise him on his birthday with a couple of whole sentences and hopefully some conversation. I’m also learning it because Quebecois swear words are great (heaps of cursing random religious items and the Virgin Mary).

It's a broad sweeping statement, but how does your creative process work?

I've always been quite creative but the incentive to really work at my drawings has come from a kind of unexpected place recently. I was working at a pretty horrible call centre a while ago and while calling people, trying to get them to talk to me, I began drawing pretty consistently. That’s where my obsessions with mountains and needing to fill the time resulted in the line drawings I currently do.

I also like to look at my small collection of art historical books, which have really fantastic prints of some of my favourite art works. Just by looking at these or having a squiz at a few Instagram pages always seems to make me want to start something new.

A lot of your work touches on nature and seemingly barren landscapes – where else do you find inspiration for you work?

I have recently finished a degree in art history so I think a lot of my inspiration draws from art historical mementoes or aesthetic cues that I have picked up along the way. At the moment I have a particular obsession with engravings and lithographs and my desktop on my computer seems to be full of them.

More specifically though I grew up below a big mountain range in north western Victoria. Living in an area of Australia, which is pretty affected by bushfires, I think has majorly influenced what I draw. There is definitely something to be said about the way nature is after a big bushfire and I seem to always come back to images of burnt mountains and big cumulous clouds as a constant source of inspiration (not as bleak as it sounds)

Is there a piece of advice that you've been given that you think has made an impact on your daily life?

My Grandpa was a really cool guy who I think about a lot in regards to how I live my life. He always stressed the importance of having an inquisitive mind. Even when he was in his 80’s he would decide he wanted to learn about something in particular, go into his library and spend as much time as he could learning about a particular subject. One time it was ants and I found him with a pile of books on ants in the back garden and a magnifying glass studying them. I think that’s a pretty fantastic quality to have.

Round it out, what can we expect next from you?

I feel like I've only really just started to be a bit more consistently creative but Im trying to branch out into a few different things. My friend wants to open up a small market stall on the weekends so Im going to attempt to be crafty and make something of my paintings and drawings which will appeal to the mainly over 50’s crowd of our local market. I'm looking to travel towards the end of the year and also start my post-graduate study.

You can see a little bit more of Lill's work on Instagram!

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