13 Creatives That Make Us Proud To Be Australian

1. Megan Washington

Complex, truthful, and wonderfully romantic. Such is the music of local chanteuse Megan Washington, who first captivated us in 2010 with her platinum debut I Believe You Liar. Her brand-new album There There is an ’80s pop-inspired showcase of Washington’s extraordinary emotional depth, and truthfully, we can’t get enough of the pink milk, red lips extravaganza that is the video for her new single “My Heart Is a Wheel.” Australia’s heart is yours, Megan.

2. Byron Spencer

Imagery that makes your eyes pop. Sydney photographer Byron Spencer started out taking shots of his colorful companions, but soon made a foray into some serious fashion photography, and has since lent his creativity to Vogue Italia, Nylon, ASOS, Ksubi, and more. Follow him on Instagram and prepare to be dazzled.

3. Emma Mulholland

Risque Business. From the South Coast beaches hails Emma Mulholland, a designer making neon-pastel waves at home and internationally. Mulholland’s designs have already been picked up by Kanye West, Azealia Banks, and M.I.A., and her glorious ’80s-inspired SS14 collection “Risque Business” (seen above) is reminiscent of a cool kids’ school detention party. We want to be invited.

4. Hiatus Kaiyote

Multidimensional, Polyrhythmic Gangster Sh*t. That’s what we’re promised by this divine Melbourne-based neo-soul quartet, and they deliver. One album in, Hiatus Kaiyote has already been nominated for a Grammy and endorsed by the likes of Questlove, Erykah Badu, and even Prince. And when Prince tweets about you, you know you’ve made it. Bow down to the magic that is Hiatus Kaiyote, and then listen here.

5. Dai Hovey

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Melbourne-based creative coder Dai Hovey co-created a colorful extravaganza of an app called Xtrapop. Basically it lets you add stickers, frames, and filters to your photos to give them some extra pop. Coming soon, the app will also include a shop featuring stickers from guest illustrators, so you can create color-drenched collages to dazzle your followers. We love.

6. Rachel Perkins

Rachel Perkins is one of Australia’s most celebrated filmmakers, perhaps best-known for having directed the crazy-fun musical Bran Nue Dae. Rachel is of Australian Aboriginal heritage (Arrernte/Kalkadoon) and founded the production company Blackfella Films, which has made a huge contribution to the development of Indigenous Australian filmmakers. With films that have screened at over 75 film festivals worldwide, she’s not just a creative talent, she’s a powerhouse.

7. Freya Blackwood

Aussie kids are getting their creative fix, too, thanks to Freya Blackwood, an illustrator and special effects artist based in Orange, NSW. Blackwood has received multiple accolades for her work as a children’s book illustrator, including the prestigious UK Kate Greenaway medal. Her delicate, whimsical imagery reveals relatable, sensitive characters that make us want to revisit our youth, if only for a day.

8. Beastman

Sydney-based Beastman is a multidisciplinary artist who creates vibrant, kaleidoscopic paintings, inspired by the patterns and symmetry of the natural world. He has collaborated with some huge brands, exhibited all over the world, and has giant murals on display all over Australia, Europe and Asia. Hat’s off to the Beastman.

9. Jordan Askill

Having started his career at Ksubi and then Dior Homme in Paris, prolific designer Jordan Askill now has his own high-concept jewellery and 3D sculpture collection, and his steady ascent to creative supremacy is an exciting one to follow. Seen here is a still from a video animation of a sculpture that forms part of his “No Place Like Home” collection — directed by Daniel Askill, produced by Collider, and featuring music by These New Puritans. Check it out here.

10. Baden Pailthorpe

Shiny, post-internet art. That’s what Canberra-born Baden Pailthorpe creates, and it’s what has led him to be considered one of Australia’s most influential video artists. Pailthorpe’s exploration of technology in his work is breathtaking, and he has participated in over 50 group and solo exhibitions all over Australia, and as far as Paris, Amsterdam, Tokyo, and Mexico City.

11. Shane Willmett

Brisbane-based artist Shane Willmett is a master of many creative trades: art, design, photography, architecture, and sculpture. His creative talent and Australian touch can be seen in everything from his monochromatic works in Indian ink (pictured) to his vibrant travel photography and intriguing sculptures. You can see more of his work here.

12. Kate Miller-Heidke

O Vertigo! The towering vocals, heartfelt lyrics, and lush pop sounds of Brisbane-born singer-songwriter Kate Miller-Heidke’s new album make for glorious, vertiginous listening. It’s a voice that landed Miller-Heidke a role in the English National Opera’s production of The Death of Klinghoffer at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. This classically trained artist is also friends with Megan Washington, who appears on her album. A creative match made in music heaven, aka Australia.

13. Aaron Craig

Courtesy of Aaron Craig / aaroncraig.com.au / Instagram: @azzafromoz

Aaron Craig is a graphic designer from Newcastle who now lives on the Sunshine Coast and creates vibrant, digital collage art, heavily informed by his background in photography and fine art. Above are two prints from his series SHOOT, which pays homage to cameras and their uses in particular scenes throughout history.

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