I mainly know Jane Reiseger's work for the murals she creates in people's homes. But I never appreciated how prolific she was across a range of mediums until I got lost in her website recently. She's also worked in-store with companies such as Aesop and Country Road as well as on many books and cookbooks. It's worth looking at excerpts from her sketchbooks too. Not only that she has an organic range of baby clothes and goods, Bee and tree, and just released a range of wall decals with The Wallsticker Company.
Which five words best describe you?
Friendly, creative, shy, passionate, productive.
What was your first job and what path have you taken since?
My first illustration job happened in 1999 I was asked by a friend of the family to design and illustrate a wine label for their boutique vineyard ‘the garden vineyard” in Moorooduc on the Mornington Peninsula. I had studied art (B.A. in Fine Arts) but never thought I could make a living from it... I surprised myself and really enjoyed the whole process and thought maybe I can make a business from my art. I had no design knowledge or computer skills so after doing the artwork by hand I got my friend who was a designer to help me with the technical parts. I then started going to food and wine festivals and started getting illustration work with other wineries and foodie folk. I remember meeting Donna Hay at a winter food and wine festival and been terribly excited. I got to work with Geoff Lindsay, Walters wine Bar and Yering station as well as doing the illustrations for the Age Cheap Eats guide and illustrating for Gourmet Traveler magazine.
I was doing quite well but still needed to supplement my income so I got a casual job two days a week at Nest home wares in South Melbourne. I got to work on Christmas window displays and illustrate products including Albi the elephant. At Nest I got interested in interior design and I would also draw on the tables for point of sale items... it was lots of fun.
It was a great place to meet people - lots of the customers were interior designers and architects. A customer from Nest asked if I could paint a mural for her twins bedroom... and this lead me into painting on walls. I now work fulltime as an illustrator and love it.
I get to work with some really interesting and passionate people in many different fields from architects, interior designers, graphic designers, foodies and retailers. I've also recently started to work on my own range of products
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way?
You don’t have to say yes to everything, learning to say no, working out what's right for you. I have a quote on my fridge by Layne Beachley which I like to read: "Focus on what you want out of life as opposed to what you don’t want. Be positive, be prepared to ask for help and allow mistakes to be learning experiences. I have learned a lot more from my losses than I have my victories."
What’s your proudest career achievement?
I’m currently working on a project for the New Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne. I’m learning so much and it’s really pushed me creatively and I feel very proud to be involved in such a project.
What’s been your best decision?
Letting a stranger move into my share house who ended up being my boyfriend and best friend. Agreeing to design that first wine label which helped plant the seed to having a career as an illustrator.
Who inspires you?
My boyfriend, Layne Beachley and Jamie Oliver.
What are you passionate about?
Art, design, interior design
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet?
I would love to meet Jamie Oliver. I love his passion and admire his drive and commitment
What dream do you still want to fulfil?
I would like to develop my own line of products.
What are you reading?
Seasons by the French cartoonist Blex Bolex. It's a kids book and doesn’t have many words. It's more of a picture book. I love my Sunday brekkies where I get to read the newspaper. I really enjoy reading Sunday Life; I like the columns by Mia Freedman and i am what i am.
images courtesy of jane reiseger