Graphic design alumna Jaimie Orr launched a mini solo exhibition of illustrations at Bendigo’s bob boutique last month. Her quirky animal characters are now adorning the wall of one of the city’s best-loved creative spaces. “This shop is pretty famous among the visual arts and graphic design students,” Jaimie says. Bob boutique is an outlet for many local craftspeople and artists. Jaimie began working in the shop last year. She says it’s been the perfect stepping stone for her arty endeavours since graduating in 2014.
Jaimie began a Bachelor of Visual Arts straight after finishing Year 12 at Echuca College. “I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do at first,” she says. “I looked at teaching courses in Melbourne, then I came to Bendigo for open day and really liked the facilities and the teachers.”
After a year of visual arts, she found her true home in the graphic design course, via illustration. “I always liked the idea of storytelling, whereas visual arts was more about expression,” she says. “I saw a future in illustration.”
She’s not the only one. Jaimie mentions past students Annie Henderson and David Snowdon, who have also found success with illustration. She credits illustration lecturer Paul Morris as someone who helped her flourish in the course.
After graduating Jaimie picked up the odd freelance design job, and worked at a clothing boutique specialising in Australian-made fashion. That, in turn, led to bob. At first her job here was purely in retail. “I was a little bit sneaky with my resume,” she says. “When I applied for the job I snuck in some photos of my work, just to show what I could do.” Shop owner and artist Sonia Brit took note, and Jaimie’s job description soon grew.
She now helps design brochures, newsletters and products for bob, like cool typography on brooches and bags. You’ll also find Jaimie’s exquisite hand-made jewellery on the shelves, fashioned from the branches of her mum’s cherry tree. “I found a way to seal the wood so I could draw on it,” Jaimie says. She wore one of her creations to work one day, and soon found herself with a production line and a shelf to fill.
Then, Sonia asked if Jaimie would like some wall space for a month or so. This charming collection of 10 fine liner and ink illustrations called Animal Sayings is the result. It’s on show at bob until June 30.