Behind the artwork

Behind the artwork

Meet Sheryl Cole...

When first we came across Melbourne-based illustrator Sheryl Cole, we instantly loved her whimsical water-colour based style and delicate depictions of our animal friends.

Sheryl is a Kiwi girl at heart, raised on a farm in the Bay of Plenty surrounded by animals, birds and bush on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other. It’s this immersion in the living world that drives much of her work.

“I’m out in nature every day, collaborating with my surroundings, connecting with the colour, textures and energy and finding inspiration to explore back in my studio,” she says.

Earlier in her career, Sheryl studied the creative disciplines of graphic design and photography in Christchurch which then led into design and art direction work in New Zealand, London and Sydney. From there she founded Twospoonfulsofsugar, a brand specialising in fun and furry greeting cards and make-me children's craft kits.

Now cosied up in Melbourne by the sea, she is busy at work illustrating and designing products for nature-loving businesses like Topflite. A self-taught watercolourist, SheryI loves the lush, spontaneous, organic flow of watercolour.

“It feels like it’s painting itself,” she says. “I’m there just as a tool to guide it along its meditative journey.”

Sheryl’s illustrations capture the playful spirit and details of nature using watercolour, gouache, ink and pencil. She combines the media to create digital compositions ready for printing on a variety of surfaces. Her nature-inspired illustrations can be found on eco-friendly packaging, homewares, business branding as well as children’s books and fine art prints.

Advocacy and guardianship of our natural world is very important to the passionate artist.

“I feel proud to be part of a community celebrating nature and encouraging others to reconnect with it, protect and consume thoughtfully.” 

Every creative has their routines to get the juices flowing. Sheryl’s involves taking a mindful nature walk in the morning, and painting or drawing in the afternoons when the studio warms up. Her studio is full of tactile influences that guide her process.

“I like to surround myself with what inspires,” she says. “I’m always bringing home leaves, feathers, shells, sticks and seed pods.”

While she can’t exactly put a bird, animal or landscape into her pocket, she does take lots of photographs while out and about to generate mood-boards.

Sheryl’s beautiful botanicals and backyard birds can be shopped for at Etsy. Explore her creative process on Instagram @sherylcole and find out more about her influences at sherylcole.com.au