Chris Nixon: an illustrator, designer and creative director based in Perth, Australia.


Chris Nixon is an illustrator, designer and creative director based in Perth, Australia. Inspired by the West Coast and classic surf culture with an emphasis on the handmade and crafted, his textured work and direction spreads across a wide range of media. From children’s books to animation, commercial illustration to large scale public art, Nixon threads a distinct style across all scales and sizes to extend his creativity. Chris has created several large scale artworks which have been installed around Australia and has exhibited work in Tokyo, Berlin, Bali, Sydney and Melbourne. Chris was a feature presenter at the Adobe Create Now Roadshow in Brisbane in 2014


Tell us about yourself. I'm an Illustrator and Designer based on the West Coast which is where I draw a lot of my inspiration from. I try to infuse my interests and art wherever I can so I'm always chasing that feeling that reflects this back to me and I try to work by hand as much as possible to get that human touch. I'm stoked to work on my passion and I love the search for inspiration all around through music, film, design, travel, architecture, food, surfing, nature or whatever else I find interesting - I love the chase. A random fact would be that I have had a strange collection of jobs leading up to being an artist - from being a fishmonger to an adventure tour guide and wedding DJ, it all adds to the experience though. 

What got you into designing and how long have you been designing for? I was always into art as a kid growing up in the hills of Perth and I was always out on hikes taking a sketchbook with me and taking painting classes. I guess I always had that patience to sit down and focus for hours at a time on a single piece of work. Since then I've looked to combine my interests and art which lead me to design and I've been designing and illustrating for about 6 years now.

How would you describe your design style? I'm interested in exploring the contrast between structure and freedom through looser line work and and form against abstract pattern or geometric shapes. I'm heavily influenced by handcrafted practises too so I'm trying to add that handmade element wherever I can, across all the media and scales I work on.

What motivates and inspires you to get out of bed each day? Life and trying to make something better than the previous day. I'm really critical of my work and always pushing to create something I'm really proud of and my measure is usually to create something I would want to hang on my wall. I also don't like sleeping much so I don't need too many excuses to get out of bed each day, there's too much to do.

Tell us about the artwork you’ve designed for The Paper Merchants? I'm looking to explore that relationship between looser linework and tighter forms with a bit of humour thrown in to keep it light. I'm sticking to a theme for each piece to then thread through all the illustrated elements and inject a bit of my personality. I'm creating textured repeat patterns that hopefully create an atmosphere you want to be around. That, and I've thrown in a bit of type for good measure because I love hand lettering.