Beach Burrito by hayley o'connor

Thanks so much to everyone who came out the show on Friday night! So happy with how it turned out and appreciate the support. My artwork will be up at Beach Burrito Fortitude Valley for all of August so if you're in Brisbane check it out. 

Dazed by hayley o'connor

This is the first in a series of three illustrations based on model Brigette Cooper. I chose the take the reference photos myself so the art is completely my own. I think its important to do this or if it isn't possible then ask the photographer who has taken the photo for permission if it is going to be a very close likeness.  

I decided to do this series purely for the love of it.  I think its really important to create my own personal projects. It lets me create work that reflects my true style and helps me develop my skills and experiment. 

Brigette was so lovely to work with and so excited to have her on board for the project. Stay tuned for pieces #2 & #3. 


Collective Hub by hayley o'connor

Last month I was lucky enough to be featured in Issue 33 of Collective Hub magazine. I love the magazine so it is a big honour to be chosen to do the artist take over. Can't thank the Collective hub team enough for their support. 

Heres a little interview I did with the ladies at the mag...



And why choosing the right ones is so damn important

Any entrepreneur knows the backbone of a business is the client. Without an end user, what have you got? Equally though, knowing the right clients to work with is pivotal to being able to develop your offerings – especially when those offerings are creative.

Illustrator and graphic designer Hayley O’Connor may make magic for our eyes with pencil, pen and watercolour but her ability to create depends on her clients’ ability to trust… Here, she dishes on how to land the right clients (and everything in between).

Tell us a little about your work schedule…

I work full-time as a graphic designer and I freelance in my own time. Having a full-time job does allow me the flexibility to only take on briefs I get excited about, as I don’t need to do it purely for money, which is a nice bonus!

What’s been one of your most rewarding projects?

General Pants Co. approached myself and a few other artists to create skateboard decks for one of their Sydney flagship stores. It was a crazy hard project, but I really loved it! I spent my nights sanding back decks and then cutting and pasting my illustrations onto them. It was great to get my hands dirty with a different medium, and the end result was really rewarding.

How involved do you get with production?

If it’s a commissioned art piece like the skateboard decks for General Pants Co., I handle the entire production from start to finish. For prints or patterns for apparel, most of the time you’re working through emails, so you can recommend placement and colours etc, but ultimately it’s the client’s decision on how they want to utilise it.

Do you use an agent?

Not at the moment. I’ve been fortunate to date [to get] commercial work through meeting people at events, Instagram, The Loop and word of mouth. For me, at this time I’d be happy to take on representation but it needs to be with an agency who’s the right fit.


How have you taken part in exhibitions?

It’s been a mix of being in the right place at the right time, and putting my name forward to be a part of an exhibition.

How do you make sure you’re landing the right client for you?


I like to make sure the work I’m taking on work aligns with my style and interests. Just because someone has approached you for work doesn’t mean you should take it. You need to be the right match for each other.


Clients can sometimes not know what they want. I always get the best results for the client the more information I get. Map out what you’re going to create for them before you even begin the art.



Who are three fellow creative you follow on Instagram?

Cait Miers Photography (@caitmiersphotography), Rachel Urquhart (@raychponygold) and Georgia Hill (@georgiahillbth).

Luna by hayley o'connor

I think I do my best work when I make mood boards first. Getting images of things I like on paper gets my brain working and makes me way more motivated than if I just started and tried to piece together the concept later. Not everything always is included but its really helpful. I remember when I was studying the teachers would always tell you to but I realise how valuable it is in the process now. 

I've had this image of Beyonce from Dazed and Confused magazine on my computer for so long and always wanted to make something with it but didn't want to start it till I knew exactly what I wanted to do. 

I went to Bali recently and it was huge influence on the piece as well. I love the mix of detailed patterns & fashion in a tropical place. Also big help in the process is taking a break. Not thinking about any kind of design or art and just relaxing. Clears your head and then you can start fresh and no pressure. 

I like to create all the pieces by hand separately and then scan in an play with the composition on photoshop. I re-use pieces of my previous drawings if they fit e.g. flowers, tattoos etc. I also mess with the colours and fix any marks or shadows I might not have done right at the start.

So in conclusion....


Amuse Society by hayley o'connor

Earlier last year I designed some prints for a new U.S. brand called Amuse Society. Mandy & Summer the founders of the lifestyle brand sum up their style in their own words as, "channels a rock muse on a beach holiday.” I loved designing for the brand as I feel being a Melbourne girl but loving beach culture it fit my style perfectly. 

'Rebellious Dreamer' print was something I had ticking away for a while in my mind. Then when the girls approached me to a "rock girl" design for them it was a perfect fit. 

I used a combination of markers, black ink & hand drawn lettering to create these pieces.

Check them out at

Maia by hayley o'connor

Started this illustration about a month ago but struggled to finish it. This is the concept mood board Icreated and direction I wanted to go with it. I wanted to mix the leather jacket 'Bad Girl' vibe with hippy vibe tiles pattern. 

Ended up ditching the leather jacket this time but loved the way the tile pattern / wall paper turned out. I always find faces easy to draw but the hair takes a long time to get right. 

I add a couple of finishing touches on photoshop with contrast/ colour and she's done :) 

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