"I think the attention to detail (or obsession with…) is something that I really enjoy. I find it extremely satisfying to cram as much as I can into a small space, even though a lot of my works are usually fairly minimal in an overall sense."
Residing in Hobart, the capital city of beautiful and wild Tasmania Sam Lyne creates whimsical scenes with ingenious tree houses, house-hunting aliens, and adventurous moose pondering the freedom of flight.
Where do you call home?
Down here in Hobart, Tasmania. The isolated, wild & rugged island state off the southern coast of the Australian mainland. Half the state is a vast wilderness covered with mountains and rainforests. It’s pretty much my ideal habitat, a lot of inspiration on hand and Hobart has a fantastic art community & scene.
What is your weapon of choice?
I always start out my works in pencil, predominantly mechanical pencils. They tend to stay sharp, and I can get in there with some really fine detail. For works that I want to add some colour to, I might do a little watercolour first maybe, but usually I’ll simply scan it onto my computer and get busy with some digital colouring using my graphics tablet. It’s a bit easier to undo mistakes with digital watercolour than the physical kind, haha.
Please describe your work in 7 words or less
Whimsy-fuelled, detailed obsessions
What is your dream project?
If I ever manage to find the time, I’d love to do a children’s book. I always seem to find some other project or a commission comes in to keep that ambition down towards the bottom of the to-do list unfortunately. One day though. that’s the dream project right there…
"If I’m able to give someone even a hint of the amount of joy from my works that I get from creating them, I’m satisfied. "
Tell us the story behind your favorite artwork.
I think one of my favourite works I’ve illustrated recently was ‘Abducted’. I had a lot of fun with that one. Even in the beginning stages. Coming up all the little details like the man desperately clinging onto his cabin, even though that’s getting torn apart during its ascension. Then once I’d moved onto the colouring side of things, the lighting and tractor beam were definitely my favourite parts to work on.
What’s the one thing you’re most proud of in your artwork?
I think the attention to detail (or obsession with…) is something that I really enjoy. I find it extremely satisfying to cram as much as I can into a small space, even though a lot of my works are usually fairly minimal in an overall sense.
Professionally, what is your goal?
I love drawing and illustrating. The fact that I’m able to do this for my career is fantastic. If I’m able to give someone even a hint of the amount of joy from my works that I get from creating them, I’m satisfied. On a professional level though, I’ve got my fingers in a few different pies in terms of how I get my work out there. Whether it be online stores such as Redbubble, prints & stationery that I stock in stores myself, the occasional market or two (which are always nice, because meeting customers/supporters face to face is great and also insightful) or through exhibitions & shows where I get to show off originals and maybe something a little different which can sometimes trickle through to my more commercial pieces.
What has been the most challenging experience you’ve had during your artist journey?
This year I had one of the biggest projects in scope and length I’ve ever worked on. I recently completed an illustrated map of the southern portion of Tasmania for a local tourism body, after almost 6 months of work. It was definitely one of the most labour intensive and mentally challenging illustration commissions I’ve ever had. But now that it’s completed, I’m incredibly proud of it and the feedback from the community has been delightful.
We noticed you’ve been reworking some of your earlier pieces, can you tell us a little more about the inspiration behind that and what you’re learning through the process?
When I sat down with the first rework, ‘Baxter’, I only really intended to fix a few things that had been bugging me. Then it was about 6hrs later and I’d completely re-illustrated the whole piece… I hadn’t really intended to do that! But it’s now become a fun side-project! Some of my early treehouse designs go back to 2011-12, so it’s really interesting to see in practice what I’ve learnt since then and I can achieve these days with my graphics tablet. Giving them an aesthetic update and spruce-up so they’re more in line with some of my more recent works helps to tie them together too, especially since I’ve got a horde of other treehouses waiting in the wings to get coloured. I’ve learnt so much regarding lighting & colour in the years since, like how to make foliage jump out in a more realistic fashion and the way light filters through a canopy (I really like drawing trees & treehouses in case nobody has noticed :P).