A Mindful Approach to Illustration

Zenism: (noun) The character or quality of appreciating life's fleeting nature.

Design, creativity and craft have the power to remind us how to live the good life through metaphor and hyperbole. I seek to explore the qualities that lead to mental and emotional wellbeing through my illustrations. For me, illustration is about creating moments of realisation, meaning and healing through kindness. With each illustration, I set the intention that these ideas permeate to the life of the viewer. I guess you could say that kindness is the Zenism mission.

 Ikigai is what led me to start this business - I hope zenism can lead you to yours.

I became interested in mindfulness while struggling with anxiety and depression in my early adult years. My interest then burst into vibrant colour while living in Japan, a nation of people who integrate the mindful concept of the beginner's mind to every aspect of private and social life through the very essence of their culture. While living there, it seemed as though every aspect of life was imbued with a sense of purpose, from the humble toilet to the service person at a late-night internet cafe.

Mindfulness became popular in Japan yonks ago, in part through the work of a humble zen tea master named Rikyu. His focus was to bring mindfulness through everyday activities, like drinking tea. He transformed the daily habit of a cuppa into an art, highlighting the fact that every moment is a chance to connect with life. I learned that when you get dressed, when you eat and play, when you finally throw that tattered t-shirt away, your stuff reminds you of what you stand for. Your values. A concept that helps each person to design and live a personally perceived meaningful life.

There is something in Australian’s that also compliments this philosophy. The Australian way of life is determined and stoic, we see the beauty in raw and rugged creations. This comes from our love for nature as well as our belief in equality. Everything and everyone should be equal because we all have potential.