Q & A – Heather Daleadmin
Local favourites, sharing their insider tips on places and things to do on and around Tamborine Mountain – Your gold coast hinterland!
Heather Dale of Patchworkdog Designs is a freelance illustrator and graphic artist. A long-term resident of Tamborine Mountain, she has created greeting cards which are sold throughout the local community and beyond. She also runs a graphic design business specialising in start-up and corporate branding.
What inspired you to open your business and what do you have planned in 2021?
After studying Illustration and graphic design at Liverpool University in the UK I worked in the web design industry, then moved to Australia about 16 years ago. I had a family, and after my children went to school I started back illustrating. I’ve always loved illustrating and graphics, so my freelance business just kind of happened organically, doing small jobs for friends, then word of mouth, and clients came.
I love creating, so making a living out of it was my first port of call to starting a business. I feel blessed every day that I am able to earn money doing what I love. In 2021 I will be developing my card range, finding distributors and hopefully start branching out to other merchandise. I’m always learning new skills within graphic design programs.
What did you do before opening your business?
Before my business I worked as a project manager for a company called Squiz in Sydney; they contracted me out to Historic Houses Trust where I trained people to use their content management systems for museum websites. I loved catching the ferry to Circular Quay to go to work; it was a great job. I then moved to Tamborine Mountain and started my freelance business. I continue to enjoy tutoring as part of my business.
How would you describe your business?
I work as a freelance graphic artist/illustrator. There are a few parts to my business; firstly, I illustrate my own range of greeting cards, postcards and tags that I distribute in shops around Australia. I have also illustrated children’s books. The other part of my business is more corporate where I work as a graphic designer, mainly branding businesses – designing logos, brochures, signage, labels etc.
What is it about your business that you love?
I am lucky to do what I love, so it doesn’t feel like work. It’s great that I work on something different all the time. I meet new and interesting people, the design briefs I get can be challenging, so it’s never boring.
Is it a business that gives you satisfaction?
My job gives me loads of satisfaction, especially when a client loves their new business identity and then goes on to become a long-term client, and so good relationships and friendships are formed.
If you were not doing this what would your ideal job be?
I do enjoy teaching, so maybe teaching illustration at an educational institution … but then I do love the idea of being a florist too!
Interesting facts about yourself?
I grew up on a farm in a tiny village in Kent which is where my love for drawing animals started. We had pretty much every farm animal – cows, sheep, horses, pigs, chickens, geese, ducks, dogs and many many farm cats that lived in the barns. We were always nursing sick animals, hand feeding lambs, chicks in the airing cupboard, even a pigeon living on the log basket in the kitchen. Home life was never boring. Cows always escaping and busting through the fences, or gates being left open. At harvest time driving the old Massey Ferguson from the age of 10, while hay bales were being stacked high on the trailer behind, my dad telling me to turn the wheel hard to help it stop on the hills as the brakes didn’t work. Oooh, I could go on … health and safety really wasn’t a big thing back then.
At university I studied a Joint Hons in Graphic Design/Illustration. While in Liverpool I had numerous art exhibitions and had my own art studio. I got my first publishing deal with a greeting card company and spent every penny travelling around South America back packing. I visited Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador Colombia and Venezuela. I moved to Australia 16 years ago. I lived in Sydney for six years where I was married and had two children. I then moved to Tamborine Mountain where I made a home and finally felt settled.
What do you do for fun?
I have a new passion to sail and have just finished my competent crew certificate for sailing; I’ll be doing my day skipper qualification very soon. I also love gardening, socialising, cooking, and more recently pottery.