Talking Typography and Style with Pedestrian Coach Georgia Hill

Sydney illustrator and typographer Georgia Hill has been drawing words since kindy – when she’d spend hours illustrating her name, only to forget that pesky ‘R’. Since mastering the spelling of her own name, Georgia’s spent a great amount of time both here and in Berlin (at the prestigious The Michelberger Hotel no less) developing pieces both great and small for the likes of Umbro, Footlocker and Soul Clap Records. With her focus on creating high impact visuals, Georgia’s scored herself a spot in the Top 20 for Yen‘s Female Artist Award, to be announced on June 12. If you sign up for her Pedestrian Coach session now, you may just be learning from an award-winning artist.

We caught up with the gal to chat routine, challenging designs, and her lack of horror stories.

In 25 words or less, describe your personal style.
Wow – word and phrase based, super bold but hyper detailed, often monochromatic, evolving, flowing, winding, mixing, hard, considered pen and ink works. Phew!

What is it about letters that makes you froth?
I just love how simple changes can completely transform a word, the message, the style, the feeling. There are so many ways to treat words and the rhythm or flow of how we use them, and I love that there can be a sense of play or cheek not just in the style but in the phrasing or words themselves. And that I could answer that question differently every day!

Tell us about your first commissioned piece of work.
I think
it was actually for a really good friend when I had just turned 18 –
I’ve always been drawing and nerding out in art class, and had also been
studying a graphic design subject at a new high school. So for a six
pack of beer I very ambitiously made maybe 16 pages of custom hand
painted artworks into a bound children’s book.

What’s been your favourite thing to work on so far?
Anytime I get to paint a big wall I’m a very happy lady, especially when I get to translate really heavy detail and exact lines into a bigger scale, like the recent piece I did for the Hysteria magazine launch. I also loved the works I made for the ‘Echo Of An Instantshow – the amount of detail and time I put into each, along with using ink instead of my usual pens, was really challenging.

I’ve basically spent this year forcing myself to get weird and uncomfortable with my work, but to also build something with a strong, distinct style. So each time I wrap a piece that seems to work it’s a new favourite!

Where do you get your inspiration from?
From a lot of places – for phrasing and words, hip hop, music, reading things the total wrong way, fragments of people talking, basically anything that is language or words, these little moments in between a bigger message. And all of that creates these visuals in my head that’s already full of ideas for techniques and that certain texture and that part of a letter and that kind of line and then suddenly it’s working!

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned so far?
That you need to keep pushing yourself and how you approach your work – it doesn’t mean you have to experiment with fourteen kinds of paint but you need to come at things from different directions and let yourself build up, even – well, especially – when you’re feeling really clever and comfortable.

Have you had any horror moments yet? If so, do tell.

thankfully no! Though now I’m paranoid that answer will be a curse. I’ve
been very lucky to have amazing friends, family and housemates who’ve
gotten over my weird hours and helped me with everything from prepping
works to 4am cups of tea. So fingers crossed if something does go wrong
I’m sure someone will be close by to make it seem less career ending.

Do you have a routine when it comes to working?
Ideally I would have a day that involves getting up early, running, drinking coffee in the sun and being a healthy sane social person but that’s rarely the case! I’m usually up as early as I can manage, work on freelance day jobs or sign painting, then spend my nights lost in my own work sketching, drawing and planning what’s next. When I have a show or big piece coming up I try to clear every day to work solely on that, which is the grand plan.

In 25 words or less, describe your studio space.
A shared home/studio with semi-finished works, sketches, notes, books, paint, pens, a sneaky beer and me in the middle of it all.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to budding artists?
I guess again it would be to experiment! But in more words the best thing you can do is give your work real time – no one can do what you do, and when it comes to typography, lettering or illustration there are so many different ways to approach it. Style is meant to be something unique to you, so there’s really no point trying to wrangle it into whatever is on trend when you could be doing something that is all yours!


If you’d like to see Georgia’s works in person, get along to The Tate in Glebe on July 9, alternatively check them out at

Fore more advice on illustration and typography, sign up for Georgia’s Pedestrian Coach session.