Enter the illustrative “Doolittle” world of artist Eliza Williams
Melbourne-based artist Doolittle Illustrations, AKA Eliza Williams, talks to us about the creative and exciting process of her illustrations and collaborating with major clients such as Spotify.
- Joey Levenson
- 16 August 2021
- Reading Time
- 4 minute read
Multidisciplinary artist and self-proclaimed “creator of things” Eliza Williams is taking the illustration world by storm. Still only early into her artistic career, Eliza’s trifold talent in illustration, drawing, and painting has garnered much attention and praise across social media. Now, she’s attracted the likes of Spotify and Spotify UK, proving to be a popular commission with the streaming platform. There’s no denying Eliza is an up-and-coming force to be reckoned with.
Starting her artistic endeavours as a child, Eliza began sharing her illustrations “back in 2017 when I was doing my communications design course at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology,” she tells It’s Nice That. “Creating my own illustrative worlds has always been exciting to me, they’re like little worlds to escape to,” she adds. Only last year did Eliza begin to put herself out into the public sphere some more, which resulted in a domino effect of commissions and projects. “It’s all resulted in me now doing what I love as a career, and I’m so thankful for all the support I’ve received from people and other creatives along the way.”
Humble and still down to earth, Eliza carries an air of grace that makes it hard to believe she’s an illustrator with such a widely successful career right now. There is a charm to her, much like the idiosyncratic and boldly-coloured worlds of her illustrations. “I do feel like a lot of my work has a distinct ‘Doolittle’ style to it, which is full of colour and life, intertwining themes of personal growth and nature,” she explains. “My hope has always been to encourage people through my art to express their inner self and adopt a fun and playful attitude to life.” Jovial, fun and otherworldly escapes definitely constitute the majority of Eliza’s work. There’s something palpably addictive about every piece, each one essentially a perfect snapshot of dopamine. Eliza’s art – whether it be a tattoo, on the cover of Spotify playlists, or simply prints in her portfolio – clearly speaks to her generation.
“I get inspiration from all over the place,” Eliza says. “A lot of the time they come from dreams I’ve had, music I listen to, day-to-day conversations, people in my life, or pulling on personal experiences I’ve had.” These everyday quotidian subject matters are often contrasted by the surrealist nature of their form in Eliza’s works, sometimes blurring the line between alien and human. “I think most aspects of my life spark little characters and worlds in my head that I then want to turn into illustrations,” Eliza tells us. “Recently I’ve been drawing a lot of inspiration from western wear, 70s and 80s fashion, and packaging and design history.”
This simple yet refined streamline of inspirations works particularly well for Eliza’s Spotify illustrations. They’re as decorative and magical as they are relatable. “Working with Spotify is such a dream, I’m super grateful to get to work so closely with them and the artists involved on an ongoing basis,” the artist says. On the Our Generation campaign, Spotify aims to target Gen Z audiences, and Eliza notes how harmonious and creatively stimulating it was to work with the brief. “It started with a brief for me to create a number of imagined ‘worlds’ using my Doolittle style, inspired by the different genres and artists that make up the Our Generation playlist,” she explains. “From bedroom pop to alternative rap, I wanted to capture all the different sounds as best as I could, giving the listeners and artists a visual experience that represents how the music makes them feel.” It was a task that led Eliza to create worlds that transport the listeners to another world whilst they’re listening, providing an appropriate visual stimulant to go along with the sonic ones. “It’s been super cool to see how the listeners and artists interact with the visuals on-platform and on socials,” she says. As for her recent releases, Eliza tells us of exciting new collaborations with the campaign and artists of her generation. “We’ve just finished this amazing original video project with the artist Girl in Red and Alfie Templeman, where they each transport through the Our Generation universe on their own visual journeys.”
Looking to the future, Eliza harbours a flurry of aspirations for her art to grow bigger. “It's amazing to be super young and already ticking off some of my dream projects,” she says. “Now, it leaves me with so many possibilities on where to take my career next.” Recently, Eliza has been focusing on animations, both in her personal work and in collaborations with other creatives. It’s a medium she’s finding to be another deep well of inspiration, and she hopes to venture further into that terrain. “Designing more Doolittle clothing would be incredible, and creating a beautiful coffee table book,” she adds. “But, I'd say my biggest aspiration at the moment is to have an art show, which I hope will be possible in the near future.” We know it’s only a matter of time until Eliza has an art show of her own, and her work continues to accumulate the international attention it deserves.
Doolittle Illustrations (Eliza Williams) : Walking boots (Copyright © Doolittle Illustrations, June 2021)