Plant Life Balance

Between Two Palms with Chloe Joyce

We sat down with Sydney-based illustrator and graphic designer, pun enthusiast and absolute child of 90s culture.

Working as a digital artist, most of her illustrations are of loungin’ ladies and all things planty. We’re big fans.

Your work shows a clear connection with nature, where does this come from?
Well, I’m a country kid so I grew up by the beach and in the bush, also my mum was an avid gardener when we were growing up and one of our chores was to water the garden, which as a kid felt like it took 2 billion years when all you want to do is climb trees and go swimming but it also gives you a lot of respect for nature, watching things grow and change and feed and house animals and insects. It’s pretty bloody cool really.

How has this inspired your style?
For me it just felt like a natural development, my work has an autobiographical aspect to it and being around things that bring me joy, like plants and animals and nature in general makes being creative a lot easier.

We’re long time followers, and we noticed you’ve made a shift from painting animals to now painting women and plants. Can you tell us how this shift came about?
I still do include animals a lot because, like plants, they play a huge role in my life but my work was quirkier and a guess a bit more naive, with jokey animals and cats being jerks! When I graduated, our teachers really drilled it into us that we have to do what makes people laugh and you have to appeal to EVERYONE! It’s not possible and it made me a bit jaded by my career choice, but then I just started drawing for me and illustrating scenes that I wanted to see, and it really resonated with people and things started to take off!

Who are the women you’re illustrating?
They’re everyone really, every cool chick that ever met, sometimes they’re me, sometimes they’re no one, just depends on my mood really!

Do you think your audience resonates with this foliage-focused style?
I hope so otherwise I would be worried why they’re following my insta! (Probs for the boobs)

Tell us about your own plant journey. Do you own many plants yourself, how do you think you go at keeping them alive and happy?
I do own many plants! More than I’m able to fit in my tiny apartment at the moment, but somehow that never stops me! Look, I’m not gonna lie, I’ve killed many a plant, most of them being a maidenhair fern because how does one even keep that temperamental little guy alive? But after a while, you just start to get a feel for their personalities, I know which ones like to be watered weekly and which ones prefer a little drink every few days and which ones want nothing to do with me and just want me to leave them the hell alone.

What about your favourite plant, do you have one and if so why?
I really don’t like to play favourites but my elephant ear is just such a trooper, she’s come back from my neglect so many times it’s unbelievable! I’m also sick for a Boston fern, they’re just so purrrdy! Oh and a prickly pear because they are super delicious but make sure you prepare them correctly though otherwise, ouch!

How would you rate your Plant Life Balance?
It’s pretty darn planty.

Do you have any tips for people looking to increase their daily dose of green?
Start with some easy hard-to-kill guys. Once you manage to keep them alive, you’ll get a real high from it and your plant obsession will bloom!

Any fave leafy venues or locations you frequent to soak up the benefits of plants?
I always love going home. There’s nothing quite like walking through nature trails to end up at a beautiful beach, getting a dose of salt and green is life-giving. If I’m around Sydney, I really like going to Petersham Bowlo, they’ve made a lovely community garden and the kitchen uses the produce and they have beehives and it’s just super chill. Also, there are some real pretty parks around the inner west that you can take your doggo and sit under a nice shady tree with a book and while away the hours.

You can find Chloe’s work on her website.

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