Meet our illustrator

Meet Phill Small. He is the creative talent behind our delicious fruit cordial illustrations gracing our 500ml premium crafted cordials.

Phill grew up in South Africa, immigrated to New Zealand in 1996 and now lives in Sydney.
Phill Small, illustrator
What’s your favourite childhood memory of your hometown?

I grew up on a Game reserve so we spent holidays riding horses, hiking and camping. Both my parents were keen gardeners and they grew a lot of their own fruit and vegetables. I often remember helping to make jams to take to boarding school. We’d made all sorts, blackberry, strawberry, raspberry, lemon curd, gooseberry, fig and apricot.
When you were a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
All I wanted to do is draw. I studied Graphic Deign in Durban and then did a fourth year specialising in illustration. I’ve been illustrating ever since, which is pretty much all my life.

What excites you most about what you draw – what’s your favourite subject matter?
Simply bringing something to life. The process of creating a new image from an idea through to the final is very fulfilling, like cooking a great meal. Creating more botanical style illustrations is always very satisfying. It’s not just a single piece of fruit, it’s the buds, flowers, fruit, the whole life cycle. I mainly do food illustrations and lately I’ve been doing a lot of watercolour.

Who in the art world do you admire?
When it comes to the art world, anyone who makes me stop and look again. That’s the beauty of art, it is forever challenging and changing your perception of the world around you.

What would you recommend to any youngster wanting to get into illustration work?

It’s hard to give advice because being an artist is like having a bad case of chicken pox, you just have to scratch. So sure you can study, but you have to be obsessed, draw draw draw. The more you draw the more you’ll find out what you like and what you’re good at.
What other creative interests do you have?
I love to create. Anything really: sculptures, furniture, lights, paintings, gardening.
Are you a foodie in the kitchen?
Yes of course! It’s creating after all so I love cooking. I don’t know how good I am at it but I haven’t killed anyone yet.

What is the weirdest veggie you’ve ever attempted to cook with?
I was recently introduced to an Italian vegetable called Cima di Rapa. Very strong in flavour and great with some sausages. Best described as simple peasant food.

How do you wind down in the weekend?
I absolutely love the ocean, so I hit the beach with the kids.

You can check out more of Phill’s work here at Watermark Ltd.Fruit illustration