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To celebrate the launch of Adrianne's exclusive Atlas x Bed Threads prints, we took a tour of the artist’s Melbourne studio.

| By Rachael Thompson | Journal

Adrianne Dimitrakakis’ Vibrant Artworks Are Inspired by the Beauty of the French Coast

To celebrate the launch of Adrianne's exclusive Atlas x Bed Threads prints, we took a tour of the artist’s Melbourne studio.

Atlas founder Adrianne Dimitrakakis' artworks embody the soul of summer. Whether it's an image of a lush palm tree, rolling beach waves, or delectable summer produce, the Australian artist uses vibrant colours to create retro-inspired paintings that transport you to a relaxing holiday location. "Ultimately, I want people to feel bright and happy when they see my work," she shares with Bed Threads Journal.

Adrianne previously worked in marketing for a surf brand, which saw her frequently travelling for photoshoots and surf trips. She would document her findings and illustrate maps of the destinations she travelled to. This led her to further her art and create her brand, Atlas.

From Bali to Ibiza, her bold illustrations celebrate the good life, bringing colour and sunshine to any space. "I describe it as ‘nostalgic travel art’, like a vintage worn mural you’d see while passing through some random town while travelling," she says.

Adrianne has created two exclusive artworks for Bed Threads that are a homage to her recent travels to the European coast. With Love From the Coast and With Love From the Sea evoke an endless summer and the charm of French surf culture. Whether you're dreaming of the Mediterranean or want to elevate a blank wall, these prints will add an energetic dose of wanderlust to your day.

To celebrate her latest collection, we took a tour of her modern art studio spoke to her about her bold career change, the artist's tool she can’t live without, and her creative process.

Hi Adrianne! We're so excited to have your artwork at Bed Threads. Can you share a bit about this collection?

Thank you, me too! This collection of two artworks is inspired by my recent travels to Europe. I travelled to a number of places through Italy, Portugal, Spain, and France – my favourite places were Biarritz and Hossesgor on the French Basque Coast.

What was the inspiration behind them?

One of my favourite things about Biarritz and Hossesgor is the unique surf culture in comparison to Australia. It’s this beautiful blend of surf style and classic French style.

“One of my favourite things about Biarritz and Hossesgor is the unique surf culture in comparison to Australia.”

Can you tell us how your art relates to your personality and who you are?

I guess my artwork is pretty colourful and out there which I can be in many ways. My art is sort of like my way of letting out my happiest, most fun self and almost a way to activate those parts of me every day. Some pieces have funny tongue-in-cheek phrases I made up and put in the language of the location of the artwork – you’d only know what it says if you speak the language or translate it, and I kind of love the idea that only a few may do that and get the funny little joke I’ve made.

How would you describe your art style?

I describe it as ‘nostalgic travel art’, like a vintage worn mural you’d see while passing through some random town while travelling.

What does your average workday look like?

My average day changes from day to day, it just depends on what’s on.

Generally, I check my emails and then start sketching or researching if I’m working on something in particular, and then begin painting. I try and get to the beach as much as I can for a bit of a reset, and that’s generally where I am when the ideas start to pop into my mind. Going to the beach helps give me a bit of balance, too.

You worked in marketing before pursuing your career as an artist. How did you approach this transition? What were some of the biggest challenges?

I started doing my art alongside my marketing role until eventually it grew and grew and I didn’t have time to do it all. I eventually left my full-time marketing job to create Atlas. There were different stages through COVID of picking up a part-time job for some extra income, but I’ve been full-time again for the last year and a half and loving it.

What do you love most about working in this space?

I just love the freedom; freedom to create what I want, however I want. With art you can break the rules too – there’s no right or wrong, it’s whatever you want it to be. This means it can sometimes be hard to create, but it also gives a great sense of being able to shape your life to it and be flexible.

This work really excites me and I feel like it suits the way I operate and think. It can be really hard and physical work, and sometimes if something is not working it can take so much time to experiment which can be frustrating. But once you get it, it’s so rewarding – it’s the best thing ever once a project is done.

“With art you can break the rules too – there’s no right or wrong, it’s whatever you want it to be.”

What motivates you to create?

I’m a pretty imaginative person. Once I have an idea, I can see it perfectly in my mind and that makes me want to just do it straight away.. However, I can’t always do this so I have to get the idea down and come back to it.

What is one artist tool you can’t live without?

Probably my sketchbook. I love writing down ideas as the first stage, it’s the seed of a bigger idea that grows. I often write words and scribble different things or key colours – it all might not make sense to anyone else but me but it's the sort of thing you need handy right away when something comes to mind.

Who are your biggest artistic influences?

It’s hard to say. There are many artists I admire, through their colours or their application of how loose and free something is. I really find myself drawn to random old signs in the middle of nowhere, murals that have been somewhere for years, and vintage postcards/advertisements. When travelling, that’s the thing that sticks out to me and I try to capture and create my own version.

Talk us through your creative process. Where do you start?

I start by scribbling down some ideas with a few oil pastels of key colours I’m thinking of. I’ll then do some drawings on the iPad and play around with font or text placement. Once I have a good idea, or feel good about starting, I get stuck into texturising the canvas or board. I do many layers of this to get it how I like, and then I lay down the first layer of colour. There’s usually a few layers of this too, and then I draw up the artwork’s main features and get painting.

How do you balance the business side of being an artist with your creative work?

Haha, it can be pretty hard. Some creatives are better at admin than others and I’m one of those who is a bit slower on that side of things.
I try to tackle those things early in the morning before I get stuck into my day, and when there’s a creative thought or process I roll with it, or get the idea down and come back to it. At the end of each day, I make a bit of a plan for the next day of what needs to be done in priority.

How do you handle creative blocks or moments of self-doubt?

I feel like the creative process just takes time; time to think and sit with things, which just can’t be rushed. I’ve discovered that forcing myself to work through a block just ‘figure it out’ often doesn’t work and can just frustrate you. I find walking away and taking the breaks I need – like a swim down at the beach – when my mind has time to rest a bit more, helps ideas flow better. I love to flick through my old books and inspo boards to get the brain going but often ideas can randomly pop up.

Can you share any upcoming projects or ideas you're excited about?

Yes, there are a couple of things in the pipeline which is exciting. I’ve been working on a collaboration for a clothing collection with my artwork which has been cool to see. I'm also creating new artwork for an upcoming exhibition in the new year!

What do you hope to make people feel when they see your work?

Ultimately, I want people to feel bright and happy when they see my work. Or if there’s a funny tongue-in-cheek phrase in my work, to make people laugh and just feel good. That’s part of the idea behind the Welcome Suns series – bringing the sun to you! On your wall, it’s shining for you every day.

For more from Adrianne, follow her @atlas________atlas

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