Artist Highlight: Jacqueline Ayer, Ali McNabney-Stevens

(Credit: Miss. Moon - Jacqueline Ayer)

A principle of every creative lifestyle is to find inspiration everywhere you go. Interior styling may not fall under the immediate banner of these artists, but for aspiring individuals who want to spice up their own homes,  external influences from children's book artists and even fashion designers should not be ruled out.

Jacqueline Ayer

As a diverse combination of author, illustrator, fashion and textile designer, Jacqueline Ayer was a powerhouse in the American design world. Through a 2017 Kickstarter campaign, the London-based House of Illustration has set up an exhibition dedicated to her work, as well as a set of merchandise that included cotton tote bags, postcard sets and printed copies of her self-illustrated and authored children's books, such as 'The Paper-Flower Tree' and 'Nu Gang and his Kite'. They were a remarkable addition to 1960s America. Documenting her family’s life around the back lanes of Bangkok, they were the first books published in the US to depict Asian culture authentically.

Ayer's use of line and form, combined with a deliberate and simple colour palette afforded her illustrations with an authentic sense of narrative coherency.

(Credit: Endpapers for Nu Dang and His Kite - Jacqueline Ayer)

American illustrator Milton Glaser; who's famous for his iconic designs of the 'I Heart New York' and 1977-2005 DC Comics logos, had this to say about Ayer: "Jacqueline Ayer was endlessly admired and respected. What is always difficult to understand is the degree to which she was able to change every culture she was embedded in, from editorial pages to clothing design, to fabrics and children’s books.” 

Ali McNabney-Stevens

The British born Ali McNabney-Stevens is a sharp beacon in the world of Australian art. Her artworks navigate an intense and rich tapestry of abstracted form and contrast, predominantly influenced by her love of landscapes and bold colour combinations.

Like any artist still fully immersed in her creative energies, McNabney-Stevens' style continues to evolve. While still dominated by her impressionable characteristics of intense colour and bold abstract form, she has moved more towards a more literal and figurative focus, but not for long, McNabney-Stevens suspects: "I do work a bit more conceptually now, on florals, nudes and definable landscapes, but I can only go so far with this, and the moment the painting becomes too literal I’m no longer comfortable with the work."

(Credit: Round Table Aerial View No. 2 - Ali McNabney-Stevens)

As a featured artist in many leading interior editorial spreads, international blogs and of late regular guest appearances on primetime National TVC, McNabney-Stevens has cemented herself as one of the most prolific emerging Australian artists, attracting worldwide attention for her art practice.

Evolve Styling Team