A Day In The Life: Miranda Lorikeet
With COVID-19 saturating news and social media, we thought it would be interesting to hear how the creatives of Australia are adapting to the new changes in the industry.
The Creative Issue spoke with 29-year-old, digital illustrator, Miranda Lorikeet, from Sydney Australia about what her day consists of amid the pandemic.
The Creative Issue: What do you do for work?
Miranda Lorikeet: I am a digital artist/illustrator (with an office day job)
TCI: How long have you been a digital artist/illustrator?
ML: I’ve been drawing since I can remember but started making it an actual business around 7 years ago.
TCI: How did you get into the creative industry?
ML: It happened very slowly. Like most kids in the 90s, I loved drawing in MS (Microsoft) Paint. When we got our first home computer in 1996 (sans internet) I loved trying to create detailed landscapes in it. In 2012, I moved to Sydney from my country hometown in inner New South Wales. I got a job as a receptionist. I didn’t have a huge workload so I started mucking around with MS Paint again on my work computer to pass the time at this boring job. And I started getting pretty good at it. I couldn’t afford and didn’t know how to work any legitimate graphic editing software, so I put all my energy into mastering this super basic free software. Things sort of just snow balled from there. I was an avid user of Tumblr back in the day, which is where I got my creative start. I went from drawing silly doodles on a reception computer at an insurance company to working with Microsoft, designing album artwork and book covers for some really cool creatives. I still use MS Paint and really enjoy trying to push this basic, late 90s software to its pixelated limits.
TCI: What is the first thing you do in the morning to start your workday?
ML: Wake up a late, chaotic, flustered mess. Throw some clothes on my body (are these clean? who cares). Hop in my car and smash a can of Red Bull while driving to work. Listen to FBI Radio Sydney so I know what’s going on in the world and which streets to avoid traffic. (I have to catch ‘Best Eats’ every Friday morning so I know where to eat that weekend). Apply make up at each stop light and hopefully have a full face of make up by the time I roll into the office. Reply to client emails, drink another Red Bull and catch up on the news at my desk.
TCI: Does this morning ritual now differ since the escalation of Covid-19?
ML: Lately, every morning I watch the news with my flat mates, eat brekky and walk our dog. Maybe play a little Nintendo 64 (we’ve been trying to beat 007 Golden Eye). I’ve been doing a lot more drawing since I’ve been at home, which is good. I’ve also pimped out my home art studio. By the time this is over I don’t know if I’ll even want to go back to normal life!
TCI: When do you start work?
ML: Out of bed at 8:15 and start work at 8.30. No excuses.
TCI: Do you normally work from home or go into an office?
ML: I normally go into the office every day, but also have a home art studio which I make good use of. Especially since COVID-19 hit.
TCI: Are you now working from home?
ML: I sure am. I have a bit more free time in the mornings now that I am not driving anymore, so I have been doing elaborate eye make up every morning. I am deep in a world of Skype meetings, phone calls and emails as we speak, but I’ll be damned if I don’t look good doing it.
TCI: How do you stay connected with clients?
ML: I’ve made far more phone calls than I usually would, and Instagram is always a good connector. Most of my client contact was digital to begin with, so fortunately not too much has changed for me. I am very fortunate to be in this position.
TCI: Has your work changed in terms of the content you are asked to produce?
ML: So far for me the content required of me is the same, although all the fun events I was meant to be attending in the coming weeks are now online events. A huge part of why I love being an artist is the events, dinners and launch parties I get to attend. I had some really fun ones lined up and they have all either been cancelled or pushed back which is a shame… I think people want to escape to their happy place more now than ever and I’m hoping my art can serve as an escape during this time. Even if it’s just through a screen. I can’t wait for the huge after party that will happen when this is over. I’m picturing people dancing in the street and making out. Although I don’t know if that will be for a long time.
TCI: Do you find it distracting when working from home, and if so, how do you solve the
ML: I am easily distracted by my phone so I will do 2 hour slots where my phone is on aeroplane mode. It’s helped me stay focused longer and brought my screen time down. Taking a break every hour or so to get up from my desk, even if it’s just to put washing on or make a cup of tea has helped me not feel like I am chained inside my studio all day like some sort of modern-day Rapunzel. Today I sent calendar invites to all my flat mates for planned tea and lunch breaks throughout the week so we are all still connected and having regular breaks.
TCI: Do you try to have set workday hours to keep a work life balance?
ML: I do, but I am bad at keeping to them. 10:30am is tea break, 1.30pm is lunch and 5pm is a gin and tonic time. Recently, I am finding myself working longer hours with more breaks in between. As to whether this is a good way to work, I am not sure yet. I guess only time will tell. I need to work in more ‘going outside for a walk’ time into my day, while I still can.
TCI: What are some tips on working from home you could give to people who are now forced
ML: Shower daily, get dressed as if you’re going outside, put make up on, work in 2 hour chunks, put your phone on aeroplane mode for periods of time where you need to focus, listen to instrumental music playlists or the radio, crack a window open, get some sun, walk around the block, watch dog videos online and take a break from reading the news when you feel yourself slipping into the abyss.
Miranda’s artwork is sold through Society6 online. You can also keep up with her on social media to grant yourself endless inspiration.