Cranes & Queens

A collaborative Digital Illustration project over a year in the making.

Cranes & Queens Digital Illustration

Skip to the bottom if you want to read an exciting update from January 2018!

It started in November 2015 with the photoshoot at NAT Photography (just before I moved from Australia to Germany). I didn’t start concepts until March 2016 and didn’t finish all 5 pieces until December 2016. Life, work and travel continued to get in the way (plus my personal self-doubt and procrastination, as the majority of the work landed on my shoulders and I didn’t want to let the team down). In the end, the 5-piece set is beautiful, dynamic, dark and intricate, as we’d envisioned it to be. I would like to thank the wonderful, supportive and eternally patient ladies below for lending their talents and time to the shoot and months (+) of feedback! This wouldn’t have been possible without you!


Anya Hurwood – Fashion Designer & Stylist – InstagramFacebook

Natalie Kletkina – Model – InstagramFacebook

Nancy Trieu – Photographer & Coordinator – InstagramFacebook


I’ll take you through a short process of creating each piece,
starting with the original moodboard below:

Cranes & Queens Moodboard

While there’s an obvious colour palette, they have dominant colours depending on their location in the set. The end pieces (No. 1 and 5) are orange, the next ones in (No. 2 & 4) are pink with purple, and the middle piece (No. 3, the Queen) is red and purple. All 5 pieces fit together to make the large horizontal display (as above), with the background cranes matching up at the edges to tie them all together.

Process of Cranes & Queens No. 1 (Original photo to sketch to first concept)

Final Illustration

Process of Cranes & Queens No. 2

Cranes & Queens Process No. 2

Final Illustration

Cranes & Queens No. 2

Process of Cranes & Queens No. 3

Cranes & Queens Process No. 3

Final Illustration

Cranes & Queens No. 3

Process of Cranes & Queens No. 4

Cranes & Queens Process No. 4

Final Illustration

Cranes & Queens No. 4

Process of Cranes & Queens No. 5

Cranes & Queens Process No. 5

Final Illustration

Cranes & Queens No. 5


I entered this project into the Aquent Talent Calendar in mid-2017 in the hopes of getting it picked for the 2018 calendar or at least a bit more exposure for the project. After 3 consecutive years of entering this calendar competition, I WON! Cranes & Queens No. 1 was chosen for the October illustration and you can see it printed in the standing calendar below:

Aquent Talent Calendar front

Aquent Talent Calendar back side

Instagram Posting Here

Such an honour to be part of this amazing project! I hope to do more like this and enter more contests in the next couple years. This calendar goes out to Aquent and Vitamin T‘s clients and affiliates all over the world, which is amazing exposure for any artist (plus you don’t need to be signed up with them to enter). I highly encourage everyone who’s interested to enter a. for the experience and b. to see if you get picked and shown off to thousands of clients worldwide!

I would love to hear your feedback on the set!

If you’re interested in starting a similar digital illustration project, please feel free to connect with me.