Freelancer of the Month - 6th February 2019

Georgia Small and GILLIE

Georgia Small

My name is Georgia Small. I am a freelance illustrator and writer, and full time acting student.

I was born and raised in Singapore, where I spent most of my life, only moving to the UK when I was 18.

I studied English Literature at Durham, which further cultivated my love for a time when people used whole sentences to communicate.

But, I began to feel deeply disconnected from the version of myself who was always painting and drawing and performing. I still write prose and poetry all the time – primarily in my notes (proof of which can be found at

After I graduated, I packed one suitcase and moved to Melbourne to study Graphic design intensively for 3 months. I was stuck in one room from 8-5pm every day and I hated it. I didn’t realise that it would feel like a computer job rather than a creative one.

However, it was being in Melbourne that I begun to find my own artistic style.

Melbourne has a way of enveloping you in creativity.

I began drawing sad faces on objects and sticking them up on the wooden makeshift walls of my warehouse bedroom. I noticed that I would only ever draw heads without bodies.

I have always suffered immensely from diagnosed body dysmorphia and I wondered if this was subconsciously leaking into my work.

I found it unbearable to think of drawing a body attached to a head. I whatsapped my mum about it.

Project Secret Selfie arose out of my desire to subvert this dysmorphia.

I found a selfie I had taken of me in my underwear when I was feeling good about myself for about 0.5 seconds and decided to use the skills I had learned in design school to outline this drawing of my body – leaving my head off. Byeee.

I think part of me wanted to remove the identity of the body, but also to remove all that comes with being stuck in the mind.

I noticed that as I converted myself into the soft outlines of my body that I was able to see myself as art.

It was a feeling that I felt I wanted to share with other girls. So, on my fresh, new instagram account for my artwork I posted a message asking girls to send me their selfies for me to turn into art.

I sat in the cafe next to my flat expecting nothing; thinking I’d have to message all my friends asking them to send their selfies for the project. Within an hour, I had about 4 random girls send me their photos.

Then it just spiralled out of control. My inbox was flooded. I had over a 100 emails. A couple of online magazines got in touch and wrote articles.

I then moved to Sydney to be a full time acting student at NIDA. I still work freelance on the side, but my training has kind of consumed me.

However, it was at drama school that I developed a style of continuous line drawing which I fell in love with.

I discovered it by looking at actors acting and drawing directly from what I saw, not looking once at the page.

I am now moving to London to pursue a career in acting, but I want to continue to explore my visual art and keep developing new ways of working.

I still prefer drawing in pen, above anything.

Gillie Rowland

Originally from rural South Wales, GILLIE is a singer – songwriter currently based in South East London.

Her songs (gillie_music) have an alt – pop sound, with an undercurrent of folk influenced narrative.

Clash and Collide is the first track to be released by GILLIE under Skivvy Records.

Inspired by a relationship in limbo, her “gentle vocals” explore varying emotions.

Sometimes speaking through the words of her mother and friends, GILLIE’s lighthearted, self-reflective lyrics contain both a sense of irony, and melancholy.

Written at Goldsmiths and produced with fellow musician Tomáš Kašpar, this track fuses together live sounds and electronic samples.

Its soaring guitars and soft harmonies create an ethereal atmosphere, whilst retaining plenty of bite.

The next up and coming show is on 19th February, at Rye Wax, Peckham.

You can listen to her music on soundcloud.

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