The local fashion illustrator who's worked with Billabong and Collective Hub.
The local fashion illustrator who's worked with Billabong and Collective Hub.
Local fashion illustrator and graphic designer Hayley O’Connor has worked with a slew of impressive international brands including Billabong and Collective Hub. Her style echoes urban lifestyles and surf culture with a distinctly feminine quality and is the perfect representation of the Gold Coast’s growing arts scene.
We sat down for a chat with Hayley about her recent tee shirt design for local brand The Undercurrent and how our beautiful beaches influence her work.
How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I moved to the Gold Coast from Melbourne almost three years ago now. I got a job with Billabong as a graphic designer and made the move! I wasn’t sure how long I would be here but fell in love with the place and its beach lifestyle.
What do you love most about our city?
The beaches and all the new cafes and restaurants popping up! I think leaving Melbourne, I was worried about finding good coffee and food but Gold Coast food is really impressive and I’m definitely not missing out. I also love that there’s a real sense of community here. You always bump into someone you know and there’s a fun, friendly vibe.
How is the art you create influenced by the world around you?
I have a lot of references to the tropics and the ocean in my work, which I definitely think is influenced by living here. These things have kind of merged with my love of fashion from growing up in Melbourne.
You illustrated a Broadbeach tee shirt design for local brand The Undercurrent, why did you include the elements you did?
I guess when I think of Broadbeach I think of the nightlife. I wanted to create a retro pin up kind of girl in bathers to represent the beach and sunshine and I included the cocktail glass and playing cards to represent The Star casino. The seal is a reference to one of Broadbeachs’ first hotels on the Coast, Lennons Broadbeach Hotel. The famous seal statue from the Lennons pool now sits outside the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre in a nod to the past.
How would you describe your artistic style?
I would say it’s feminine with an edge. I love drawing beautiful girls surrounded by nature, patterns and tattoos.
You’ve worked with some impressive brands, is there a commercial piece you’ve created that you particularly love?
I think the piece I created for Surfing World Magazine. They have a section of the mag called “The Octopus” and the brief was pretty much do what ever I wanted but just don’t draw an octopus! I liked how weird and fun the brief was and it started me drawing a series of mermaids that are some of my favourite pieces still.
Do you have a style of art you most enjoy creating?
I have two styles of illustration. One is really detailed with pencils and watercolour and the other is a simpler style I create with pens and markers while mixing in typography. I like jumping between the two as my detailed is more serious and my simpler is fun and quirky.
What’s been the journey you’ve taken to get where you are today?
I guess a lot of time drawing for the love of it and hard work over the years had led me to where I am today.
What’s the best piece of life advice you’ve ever been given?
Life’s too short to do something you don’t love.
Being a Gold Coast local, we have to ask your favourites…
Beach: Miami and Greenmount
Café: Bam Bam Bakery
Restaurant: Rick Shores / Etsu
How does your weekend usually look? Pretty much drawing and hanging at the beach!
The Gold Coast’s newest label The Undercurrent is a brand with a mission, a Gold Coast one. Created to showcase our amazing city through art on something accessible to everyone, t-shirts.
The brand’s name is both a nod to the Coast’s thriving surf culture and the side of the city locals keep hidden.
Through her extensive travels proud Gold Coaster and brand creator, Carly Snodgrass, often came across t-shirts locally designed and capturing the essence of each particular city.
She quickly realised that although the Gold Coast is one of Australia’s most popular tourist destinations, drawing visitors from across the world due to its beautiful golden beaches, thriving nightlife and of course, abundant theme parks, it is also a culturally diverse city with a whole lot more to offer.
And this is the side that should be shown to the world.
Enter the artists. Carly commissioned five local artists – Claudio Kirac, Kiel Tillman, Sarah Beetson, Eric Koo and Byron Coathup – to illustrate their interpretation of the Gold Coast suburb in which they live.
Currumbin, Burleigh Heads, Coolangatta, Surfers Paradise and Mermaid Beach are the suburbs currently represented with more to be added at a later date.
The Undercurrent’s purpose is to work with those who share their passion for the city’s unique culture and offer them the opportunity to create projects on their home turf.
$2 from every purchase will be donated to Surf Lifesaving Queensland who were specifically chosen by The Undercurrent due to the huge part they play in both assisting tourists and the vital role in shaping our city’s culture.
Since 1930 Surf Life Saving Queensland’s mission has been to protect the lives of the millions of people visiting our beaches every year and The Undercurrent wishes to support them in continuing their fantastic work.
The Undercurrent will officially launch online April 1st and you can catch them at The Village Markets this Sunday the 2nd of April from 8.30am to 1pm.
Words by Kirra Smith.
Broadbeach has long been regarded as one of our wining, dining and shopping. With a number of ‘stayers’ boasting staunch followers for many moons, sprinkled with a hearty helping of shiny new eats and drinks players, nothing can dull the sparkle of this burb’s A-grade entertainer status.
Here are precisely 17 reasons why locals – and Gold Coasters far and wide – love themselves a piece of our much-loved Broady.
Social Eating House + Bar
If you’re a foodie, this is your go-to. A modern Australian sensation, Social has more hats than a Milliner’s workshop. With Executive Chef Matthew Jefferson in charge, you’ll experience a carefully curated range of bar snacks, charcuterie, and small and large share plates, all featuring the finest Australian ingredients and paired to perfection. A meal here is worth.every.cent.
Where: 3 Oracle Boulevard, Broadbeach
The Star Gold Coast
If ever there was a reason to get a babysitter, it’s for a session at The Star. Between the live music and amazing food at the Garden Kitchen & Bar, award-winning Cantonese, Japanese and modern Australian cuisine at Uncle Su, Kiyomi, and Nineteen at The Star, authentic Italian eats at Cucina Vivo, the ultimate buffet experience at Harvest Buffet, a few bevvies at the new-look Atrium Bar and/or the Insta-fave rooftop lounge bar at Nineteen, who needs to go anywhere else?
Where: 1 Casino Drive, Broadbeach
Broadbeach Bowls Club
Nothing says a chilled GC arvo like a game of barefoot bowls with a brew in hand. Another enduring favourite amongst the local set here on the GC, Broadbeach Bowls Club never fails to deliver a feel-good time for young and old. They serve up big portions of all your go-to pub-grub meals and do a great canape package for a laid-back birthday or celebration.
Where: 169 Surf Parade, Broadbeach
Dracula’s Cabaret Restaurant
If you’re after a tried and tested, long-standing comedic cabaret, good ‘ole Dracs has been serving up frights, food and frivolity since we were all ankle-biters. Most people are sold when they hear there’s a ghost train alone, let alone the actual show (which changes every so often, so there’s always a reason to go back), banquet dinner…and shots in syringes!
Where: Hooker Boulevard, Broadbeach
Aloha Bar and Dining
This tropical hidden treasure is all fun vibes, good food and cracking good times. Popular for its hospo nights, taco Thursdays, karaoke nights, live music and pumping DJs, there’s always something going on here. The tapas always deliver the feels (bao buns…I die!!), the Cucumber and Jalapeno Margi is (too) easy to drink, and we never tire of the super cute fit-out.
Where: 18 Main Place, Broadbeach
Sofia’s Restaurant & Bar
With an impressive contemporary Coastal European menu, we are completely besotted with Sofia’s…and we’re not alone. A meal here is all about enjoying and sharing simple, delicious food with your favourite people – as it should be, and truly encapsulates the famous words ‘That’s Amore’. Also, you heard it here first but Sofia’s is on the move. Watch this space!
Where: The Oasis Shopping Centre, Victoria Avenue, Broadbeach
Have you ever seen this place anything but bulging at the seams? Aaaand of course you haven’t. Since its pre-migration days just up the road, it’s had an army of raving fans and yes, this obvs includes us. A hop, skip and a jump from the beach, the coffee is all-time, the seasonal menus are heavenly, and they even do a Boozy Bottomless Brunch. And sold.
Where: The Oasis Shopping Centre, 12 Victoria Avenue, Broadbeach
Blues on Broadbeach
So unlike our other listings, it may not be here 24/7 but it’s that much of a Broady icon that it would be criminal not to throw it a mention. As the name suggests, it brings us world-class blues and jazz music from locals and famous acts alike, performing across multiple venues over four unforgettable days. And it’s free, and sorry but when does that ever happen?
Where: Various Broadbeach venues
CHA CHA Japanese Restaurant
Gold Coasters have been CHA CHA bound for an authentic Japanese nosh-up which won’t break the bank for years, and that’s not about to change any time soon. The banquet menu is divine and every visit you’ll experience the same level of scrumptiousness. But the soy on the dim sum…it’s BYO and it’s hard to find an already affordable yet high-quality restaurant offering our 3 favourite letters. Score.
Where: 2705 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach
An everyday escape for locals, The Oasis is one of our numero uno shopping centres and for good reason. Not only some unique fashion boutiques live here, but the sheer number of amazing eateries is tres impressive. In addition to the ones we highlight in this article, we’re talking Mario’s, Madisons Café and Patisserie, Spice Kitchen and Bar, and The Broadbeach Tavern to name just a few. It’s a #OneStopShop.
Where: 75 Surf Parade, Broadbeach
Soho House Bar
Just look for the London-esk red phone box and you know good times await. An intimate, hidden gem-adorned in graffiti and jam-packed with peeps sipping and bopping along to the sweet sounds of live DJ’s, this joint is seriously cool. The cocktail list is l.i.t, the crew are super engaging, and they’ve even been known to host things like a Wild Flower Gin Masterclass. What’s not to love?
Where: Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach (between Queensland and Victoria Avenues)
You just know it’s destined for greatness with ‘Unicorn’ in the name. This Mediterranean seafood-infused newcomer has hit the ground running with its all-day menu goodness, and show-stopping cocktail menu that’s 20 options deep #hellofriend. You can’t help it but exhale as you settle into the relaxing blue and white-hued space, brimming with ocean murals and friendly smiles from the welcoming staff.
Where: Phoenician Resort, 24-26 Queensland Avenue, Broadbeach
No Name Lane
Okay, Blake Lively declared her caffeine hit from No Name Lane as “the best coffee of her life” and holy heck, if it’s good enough for Queen Blake… Better than any boujee on-trend Melbourne café, the coffee here has a cult following. The all-day breakfasts and gourmet lunches also go down a treat so if you haven’t been, remedy this immediately.
Where: The Oracle, Elizabeth Avenue, Broadbeach
Pacific Fair, oh how we love thee. Any time we want a new ensemble for, well, any occasion (retail therapy is real you know), we all beeline for Pac Fair. With every retailer you could possibly wish for, amazing food options and seriously THE most gorgeous shopping centre fit-out we’ve seen, there are luxe and lush coastal accents at every turn.
Where: Gold Coast Hwy and Hooker Blvd, Broadbeach
The Loose Moose
Specialising in “dirty food made clean”, there are always bums on seats in this Prohibition Tap and Grill House, one of the Gennari Group’s most popular establishments. The delish menu offers up the best of the best Canadian fare like ribs, wings, hot dogs and burgers, and is always ready for a crowd to #GetLooseAtTheMoose.
Where: The Oasis Shopping Centre, Broadbeach
The Pink Flamingo Spiegelclub
LBR, you had us at Spiegelclub. The Pink Flamingo has become a fave for locals, visitors and critics alike, with its four spectacular resident cabaret-style shows. Custom designed with a twist of swanky art-deco décor and inspired by the original 1920’s Spiegeltent and the NYC Cabaret Club district, it’s five-star luxury and entertainment not to be missed.
Where: Corner of Surf Parade & Victoria Avenue, Broadbeach
Kurrawa Surf Club
Ocean views don’t come any better than this. With legit THE most prime location, Kurrawa Surf Club has everything you’d want from a Surf Club…and more. With awesome regular members specials and fresh ingredients, there’s no such thing as a bad meal here. They host a trivia night and live music, and of course there’s the obligatory gaming lounge for those who like a flutter.
Where: Old Burleigh Road, Broadbeach
Words by Bianca Trathen.
The Gold Coast is known for many things, one of which is definitely our beautiful waterways. Slightly lesser known perhaps is our rich Aboriginal history, wildlife conservation efforts and the passionate locals sharing the stories.
That’s about to change though thanks to Kayak the Gold Coast’s new ‘Heart of the Gold Coast’ half-day tour package.
Incorporating a unique spin on their original tours, ‘Heart of the Gold Coast’ takes guests on a cultural experience unlike anything the Coast has seen before.
The package begins at the Burleigh Jellurgal Cultural Centre where guests watch a short film on the Gold Coast’s Aboriginal history including ancient burial sites and the unique ways of the Yugambeh people who lived in Burleigh Heads over 4,000 years ago.
After receiving an ochre blessing, the tour heads out onto Burleigh Hill where guests are taken on a sub-tropical hike and told stories of the Aboriginal people who lived there thousands of years ago, how they lived and hunted food and how they believe the mountain was formed.
The hike comes complete with stunning views of the Coastline and a dolphin sighting if you’re lucky.
It’s both an educational and spiritual experience and you can’t help but be awe-struck by the passion with which the Indigenous tour guides share their people’s history and beliefs.
A delicious morning tea follows and then it’s sunscreen, life jackets and onto the kayaks for a leisurely cruise down the ridiculously beautiful and tranquil Tallebudgera Creek.
A quick stop over for a dip, past the (huge) local Osprey’s nest and guests pull up to the purpose built kayak ramp at David Fleay Wildlife Park.
Maybe you’ve been to Fleay’s but if not (guilty), there is a lot to learn about the man who paved the way for animal conservation in Australia.
David Fleay was passionate about keeping animals in enclosures the same as they would inhabit in the wild and after moving to the Gold Coast from Melbourne, he and his wife purchased land next to the creek and did exactly that.
With constant research and conservation techniques, he created a wildlife park resembling local wetlands.
The package includes the park’s Creatures of the Night show featuring an absolutely delightful sugar glider and a Bilby who literally buries his head in the sand.
We’re a lucky bunch here on the Coast, surrounded by enriching culture, both natural and historic and people whose passion it is to share that culture with anyone willing to listen.
‘Heart of the Gold Coast’ is an incredibly enriching tour package for both locals who may be unaware of our extensive Aboriginal history and visitors who want to experience our incredible natural wonders while also learning about how they came to be.
· Pick up and drop off from your hotel
· Indigenous history + kayak + wildlife park entry
· Morning tea
· Water, sunscreen & paddling lesson
· Small groups and personal service
· The best of Burleigh Heads
· Toilets + café
· Complimentary photographs of kayaking
Tour package runs from 7.30am until 12pm through Kayak the Gold Coast.