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The nomadic work life of illustrator and lettering artist Monique Aimee

Meet Monique Aimee, an illustrator and lettering artist with a focus on inspirational women, food, and travel. Originally from Connecticut, Monique often travels and lives abroad. She lived in Tokyo before moving to Melbourne where she is currently based. Next is Tasmania, Adelaide, and Utah!

Where do you work? Tell us about your space(s).

I work all over the place! Now that I’m back in Melbourne, Australia I prefer to find a nice cafe with wifi to work in. Bonus points if the coffee and avocado toast are reasonably priced. Finding a cafe to work in was much harder in Tokyo and its small spaces, so I mostly worked from home with my boyfriend who would practice double bass right next to me. It was a very funny art studio/music studio/living room but I loved it.

I mostly work with my iPad and laptop, so it’s pretty easy to travel around and work anywhere. I really love that I can work with clients on the other side of the world as well as local. It’s the best of both worlds.

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What hardware and software do you use to create your designs?

I mostly work digitally these days with my iPad and Apple Pencil. It’s made my process much faster and allows me to work while traveling. I also use Photoshop, Illustrator, and After Effects occasionally if the project calls for it. Every now and then, I get to paint a mural and the paintbrushes re-emerge from the depths of my suitcase. I do like trying to balance my work so that it’s not only digital—I can only look at a screen for so long!

  1. Onsen
  2. Ramen Book Mockup
  3. Frida Kahlo

Tell us about your routine (or lack of one.) How do you structure your days to get things done?

I’m a dreamy Pisces with no sense of time, so I tend to not have much structure in my day-to-day. But I still get things done! I prefer to work earlier in the day (but not too early, let’s be real). Either I’ll go to a cafe or make a coffee at home and then I’m ready to start working.

Most of my clients are based in North America and since I’ve been living in drastically different time zones, I usually will wake up to emails and then silence for the rest of the day. It helps me wake up early, as I’m always eager to see if there are new opportunities waiting in my inbox.

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How do your space, tools, and habits benefit you? What about those things do you think needs improvement?

I have so much flexibility with the tools I use and daily habits which is something I really value. I don’t think I could ever go back to a 9-5 job simply because of the lack of flexibility—not that I think 9-5 jobs are bad, they are just not meant for me.

I find that because I carry such limited supplies with me, I have to buy more supplies while traveling whereas if I had a studio space, I’d probably already have heaps of materials ready to use. At this point, I don’t see myself sacrificing the nomadic lifestyle for a more stable space, but maybe in the future!

Want to keep up with Monique? Find her on Dribbble, Instagram, and at moniqueaimee.com. Photos by Fiona Lewis.

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