The Journal

Celebrating creativity and Melbourne in one, with Tom Gerrard.

Tom Gerrard is a Melbourne-based artist who has traveled a lot. Despite living in London and Barcelona (where he ate lots of ham, and sketched lots of buildings), he is still ever so inspired by Australia’s mundanest of parts. The suburbs. The houses. The highways.

“I wasn’t really looking forward to coming back to the Australian suburban landscape after living overseas,” says Tom. “But when I got back to Melbourne, even on the drive from the airport I was blown away by all the cool houses I saw. I thought ‘wow there’s so much inspiration here’. I ride my bike to the studio and see things every day. I take lots of photos, and then do a drawing every morning. It all starts with being out and about and having my eyes open to my surroundings.”

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And now, we get to benefit from Tom’s everyday inspiration. A series of these ‘everyday’ drawings feature on our Bellroy X RVCA collaboration range, in support of RVCA’s Artist Network Program. The project, in collaboration with Tom, is here to celebrate creativity and Melbourne, in one. Read on to find out more about each of these fun illustrations from Tom himself…

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The House

“This is a mixture of lots of Melbourne’s houses. It sort of looks like my mum’s house, and my family’s houses… at Christmas one year I drew the front of everyone’s houses and gave it to them as a present, and now I have elements of all these houses in my mind. They’re all Melbourne based and this is just a very ‘Melbourne’ house to me.”

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Food Safari

“I love to travel, and while my wife and I were living in London we would go to Barcelona and call it a food safari so we could just cruise around and eat. We ended up moving there, and while I was there I would do drawings every day… this was one of the drawings I did in my book, years ago. It reminds me of being out and about – something that seems so distant from this moment. But Melbourne’s a great place for a food safari too!”

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“I love banksias. They just seem so prehistoric. They seem like the sort of things that would have been around with the dinosaurs… they’re interesting to draw. The seed pods always look like they have eyes. I was blown away by how you got the fluffiness on the patch to represent the fibers on the banksia. It’s really cool.”

“This is a real celebration of the artist. Artists work very hard at their craft and a lot of brands would take the artwork, pay the artist for it and that’s it. The way Bellroy and RVCA work, to collaborate with the artist... I think that shows a lot of respect and I’ve loved working in that way.”

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Six and out

“This is celebrating Melbourne’s suburbs. It just reminds me of something so very Australian. In other countries where they play cricket… they don’t have rules like that. The six and out rule is very Australian.”

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Couch Surfer

“We couch surfed in Mexico, and our hosts took my wife and I out, took us to the wrestling, showed us around – they were complete strangers but we’re still friends with them nearly 10 years later! So this one’s for the people who open their doors to you. It really represents generosity for me. Before I travelled, I would rarely open up my house to people I didn’t know very well. But since I’ve had so many people do that for me, I’m always the first to put my hand up with a couch for someone to stay on.”

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Bellroy X RVCA

“Driving down the highway… just driving off into the sunset, not knowing what’s beyond the sunset. This is about freedom and travel.”

Shop the Bellroy X RVCA collection.
Or check out more of Tom's work.

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