Discover the delicate and detailed graphite illustrations of Emily Wright, AHKI.

Melbourne-based artist Emily Wright of AHKI works across a range of mediums, including lino print, digital illustration and oil painting, but is most well-known for her delicate and detailed graphite illustrations of Australian wildlife.

We chat with the talented artist and illustrator about her journey, on finding inspiration and what’s next.

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Emily Write of AHKI detailed graphite illustrations
Koala illustration
Emily is best known for her detailed graphite illustrations, such as this sleepy koala which is part of her nursery print collection

For some people, their career path is known from an early age and this was certainly the case for Emily.

“I have always loved drawing through out my childhood and schooling life. I really enjoyed art subjects in my later years of high school and followed on to do a Bachelor of Illustration,” says Emily.

“Throughout my course I became so passionate about drawing and was sure this was the path I wanted to follow. I’m still not entirely clear on where my art will take me and what avenues I will go down, but I am happy to be exploring and following my creativity.”

Browse Emily’s range of art in her Ahki store and you’ll quickly discover her signature style.

“Over the past few years I have worked quite prominently with graphite pencil, creating fine detailed and delicate illustrations. While my style hasn’t changed drastically over this time, it has certainly become more refined,” says Emily.

“I have also dabbled in using different mediums and bringing colour into my works. Experimenting with watercolour, acrylic paint, mixed media, digital illustration and most recently oil paints.

“I believe I am still most known for my graphite works and quite attached to the medium, though I am excited by the new possibilities these also bring.”

My process usually begins with mocking up my ideas for drawings and illustrations digitally on Photoshop. I bring together different reference imagery to create my concepts and then take to the paper and pencils. I have developed my skills and techniques over the years with graphite. I usually work from the darkest points of an image and move from there.

Gumleaf artwork detailed graphite illustrations
Gallery wall of detailed graphite illustrations of Australian animals

Her biggest inspiration comes from her passion for the environment.

“I draw a lot of inspiration from the natural world and all of its living inhabitants — a direct reflection of my own love of nature and the outdoors.

Most of my works really center around our environment and our connections to it.

“I am very lucky to be surrounded by a large circle of creative friends, musicians, photographers, writers and artists who I am constantly inspired and motivated by. For example, my recent series of illustrations of young Australian animals are inspired by and referenced from the wildlife photography of a friend of mine, Patrick Tomkins.”

With so many stunning works in her collection, we wanted to know her most popular.

“I find it hard to single out a piece as my most popular artwork. My recent exhibition was very well received with my series of illustrations of female figures with nature head pieces selling out quickly and receiving a lot of wonderful feedback,” says Emily.

Banksia artwork
Mother whale illustration Ahki detailed graphite illustrations

On future plans for this talented artist?

“I am really enjoying focusing on Australian fauna and flora at the moment so you can expect to see more of that in my future works. I also currently have a series of landscape oil paintings in process that I am quite excited for.

“As I am becoming more comfortable and confident with painting I am also hoping to branch out into mural painting; up scaling my small detailed works quite drastically,” laughs Emily. “This is somewhat daunting but I am also very eager to challenge and push my art further.”

To discover more of Emily’s detailed graphite illustrations or reach out about having a piece commissioned, check out her Ahki online store on Etsy or connect with her on Instagram.

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