The Illustration Room

Category: Matt Canning

Editorial – Matt Canning for QantasLink

March 16, 2017 Matt Canning illustrates Australian native bush tucker for QantasLink magazine.


Matt Canning for Habitus

October 12, 2016 Matt Canning for Indesign Habitus book review section. For the Nature issue – Living outdoors – Matt illustrated a wall of tall windows, looking out onto a dense garden while silhouetted on the floor of the interior are the people living inside. The secondary smaller spot illustration of a keyhole with an ivy growing out of it.

Matt Canning for Habitus Living

August 26, 2016 The history of architecture in the Asia Pacific Islands – “The Ocean of Islands”. Illustration by Matt Canning for Habitus Magazine. “The brief centred around the themes of escapism and exploration, drawing specifically on the islands of the South Pacific and Japan. I immediately thought of Studio Ghibli’s Laputa, and wanted to create a little of bit of the fantastical nature of that film.”

Strength, wisdom and an age old institution

March 23, 2016 Matt Canning’s two-metre’s of Rhino now adorns the waiting room of a private law firm in NSW.

What don’t we love about a conceptual illustration so eloquently executed?

February 12, 2016 Matt Canning creates illustrations each issue of Habitus Living Magazine, Indesign Media Asia Pacific. This set was for an article about the relationship between the master and the apprentice, and one of the examples used was the sushi chef. “This is the theme I wanted to focus on here. The hand with the chopsticks represents the sushi teacher, and the moths the students. I liked the idea of the teacher being a light that draws the students in, and the lightbulb being a recognisable symbol of genius. The moth on the light switch suggests that the teacher/master’s ability to impart his knowledge is dictated to by the ability of his students.”

Matt Canning illustrations for Rush Oh!

August 28, 2015 In his first commission for a novel Matt Canning’s rustic, hand-drawn illustrations feature on the cover and inside page of the beautifully designed novel Rush Oh!, the debut novel by award winning Australian screen writer Shirley Barrett.

See his characters here on the cover sitting on old original whaling images from back in the 1900’s. “This was a fascinating and rewarding project. Shirley provided lots of archive material of Eden and the Davidson family, so I had a wealth of photography and imagery to work with. This was important because the whaling scenes, the clothing and the geography all had to be accurate. The brief required me to ‘step into’ the shoes of a 19 year-old female amateur artist, which was a challenge, as the finished drawings had to be aesthetically pleasing, whilst having a crude naivety to them. I achieved this by working quicker and holding back on the finer details that I would perhaps usually add to my work.”

Set in 1908 near the township of Eden on the South Coast of New South Wales Rush Oh! is a story about family, fish and animals; and about trying to come to terms with life’s disappointments. It is also a celebration of an extraordinary episode in Australian history, when a pod of Killer whales and a family of whalers formed a fond, unique allegiance. Published by Picador Australia.

Listen to author Shirley Barrett discuss the story behind Rush Oh! and see the beautiful beach side scenery of Eden here at this link….

Shirley is best known for her work as a screen‐writer and director. Her first film, “Love Serenade” won the Camera D’Or (Best First Feature) at Cannes Film Festival in 1996.



Matt Canning for Myrtle & Moss

November 25, 2014 Last week after a meeting in Richmond, Melbourne I came across a shelf full of Matt Canning  illustrated Myrtle & Moss botanical skincare products in a gift shop. Matt drew a delicate geranium leaf and citrus slice that was incorporated into the product packaging design by Melbourne agency Swearwords.

‘I always get a thrill seeing my work in print, so I was especially excited to work on this – my first packaging job! With two simple elements to draw the challenge came with working in both pen and pencil to create the fine detail the client wanted, it’s tricky to strike the right balance of contrast between the two.”