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Observation of everything with wonder

Name

Joanna Walsh

Idea

Travelling the world drawing, mapping and story telling

Ba'daude (nf); a person given to idle observation of everything with wonder or astonishment; a credulous or gossipy idler.

Joanna Walsh is an award winning illustrator, writer and blogger better known as Badaude. She visited Australia last year as part of the Melbourne Writers Festival and we have been a bit obsessed with her ever since.

As we were hard pressed to think up a job description that sounded more appealing than traveling the world to write, draw and seek inspiration from foreign cities, we asked Joanna a few questions about how Badaude started, being inspired and the importance of not planning too far ahead.

Badaude

Badaude

Badaude

How did Badaude evolve?

I started the project after a long contract with a UK national newspaper came to an end. I needed to experiment and think again about my work. I'd been doing a lot of hand drawing/printing combined with collage on photoshop but wanted to play around with hand-drawing and personal subjects.

What were some projects or jobs you had leading up to working on Badaude?

I was a commercial illustrator working on books, newspaper, advertising etc. I also did a bit of animation. The crucial change in Badaude is that I started writing too.

What inspires you?

Cities, travel; in-between, undefined spaces; the systems we inhabit and how we struggle with them; unexpected moments of pleasure.

Badaude

Can you describe any key lessons that you have had in your creative career, or maybe some obstacles that you had to overcome?

I can never tell whether I'm 'successful' enough to be able to offer advice: writing/drawing is such a tenuous profession. All those rules like, be flexible but don't sacrifice your 'vision' (whatever that is) are true but the story can usually only be told retrospectively: sometimes it might be completely right to abandon a cherished project or way of doing things, sometimes wrong. Likewise, 'take advantage of any opportunity offered' can be good advice, but might conversely be a waste of energy. Maybe the only useful thing is developing the ability to 'listen' to yourself so you can recognise when it's 'right' to make a decision.

What do you do on a day to day basis?

It can vary a lot, from drawing to writing to doing events (I also work with performance and games). Constants are coffee & wine at opposite ends of the day.

How do you keep yourself motivated?

Coffee and… wine? (joke). It's not fame and it's certainly not money. I think it has to be the pursuit of whatever idea is grabbing me at the time.

What's next for you and Badaude?

I'm doing a lot more writing at the moment, just going with what I feel I have to do. I'm not a planner: the future's a carpet constantly unrolling in front of me but it's unusual that I can see more than the next few feet of the pattern.

Badaude