Zoe’s Drawings For Africa

3 pieces

Zoe Davies 21, a talented artist speaks to UCIA about raising money by selling her own artwork for a volunteer trip to Africa.

Zoe is currently studying Primary education and Anthropology as well as owning an online earring store. Growing up in New Zealand, Zoe moved to Melbourne eight years ago where she completed her VCE and continued her passion for art and drawing. Zoe has been drawing her entire life taking influence from her parents, “My mum is very artistic and my dad does a lot of engineering drawings so I have always been surrounded by it.”

pattern Mandala
Zoe’s Mandala Pattern.

Zoe volunteered this year in Malaysia for a month on a Monash scholarship where she worked in a school teaching English. Zoe said, “It was such an amazing experience and it was life changing.” Zoe got involved with ‘Reach out Volunteers’ at her university this year, where she listened to a speech about volunteering and said, “I was instantly inspired.” After a positive experience with volunteering in Malaysia she was excited to be able to have the opportunity to volunteer again in Africa. “There were a few to choose from but the Mozambique African project sounded the most relevant to my university course, as I’ll be building classrooms and teaching English over there.”

The volunteer trip to Africa will be at the end of this year where Zoe will spend two weeks in a small beach town in Mozambique called Ponta do Ouro. “We’ll arrive in South Africa on December 13th where we will be picked up by reach out volunteers. From there we drive for 7 hours over to Mozambique. I’ll be helping out with building the classrooms over there where everything is made out of straw and sand.”

Zoe said her drawings for Africa began, “one night I decided to draw up a fine line drawing of a rose and it turned out really well so I decided to do a feather and an owl. They were some of the best drawings I’d done so I thought why not just stick them up on the Frankston Buy Sell page on Facebook and see what happens. Suddenly I had an influx of people emailing me asking for prints and I figured from there that this would be a great way to fundraise for this African project.”

Zoe's Prints that will feature in the Lonsdale Cafe.
Zoe’s Prints that will feature in the Lonsdale Cafe.

Through the use of social media, Zoe has been able to share and sell her work through different pages and has had a lot of positive feedback. “I recently posted my work on the Melbourne Creative Network Facebook page. An owner of a café in Lonsdale Street who liked my work asked if I would like to hang my pictures on the wall of his café. It feels like an achievement and I’m really excited to get them up there.”

Zoe takes influence from Mexican and Indian styles of artwork. “I love Frida Kahlo and I love the Mexican style. I have two of her paintings up on my wall and the rest of my bedroom is inspired by the art in her paintings. Not only is her work amazing, but she was a great feminist figure for women. I also like the intricate patterns of Henna, which is where I draw a lot of my inspiration from for my really detailed fine line art.”

Zoe has a love for travel and said, “Travelling is one of my favourite things in the world. I’ve travelled around Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia.”

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Zoe’s Fineline Tiger Print with paint splatters

It can take Zoe many hours of hard work and concentration to complete a piece. Zoe said, “Working slowly in front of the TV can take around eight hours, however working nonstop may take around four to six hours.” Zoe has a range of different art pieces on her Facebook page but says, “The animal fine line pieces are my favourite. They seem to be the most eye-catching and also the best sellers. The pieces that include a bit of colour (such as watercolour backgrounds, coloured pencil colouring and paint splatters) are also really fun.”

After all the success of her drawings online Zoe’s future plans have changed. Zoe said, “I would love to be a successful illustrator in St. Kilda, with two kids running around while I work away in my studio. Up until a few months ago the plan was to be a primary teacher but after the success of my artwork for this fundraising project, I feel that this is the way I’m supposed to go as I can now see it heading into an actual career.”

If you would like to purchase Zoe’s artwork or find out more, check out her Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zoes-Drawings-for-Africa/373301936211324?fref=ts

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A Limited edition A3 Elephant drawing by Zoe.
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