Laura Bernard works as a freelance illustrator who creates from her cosy, funky little studio in New Zealand. She works in publishing, and specialises in editorial, character design and other fun projects that are brought to her. If she’s not drawing, designing or painting, you’ll find her ‘nerding out,’ reading art books and graphic novels, watching documentaries and spending time with loved ones. Find her latest illustrations feature in the new book Kiwis and Koalasby Sarah Milne.
Laura Bernard is a children’s book illustrator, character designer, and general homebody. She tells us about all her favourite things from introvert escape spots to her must-watch animations.
Wellington City Gallery cinema
As an introvert, it’s hard to find places in the city where things are dark, quiet, and calm. All through university and into my adult years, when I’ve felt overwhelmed in the city, or just wanted to feel alone and recharge quickly, I’d go and sit in the Wellington City Gallery cinema. You have no idea what creative randomness will be on the screen (and possibly inspire you). It’s so nice to unwind and have a space for that.
The Welly waterfront at night
I pretty much grew up in Wellington, and when you grow up somewhere, things become mundane and boring, and it’s easy to miss the beauty because it’s so “normal” to you. I started finding a new love for Wellington; a redefined relationship. This was after I came back from a year and a half in Melbourne. I started loving Wellington, especially the waterfront at night – the fairy lights on the trees from one Christmas that they left up, the cuddling couples on their romantic walks, the night runners getting their dose of dopamine in.
Steven Universe (as for a lot of people) became important to me as soon as I started watching. It’s animated in such a fantastic style (as an illustrator and character designer I loved it creatively), and its overall accepting message and relatable characters tell this really beautiful, meaningful, aesthetic story that’s both an easy watch and one that you can find so much meaning in.
Growing up with a creative mum meant lots of quirky things in the house; fun patterns, a mishmash of colours, and different furniture and interior design elements. Both my sister and I picked up this love for a fun, feel-good aesthetic and creative space. Now, as an adult, I have found my own love of spaces, colour, and furniture – which I channel in my home.
Ethan and Hila Klein run this wonderful, amazing, ridiculous podcast where they talk about big topics, little topics, the latest gossip, and their opinions. It’s accompanied with hilariously-placed sound effects and a back and forth from the wider H3 team.
I really enjoy watching their podcast (it’s also audio recorded) because it’s perfect background noise, as well as something I’ve snort-laughed to. Watching Ethan and Hila grow in life, their opinions, views, and them being public, modern examples of learning from mistakes and growing with the progressive times has been grounding.