Stemming from a childhood passion for art, Nicola and Neil encompass print media, photography, upcyling, music and a deep connection to nature into their screen printed textiles and artwork. Based in Cairns, FNQ, this duo is not only immensely creative but also super environmentally conscious. Their studio is completely carbon neutral, operating via solar power and use only plant based inks and natural/upcyled materials.
"We make everything from start to finish at Just Bee Design. Probably the most magical process is using our darkroom to exspose our designs onto screens for screenprinting. Neil is really wonderful at drawing 3D images and colour matching. I’m most passionate about the macro world especially that of moss, lichen and tree bark. " - Nicola
Just Bee Design started in 2012 and has been a local favourite at the Port Douglas Markets every Sunday since. In June 2019, the pair jumped in the deep end and started working full-time in their studio. They love showcasing their designs and have both exhibited work at the Cairns Art Gallery and many other art exhibitions throughout the region.
Nicola has a Bachelor of Fine Art from UNSW majoring in Printmedia, and her skills in textiles and sewing were passed down from her Oma and mum. Neil is a qualified spray painter/ panel beater and self taught artist - drawing, painting, metalwork, woodwork and design. Both of them have been creating art since they were little kids in some way or another and love that they are able to do it full time.
Nicola and Neil are very passionate about giving back which is why they donate a portion of their profits to local and national wildlife, rainforest and bush rescue programs. They're both inspired by the natural environment and believe it's very important to make work that reflects the beauty and fragility of nature, especially ancient rainforests, reef systems and of course the native bees!
"In our current global situation where much of the native species are under threat or endangered, we want to help people fall in love with nature just a little bit more and understand how important these plants and animals are to the ecosystem."
When they aren't working in their studio, they love to spend time amongst nature and in their garden, especially taking long walks by the rainforest creek with their dog Nui. Gardening, yoga and life drawing are some of Nicola's hobbies and Neil has had a lifelong connection to music. He is a drummer and produces his own music in their home recording studio.
"Just Bee a human being, not a human doer!"
Etsy: Just Bee Design