Being part of a collaborative effort was a major attraction for Melbourne artist, illustrator and textile designer Shelley Steer, the creator of an untitled still life ( page 36). “I loved the process, with each individual (creative director, stylist, photographer and artist) playing their part — not necessarily needing to communicate verbally but rather visually,” she says. “There was the ideal amount of direction, trust and freedom between each person and their craft, to culminate in a beautiful visual story.” Steer, who has also worked in London and with clients such as Anthropologie and Paris designers Petite Friture, is inspired by gardens and plants, and thrives on a defined creative process. “It involves a few phases,” she says. “The first is ‘playing’, or playing with ideas; next is ‘prep work’, or sourcing reference material. Then comes ‘sketching and painting’, which I love, as I usually work with watercolour. And the final phase is ‘digital’, as most of my work usually involves digital editing and designing.” Steer has just started another collaboration with The Plant Society, a Melbourne team of plant cultivators. “It’s a perfect match!” she says.