Welcome to the next instalment of our new editorial content series, #HobbiesOverHustle, where we’re encouraging you to pick up or enjoy a hobby just for fun.
Georgia Norton Lodge started Georgia Draws a House from a passion of design and a love of home. What started as a hobby is now her business, and in the time of isolation, she’s helping others learn something new and take pen to paper. This is her story.
I was working full time as a graphic designer when I stumbled across my love of drawing houses. It first started in 2014 when my sister, Zoë Norton Lodge, was writing her first book, Almost Sincerely. It’s a book of short stories based in the suburb we grew up in — Annandale. She needed a cover and given my line of work, I threw my hand up!
I then started drawing neighbourhood houses and buildings and thought to myself, “hold on a minute, these are kind of cute!” I showed some friends and family and they all wanted one. After the 10th or so request I created an Instagram account, @georgiadrawsahouse, made a website and put it out in the world.
This is where Georgia Draws A House began — it’s an illustration business, where people send me their address or a photo of their house, and then I draw it and send it back to them. Think Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, ‘I just bought my first home’ or ‘I sold the family home’ — it’s a celebration of home, family and love in an adorable hand-drawn way.
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For some, home is a safe space during this time. For others, it’s a new office with children running wild. Some of us can’t go home right now, so to those of us that are fortunate enough to have a space to continue their lives in take a moment and to thank your house. Kiss it on the wall – but wash your mouth first! ❤️??
Over the last few years, I built up my business using Instagram and started drawing homes for people all around the world. After a lot of hard work and many, many late nights, I quit my graphic design job to focus on Georgia Draws A House. I feel lucky and grateful to be able to do this full time; it’s a real privilege.
While it seems that in the current climate we have more time than ever to pick up the crochet hook or to make your way through that 30-day yoga challenge, I really want to encourage people to try something for fun — no strings attached, no pressure for it to be perfect. So I’ve started hosting virtual drawing classes.
It’s a way to connect with people from different corners of the earth, to share my love for drawing and also offer an escape from the apocalypse. We pick up a pen, do some ridiculous exercises and have a laugh.
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SWIPE ME ➡️➡️➡️ For some of us, our home is our new office for a little while. Let’s take a moment to be grateful for the privilege to be able to work from home while others simply can’t. To the ones that are fortunate enough to be able to do so, here are some tips to stay productive between the lure of Netflix, sleep-ins and doing loads of washing you usually leave until the weekends: 1. Get up at the same time you would for work. 2. Get dressed, you can go full ‘Friday casual’ but get out of those pyjamas 3. Clean your workspace 4. Go get yourself a coffee (wash your hands first!) or go for a walk around the block. I do this so it feels like I’m ‘entering the office’ 5. Start with your emails and finish them. If possible, don’t look at them (unless they’re actually urgent) until the afternoon 6. Write a ‘To Do’ list. Your list will be longer but be specific – it’ll be more satisfying e.g ‘Invoice Simone from Property Group’ is better than ‘Do Invoices’ 7. Go through this list and finish one item at a time. Complete a item, don’t leave it half finished 8. Put your phone on aeroplane mode during your focused work. Put it back on each time you finish an item and have a quick check 9. Have a break, a big one, not lots of little ones. Take an hour for lunch and get back to it 10. Finish at the same time you would for work 11. Kiss your house on the wall and thank it for being there for you but wash your mouth first! SWIPE ACROSS ➡️➡️➡️ TO SCREENSHOT YOUR OWN SUDDENLY OFFICE AND SHARE SOME TIPS
Maybe you want to try something out yourself? Or do a private workshop with some of your friends (and a glass of wine!)? The classes are a place to relax, build some confidence and hopefully learn a thing or two about packing charm and character into your illustrations.
Last week I tried something new myself — I wrote a poem with my Dad. We jumped on Zoom one morning and wrote it together, for a bit of fun. At first I was a bit nervous to put it on Instagram but I’m trying to practice what I preach — ‘it doesn’t have to be perfect’.
I loved the process, loved connecting with my Dad, and now I think writing poems will have a permanent spot on the hobby shelf. The poem features in my new colouring book, ‘Homebound’, a 24-page love letter to house and home.
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You remember that time the world got sent home? The earth caught a virus from Sydney to Rome. We shut our front doors, In our houses we stayed From breakfast til dinner, for work and for play. We cooked where we conferenced, Worked in all nooks and crannies, We schooled in the lounge room, the kids in their ‘jammies. All our lives changed, We had to adapt, A month or a year? At times we felt trapped. It never was easy, for most it was tough, and sometimes we felt we’d just had enough. Some lived in groups And other alone, At first it was scary And then it changed tone. We discovered new hobbies, We picked up guitars, Shared stories of home with our friends from afar. We danced in the bedroom, And Zoomed in the dunny And sang in the garden And cried in the study. Became artists and singers And Micheline starred chefs, We did what we could … We did our best We found comfort in knowing, We were in this together, We were bound to our homes, And changed forever. Take a moment, look around say thanks to your home, for keeping you safe while you weathered the storm. When that old line has flattened, And a remedy known, We’ll tell tales from ‘that time the world got sent home’.
Private virtual drawing classes are available to book and there will be some Instagram Live classes too, so keep an eye out for those. My colouring-in book, ‘Homebound’, is also available to order. You can visit my Instagram account @georgiadrawsahouse or my website for more details.
Home means many things for us, it’s family, it’s love, it’s where we grow, learn, eat and tell stories. It’s honestly such a joy to be able to share my passion for home with the world.
Visit GeorgiaDrawsAHouse.com to find out more about virtual drawing classes, and to download a sample of her colouring-in book now.