We Buy Your Kids is the joint artistic moniker of Sonny Day and Biddy Maroney, a creative power duo known for their spellbinding illustration, skateboard design, exhibitions and occasionally, children’s art workshops.
More recently the duo have begun curating the Ludlow Creative Space in Orange, NSW; but what you’re most likely to know this pair for is their musical involvement with Laneway Festival 2017, indie label Popfrenzy and countless other projects.
Recently we had a chat with one half of this potent project on a Sunday afternoon. Hear what Day had to say about their work, their beginnings and the evolutionary world of modern illustration.
From Laneway to The Laurels, Time Magazine to The Rubens, We Buy Your Kids are the illustrators you’ve adored, even if you never knew it.
HAPPY: Do you and Biddy gravitate towards showing illustration because that’s what you two have spent so much of your careers doing?
SONNY: Definitely, definitely. There are so many amazing illustrators and artists of that ilk in Australia, and we’ve been lucky to meet and become friends with these people. And it is what we react to the most, it’s something that most people don’t realise they’re aware of because illustration is just there in your lives – and so is graphic design. They’re both around us all the time. It’s definitely one of our biggest passions and biggest inspirations. Other things too, like skate art and the way that ties back into music and feeds back into illustration. It’s all one big beautiful tapestry.
HAPPY: What pulled you guys towards illustration and graphic design in your early days?
SONNY: Well, both Biddy and I started out as just ‘artists’ – if you want to use that word. We both went to tertiary school – I studied fine arts then dropped out and Biddy studied graphic design. And she ended up working in that field and got into illustration that way. But for me, illustration was never really on my radar, I wanted to be an ‘artist’ artist. Then when we met we started joking about working together. I mean, we didn’t think we’d actually do it. We thought you had to be this big corporation with offices and staff and all that. When we started getting asked to do band posters we realised illustration is where it’s at. And everything has grown from that one realisation.
HAPPY: So how did you and Biddy meet, and how did We Buy Your Kids stem from there?
SONNY: We’d both been aware of each other’s work but had never actually met. And then we started going out, but if was actually about four years before we started working together. At the time we were really into the American gig poster scene, which was made up of these amazing designers and illustrators making these one-off posters for all these amazing bands. We wanted to do that. So we spoke to one of our friends, Chris Wu who runs Popfrenzy in Sydney, and he was of the same mind as well. We both sort of felt that what was being used to promote tours and bands was pretty boring and very fake, so Chris gave us a chance and we made a few posters for him and everything took off from there.
We’ve pretty much done all of Chris’ stuff for over 10 years now. It’s been an amazing relationship and we’ve got to work with so many awesome bands. That’s what kicked everything off. At the start Biddy and I had full-time jobs, she was working for a studio called Mathematics where she was one of the lead designers doing lots of motion stuff – animation for videos clips and that kind of work. So it was a pretty big change for her coming to work with me. But over time we found our own voice and it became a lot easier to work together.
Read the full article in Happy Mag Issue #4. In this issue we chat to Julia Jacklin for our cover interview, go behind the scenes into the studio with Sydney’s Polographia and tackle the question: Why are so many festivals still coming through with male-dominated lineups?