Articulating anatomy: see how Lilly Miranda Perrott gleans psychedelia from the natural world

Local inner-westie Lilly Miranda Perrott’s knack for quirky illustrations is a testament to her impressive resume. With charming Oz fauna tea-towels, sassy enamel badges, psychedelic waterscapes and intricate portraits, the span of Lilly’s talent means there’s bound to be a series you’re going to dote over (if not all of them).

She’s also behind a ton of warped gig posters you’ve seen spattered on the streets of Sydney for the likes of Sloom and Yeah Nah Yeah. We took a sec to catch up with Lilly to talk all things animals, tarot cards and Mystic Brew, the next show on her calendar!

Hand of Nature. All images courtesy of Lilly Perrott

Intricate flora, splayed fauna and all the psychedelic nonsense in between is the ground Lilly Miranda Perrott treads with her greatest ease.

HAPPY: What does art mean to you?

LILLY: Oh god that’s a hard one to start with! To me, art is the result of an individual’s creative expression done to their own unique standard with the ability to showcase that individual’s own personality and vision of the world (my inner high school art student is rolling her eyes at me right now).

HAPPY: When and how did your knack for design start?

LILLY: Back in high school I found out I could drop maths and take up design as a HSC subject at Billy Blue which I did in a heartbeat and it led me to go on to study illustration and design at Design Centre Enmore. My father’s a creative director so I’ve always had an awareness and appreciation for design since a young age, so the choice to study it as soon as I could felt incredibly right.

HAPPY: What style or work identifies with you the most?

LILLY: I work full time for a company as their in-house illustrator and designer which means I’m constantly drawing and creating work that needs to sell on a commercial level and please a broad demographic. That’s where most of the cute Australiana illustrations stem from, along with pictures of cats with poop as presents or dogs sporting leather jackets with ‘Bad Bitch’ written on it. All of that work is commercial to me and I don’t think I’d really sit and draw it on my own accord.

When I’m outside the office and on my own clock, I like challenging myself with drawing from my imagination and really exploring surreal concepts like my Dreamscape series, where I can draw everything that moves and stimulates me like patterns in nature, plants, faces, animals. That more psychedelic, surreal style definitely defines my true illustration style.

Support your local bee colony 🐝☀

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HAPPY: Your personal illustrations seem to depict human identity by bringing what’s inside to the surface. Is the human psyche something that inspires you?

LILLY: Yes absolutely! I don’t get too bogged down in the initial concept behind my illustrations but I definitely have a desire to explore the idea of how people tick and define themselves. I’m really eager to draw more for the tarot cards and find my own unique way of symbolising some of the tarot deck’s concepts.

HAPPY: The Dissection series is amazing. Can you run us through your inspiration for that?

LILLY: Oh thank you! I spent three months in New York doing a summer residency at the School of Visual Arts and wanted to give myself a personal project to work over the summer. On one of my frequent trips to the Natural History museum I found a basement room that exhibited all these meticulous scientific illustrations of animals. I saw these beautiful patterns in their guts and intestines and just got the itch to draw it.

I thought it’d be a bit too intense to just draw guts so I thought of inserting flowers and extending some of the natural patterns and it all sort of just blossomed from there.

HAPPY: Can you tell us a little bit about the work you’re doing with Yeah Nah Yeah coming up?

LILLY: I’m super keen for the Mystic Brew event they’ve organised at Waywards this month! My old mates Sloom are headlining and are responsible for my involvement with the event since I did their album art for their new EP Super Juicy Yellow Starfish which is seriously some of their best music yet.

The album cover is sort of an illustrated map of the lyrics to the title track and has also set the scene for the event. I borrowed some of the elements like the sea creatures and reef to design the promotional poster and will be creating four illustrations with the underwater theme for the event up for sale too.

HAPPY: Working with local dudes to bring events to the inner west must be a rewarding project! Is this something you hope to do more of?

LILLY: Yesss it’s awesome, I have a lot of respect for those guys putting all their time, effort and energy into creating these events where artists of all kinds get to have good exposure and opportunities to get their work out there to an audience. I’ve done a few events similar to this in the past and really enjoyed it, and when it’s merging illustration with music I’m so very down and would love to do more!

HAPPY: Who are some local talents you’re digging at the moment?

LILLY: I love watching the work of Scottie Marsh pop up around the city, he’s probably my favourite muralist at the moment, Max Berry is one of my painting crushes and comes up with some seriously stunning work and colour palettes, and the band Sloom are definitely my favourite local Sydney band, you’re bound to find me at almost all their shows.

lilly miranda perrott snake dissection
Snake Dissection

HAPPY: What are you thoughts on humanity’s relationship with animals?

LILLY: I’ve always held a huge appreciation and fascination with the natural world and definitely feel it comes through a lot of my work. To be honest I think that the majority of humans on this earth have a pretty negative relationship with animals, I turned vegetarian last year and try to respect the planet and all its animals to the best of my abilities but let’s be honest, animals would be much better off if humans simply didn’t exist.

HAPPY: Favourite animal?

LILLY: Cats (I used to have four) and moths, if we can include insects.

HAPPY: Where can we expect to see you around in the next few years?

LILLY: Most likely still around Sydney’s inner west. I like to take things as they come, if I could plan it myself I’d like to be working with more bands and creatives – that’s when some of the most inspiring and artistic projects I’ve worked on have come to fruition. Finding time to work more on my own illustrative work like another series similar to my Dissecting Nature illustrations, and maybe eventually even doing a solo show although the idea of that has always scared the crap out of me!


Mystic Brew is on Thursday July 20 at Waywards, upstairs in the Bank Hotel, Newtown. Catch Sloom, Light Entertainment, Happy Mag DJs and of course, some gorgeous artwork courtesy of Lilly.

All the details you need are on the Facebook event.