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T2 × Adriana Picker

Adriana Picker is an Australian-born illustrator currently living in New York. Growing up with a natural curiosity for plants and flowers, Adriana eventually translated that passion into art, bringing the best of the plant kingdom to life through her vibrant, whimsical illustrations.

Once a costume illustrator for feature films like The Great Gatsby and Mad Max: Fury Road, Adriana’s also worked with some of our favourite brands and publications, including Mecca, Gourmet Traveller and Vogue.

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We put some of our most burning questions to Adriana to get a little insight into her creative process, what tea means to her and how the humble leaf has influenced her life.

What’s the inspiration behind your work?

The majority of my work is inspired by nature and botanicals in particular. I have had a lifelong passion for botanical illustration and the real thing – flowers and plants. At the moment, I am really inspired by the 17th century Dutch Masters and their incredible lush still-life oil paintings. I feel you can see the influence of the intricate, detailed and flat-out excessive floral compositions in my work.

What’s important to you in a collaboration?

The most important part of a collaboration for me is each party having mutual trust and respect for the work that each other produces and then giving each other breathing room to do whatever it is they do best. I implicitly trusted the team at T2 and knew they would represent me and my brand in the best way possible! And I am so happy with the result.

Though you live in New York, do you still find Australia influences your work? If so, how?

Oh, absolutely! Australia is a place I feel so deeply connected to. Not just culturally, but also the physical landscape – the beautiful Australian bush which is such a huge source of inspiration for me and has had such a huge impact on who I am as a person – not just my work. I feel that in moving to New York I am adding touches of Australian fauna in a more nostalgic way than ever before, as a way of reminding myself of my home and essentially who I am.

What drew you to work with T2?

I feel a very strong personal connection with the brand. My family are HUGE tea drinkers and we have always given tea, particularly T2, to each other as gifts. I love the aesthetic of the brand, which has always been so strong. I feel that my artwork fits in very well with the lush and romantic aesthetic of the brand.

What’s your favourite tea?

I have two favourites actually – the first being French Earl Grey. Literally the first thing that is done when I go home to visit is the kettle is put on and we will all have a cup of tea. Probably the first of 16 for the day. Because they live in the country, a bit far away from a T2 store, my aunt was forever slipping me 20 bucks and saying next time you come home from Sydney bring me a packet of French Earl Grey! The stuff is more precious than gold in my family!

My second favourite tea is Gen Mai Cha – a beautiful Japanese green tea with increased complexity and depth of flavour thanks to the addition of roasted brown rice. This tea is a ritual I have developed just for myself, something I find instantly relaxing and grounding. I am such a creature of habit; the first thing I did when I moved to NYC was buy Gen Mai Cha. I even sought out the exact same vintage Shelley teacup I had back in Sydney. Ritual is extremely important to me.

Do you and your mum share any special tea rituals?

I think one thing that Mum has passed on to me is a deep love of the mise en place surrounding tea. She has a very beautiful and well curated collection of teacups and saucers, silver teapots, milk jugs and strainers. You would NEVER be handed a mug in her house; the table is always set with a beautiful tray of these delicate objects; there is a definite sense of occasion and the ritual of taking tea.

What does sharing a cup of tea with your mum mean to you?

You are asking a homesick woman a fairly loaded question there! It is a very important time of connection, conversation and bonding. Something that we have done together since I can remember. Cups of tea are used as a panacea for all ills in my family and a way of wordlessly showing love. So, tea and the ritual of it has deeply comforting and reassuring connotations to me. It is a ritual strongly entangled with my idea of family, love and support, and most particularly my beautiful mother Sally.

Adriana Picker Collectable Cup and Saucer

Adriana Picker
Collectable Cup And Saucer

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