surrealism & line art drawing by Gracie Manktelow
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Spotlight on Gracie Manktelow And Her Passion For Graphic Design

Posted on in Design Showcase · Featured Creatives

Gracie Manktelow is a graphic designer and illustrator from New Zealand. A fan of surrealism and line art, Gracie aspires to take her passion for graphic design and illustration to greater heights.

She developed a passion for drawing and painting at a young age. But because of a chance encounter with a personal issue during her high school years, she has unexpectedly found passion and perhaps her true calling in graphic design.

The way she uses shapes, lines and vibrant colour matches to bring a piece to live is impressive. If you have always been keen to try something creative but feeling a bit stuck, then take inspiration from Gracie Manktelow.


What drew you to graphic design?

I have always loved drawing and painting. But around two years ago when I was in high school I suffered from social anxiety. Graphic design became my outlet and let me express all my thoughts without having to talk to anyone. Graphic design is not only my hobby but also what I want to do for the rest of my life.


Do you have a role model you look up to as your source of inspiration?

I have always loved Surrealism, most of my art is based around surrealist concepts and ideas. But a more recent find of inspiration comes from Roman Bratschi, his work is some of the most incredible artwork I have ever seen. A lot of my backgrounds of my design work have been influenced by Roman.


What are the tools and techniques you normally use (digital and non-digital) for your projects?

Before I start any of my designs I do a lot of research on colours and artworks to get inspiration. I will then sometimes draw up the layout of my designs on a piece of paper and work out different layout options.

I use Adobe illustrator for all of my work, I find it the easiest for me and I find it works best for my style of art. Sometimes if I have to edit an image I will use Adobe Photoshop but everything else on the computer.


What do you think the future of graphic design will bring in terms of creativity?

Creativity has no end, there will always be new inventions and new creative outlooks. Everyone’s brain works differently so the future of Graphic Design is going to be incredible. People are just getting more and more creative so in terms of creativity the graphic design community is going to be very inspiring.


How do you see yourself in 10 years time?

In ten years’ time I want to be a full time working Graphic Designer for a large company such as Pentagram, Meta and Landor. I want to be able to walk down the street and see my designs plastered on the side of buildings, billboards and coffee cups etc.


What bits of advice can you share for those who are interested to starting out in graphic design?

No matter how old or young you are it’s never too late to start. There are no rules in graphic design so be free and don’t worry about if people don’t like your style of work, its only their opinion and they’re probably jealous!!. Don’t let anyone tell you how you should design or think creatively, it’s your individuality that will get you noticed.


Gracie’s Projects

Cutting Shapes Project

I came up with the idea of Cutting Shapes because I came to realization that everything is some form of a shape. I thought it would be a really fun idea to take famous sculptures that most people recognize and warp them and distort them to how I want them by cutting them up. This idea was inspired by surrealism like most of my art.

Light Headed



Hand For A Hand






 In Control


Line Art Project

Line art has been something I have always been fascinated by but only started the style of line art mid this year. I started drawing faces using only one line and figured I should try them on the computer.

This is when I started Sensei Design my design brand. My designs from then project line art are in fact inspired by various tattoos I have come across. I tend to make the line art drawing quite complex with a more rugged and creative background.




Fingers Crossed



Green Finger





Mix & Match





Graphic design is truly an exciting career path. Design itself will always be in demand. Thanks for scrolling till the end of this page. We hope you enjoyed reading our new featured designer’s story for this month. Explore more of Gracie’s work on her Instagram and Twitter page.




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