From the shores of Newcastle to the seas of Tokyo, Jasmine Miikika Craciun is an artist making waves across the world.

Craciun’s mum’s side of the family is from far western NSW and she is a proud Malyangapa and Barkindji woman. 

Helping to make history this year, Craciun designed the Australian surfing team’s branding and uniforms in collaboration with BWM Dentsu. 

Craciun was working alongside Cox Inall Ridgeway as a freelance graphic designer when she was approached by BWM Dentsu to create some art for their new office fit-out.

“While we discussed murals and vinyl wall prints, they casually mentioned whether I’d be keen to collaborate with them on the branding and identity design of our national surf team,” Craciun told NIT.

“I was especially excited to collaborate when I was told they had the Irukandji name gifted to the team from the Yirrganydji people in Far North Queensland.

“The collaboration felt like it stretched all the way down the east coast of Australia and into far western NSW.”

In March, the national surfing team was gifted the new team name ‘The Irukandjis: Deadly in the Water’ by the local Yirrganydji people of North Queensland.

The Irukandji jellyfish is an extremely venomous species of jellyfish that inhabit Australian marine waters. 

Craciun said they went through a lot of design iterations before coming to the final design. 

“The first few styles were much more experimental and pushed me out of my comfort zone,” she said. 

“The final art we came to was one of the first ink sketches I created and consisted of layered hand-generated and digital assets.”

The story behind the design was influenced by her ancestral roots and love for the water. 

“I have grown up by the sea but traditionally I am a river person so I am incredibly influenced by water,” Craciun said.

“I tried to channel the fluidity and movement of water and the ocean and the way a wave looks when you watch it barrel over you from below.

“I also tried to reference traditional Barkindji line art in a contemporary way as a little nod to my mob out west.” 

The Irukandjis represent Australia on the world stage and recently in Tokyo for the Olympic Games for the first time, with the green and gold colour palette being a dominant factor in the design.

While Craciun’s art journey started at a young age with her parents allowing her to explore her creativity, she said university is where she found her niche. 

“University is really when I realised I could have a career in the art world through graphic design — luckily enough I have been getting wonderful hands-on work outside of the graphic design realm like murals and art commissions.

“My degree led me to graphic design but my peers and the internet helps me learn new amazing skills.

“I really want our young people to know that there’s so many avenues into your dreams outside of the traditional, make your own path!”

Jasmine told NIT her long-term goal is to live and work out west in NSW. 

“I want to be able to support the young ones in the digital art and graphic design world. They’re so talented and have so much to show the rest of the world. They’re our future.”

By Teisha Cloos