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Local Bloke… Russel Tate

By James Hutton on October 1, 2013 in People

Photo: Grant Brooks

Photo: Grant Brooks


Clovelly professional illustrator and graphic designer Russell Tate shares his local favourites with The Beast…

How long have you lived here?
My wife Catherine and I have been in Clovelly since 1999. Before that we lived in Bondi after arriving from London in 1990. All I knew about Sydney was Bondi Beach, so it was a good a place to start.

What do you do for work?
I work from my home office as an illustrator and graphic designer (Russelltate.com). I produce icons, character illustrations and maps, as well as logos and print material.

What’s your favourite beach?
I like Clovelly; you can always bump into someone you know. The two giant slabs of concrete that run up and down the beach aren’t pretty but you can’t beat them for jumping off when we have high tides. Not having sand stuck up your bum is always a plus too.

What’s your favourite eatery?
We love Pizzavelly on Clovelly Road and yum cha at Souths. My eldest boy Jackson works at the Clovelly Hotel, so I should give them a mention too.

Where do you like to have a drink?
I like to have dinner and a few beers at the DOG in Randwick. I’m not a big drinker, but a whisky and coke at home is good on a cold night.

What music are you into at the moment?
I’d like to say Daft Punk, but really I play the same old ‘80s shite week in, week out! I work as an illustrator and have music playing in the background most the time. If I’ve got an urgent deadline and have to work fast I play Kraftwerk; if I have to be creative I play The Style Council.

Who is your favourite person?
Catherine my wife is my favourite person. She is on the same wavelength as me creatively and is great for bouncing ideas off of. We also have a laugh together and seem to spend a lot of time lately whinging and moaning about the same kind of things!

Do you have a favourite sporting team?
Team sports were never really the same after Georgie Best left Manchester United, but I am a keen supporter of the St Charles’ (whites) netball team!

What do you get up to on the weekends?
On Friday night, sometimes I have a drink with mates at the DOG or go to the Ritz for a movie and noodles. If I am not working on a job on Saturday I’ll try and catch the kids’ sport: Charlotte’s netball or Riley’s rugby or basketball. I also enjoy a jog to Bondi or a bike ride to La Perouse on Sunday morning.

What’s your favourite thing about your work?
The best bit is that I work from home, which can be a godsend when I have to work long hours because it cuts my drive time to work down to, well, zero. One of my favourite things is not having repetition; every week is something new and I never know what it is going to be.

Do you have a favourite quote?
“I never killed no one that didn’t deserve it.” I’m not sure who said it but it springs to mind when I think of the sneaky parking ranger who booked me for double parking outside the Dusty Miller store in Burnie Street when I was delivering art prints the other week.

Any other words of wisdom for readers of The Beast?
Yes. If I can just put my graphic designer’s hat on for a minute, I would suggest that if you run a business or small enterprise, don’t use the word ‘solution’ when describing yourself (unless your business is solving crossword puzzles). People don’t want ‘plumbing solutions’, ‘logistical solutions’, ‘innovative solutions’ or, heaven forbid, ‘tailored financial solutions’, they want a competitive, reliable service! Your honesty will resonate a lot more with people if you keep things simple; hiding behind geeky expressions just makes you sound fake (other expressions to avoid are: innovative, world-class, authority, results oriented, dynamic and guru).

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