Emily Green Design

Emily Green and Ken Done


When Emily Green met with Ken Done as part of The Big Design Mentor initiative 2019, she learned that passion for your purpose, and the support of others, are critical factors in developing a strong design practice. 

"Spending the day with Ken was great fun! He is a true Australian icon and it was amazing to actually meet the man who's work I have known and admired my entire life. He is a fountain of knowledge about the design industry and art world, and dropped so many little pearls of wisdom throughout the day.

When asked what his favourite colour was at the moment he replied, "it depends on what colour you put beside it. When you put cadmium yellow next to ultramarine blue it makes the yellow look more intense..."

We also talked about where he finds inspiration and sources of subject matter for his paintings he said that he usually worked from memory "because you can't be better than nature". I love the idea that we shouldn't strive in our work to make something as beautiful as what is before us, because we will always be disappointed!

Ken still has so much passion and enthusiasm for his practice after so many years and I think the best advice from the day was to stay true to myself and to always strive to produce work primarily for my own enjoyment and creative fulfillment.

Ken has withstood the peaks and troughs of his career by continuing to do what he really loves – painting. And throughout it, he’s had the support of his wife, Judy, and now his daughter Camilla and son Oscar, who all work with Ken in the running of his design business and gallery.”

Portrait by Eve Wilson Photography