Meet Molly Hunt + diversify your bookshelf
Meet Molly Hunt. She's a Balanggarra and Yolngu woman from the Kimberley and a natural storyteller who switches between mediums as an animator, journalist, radio presenter and illustrator.
Lunch Lady chats with Molly about her life, passions and the process behind her latest project—This Book Thinks Ya Deadly.
Written by Corey Tutt and illustrated by Molly, This Book Thinks Ya Deadly, features the profiles of 80 different Blakfellas while celebrating the diversity and success of First Nations People.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Born in Kununurra and raised all over the Country, I am a Balanggarra and Yolngu woman, proud to be from the Kimberley and the oldest out of 11 kids. I was raised in remote communities and small towns and spent my senior years in Sydney after receiving a scholarship, I’ve always loved pushing my boundaries and getting out of my bubble.
Not only am I an artist but I am also an animator, journalist, and radio presenter. I’ve never wanted to be in a box, always knew I can do anything I want. Growing up in a small town in the east Kimberley, Wyndham, I felt like society convinced me I could only be one or two things to be successful. It took me a long time to trust these gifts I have, and I’ve been using the tools I have to represent where I came from, and to hopefully inspire my sisters and brothers and the next generation.
Where is "home"?
It took me a long time to figure out where home is as I lived on all the points of the compass. North, East, South and West. Sharing my school experiences between 8 different schools and living in remote communities (that don’t even exist anymore) to ‘horse riding’ country towns to ‘thank god there’s a cinema’ city.
I’ve finally accepted my home shares between two towns in the East Kimberley, Wyndham and Kununurra. Right on the boarder of the NT.
How did you get started in illustrations? Do you remember the first memorable thing you drew?
I remember back in 2019 seeing Charlottes Allinghams digital illustrations for the first time and being completely blown away by it. I’ve always been an artist but when I saw their beautiful works, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. Back then, all I had was my Macbook, so I had to use my trackpad to draw on illustrator with my fingers. Very time consuming and ridiculous. I think the first artwork I drew was a commissioned for Triple J hottest 100
You're also a producer and reporter - can you tell us a bit about that?
I am a storyteller at heart, which means I like to work in all platforms where I can tell, share, inform and educate.
What other projects have you loved working on?
I currently love creating and painting murals in remote communities. It’s a special project, driven by youth mob for youth mob.
At Lunch Lady, we're always fascinated by creative processes. Can you walk us through your process for creating illustrations?
It’s a pretty boring process-I first to have to listen to a playlist to match the vibe of the project. I then have at iced latte and then for 20 mins I write and draw everything that comes to mind that relates to the project I’m working on. I then take a break and walk away to have a good feed and come back with fresh eyes. Then I suddenly get my flow going. I can’t work without my flow.
What are you passionate about drawing?
To be able to create stories. It’s how I express my thoughts, my reflections, my dreams and all the weird and wonderful things that just seem like a cool thing to draw.
Talk us though This Book Thinks Ya Deadly—how it came about and what it was like to create?
Corey and I met a few years ago at the ABC Heywire summit. The moment we met I knew we would collab and create some cool things. Then a few years later, Corey reached out to commission me to do a few designs, which I remember him saying ‘sis, we should do a book together’. Then not even a few months later we kicked off the book making. It’s my first time illustrating a book, so everything was a learning curve for me. It was fun and exciting, and I loved working with Corey, he’s so encouraging and always lifts you up.
What did you learn through creating the book?
That I would love to illustrate more books.
What was your favourite illustration in this book?
There’s so many of my favourites but I think the most fun to draw was Barkaa.
What's important about this book?
This book is so important for young mob all over the Country. I wish I had a book like this growing up. It inspires young mob and shows them they can do anything!