Artforce Award winner, Jesse Irwin is a disabled Brisbane artist. She has  been doing custom commissions and selling completed artworks since 2017.

I initially worked in embroidery, but soon branched into pen and marker works. I have made works using embroidery, pen and ink, markers, and acrylic paint pens. I have also drawn commissions digitally, both as vectors and more typical illustrations.

I started designing and selling pins in 2019, and in early 2020 I successfully ran my first Kickstarter to produce six enamel pin designs based on my drawings of Australian animals and flowers. In August 2020 I received a stART artist grant to assist me in producing six more enamel pin designs to continue the Australian animals and flowers collection.

My work tends to explore themes of mental health, depression, and the beauty of the animals we love.”

Jesse’s design titled Black and White Birds of Brisbane can be found at 28 Russell St, South Brisbane. It  features several different native Australian birds that can be found in the Brisbane area. They are all black, white, and grey,  and when combined, make a striking pattern.

You can follow Jesse on Instagram at @jesseirwinart

About Artforce Brisbane

Artforce Brisbane is a Brisbane City Council community art program that gives local residents the opportunity to paint their original artworks on traffic signal boxes around Brisbane suburbs. Since it began in 1999, the program has welcomed the participation of more than 5,000 volunteers who have painted 2,374 traffic signal boxes and 72 Energex pad mount transformers. Every year there are around 80 Artforce Brisbane painting opportunities across the City on traffic signal boxes and a small number of Energex Pad-mount Transformers. Anyone can apply to paint a traffic signal box. To apply, visit

About the Artforce Awards

The annual Artforce Brisbane Awards showcases the artworks completed in the preceding 12 months. All participants who have painted a traffic signal box will be entered into the Lord Mayor’s award, Overall Winner categories and People’s Choice award. The Artforce Brisbane Awards are judged and selected by an independent judging panel.

Cover image, Jesse Irwin with her winning design.