Well Drawn - An Interview with Kristian Terry

April 10, 2024

Kristian Terry's cheeky greeting cards have been a staple on our shelves since we first opened back in 2020.

His cards capture the kind of silliness that we absolutely love here at Mumbleberry - shamelessly slinging puns at every opportunity.

Kristian managed to put his pen down between writing jokes to answer a few questions we had.

We know small business is hard. Is there an inception story to your brand?

I've actually always been drawing cards and just terrible pun cartoons for my family and friends ever since I was a kid and it seemed to escalate more and more from word of worth. I decided to make a website in 2015 and I just wanted something funny.

I remember sitting in the kitchen and was going to call it Hand Drawn, and then changed it to Well Drawn (with a Well logo). Also I had the Instagram handle welldrawn (before I got hacked and lost it lol). It all started with drawing customs (like family portraits or pet portraits for others and grew to more generic prints and wholesale for stockists all over Aus.

I've always had a full time job / career in Tech (I'm a creative director by day) so this is a side hustle and outlet for fun and creativity after hours. My talented wife came onboard about 3 years ago and that's when it's really taken off and become a proper business thanks to her social media marketing and sales abilities.

What got you started or gave you the push to start your own enterprise?

I think I just had quite a lot of requests from friends of friends, then to people I didn't even know, which made me think there might be a market for weird drawings with puns for others.

My family and friends were certainly my biggest supporters and I love how my mates would join me at markets and help sell it to stores when I first started as I'm quite introverted and could never think of outgoing sales. I do like the idea of growing businesses and have always had things on the side so this is just one that I've stuck with for nearly 9 years and it's been quite steady ever since.

Now I get to draw for them still along with my own son, so I can finally make official dad jokes. I think my trick has been stubbornness and consistency, as I have drawn something nearly every night or morning for 15+ years and nearly 1000+ customs for people during that time. That has really helped push the brand and side business and I never really get tired of it. It's always meant to be something for a laugh and I never want to take it seriously or it to become a chore.

Who or what do you draw inspiration from? 

The puns and sense of humour are from my parents and mates, my mates are all generally funny dudes with good wit. My dad will still sends me terrible puns and dad jokes daily.

In terms of drawing, I grew up obsessed with Quentin Blake, Dr Seuss in terms of illustrators and used to redraw and make my own comics as a kid and teenager (like all the Marvel / DC superheroes). Now a bit older, I love trying to collect prints/ paintings for the house, and we have a love for Jeffrey Smart here, Marcus Oakley, Sempe, Jean Julian.

Now my inspo usually comes from cool smaller artists on Instagram and I write down any ideas on my phone at strange hours or whenever it comes to me.

Other than art I'm a huge fan of sport (football, soccer, tennis) and those puns pop into my head. Movies, video games are also a big thing in my world and will always have this around when thinking of weird card ideas and drawings.  

Other than yourself of course, who is your favourite artisan producer here in Australia? How come?

The illustration and card scene in Melbourne is brilliant. I've always been a huge fan of Able and Game and really admire what they do for the artists, illustrators and card community. They consistently produce brilliant designs and products whilst also retain an independent creative and artist feel.

Monica McNab is also fantastic and her drawings always make me laugh, she's been a pillar of consistency and enthusiasm.

Australia wide - I'm loving Greetings from Hell - they have a great design eye and simple yet effective wording.

I just really love design effort and longevity from artists, as I know drawing the cards is only a tiny portion of the business. I think everyone is crushing it so I'd love to see our cards in stores with my idols. It's a surreal thing and I feel so privileged when it happens. 

We know Australia is the best place on earth, but what makes it so special to you?

My humour is very Australian and self deprecating / awkward / quirky. It's the main thing about me, growing up with Full Frontal, Kath and Kim and every Chris Lilley show certainly moulded me and produced the cards.

I love the way we tell stories here, we tell jokes. I love how relaxed and easy going life is compared to other places. There is a real sense of optimism here and the fact that life can be great if you put in the crazy work.

It's also been kind to us with healthcare and areas for my family in ways I can't thank the system enough. I have family in different parts of the world and have been lucky enough to work from my laptop (remote) in lots of random countries for a while.. but I never felt like any of them could beat Australia in an all-round livable aspect. I always feel extremely luckily to be born and live here. 

What’s your favourite thing about Australia? 

As mentioned above, the feeling is great. It's a fantastic atmosphere. Some really cliché ones but being in Melbourne we get to experience a lot of wonderful arty and creative things going on, great music gigs and... SPORT!

My wife and I met at the Australian open tennis, and all of the actual success of the Well Drawn business can be attributed to her. We love walks in nature, and Australia easily has the best animals to discover in the wild.

I'm hoping my sons are also proud to be here when they grow up and see all the amazing things Australia has to offer in terms of opportunities in business and life.

We love gift-giving here at Mumbleberry. It is what inspired us to create our beautiful range of gift hampers. Do you have a favourite item or product to gift to friends and family?

I'm a bit of a weirdo but I'm always buying weird candles for people and for ourselves.

Also we love kids books and any excuse to buy some for little one's birthday party or collect for our own shelves.

We buy each other cakes and fancy desserts quite a bit as well as a treat. Food is always a bit of a gift for us and it's definitely a present that we love gifting and receiving as surprises.

Australia puts a lot of effort into quality products / packaging / customer service so I feel lucky we are spoilt for choice in all these gifting departments and hand-made products. 

If you love a good pun or two, check out Kristian's website for an endless supply of them welldrawn.com.au