Here at Ratbag we are hugely excited to be launching our first range of men’s and women’s clothing. A collection that is all about living a free life and embracing the beauty of the east coast of Australia through “Salt Air and Gasoline”.
For this collection owner and founder Quentin England had some big design ideas and was in need of an illustrator to bring them to life. He came across the works of designer Lucca De Bonis and fell in love with his unique quirky style. Lucca’s illustrations fit the brand perfectly, they really emanate the vintage, coastal surf vibe that Ratbag is all about.
Lucca is originally from Brazil. He is currently finishing up his Graphic Design studies here in Australia and lives in gorgeous Burleigh heads. Lucca was drawn to the laid back vibe of Burleigh, the beautiful natural environment and of course the surf. Burleigh Heads is a unique place that epitomizes the identity of Ratbag. But before we hear more about Burleigh Heads lets learn a little more about Lucca and his background as a designer.
Tell us a bit about growing up in Brazil?
“When I grew up in the 90s, I grew up in a small town and we were really just free as kids, we’d just play on the streets a lot. Playing soccer or hide and seek around my neighbourhood. I think just having that freedom as a kid was really cool. I see that a lot of kids these days don’t have that, so I think it was something that stayed with me in terms of chasing freedom.”
What began your love of design?
“I’ve drawn my whole life just as a hobby and Mum is an interior designer as well. I was kind of inspired by typography and I had artworks at home, so I’ve always been around art. That’s inspired me to grow and keep drawing. Especially as a kid I remember my Mum would decorate really well and I would be inspired by her kind of vintage approach to things. I think that’s where I get some of my inspiration from. I’ve definitely been more into graphic design since I came to Australia.”
Lucca goes on to talk about what really ignited is passion for art and design once he was living in Australia:
“I went surfing at Burleigh on a massive swell 6 years ago and I got swept away by the waves when jumping off the rocks and ended up snapping my meniscus in my knee. The injury made me stay stuck at home not walking for over a month. During recovery all I did was draw, that’s when I reconnected myself to my drawing artistic roots and since then I’ve decided that’s what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. As well as surfing.”
What inspires your illustrations and designs?
“It always depends on what I’m feeling like, but it’s always something that I see around in my surroundings. There’s a few things definitely like surfing, vintage illustration and typography. I guess also spirituality is another one. I do a lot of pilates and yoga, I’m trying to learn a bit more about yoga, I find it very inspiring. There’s one that I always like which is sort of like leisure, I just like to look for ways that we can relax and try to connect to designs. For example, designs like a nice hotel swimming pool or nice cocktail, something that brings joy, something that a lot of people relate with and have a good time. Like a nice sunset or palm trees. Things that make you relax.”
What are your goals for once you graduate?
“I want to evolve as a designer and learn. Design is so broad these days, I definitely want to get into animation, also like film and photography a little bit more and hopefully become a creative director. I just want to surround myself with other creatives and collaborate with and guide a team. I’m not sure if this would be like an agency or a studio or a fashion brand.”
With COVID-19 still still very much a part of all of our lives finding beautiful holiday destinations locally has become essential. Burleigh Heads is the perfect destination, it's out of the way of the crazy crowds of Surfer Paradise and still has a lot of natural environment to explore. The town offers amazing eating options and has a growing arts scene with people such as Lucca being drawn to the place. So without further ado what we’ve all been waiting for, here is Lucca’s top 5 things to do while visiting Burleigh Heads. From beautiful coastal walks to delicious eats Burleigh Heads offers it all.
The Damn Good Store (https://www.thedamngoodstore.com.au) - Mates of Lucca’s owns this fantastic store. They sell prints, homewares and other beautiful locally made products. They are all about supporting local artists, businesses and giving back to the local economy.
Burleigh Walk (https://www.queensland.com/sg/en/plan-your-holiday/journeys/p-56b262492cbcbe7073adca86-oceanview-walk-burleigh-head-national-park) - The Oceanview walk through Burleigh Heads National Park is a must do. This gorgeous track follows the coastline starting at the edge of the Burleigh Township and ending at the southern park entrance. While you’re out and about it is definitely also worth checking out the Burleigh Hill, one of the Gold Coasts most iconic landmarks. The famous viewpoint perched on the cliffside is an incredible place to watch the sunrise. Lucca says it is his favourite place to hang with friends and have a beer.
Borough Barista (http://www.barefootbarista.com.au/) - What's better than great coffee and beautiful water views. Borough Barista is a local favourite, they are the sister cafe to Barefoot Barista at Palm Beach. Just a couple blocks from Lucca’s place he says “Just a few blocks from my house borough is my go to coffee shop in Burleigh, such a friendly staff and great coffee, you only need to cross the road to check the surf.
Oi Izakaya (https://www.oiizakaya.com.au/)- Lucca also recommends Oi Izakaya, an authentic style Japanese restaurant who specialise in okonomiyaki. Showing his true appreciation for all kinds of design he says “It has a really nice vibe. It's a little alleyway where you walk in and the restaurant is really cool, it’s very well designed.”
- Goukai Ramen (https://www.facebook.com/goukairamen/) - If you love simple, traditional ramen you will love Goukai Romen. They specialise in authentic ramen noodles, offering 7 different varieties. Lucca says “Not that on the Gold Coast we get many rainy days, but when we do, my favourite place for dinner is Goukai Ramen, with a friendly staff and very cool Japanese style decorations, their ramen it’s next level.”
And because Burleigh Heads just has so much good food to offer Lucca also had to recommend two more favourites. The first is Ze Pickle (https://www.zepickle.com/menu/), a rustic, American style burger joint known to have the best burgers on the Gold Coast. The second is Oakberry Acai (https://oakberry.com/en/). Being Brazilain Lucca couldn’t miss mentioning his favourite acai place. He says “It’s the closest açai style to the original from back home. The best feed after a big surf session at Burleigh.”
What's it been like creating the designs for Ratbag?
“Yeah it was awesome, I was super happy when Quentin got in touch with me, especially because it was during COVID. I had kinda lost my job at the time and it was a nice motivation to keep going.”
What's the inspiration behind the designs?
“We went through a brief and I basically wanted to show through the designs the wild side of Australia….Being a surfer and person that likes to do road trips with motorcycles or a van to really explore. And I really wanted to showcase that in my designs. Like find that empty line up where you’re really on your own and surrounded by nature. And also explore the animals, the types of vegetation and the landscape, really getting to the wild side of Australia. Exploring being a surfer. This was all a part of my lifestyle already so I was really, really excited to create the designs.”
Ratbag is all about being wild, free, a bit cheeky and embracing incredible places such as Burleigh Heads which are full of creative spirit and natural beauty. Lucca's unique design brings this vision to life. So what are you waiting for, browse our launch collection here.
If you would like to check out more Lucca’s incredible designs take a look at his Instagram and website.