julie gibbons - advocate for good design



Good design is meaningful, efficient, and beautiful.


It’s why I’m on a mission to make the world a prettier place through good design.
Beauty makes us happy, and that’s worth having.


Hi, I’m Julie Gibbons. I started tractorgirl because I wanted to share the good stuff; I wanted to inspire creativity. I wanted to inspire people to think more, to make their online presence a more mindful, beautiful thing.  I wanted to show that with the right tools, knowledge and practice, everyone is capable of good design, and of presenting what they have to offer to the world in the most beautiful way possible. I truly believe that.




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It takes specific know-how. When I first started a shop on Etsy in 2009, I thought that because I’d been to art school it would be easy – I’d make a few things, chuck up a couple of pictures of my work and the hordes would flock to my shop – because, hey, of course I knew how to make things look good.


How wrong was I!?


But I didn’t give up. The one thing that is the consistent thread through my life is my love of all things visual and beautiful. I love reading about it; I love writing about it; I can spend hours just looking at it. And I knew that I could make my shop look better. So I spent a long time learning about how to make my shopfront prettier, and about how to make my photographs better. I learnt a LOT about what people like, and what turns them off – and I learnt it the long, hard way.

Through tractorgirl, I’ve met many people who give incredible things to the world from their hands and hearts, and I’ve heard many amazing stories about how they’ve built their own businesses from the ground up. I’ve also learnt a huge amount over the past 7 years about getting your biz out there, about visual presentation, and about the techy stuff you need to make it all work. And I want to share all of it with you.

Because the world needs what you have to offer. I help people like YOU make it happen.


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I keep it real.
I’m a skirts and boots kinda gal – I love beauty, but I’ve got my feet
well and truly 
connected to the ground.


I know what it’s like when you have a burning idea but it lacks clarity. I know what it’s like when you’ve got a vision for how things should look, but when you try to gather the elements together, all you end up with is a disappointing mess. I know what it’s like to feel that potential in yourself and lack the confidence to share it with the world.


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I can help you make your creative biz something more than just a bottomless pit to throw your time and money into.


I’m sharing my design and small biz knowledge with you
so you can avoid the mistakes I made 
and get flying with the things that work.



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So where am I now?

I live on a farm in the middle of NSW, and I love this space. But I’m not just a farmer – because the world is a place full of endless ideas and things to investigate.  If I disappear for a moment, it might be because I’m researching the latest tech-gadgety-thingy that I’ve seen on the interwebs; or it might be that I’m admiring the tiniest flower bud at my feet; or I might just be curled up in a chair with my nose in a book.

Sometimes I get frustrated, but I’m never bored.

I’m alternately messy and meticulous; I’m a maker and a bowerbird to the core (there’s always room for one more piece of pretty fabric, right!?). Give me nice paper, metal, textiles… and I’m in tactile and visual heaven. Colour, texture and pattern make me swoon.

A little while ago, I went to uni to study jewellery and silversmithing at uni, and ended up receiving my PhD in Fine Art in 2001. Since then I’ve taught art and design at high school and TAFE, and also at university; but I’m sure I learn more than I teach. My students have shown and taught me so much, and that has been such a delicious pleasure.

I LOVE it when people show me what they’ve made or seen, and I’m always up for a chat. You can find me in lots of places (especially the ones with pictures) –

Facebook – http://facebook.com/tractorgirl.viz.biz

Pinterest – http://pinterest.com/_tractorgirl__

Twitter – http://twitter.com/_tractorgirl_

and Instagram – http://instagram.com/tractorgirlmakes.


I’ve also written a heap of posts about the history of textile design at the ever fabulous PatternObserver.


email me anything – info@tractorgirl.com.au Go on.


Julie x