Why Brisbane is Australia’s Best-Kept Creative Secret


Queensland’s capital and the third biggest city in Australia, Brisbane enjoys a sunny climate, a booming economy and has a beautiful skyline of exciting and distinctly Queenslander architecture. More affordable than Sydney, but just as culturally engaged as Melbourne, the city offers a great lifestyle for creative types. Home to our Brisbane campus, we asked Shillington teachers for their insights into why Brisbane is Australia’s best kept creative secret.

1. Creative Community

Brisbanites are renowned for a friendly personality and there is a lot of shared enthusiasm for creativity, trying new things and bringing life into this booming city. It’s a place of emerging new talent across all industries—with start-ups, niche businesses and entrepreneurs operating exciting new projects all the time. Networks like The Edge, River City Labs and Little Tokyo Two offer classes, meet-ups and pitch nights to connect designers with these new ventures. There are plenty of interesting spaces in which to share ideas and learn new things such as Vielle Branche, which offers fun workshops in a beautiful environment, and Workshop—the one stop shop for creativity with an ever-changing line up of ideas, courses and events.

2. Culture

Brisbane is home to some fantastic museums and galleries that host the best in international exhibitions and trends but also pride themselves on local history and local art. We especially love the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, the pride and joy of Brisbane. There is a new exhibition on Australian photography that’s well worth a look.

3. Music and Film

Thanks to tax incentives from the government, Queensland is fast becoming top choice for Hollywood movie studios shooting on location. Wolverine, The Chronicles of Narnia and Pirates of the Caribbean were all shot here recently, drawing new creative business into the area. The music scene is also very prominent with both classical and popular music produced, performed and celebrated whether it’s in tiny bars like The End, the legendary Tivoli or huge amphitheatres like Riverstage. You’ll find a vibrant music culture in Brisbane.

4. Street Art

Brisbane has a powerful street art community that is making waves nationally and globally, from the work of old-school sign painters Frank and Mimi to the huge graffiti murals of The Pillars Project. This stunning street art project has transformed the massive South Brisbane railway line from a bland concrete underpass to a creative outdoor art gallery with a series of enormous pillar murals each standing over seven metres tall. It encompassing a range of work by local graffiti artists like Fintan Magee whose pillar is a powerful tribute to the Brisbane floods.

5. Food and Drink

Brisbane is quickly becoming a foodie’s paradise with new cafes, bars and restaurants opening all the time, many of which offer a great cosy corner in which to work. Our favourite is the Southside Tea Room, which also boasts regular art exhibitions. Festivals and street food are big news too with events like Brewsvegas—a grassroots, community-minded celebration of the city’s burgeoning craft beer culture and Eat Street Market—a fun and vibrant hub of food and music where you’ll find us filling up on the weekend!

6. The Weekend Edition

We love this online resource for everything that’s happening in Brisbane. Food, drink, events, theatre, sports, discount deals, and hot recommendations, The Weekend Edition has everything you need to know, to be in the know.

Do you want to learn more about the world of creatives in Brisbane? Kickstart your graphic design career in just 3 months full-time or 9-months part-time with Shillington. Join us and learn more at an Info Session this Friday, 7th August! Our next full-time course starts Monday 14th September—no experience necessary. Get all the details at shillingtoncollege.com.au.

Photo Credit for The Pillars Project—Street Art News.