Words by Rosie Wang  |  Images by Marina Locke


Victoria McGrane is an artist who has not only liberated her soul but her whole life! Following a full circumnavigation of Australia where the passing sights were her artistic inspiration, Port Douglas is now the place she wishes to call home.

Little did she think when she was studying textile design in Sydney that her artistic journey would take her winding around Australia in Daisy (a 7m long Toyota Coaster Bus) her partner Darren, and their dog Gypsy to finally park up and cut the motor in Port Douglas.

“Art should be something that liberates your soul”

Once you know her art you’ll recognise her beautiful textile designs everywhere. From face masks, to greeting cards, toiletry bags to wallpaper (featured in the current season of The Block) and, of course, on an array of clothes (Spotlight stock her material).

Originally from the northern beaches of Sydney, her early internship and study found her working for seven years in the bustling and frantic London fashion scene. She designed and hand- screened collections for trade shows and leading retailers (Top Shop). As a freelance seamstress for high end clients, including royalty, and the heavyweights of fashion, Mulberry, Pringle and Burberry she learnt her craft. All in a day’s work for her to turn up, sewing machine in hand, to make final adjustments to the model’s clothes as they strutted their stuff on the fashion cat walks.

“I paint flowers so they will not die”


Whilst in London she met her partner of 18 years, a debonair Scotsman called Darren, who was less Scots brogue but more Merchant Ivory. Darren had studied politics and was working in local government and he provided the pragmatic balance to Vicky’s whimsy, the grounding anchor for Victoria’s creative soaring.

Initially, Victoria’s plans were to keep all her production, development, shipping and marketing ‘in house’ but this took Vicky away too much from creating. With Darren becoming increasingly involved in the logistics of the business they decided the best strategy was one of licensing the artwork and building up collaborative collections, including a beautiful range of eco-friendly stationery and cards with Australian brand Earth Greetings. This freed them up to be more flexible and the need to base themselves in one place was no longer required.


They decided to embark on their first travels just before Covid struck in 2020. The ever-changing flora and fauna created a continuous source of inspiration to Victoria as she photographed and sketched the richness of nature’s creations as they unfolded through Daisy’s windows. Managing to make it across the borders as they closed behind them, they headed to a close friend in Port Douglas where they hunkered down.

Their experience of Port Douglas coping under the effects of a pandemic certainly didn’t dampen their experience and the spell of Port Douglas was cast.

“As a freelance seamstress for high end clients, including royalty, and the heavyweights of fashion, Mulberry, Pringle and Burberry she learnt her craft”

Victoria discovered such diversity of inspiration right on her doorstep, from the ferns and fronds of the Daintree Rainforest to the shells and shore life of Four Mile Beach. Her experience of snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef also led her to develop a series of underwater designs. Swirling artworks with exotic corals, turtles and colourful reef fish created a vibrant range. She also linked up with the Reef Restoration Foundation to produce a special calendar that showcased this marine range with proceeds raising $6,000 towards their work preserving and researching coral restoration and cultivation.

Through her designs, inspired by the Daintree Rainforest, she has also helped to raise funds for the Rainforest Rescue, an organisation committed to preserve the rare flora and fauna in this precious pocket of the world. To date she has raised around $7,000 through the sale of calendars, colouring books and prints. It is a testament to Victoria that she not only draws inspiration from the beauty around her, but also has the heart to give back to help preserve it.

It was after another nine-month tour of Australia that Victoria, Darren, Gypsy and Daisy decided to call Port Douglas home. As Victoria says: “I was inspired not only by the amazing beauty of the natural world here, but by the friendliness of the people”. Victoria’s future plan is to find a studio here (the confines of Daisy were limiting) - so if anyone has a spare room that can be set up as a studio do contact her. But the best studio that Victoria works in is all around her inspired by the beauty and diversity of the natural world. And how lucky we are to have her here in Port Douglas immortalising the beauty of our Paradise here.