NZ artist Bonnie Brown says response to redesigning Cadbury Roses box has been 'overwhelming'

artist Bonnie Brown with her mother
The 26-year-old, pictured here with her mother, is the first artist to be given the opportunity. Photo credit: Supplied.

It's a chocolate treat many of us have grown up with, thanks to an iconic jingle and family fights over the box's flavour panel. 

But now one young New Zealand artist has had the opportunity to redesign the signature packaging of Cadbury Roses ahead of Mother's Day this week - and she's only 26. 

Kiwi artist and illustrator, Bonnie Brown, professionally known as Studio Bon, is the first artist ever to be given the opportunity, and she says she's been overwhelmed by the response. 

Newshub spoke to her ahead of the release to find out more about the emerging star: 

How did you get into your art, and when did you decide to make it a full-time gig?

I grew up in a super creative household and was always encouraged to paint, draw, and get my hands dirty. When I was leaving school my mum encouraged me to study art at university but having been brought up in a single-parent household where money was pretty tight I decided to study architecture instead. However, I ended up feeling creatively unfulfilled and started drawing again and sharing my illustrations online. This slowly led to paid opportunities and the thought I could turn this into a career! This August will be two years since I jumped into illustration full time.

What are the influences behind your work in general, and this new design?

I’m inspired and influenced by incredible women, both in my life and not, and all my work has lush feminine undertones. My design was inspired by my upbringing growing up in Nelson and Queenstown having summers on the coast. Kiwis immediately associate the classic bright blue colour with Cadbury Roses so I knew I had to create something that stood out in the same way but was also unique and special.

What have been some other rewarding moments, and where are you hoping to take your art in the future?

It has been hugely rewarding seeing my work in stores. I’ve had my friends, family and past teachers send me pictures and videos after they’ve spotted the boxes at the supermarket. The overwhelmingly positive response to this collaboration has been incredible both personally and professionally. I would love to work on more collaborations from packaging to textiles and create more physical artwork as a lot of my current work is created digitally.

Does it feel surreal to be getting this recognition so young?

It does! This collaboration has been nearly a year in the making and so now that the limited-edition design is out in the world it's only hit me just how incredible it has been to work on such an iconic design.