The City of Melbourne respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land we govern, the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung and Bunurong / Boon Wurrung peoples of the Kulin and pays respect to their Elders past and present. We acknowledge and honour the unbroken spiritual, cultural and political connection they have maintained to this unique place for more than 2000 generations.

We accept the invitation in the Uluru Statement from the Heart and are committed to walking together to build a better future.

Skip to main content

During the COVID-19 lockdowns, Carlton resident Suzanne Hood began sketching significant local buildings on her daily walks around her neighbourhood, a hobby that has grown into a small business.

Suzanne turns her drawings into greeting cards and postcards depicting the unique architecture of Carlton, which are proving popular with locals and visitors alike.

‘When you’re limited to being in your neighbourhood, you start to really see some of the wonderful local buildings and to notice more of the detail in them,’ Suzanne explained.

Suzanne said drawing local buildings gave her a greater sense of connection to Carlton and really helped her through the isolation of lockdowns.

‘Even if I couldn’t see people, I could still feel that connection to place, sensing that I belong to something,’ Suzanne said. ‘That is all the more important because I emigrated here in 2005 from the UK, which wasn’t easy.’

Suzanne has lived in Carlton since 2016, and is passionate about the area.

‘Carlton has lots of history, and I appreciate the Victorian architecture here because it reminds me of home. And it’s different too, the lace and iron, verandahs and balconies that you don’t get in the UK.’

Six sketches of buildings in Carlton

A sample of Suzanne's greeting cards that are available for sale

Woman holds up drawing in front of Kathleen Syme Library

Suzanne's drawing of Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre featured in her exhibition ‘3053’

Suzanne’s newfound passion has also sparked a deeper connection to her local community, after she recently joined the Carlton Residents Association (CRA).

Initially almost all my drawings were of Carlton buildings so I thought the CRA may be interested, because it represents the Carlton community,’ Suzanne explained.

Suzanne said it’s been a win-win relationship; the CRA appreciates someone documenting heritage buildings as drawings - as opposed to photos - and in turn, it has helped promote her little business.

I’ve never tried to set up a small business before, so it really helps to have that support and those connections,’ Suzanne said.

The CRA now sells packs of Suzanne’s greeting cards, with the proceeds helping to fund its work.

Suzanne joined the CRA to help preserve the area’s heritage and represent her community’s interests, but also values the sense of belonging that she’s gained.

‘Through the CRA I’ve met local people I never would have, which has made me feel more a part of the community,’ said Suzanne.

I’ve also contributed to a submission to Council about heritage buildings, and it gives you more of a sense that you’re having an impact if you give feedback through a community group.

In late 2022, Suzanne exhibited 28 of her drawings at the Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre.

I called the exhibition ‘3053’ because all the drawings in it were from that postcode,’ said Suzanne. ‘There was a lot of interest from some older community members who use the Kathleen Syme Centre for meetings, because they know the heritage buildings so well and have a long-term connection to the area.

Suzanne is a member of Melbourne Urban Sketchers, a community of artists who draw on location and share their work online.

It’s a way of meeting other people who like sketching, and we meet up each month,’ said Suzanne.

Bundles of greeting cards bound with string

The CRA sells packs of 5 cards (with envelopes) for $20

While Suzanne admits her favourite building in Carlton is the famous Royal Exhibition Building, she also admires the heritage buildings that house Italian restaurants Masani and Criniti’s, as well as the Victorian Trades Hall building.

Fifteen of Suzanne's drawings of Carlton heritage buildings

Suzanne heads out to draw historic buildings two to three times per week, and shades some of her drawings using watercolour pencils

Suzanne said she gets a lot of interest from people passing by as she draws, and enjoys chatting to them and forming new connections.

This year she intends to start doing custom drawings, having already sketched some for family and friends.

If you’re interested in commissioning Suzanne to draw your home or a favourite building, email