Devon Smith

Devon Smith, hailing from Wellington, New Zealand is a fine artist and illustrator, who draws and paints the most delicately beautiful and enchanting work I’ve seen in a while. It was a real pleasure to be in touch with her to learn more about her and her work.

Devon Smith

Website: www.devonsmith.co.nz
Blog: deerface.blogspot.com
Etsy: www.etsy.com/shop/deerface
Flickr | Facebook

Hi Devon, how are you? Could you tell us a little about yourself?
I am a little cold right now, it started raining on my way home so my socks got a little damp. I am a girl (despite my name) and I am 24 years old. I live in the capital city of New Zealand and paint and draw a lot.

What are you currently working on?
At the moment I’m working on a series of paintings about hypochondria. So far I’ve painted spider veins, rabies, gingivitis, and various fungal infections. Basically things I worry about getting. It’s all a bit gross, but surprisingly cathartic.

Devon Smith

Has art always had a place in your life?
Always always. I was lucky enough growing up to have parents that pretty much let me make as much mess in the pursuit of creativity as I wanted. Before I started school nearly every day I would pack a backpack full of drawing supplies and go on little expeditions to draw in the trees and on the beach by my house.

How did you first get started in art, is it something that you’ve always been interested in and excelled at?
I’ve always been interested, but certainly never excelled. Art was actually my worst subject throughout high school, and at best I was a mediocre student at Art School. I think most importantly I’ve always enjoyed drawing, and this beat out against discouraging low marks in school.

devon Smith

How long have you been creating art, embracing your creativity, and working towards developing your current style and output?
Again, always. I think I started developing my current style towards the end of my teen years. I kept pushing myself to draw in an original style, but it took relaxing about it somewhat for anything to actually come out. It certainly changed a lot throughout my time at Art School, and I like to think it is always changing at least a little bit.

Your work regularly focuses on girls, and I once read you describe your work as: ‘I create imaginary worlds full of dreamy girls and their animal familiars.’
What is it about these female subjects that leads you to illustrate them over and over again?
It is hard to say exactly why I paint and draw what I do. I never sit down with plans in mind, I very rarely use reference images (and if so, it’s usually after I’ve roughed out a drawing), I just start drawing and see what comes out. I think because I am female I place a little bit of myself in all the characters I illustrate. That’s not to say they look anything like me, but I guess they are the sort of girls I aspire to be. They are always strong ladies leading interesting lives, and are a bit of an escape if I am feeling low about something or obsessing over my own character flaws.

Devon Smith

What stages, from start-to-finish does a piece of your work go through, and over what time frame?
It usually starts with a little scribble or sketch. I keep a little notebook tucked in my back pocket at work and draw in this throughout the day. It might start with a face I like, or be a thumbnail of a whole painting, but it’s where things begin. This then travels to my studio where I’ll start drawing it out with an HB pencil on nice watercolour paper. Sometimes I’ll rough things out on scrap paper first, to save my good paper from the inevitable over-erasing that goes on. Then I outline figures and important things with an H pencil, then spray that with workable fixative so it doesn’t smudge when I get it wet. Then a layer of red mechanical pencil details, then blue. Next is paint, and I just build that up, usually over a few days until I’m happy with it.
It’s hard to say exactly how long things take, as I’ll generally get the bulk of a painting done in one day, but will keep returning to it for the next few weeks to refine things.

I hear that you’ve recently moved into a new studio – what’s most important to you when deciding on a space in which you can be creative?
I’m lucky enough to be able to work pretty much anywhere, In this case the space just turned up and I jumped at the chance to take it. It has lots of huge windows, so the natural light is great, it’s really central so good for coffee breaks and art supply runs. Light and coffee are very important in a studio space.

Devon Smith

Aesthetically, what sort of things have you filled your studio with in order for it to be as inspiring/homely/workable/engaging as possible?
I think books were the first thing I moved in. On top of being full of art or references or entertaining comics, I love the look of stacks of books. I’ve covered most of the available wall space with other people’s lovely artwork, and photos of pretty birds and kitschy landscapes.
I’m also sharing with two very nice girls who are very inspiring and keep the space fun.

What has your personal experience of Art exhibitions, Commissions/Collaborations, and Art & craft fairs been like? Do you regularly contribute to all? Do you see your work fitting into all?
I exhibit relatively regularly, and most of my work is produced with galleries in mind. I do sometimes do commissions, usually more illustration related than fine art, but I’ve been lucky enough not to have been asked to do anything too restricting so far. Craft fairs are a bit of a funny one.. I’ve done a couple in the past, and although they were pretty fun, and a good way to show work to a different audience, I don’t think it’s a great fit for me. I suppose I am more artist than crafter. It would be nice to have a good crafting skill, like knitting or sewing, but I think I’ll just stick with drawing for now.

Devon Smith

I once read you state that, “I think it is good to draw for no other reason than just enjoying it”. Do you regularly feel external pressures that require you to draw for other reasons than enjoyment alone – do you find that this alters and affects how you draw?
Sometimes when I’m drawing I get in to the mindset that I have to do things a certain way, in order for things to appeal to certain people or whatever, but I really hate when this happens and try to avoid it. I never want to just draw things that will sell, even if it’s a bit self-indulgent, if I’m not making things for myself they don’t ever come out well. They will always lack something.. the ‘soul’ I guess. You can tell if I’ve forced myself to draw something, it will look uncomfortable.

How do you manage your time in order to devote as much time as you’d like to your art?
I wish I spent more time on my art.. I currently have a job as well, to pay the rent and that sort of boring stuff, and this fills up a lot of my week. I think this makes me appreciate the time I do have, so I am always really motivated to get to the studio and work on art. Having a studio away from home also helps focus my time on art better, there are few distractions so once I’m there I can work hard..

Devon Smith

What’s your relationship to confidence, with regards to making and sharing your art?
I suffer long bouts of low self confidence about my art. A lot of work ends up in the rubbish and is never seen by anyone.

What is the art (and craft?) scene like in your native New Zealand? Are there any New Zealand artists, events, galleries, projects, magazines (etc) that particularly excite you right now?
The craft scene is still pretty new (comparatively) , but it’s really taken off and there are lots of wonderful people involved with it. The contemporary art scene is also pretty big, there are plenty of great galleries in all the major cities here. My favourite right now is the Robert Heald gallery in Wellington. It just a great plain space in the centre of town that always has really new and exciting work up. I would love to show there one day soon. There are too many great artists to list.. I recently bought a painting by Becky Dreistadt, just before she left NewZealand, and also have some great cushions by Evie Kemp who is a really cool textile designer/illustrator.

I’m presuming that (like most artists) you make art because you like doing it, and you’re good at it – what do you do on the days when the art doesn’t come easily to you – how do you fight off creative blocks, and/or are there any rituals or routines that get you into work mode?
Enjoying quiet times, reading nice books and trying new things help me restart if I’m having a rough patch. I’m lucky to have never had a serious creative block, even if I hate everything I’m doing I will still be producing work. I never like returning to a blank page, so if I’m on a good drawing roll I will always leave something half finished to come back to. I got this idea from Roald Dahl, who says to always stop writing when you are going well (I think he was quoting Hemingway about this), and I think it works just as well for drawing as writing.

I once read you give advice to your younger self, saying: ‘Don’t waste your time at art school doing stuff you already do’
How important to you is trying out new things, experimenting, and learning more about the art that you make?
Experimenting keeps things fresh, stops me from becoming repetitive and getting bored. I’m always trying to learn new techniques, even if they have nothing to do with my specific art practice. I just started working on some little clay models, which has been a great break from a particularly bad stretch of low art confidence.

Devon Smith

You work, primarily, in gouache, pencil and water colour, (with some evidence of Gocco too). What is it about these techniques and mediums that most suits you? Do you love the process of working in these mediums?
I find gouache and watercolour to be the best way to colour my drawings.. I really am more of a draw-er than a painter, so this way I can be drawing and painting at the same time. I also prefer the slow build up you get with layers of watercolour washes and gouache.. it’s better for me to be forced to slow down and take time over little details.

There’s something about/in your work that I think speaks volumes about your subjects’ emotional connections to the dark complexities of the world around them (and thus our own). This is sometimes communicated through imagery such as bats, arrows, skulls, ghosts, and the summoning of fears and imagined terrors.
Do you see your work, and the fragmented memories and nostalgias it contains, as coming from a ‘dark’ place, or for you is there dreamy, childlike, ethereal hope and optimism in the work?
I think it is a bit of both – even if a work is depicting something dark the act of painting it is usally about getting something out of my system. This is how I best deal with negative memories and feelings so these works are probably the more hopeful and optimistic ones.

Devon Smith

What’s your favorite art project that you’ve worked on so far?
I am working on a little comic zine at the moment and am really enjoying it. It’s really different from anything else i’ve ever done, and i’m excited to have a little handmade book at the end of it.

What gives you the incentive/confidence/push to continue making your art?
I have no clue! It’s purely internal, I don’t know how I would function if I had to stop drawing. I would probably stop being me. Of course people buying my art helps, because then I can buy more paper and nice pens.

Artist interview: Lilly Piri

Lilly Piri is a 25-year-old Australian illustrator/artist, who currently lives in Germany. Her art has a divine softness to it that draws me into her beautiful worlds again and again.

Lilli Piri

Website: www.littlegalaxie.com
Blog: lillypiri.blogspot.com
Web store: www.littlegalaxie.com/store.html
Etsy: www.etsy.com/shop/lillypiri
Facebook: The Lilly Piri Facebook Page

Could you tell us a little about what you are working on at the moment?
At the moment, I’m working on some pieces for upcoming group shows, things for my etsy shop, and personal work involving acrylics and oils.

How did you first get started in art, is it something that you’ve always been interested in and excelled at?
How long have you been creating art, embracing your creativity, and working towards developing your current style and output (a style that, I must say, is unmistakably yours)?
Well, drawing was something that I especially enjoyed doing. One early memory is, we were on holiday, and I was sitting with my watercolours and painting a seagull from life. I also drew countless horses from horse magazines growing up, I think this served as part of a solid drawing foundation. So, I know everybody says this, but I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. Everybody draws in school, some people just keep drawing once school is over. Life drawing in art school also really opened my eyes. There’s drawing, and then once you learn life drawing, it’s like you can see things on the page in 3 dimensions. Life drawing really changed my way of seeing.

Lilli Piri

How did you gain the confidence to make art your career?
I wouldn’t say I gained the confidence to do it, I just did it. I tried to promote and put my work out there, and it just fell into place after that. The Internet has made it really easy for creative people to show their work, and it played a huge role in getting me started.

Why do you create? What is it about being creative that makes it something important for you to do?
It sounds weird, but it helps me stay sane. I feel very restless if I haven’t had time to make something. It’s like most people have something they do as an outlet, or to relax, or just something that makes them happy. Sometimes, I get an idea for a drawing, and I just have to make it.

Where did your interest in soft, delicate, subtle imagery come from, and how has your art developed over the years to incorporate it?
This started because, colour pencils are just so time consuming. If you want a smooth colour, you have to really work at it with many, many layers. On the earlier ones, I would be making the fourth layer of colour and think ‘you know, this looks cool just like that’. It’s like how sometimes an artist prefers the sketch to the finished piece. It’s also sort of like a whisper this way.

Lilli Piri

A lot of your work is incredibly, beautifully detailed. A lot of this attentive detail occurs in small-scale images. Do you have a love for small, intricate things?
Yes, I absolutely love small things and have a nice little collection. I also love small boxes. It just goes back to childhood: my parents had a collection of super small toys and collector items that I wasn’t supposed to play with, but I did, anyway. Now, I’m grown up, and can have my own. Hurrah!

The careful, intricate detail in much of your work would suggest an eye for detail, and possible perfectionism.
What is your view of perfectionism in art, and more specifically in your own art work?
Well, I think everything has its place in the scheme of things, but perfectionism can become a real block. Personally, I have to be careful so that I don’t let the perfectionist take over, because then I would never, ever finish anything.

Lilli Piri

You work a lot with coloured pencils. What is it about this medium that you enjoy?
Well, what I enjoy about coloured pencils and what I hate about them is that it’s incredibly slow. Sometimes it’s nice to do 10 layers and sometimes it isn’t. When it’s nice, it’s just very relaxing, and you can’t really make mistakes with it. Once I have my lines in, it’s like colouring in.

How long would a typical pencil illustration take you to complete? I myself don’t think I’d have the patience!
Ahh, now that really depends on the size, if it’s full colour, or what colours are being used. Dark colours take the longest to do. My brown pencils break all the time, my teacher once told me this is because the browns are softer, so you have to use a very sharp sharpener. In the beginning, I used to time myself, I think the more intricate work can take 20+ hours for an A4 piece. I’m a lot faster than I used to be, though.

Lilli Piri

When you were based in Australia, a lot of native creatures and wildlife cropped up in your work; is the environment in which you create your work important to your subject matter and the way that pieces turn out?
I still regularly include Aussie animals, but now there is a German influence, too. I really miss Australia and the wildlife there, but then there’s also being delighted at things here in Germany. Sometimes, for titles, I like the German word better because it is more precise. They have words for stuff I would need a sentence to describe in English, like Schadenfreude and Zeitgeist.

Your art has been described as ‘dreamy interpretations of a wide variety of narratives’… How important to your work is the idea of narratives, and storytelling?
I really love having a story to work with. I like getting immersed in books, and not being able to put it down. I love this about Grimm’s fairytales. I have an old book of these with gorgeous illustrations from the 10’s or 20’s. Music with stories in it are also great for inspiring a certain mood that I would like to translate into a drawing.

Lilli Piri

I read you say of your art, and in particular the reason for the reoccurring theme of the ocean is that, ‘the sea always reminds me there is lots to explore, and it’s nice to look out and think about what’s over the horizon’. I love that quote as I really think it mirrors your work itself; exploratory, magical work that seems hopeful. Is this a fair reflection?
I suppose you could say that. Some people have interpreted my work as sad, I don’t really see it that way. It sounds corny, but I love the ocean just because you realise how tiny and unimportant everything is, and how much is out there to see. If you stand at Point Danger, near my hometown, you can see the curve of the world, and it’s just inspiring.

You live with your husband who is also an artist – how important to you and your arty motivation is living and working alongside somebody else who shares your interest and passion?
Does working in an environment alongside such peers provide any specific benefits to you as an artist – beyond motivation?
Well, I really can’t imagine it any other way, because it’s such a big passion for both of us. It’s just so nice to have someone that I have so much in common with, that’s not easy to find, I think. We don’t work in the same room, but if I get stuck, or he gets stuck, we can bounce an idea off of each other, or say ‘what do you think of this composition?’

Heiko is also much more technical than I am, and he’s helped me with perspective/file problems in the past. In a lot of ways he’s like the complete opposite of me, because he’s so prolific. But then he’s also a huge perfectionist, sometimes he makes like 3 or 4 final drawings before he’s happy, which I doubt I could ever do! I prefer erasing the page a million times!

Lilli Piri

, what daily things give you the incentive/confidence/push to continue making art and keep coming up with new ideas?
I really like nature, the ocean or the forest, insects, animals. It inspires me. Seeing the work of other artists, especially ones who have a completely different style to mine, makes me really excited to make new work. I also keep a lot of sketchbooks with ideas; sometimes I just wait and see if I can use one.

What challenges and struggles do you face (or have you faced) as a young artist and illustrator wishing to get their work seen and known – and how do you rise above these challenges?
I don’t think it’s very easy to get illustration jobs that suits my work, so I’m planning to try simplifying my style. But I also want to push my gallery work in a more paint-erly, detailed direction, because I really love painting. Playing and experimenting is very important for both of these problems. I guess I don’t believe that you have to stick to one thing. Growing is important, too. I’m sort of at a point where I want to change things up a lot, so I guess you probably have to ask me again in a year or two!

Lilli Piri

Which contemporary artists and illustrators are you currently loving?
At the moment:
Gemma Correll’s work, especially her daily diaries, which are hilarious.
Beci Orpin, she does so much cool stuff.
Lauren Nassef, who posts a drawing every day, very inspiring!
Bec Winnel, for her amazing fashion colour pencil work.
Lindsey Carr, her paintings are beautiful and intricate. If you’re a Natural Museum fan, you would probably fall in love with her work.
Ana Bagayan, she’s a wonderful artist and she and her friend Mere also run The Lunch Bunch, which feeds the homeless in LA.
Elly Yap, she makes the most amazing patterns!

I also keep a big link list on my blog with the blogs of other artists and illustrators, and they are people I recommend checking out.

Lilli Piri

What is your favourite thing about making art?
That feeling like you’re making something special out of a blank piece of paper. It’s like planting a seed and watching what it grows into. It’s fun not knowing how a piece will turn out, it’s fun to solve problems and learn.

Artist interview: Lauren Carney

Lauren Carney is an amazingly friendly artist, illustrator and crafter from Brisbane, Australia who constantly made me giggle while we were setting this interview up!
Lauren is exhibiting in the Samhain Art Exhibition (29 October – 2 November 2010) at White Canvas Gallery, Queensland.

Lauren Carney

Website: www.laurencarneyart.com
Blog: www.laurencarneyart.blogspot.com/
Etsy: www.etsy.com/shop/dizzylittledotty
Facebook | DeviantART

How are you? What are you working on at the moment?
I’m really well, thanks for asking! I’ve been quite a busy little bee over the past few weeks! I’ve got a group exhibition coming up next week, so I’ve been trying to finish off some large water-colour pieces for that! Then the weekend after I have the Finder Keepers Spring Markets on, where I will be selling my wares and meeting very lovely art folk! Crazy right?

How would you describe your art?
The content of my work is whimsical and curious. Romanticism plays a large underlying theme and I think that is portrayed by the fanciful characters within each illustration. My artwork touches on a variety of mediums, mostly traditional mixed with digital illustration. The linework is messy but heavily detailed, the colours are bright, and the subject matter is a quirky!

A lot of the characters in your work are very cartoon looking (a good thing!), are you a fan of comics?
I’ve never been that into comics, but always wish that I had been! I was never really able to get my hands on them as a kid, because I grew up in a small town with a shortage of cool comic books in general. However I did have a huge cartoon fixation from my younger years, and that has stuck with me to adulthood! So I think that has a strong influence over me to this day!

Lauren Carney

What puts you in the best mood for drawing?
Well I have a confession, just of late I’ve been watching Coraline and Fantastic Mr Fox each day to get me through my creative block! I’m pretty sure I watched Coraline fifteen times last week – I’m a little bit addicted. But hey, I churned out eleven paintings that week, so it must have worked? But apart from obsessive movie watching, I generally sit down with a cup of tea in the morning, and look over my favourite blogs, with some Neutral Milk Hotel playing in the background. Then I’m good to go!

What materials do you most often/ most enjoy working with?
Moleskin Art Diary, A 0.005 Art-line Pen, Watercolour paints and different textured papers.

How did you first get started in art, is it something that you’ve always been interested in and excelled at?
Were you always good at art at school, and did you study art beyond school?
I’ve always been really into art! I used to make my own mini zines as a kid, and home-made graphic novels! Hah, they were epic too! I’m pretty sure I decided when I was six I was going to do something creative career wise! In high school I finally made my mind up to do a Bachelor of Animation at Queensland College of Art in Brisbane. I really enjoyed it, and was a total claymation/stop motion fiend, but preferred illustration more (maybe because there is less work? Who knows!) It was a really good degree, and the knowledge I learned from there I can apply to doing illustrations and design program work on the computer!

Lauren Carney

How and why did you move to making art professionally? How did you gain the confidence (in yourself and your art) to do this?
Getting the confidence was a three year process, I didn’t enjoy my artistic style in University, so didn’t really take it seriously until after I graduated. I remember sketching and thinking “This style just isn’t me, it’s not reflecting who I am as a person”. I started getting into a routine where each day I would draw something new and progressively created a style that I now can comfortably call my own. I decided that I had to be more proactive with ‘getting my art out there’, so did a lot of local art markets, emailing magazines, creating a blog / website / facebook page and generally trying to learn as much as I could from other successful indie designers!

How representative of you is your work? I ask this, as just by looking at your work I have a little inkling of what I think you must be like as a person!!
Ha ha! I would say there is a little piece of me in each drawing! I’ve found this balance in life, and I feel it shows in my work. I can embrace being awkward, messy, nerdy and a little bit odd. It’s something that lots of people can relate to. I want my images to convey a sense of nostalgia, show love and the importance of appreciating everyday life. I’m on the small side of things, so like to draw my people that way. The girls are cheeky with tiny boobs, and the fellows sport bow ties and skinny jeans!

Lauren Carney

Your work has been featured in a lot of independent magazines (such as Charlie, Yen, Thaw, and Peppermint), are these magazines that you read personally, and as such how important to you is featuring within them?
Oh gosh yes! It’s so nice to be a part of something that you admire and adore! It’s so lovely being recognised for your hard work through different mediums, but to be able to hold in your hand one of your favourite mags with your own work captured within the pages – well, it’s a pretty awesome two in one!

The magazines aren’t solely art-focused magazines (I saw, for example, that in Charlie magazine your illustrations were part of a fashion spread), how important to you is meshing alternate aspects of art and culture together, and increasing exposure to art and illustration by it being used in less art-only/gallery-only spaces?
It’s so important to not put yourself in one box or category – metaphorically speaking. Design is incorporated into our everyday lives, we just don’t notice it half of the time. I’m trying my hardest to do the corporate stuff, along with the fun things and artistic integrity in the process.

I think the good thing about having an artistic nature is that you can apply it to heaps of different things, books, advertisements, gallery exhibitions, magazine spreads, clothing items, catalogues, game design – the list is endless really, its just being proactive and trying to pursue as many avenues as you can!

Lauren Carney

You have an upcoming exhibition in a joint show at White Canvas Gallery in Queensland.
What work have you created for the show? – Has the experience of preparing for a gallery show been different to how you usually create work?
Are you excited for the opening?
Oh I am so excited! I have emailed so many people – blogland friends, art friends, and some of my favourite shops around Brisbane! I’ve dropped off letters and sent bulk text messages – and those are the easiest jobs! Two of the artist’s Mark and Elizabeth have done all the organising for it, so I’m really learning a lot from them about how to go about getting ready for an exhibition! I thought it would kind of be like a high-school or university group assignment, where the deadline draws closer and the anxiety sets in, but its so not like that! It’s almost like a mini celebration, where you get to play show-and-tell with friends and art fans.

I’ve managed to whip up eleven mini A5 water-colour artworks, and three bigger pieces for the show! I feel that my work is better in person, because you can see the detail up close, whereas the detail isn’t as effective viewed on computer monitors! I usually upload pictures onto my blog when I finish them, but I’ve had to hold off for ages, and not show anyone, so I feel like I have a mini secret that is ready for sharing come Friday 29. Eek!

Lauren Carney

What keeps you motivated?
Hah, mostly coffee. Inspiration and motivation generally go hand in hand though. Ultimately artists inspire other artists. It’s amazing how another’s work, whether it be photography, painting, music or sculpture, can impact on you. I need daily inspiration to function. So I definitely take a coffee break once or twice a day and look through things that I know will keep me creatively going!

Your artwork can be crazy-intricate, even your journal pages are chocked full of detail. How important to you is attention to detail?
To me it’s pretty important. I just have this thing where stuff has to look busy, even if its simple, there still has to be little etchings, stitch marks, hair detail, freckles; all stuff that seems pretty insignificant but is rather important! I know when I look at drawings that are busy, I’m lured in, and it captivates me for a longer time frame than something plain would. So that is how I justify my busy pictures!

Lauren Carney

My favourite pieces of yours are the ones that feature the little ladies in their various kick-ass fashions looking super rad and hella cute (seriously, eyelashes and rosy-cheeks drawn in the way you do it will always make me swoon! And I’m a huge fan of well-drawn hair!), and also the ones that incorporate text and typography.
What inspires you to draw girls like these?
Hah, why thank you! It’s a well-known fact, that all kinds of folk, regardless of sexual orientation or gender, can appreciate the appearance a classy well-dressed lady!
The way someone dresses can tell so much about his or her personality. You get this real sense of individualism when you catch a glimpse of some people, based upon their clothing. I really try to capture the same thing with my little drawn ladies, because not all women are the same, it’s the shoes, the hair, the lashes, the odd glasses or array of freckles and personality that vary for each girl, so I try to convey that when I draw.

What sort of aesthetic things do you like; for example where do you work from, and what images/artefacts keep you company in your studio / place(s) of work?
I work in a nicely decorated office from home. On my desk you will always find no less than two coffee cups, a darling assortment of stationary, a gigantic mac and wacom drawing tablet. But apart from the boring essentials, I have my James Jean / Courtney Brims / Anke Weckmann postcard collection plus Frankie Posters creeping up my walls, A Wooden Toy magazine handy in case of emergency artists block, and the occasional bunch of flowers to make me feel out-doorsy.

Lauren Carney

Are you a collector/coveter/admirer of other artists’ work?
Hah, I seem to have this increasing amount of Dave Collinson work adorned around my household! I also have this stash of Miyazaki goods that keep on growing. DVDs, books, other bits and bobs. Haha. I would however, enjoy accumulating a collection of plushies like the ones Cat Rabbit creates. Then I could say “My name is Lauren, and I am a collector of friends, tea cups, art paraphernalia and fancy dressed plushies” I think I could win hearts with that one liner.

Who are your favourite artists that you could tip us off about from your native Australia?
Oh gosh, I have so many! Dave Collinson, Mel Stringer, Charmaine Olivia, Audrey Kawasaki, along with street artist’s Ghost Patrol and Creepy.

Lauren Carney

Lauren Carney

Beyond illustration you’re also a crafter. What to you enjoy about this form of creativity?
I think it takes me to a happy place from when I was younger! Oh nostalgia! I was always stitching, knitting and sewing in primary and high school, but didn’t really go any further with it until I realised it is quite fashionable to dabble in nanna-esque hobbies. I kind of put my own swing on it though, incorporating my love of drawings with hand made products!

What for you are the most enjoyable or rewarding aspects of working as an artist?
I think it would definitely be the way my work impacts on people. I love having a stall at markets because I can see their reaction in person. It sparks a little bit of curiosity at first then a giggle. It’s nice to know that my artwork can connect with people in that sense.

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