art

artist colony, art, artists, interview

Artist Colony // Stanislava Pinchuk

The best thing as an artist, is that it’s a practice and way of living that lets you expand on every curiosity and every part of yourself.

Stanislava Pinchuk (you may know her as MISO) is quite easily one of my favourite artists, creating beautiful works by data mapping war and conflict zones. She is also insanely lovely, and gave such in-depth and inspiring answers to my questions, as well as calling me an ‘Epic. Woman. Fuck yeah.’ which I will be making into a badge, thank you very much.

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How are you? What have you been up to recently?

I’m well! It’s a good few weeks in the studio. I’m on a plane every other day. It’s the very end of the year and somehow things just really ramped up in a wild way. It feels like a really good place to be, lots of really diverse projects, all in the beginning stages of development. I’ve just finished a project data mapping the oil fires set by ISIS south of Mosul, on the Tigris river basin. I feel really excited about what that project will become.

 
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What is your process when it comes to creating your art? How do you map nuclear disasters?

With my practice, there is a lot of research. There’s a lot of development before you even work on the ground, and there are a lot of logistics around that. And after, there is always a lot of research prompted by what you found, or by thoughts that experienced triggered. Sometimes you need to go back and forth, and keep resolving things. With mapping the nuclear zone bodies of work - they were both really different methods.

That’s the hardest thing with working in difficult places - you can’t really have a standard way of working or methodology you apply to places. Security is limited, time is limited, exposure is limited. So you have to be quite nimble and adaptive. In a way, I’m really glad for that - because it gave me a pretty big crash course in surveying pretty quickly. So in Fukushima, I very much had to map the land and the fresh layers of new earth topography that were created in removing the radioactive topsoil. I had a little more time, that that worked really well for me. And with Chernobyl, which is a much earlier nuclear disaster, I was able to map how different ground retains radioactivity with geigometers and plots. There, I only had 30 minutes at Reactor 4, and strictly no recording or photography - so I really had to work with what I had, and it turned into a really incredible data set. And that was partly from research, and partly a hunch and being really aware of your surroundings and what you’re looking at.

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Your work focuses around places that you call home, no matter the dangers within them. What does the concept of home mean to you?

It’s a funny one for me. I don’t think I have a strong concept of home, in the way of most people. I didn’t grow up in one place, and I travel pretty permanently. I have two passports, and I’m not ethnically really a part of either country. I’m actually pretty grateful for this - so I feel really home everywhere. I like that a lot. So mostly and very strongly, I feel that my body is my home. And my chosen family, creative family - in whatever city, that is my home. I’m lucky to have deep friendships in a lot of places as I move.

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Why did you decide to set tattoo solely around trade with friends?

I find tattooing a really intimate thing. There’s a lot of trust, and I give it so much of myself. So it’s not something I felt, from the start, ten years ago - that I could put a financial amount on. And it never felt like something I could provide for strangers, or people I didn’t know. And it still doesn’t.

Who was the most interesting person you’ve tattooed?

Every tattoo and every friend is interesting to me. I think it would be a huge disrespect to tattoo something I wasn’t excited about, on someone forever. So I really only agree to do things, if I feel genuinely inspired and enthusiastic to do it and do a good job.

Describe your workspace…

I’m on the move pretty permanently. I don’t think I’ve been anywhere more than two weeks for about ten years. You’ve got to be pretty nimble when you live and work like that! So some days it might be a sculpture studio, some days its my publisher’s place in Paris, some days it’s the public library in New York, sometimes a hotel room or an airplane, some days a photo studio… and some days it’s my actual studio. Where I can, a clean desk and natural light is a bonus! Right now, and for the rest of the day, it’s a beach in Sydney.

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What is the hardest thing you have had to overcome as an artist? What’s the best thing that has come out of being an artist?

Some of the hardest things that have happened to me, have fed me tremendously as an artist.

And some others - surviving them was enough, and I would never let them have the victory of appearing in my practice. In overcoming, building support networks can be a really difficult thing. Finding the right people and collaborators you can trust, or producers or galleries that can adequately support the work. It takes a huge amount of capacity to have a sustainable art practice, and an expansive art practice - and finding the logistical ways to make it real, and people who work as hard as you do, has been - and still is - a really big one for me. And I think it will be a challenge for the rest of my life, because the work should always keep moving and needing different things.

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The best thing as an artist, is that it’s a practice and way of living that lets you expand on every curiosity and every part of yourself. The ability to shape your job by braiding everything you are interested in and creating your own world, and being rewarded for it. And truly, I think one of the best things about being an artist - is that we really see the highs and lows of the world. I think we are really welcomed in, and invited in by people, to see a really huge strata of the world and ways of living. I would never give that up in my life. And I don’t think many other jobs give you that experience so deeply.

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If you could, what would you tell your younger self?

To worry a little less. That if you make things you really, really feel - and really smart work, that other people feel that, and want to be a part of it. If the work is strong, the rest falls into place.

When I was younger, I didn’t believe this so much, when older artists said that to me. I thought it was just an older generation that had it easier. But now, I really see it.

art, film, film/music, interview, NGV, I Want Your Job

I Want Your Job - Episode One

The FIRST episode of my new series I Want Your Job. I’ve been working on this for a while and am pretty happy with how it all turned out. In this episode I chat to three people working at the National Gallery of Victoria to get an idea of what they do and how they got there. So excited to make the next episode!

art, film

Barton and Bones

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2017, let's just say, was a hell of a year for everybody. It was difficult, upsetting, discouraging and presented us with multiple opportunities to curl up in a small ball in a tight little corner and cry. But because of all this it made people stand up and speak out about rights and wrongs, which brought groups of people who wanted change in our society together. I think that 2017 was the year of women. We stood together and supported each other this year, beginning with the international women's march all the way to the #metoo campaign, which really opened our eyes and ears towards, and in support of the victims of sexual assault. I really hope that in 2018 we can stop the dwaddle and begin the sprint towards equality for everybody!

On the topic of women, I think I'll make a nice clean segway into what the post is actually about. Today I went the the Ian Potter Centre and the NGV and looked at some insanely cool exhibitions. The first, at the Ian Potter Centre, was Kathryn del Barton's "The Highway is a Disco" and oh my god I was so excited. Del Barton is most probably my favourite artist (or at least in the top 5) so I was really really stoked that I got to see her art in person. Her work showcases the female body and she presents it in a way that makes it feel goddess like. I made a short vid and took a few pics so you can get the jist of the exhibition (and it's free entry so you have no excuse not to go!!). 

The next exhibition was at the NGV for the Triennial. You've most likely seen it all over instagram but it is still completely worth going. A room filled with skulls probably sounds a little Adams family-esque but it is so bloody cool - and contrasted with 18th century artwork is even better!!

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artist colony, art

Artist Colony // Sophie Hur

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I've been a fan of Sophie's for a long time ever since running into her in NYC and taking her photo for Street Style. We got each others instagrams and I have loved watching Sophie's photography grow and change in the short 12 months since I began following her. Sophie is one of my favourite photographers - she manages to capture an emotion or mood and the colours that come from her film add another layer of this something. There's an edge of grungy rock n' role / backstage with the band but also a hint of New York It girl's photo album . I'm super inspired and definitely want to start experimenting with film myself. She's also Australian which is always a bonus. Here are a few questions that I sent through, enjoy!

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Hey, how are you? What have you been up to lately? I am good! Tired, but good. I have had friends from Australia stay with me and my roommates in my loft so in between work, we have been hanging out and I have also been shooting and planning shoots.

Was moving to NYC a big decision for you? How has it helped you grow as a person and as a creative? In what ways was it difficult? It was and it wasn't. I knew it was something that I had to do. I'm just lucky that I was privileged enough to be able to. It's helped me grow in ways that I know I wouldn't have been able to if I stayed in Australia. Creatively speaking, I have grown immensely - I'm doing things that I never would have thought I would do. Something that is difficult about NYC is that it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the success of others and get down about not being as "successful", but you just have to remember that everything happens for people at different times.

What is the process you take for your photographs? Type of camera, styling, editing etc... I only shoot film. I like Canon. I have plenty of creative friends who are stylists/makeup artists etc, who make it so much easier for me to create new work and practice because we collaborate together. I don't really edit my photos, but I do chuck them into Lightroom.

Is it pricey to be a photographer who only uses film instead of digital? Are there any cheaper options for people that are interested in pursuing film photography? Yeah it is very pricey. Sometimes I'm like damn maybe I should invest in a digital camera!! I recently invested in my own scanner (~150 for cheapest) which was a very good decision so now I only buy the negatives and scan myself, which is time consuming but really fun. 

What makes you most inspired ? How do you get out of creative ruts? The people that surround me - my beautiful friends. I just take a moment to write and not get flustered. Sometimes I just watch a film to take my mind off feeling stuck and I end up getting inspiration from the film. 

How would you describe your style? (photography and clothing (aesthetic in general)) My style is evolving pretty rapidly at this point in my life. I used to use a lot more color like pinks, blues and yellows and now I am interested by neutral color paletts and softer tones, but I think my style is starting to become very simple with an odd twist to it. I dress like a boy most days. I like tee shirts and baggy pants. I wear ankle cut doc martins every day. In general, my aesthetic is heavily influenced by where I live and the people around me.

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Any tips for aspiring photographers? I need some tips too haha. I really want a mentor! But, for now as a very amateur photographer, a tip would be to build a collection of good friends who are emerging in their creative field and keep working together!

How do you get your work noticed? I'm still trying to figure this out... Anyone have the answer?

Sophie by DAIJA JONES

Sophie by DAIJA JONES

Black and white or colour? Colour in photography, black and white in clothing and drawing/tattoos.                  Denim or corduroy? Denim                                                                                                                                        toMATo or toMAAAAEETO ? I'm Aussie mate! It's tomarto.

Dream person to photograph? Petra Collins or any super interesting person!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Living and working and surviving comfortably in NYC, taking photos and maybe making films for a living hopefully. I'd love to have my own studio space too.

Your top five (people, music, artists etc)

The Strokes, Petra Collins, Just Kids by Patti Smith, Bushwick & Avocado & Tomatoe on crackers

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Hope you all enjoyed (it's been my favourite Artist Colony so far) - you can find Sophie on Instagram :)

-Camille 

artist colony, art, artists, interviews, interview

Artist Colony // Camille Olsen-Ormandy

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In what ever you do, if you work really hard and with passion, anything is possible. 

Apart from the fact that Camille has a really great name, *cough hmhmm*, she is also crazy talented, creating bright, colourful portraiture with a quirky edge. Inspired by some incredible sights as well as her artistic parents, Camille's artwork showcases a variety of different experiences all through the one face.  

With her impeccable eye for colour and the coolest style *ever*, Camille is one groovy gal'. She was kind enough to let me steal some of her Instagram pictures, as well as letting me ask her a few questions. Thanks Camille!

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Hey! How are you? What have you been up to lately?  Hey! I am good, I have just finished high school! Lately I’ve been juggling between working as a Christmas casual at Dinosaur Designs, working both retail and warehouse, while of course painting as much as I can in between.   

You come from an incredibly artistic family. How has this helped you develop as an artist? Coming from an artistic family, it was almost impossible not to be an artist. As hard as I tried, my inevitable path was creative. From a young age my appreciation for art developed as the endless cycle of bouncing from gallery to gallery, seeing and meeting eccentric artists all exuding their own contagious passion for art. As a child I always looked up to my parents, as I observed their own passion. I was instantly enthralled; opening my eyes to a world of colour, playfulness and absurd messiness, the endless conversations between colours fascinated me.

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What inspires you?   My inspirations generally come from my own experience and observations. My trips to Japan and New York from a young age have always inspired me. Colour is a large facture in my art. Seen through the colourful contemporary culture of Tokyo and the street art of downtown Manhattan. I’ve always made connections to Shibuya station as the inside of my mind. Flashing bright screens, neon colours, Harajuku fashion, loud voice-overs and the neat organised chaos.  

I also take inspiration from both my Mum and Dad who both live for colour. My father constantly talks about the conversations exchanged through colour, such as a dark navy and light purple pink construct a sharp yet harmonious conversation. On the other hand my portrait inspiration is generally from the renaissance, including 16-17th century Dutch and Pre-Raphaelite.

Describe your workspace…  My workspace mainly exists in a spare bedroom, a single table with my oil paint, loose canvas, disposable palates, brushes and speakers pumping out all kinds of genres ranging from French rap, Korean R&B soul, as well as notable artist David Bowie, Gorillaz, Sticky Fingers and Metronomy to name a few.

So I’ve been stalking your Instagram and am a little jealous of all the amazing galleries you have been to all over the world. Which one was your favourite and why?   Each gallery and exhibition has its own unique interpretation. Instead of having a single favourite gallery, I really enjoy the Chelsea gallery area in New York. Ranging from the Gagosian Gallery exhibiting modern masters, Marlborough Gallery showing abstract and representational paintings to the Andrea Rosen Gallery displaying a variety of media by contemporary artists. The area allows you to spend a day discovering known and unknown artist with a multitude of mediums and expressions in a single area.

How would you describe your painting style?  My style is constantly developing and changing, mainly focusing in portraiture.  At this point in time I see it as both quirky and naive in it's approach, which I really enjoy. I am completely infatuated with the human face and the fun of tackling such a complicated form. Such as battling a wonky eye or a 3-quarter turn, the imperfection fuels my passion. Through trial and error I may change the way I tackle the face, either through starting with tonal contrast then adding colour. I always start with straight oil on canvas, sketching out the face as I go, shifting and moulding the face.

What’s the next artwork you have in mind?  I find many of my portrait inspirations off Instagram, I have a huge album of photos on my phone filled with interesting faces. I never truly know what my next work will be as my choices are always based on how I feel on the day. I might want to challenge myself with a complicated perspective or maybe a clear front on which is relaxing.

What are your plans for the future?   Since I just finished high school, this year I will be going to Art school, where I plan to learn more about art throughout history and continue to explore new mediums, subjects and generally have fun making art.

If you could be one artist for a day, who would you choose?  I would love to be apart of the Japanese based group Teamlab for a day. Their effortless connection of traditional Japanese art and culture mixed with digital interactive projections creates a poetic approach to moving art, combining both the old and new. I would love to learn more about digital art and how I could incorporate it into my own.

5 quick facts about you:

1. I love film, such as the visual richness of Wes Anderson and Hayao Miyazaki

2. I live by the sea.

3. I have a dog called skipper, his star sign is Leo, which makes him think that he is literally a majestic lion, when in fact he is a short and stubby sausage dog. 

4. I’ve only been painting portraits for 2 years now.

5. I could eat sushi for the rest of my life and not get sick of it.

What is something you would tell your younger self?   In what ever you do, if you work really hard and with passion, anything is possible. 

artist colony, art, artists, interview

Artist Colony // Naíma Almeida

Beautiful, heart"felt" creations. (okay that was terrible, I am so sorry) 

Naíma Almeida is a graphic designer from Brazil, who creates colourful felt artworks by hand. The boldness of her creations catches the eye and also brings back some childhood nostalgia, (does anyone else remember those stick-a-felt boards??).  

She was kind enough to answer some questions I sent through. You can find Naíma's website here, her english version here, and instagram here. Thank you Naíma! 

Hi! Introduce yourself. How are you? Hi! My name is Naíma, I’m a graphic designer from Brazil. I have a authorial project called Lhama where I create big compositions made of felt layers.

What inspired you to start ‘Lhama’? I started Lhama searching for a break of my routine in graphic design jobs. In that time I was a little bit stressed and disappointed with the lack of creative process inside design agencies here. So I started seeking for the opposite, to balance my mind. Something that could be made with my hands, in a long produce time, with no client, no target, no deadline and most importantly, with no expectation. Just for fun. One day I saw a very simple felt placemat on a blog and I realised that this material could be very similar to vectorial illustrations. It is a plain colour block, that I could cut in any shape. Then I did some tests and I've been using it ever since!

Has felt always been your chosen medium? What else do you like to use?  Felt is my medium (until this moment) only for this project Lhama. It's like Lhama was my lab to try this material.  For other works I feel free to change mediums. Recently, I have been getting involved with tapestry.

What is your favourite artwork that you have created? I have a special love for Urso (that was my first big challenge) But now I would say that Tropicaliente is my new favourite, in terms of difficulty level and a longer process. 

What is your creative process? Usually I give myself a technical challenge, like “today I’m going to make a piece that only has 10 layers to stick down”, or “today I’ll try to make a composition with the smaller pieces that I have”. Normally the technical goal comes before, then the subject. And then, I make a lot of drafts on the computer, experimenting the compositions until I feel that I can reach that initial goal. It is at this part of the process that the theme comes. It can take more than 20 other potential artworks before I choose one to take forward. When I think that I already have a path to go through, I start to think about the layers. That’s a difficult part, because as a graphic designer, I have more familiarity with 2D solutions. It’s a little bit complex to imagine the 3D behaviour of the artwork. I then start cutting and overlapping the pieces that I had planned. During this process, I always change a lot the initial idea. The final result is something that is built in every part of process. Until the end I can feel the necessity of include something else, or change a colour, a shape.

Favourite and least favourite things about your job are… I love the big colour range. I don't like all the blisters on my fingers.

What did you want to be when you where a kid?  I don’t remember as a kid, but when I was teenager I wanted to be a cultural producer, imagining that I would make a lot of concerts happen, and festivals.

What do you like to do when you are not working on your artworks? I wouldn't know how to answer that, because when I read the question, I instantly think of other kinds of projects that I want to do. The work and my personal life are kind of mixed. I could answer this saying that I like to study tapestry, but I’m not really sure if that would count as work. I think that when you love visual communication, arts or any creative field, you are always ready to capture something interesting. It makes the boundaries of work and fun very blurry. 

5 facts about you are…

I don’t like to talk on the phone

I like drinks made of tomatoes

I’m always shy to talk in public 

I’m terrible driver

I love coriander

What is your favourite colour to use? It changes every second, but now I’m in love with a very, very light blue.

Who and what inspires you? Nowadays, I think fashion is something that is inspiring me in someway. I follow a lot of good stylists and small brands on Instagram and I see a big flow of art in this area. Instagram has been a great tool to keep in touch with amazing people, I follow a lot of talented young artists that i’m loving.

But, to say a more direct influence, in my last series “Tropicaliente" I would say my influence would be Kennedy Bahia, an artist that was born in Chile but lived here in Brazil and had a great production in the 60’s. I am also frequently influenced by designer Paul Rand. He made a big range of works crossing limits between institutional design, art and illustration. 

art, artist colony, artists, interview

Artist Colony // Corrie Beth Hogg

A little something for the crafter, the plant lover and the darkest of black thumbs.

I may be a little obsessed with Corrie. I am in love with the indoor plant trend and can't wait to make my new room an indoor forest. Thing is, a Chicago winter mixed with my plant care etiquette is not a very good idea. But guys!!! Corrie has the answer! She makes PAPER PLANTS. This is the moment when the angels start to sing and everything makes sense. Of course! Paper plants are un-killable AND fun to make make.  You can find Corrie's website here, her DIY blog here, and her Instagram here

Hi! Introduce yourself. How are you?  I’m great! Thank you! I’m Corrie Beth Hogg, a maker of things… most recently paper plants. But, I enjoy working in a variety of mediums: paints, fabric, paper!

Explain your job in one sentence.  My day job... I work for an event design and production firm, I work on all the handmade stuff for our company, that could mean a centerpiece for a wedding or a wall made out of folded paper. On my own time, I make paper plants! (And, whatever else sparks my interest!)

What projects have you been working on lately? I just finished my paper maiden hair fern, which was a lot of fun and I like the way it turned out. Next, I am making a giant monstera deliciosa.

How did you come up with the idea to create paper plants? It all started because I wanted a fiddle leaf fig tree in my living room, which is quite dark. A ‘real’ one would never survive. I decided to try making one out of paper. I made the trunk and branches out of dowel rods and paper mache and the leaves out of paper painted on one side. After that, I’ve been having a lot of fun trying to figure out how to make other plants.

Who and what inspires your work? I find a lot of inspiration at the park and botanic garden near my apartment. I feel lucky to live just a 10 minute walk from both. I spent a lot of time wandering around taking pictures with my phone of plants: the underside of leaves, where the branches connect, buds, and flowers. I reference those photos when I start on a new project in my studio.  

What would you say was the biggest turning point in your career? I don’t know if it was a turning point in my career, so much as a turning point in my thought process. Several years back, I made a conscious decision to try to be brave and step out of my comfort zone. The first time I did that - when I quit my job and went to work on a organic farm, I was so scared. I ended up learning a lot about myself and how to take on things that may seem daunting at first, how to set a goal and break it down into mini-goals.

Image via yenmag.net

Image via yenmag.net

What is your design process? Like I mentioned above, it starts with finding inspiration at the garden. Then, I spent a lot of time looking at images of plants online. When I start playing with paper, I typically make several leaf samples before I decide on a method.

What did you want to be when you were a kid?  An artist. As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be an artist. There was a brief moment when I wanted to be a biologist - and I still enjoy science, but making things is what makes me happy.

If you could only choose one plant to create for the rest of your life, what would you choose and why? Oh! Haha! I don’t think I could ever pick just one. I like too many! But, begonias are interesting, there are so many varieties from pink to black to polka dotted. That could keep me entertained for a while.

What do you like to do in your spare time? I sing and play guitar, I really like classic country music from the 1920s. I also take a swing dance class once a week with my boyfriend. We go on lots of hikes with friends and out to see live music.

Black or green thumb? Mostly green! But it has been so hot in NYC lately that I lost a few. My heart breaks a little when that happens.

Can you give some advice for anyone that wants to pursue a career like your own? What skills do you think are necessary? A career as a crafter? Practice and more practice. I would also suggest taking classes - even if it is just a weekend course, you can grow leaps and bounds when you get help from someone who is a master at a certain skill. I still take classes even though I know how to make a variety of things. There is always more to learn. Once you have a mix of skills under your belt, they are like tools in your tool box, so when you are approaching a new project, or new idea, you have options as to how you can get it done.