Tell us a bit about you!
I’m a 24-year-old creative from the sleepy coastal town of Point Lonsdale, VIC. By day, I’m a full-time Graphics & Textile Designer for a global fashion retailer, and by night (and on weekends, and basically any spare moment I have), I’m an artist running my own little side hustle.
With a focus on bright colours and soft pastel hues, I paint a wide array of flora, particularly those of native species. I would say my style is a combination of abstract and figurative art; I study different flora species from books and the internet, and often have fresh cuttings in my studio to examine further, however I also like to put my own imaginative spin on the elements I choose to paint. I use every colour under the sun (especially pink!) to showcase the beauty of all the gorgeous flora around me.
Tell us about your awesome artwork, what is it, and what was the inspiration?
My winning piece, “Native Rainbow”, was a little passion piece born in lockdown. I’ve always been a creative person, experimenting with different painting styles throughout my life, but I’d never found something that particularly felt like ‘me.’ With Victoria’s strict lockdown rules taking up most of last year, I found myself with a lot more time on my hands to experiment and play with art. I also found myself with a lot more time to go on slow, mindful walks and really take in the beautiful environment around me. Combining these two new aspects of my life, I created “Native Rainbow”, and the rest is history! For all the craziness and unpredictability that was last year, it also brought me a lot of calmness and gratitude. It made me appreciate the little things and truly stop and “smell the roses.” I am very lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world, but I also believe that if you look for beauty in things, you will find it’s really everywhere.
What did you do when you found out you were an Art Series winner?
I think I squealed (actually, I definitely squealed!) and immediately ran to find my fiancé and tell him the amazing news. I was honestly in shock! I then proceeded to call my best friends and my family. Even saying the words out loud didn’t feel real. I’ve always loved Kip&Co, so to be given this opportunity felt like a dream come true. It also was the confirmation I needed to really pursue my painting passion.
1. How do you start your day?
Dog cuddles, sometimes a run, coffee (always coffee!) and a podcast on my commute into work.
2. What does creativity mean to you?
To me, creativity is not having boundaries, letting your imagination run wild and realising that the possibilities are truly endless!
3. What advice would you give to aspiring artists?
Do not let fear hold you back! In society, we often put such high expectations on ourselves to be a master at everything – that if we’re not good at something, we shouldn’t give it a try or continue to pursue it. This mentality can be so damaging to our creativity, because it really is okay to fail. Do things because they FEEL good, not because they need to BE good. Pick up a paint brush (or pen, pencil, texta – whatever your heart desires) and practise, practise, practise. Make mistakes, experiment, have fun! For me, art is something that’s therapeutic. It makes my soul so happy and really does keep me grounded. The fact that people love what I do is truly a bonus.
4. Biggest influence
Oh, this is a tough one! Traditionally, I admire the works of Van Gogh and Matisse, particularly their paintings that include flowers. Their use of colour and detail cannot be faulted. Working in fashion, I am also inspired by runway style, streetwear and market trends. Having this finger on the pulse helps me keep up to date with all the latest colour trends, too. I am also constantly inspired by other local creatives. The art community is so supportive, kind and uplifting – Instagram is filled with so much talent.
5. What’s one thing you're excited for in 2021?
Oh, gosh, there are so many! Firstly, THIS. I have been so utterly excited for the launch of these tea towels since I was selected mid last year. Secondly, growing my business. I have some exciting things planned for 2021, and already have a number of commissions in the works. Last, but certainly not least, my wedding! We have postponed the date twice due to COVID, so I cannot wait to finally marry my best friend in November.