Meet the Art Series 2020 Winners

 

The Kip&Co ART SERIES competition gives artists the chance to have their design featured on a limited edition dish towel, and have their incredible talents recognised and celebrated. From hundreds of entries, we have uncovered the best of the best. It is with great excitement, we share with you the winners of our 2020 ART SERIES competition. The limited edition ART SERIES dish towels are available exclusively at kipandco.com

(Amy Gibbs, 'Native Rainbow')


AMY GIBBS

 
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.

 

FAST FIVE

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.

(Julie Graham, 'Everything is going to be alright')


JULIE GRAHAM

Tell us a bit about you!

Hi my name is Julie and I am a self-taught artist from Lake Macquarie, NSW. I'm a mother of four and I like to paint in my (rare and precious) spare time.  

I describe my painting style as intuitive and colour driven - I'm all about the mood! I love painting with positivity and fun and I hope that is reflected through my work. My mantra so to speak is, 'nothing is perfect, but together it's beautiful'. And that applies to so many aspects of life, it's the imperfections are what creates character and beauty.
 
Tell us about your awesome artwork, what is it, and what was the inspiration?

My chosen painting " Everything is going to be alright" is a colourful piece that I painted intuitively. I trusted myself and where my hand guided me with both the shapes, colours and patterns I've chosen. This can be a difficult approach as you really have to trust your gut that it will work out, and thankfully it did! Art is such a personal thing, and I paint what brings me joy. I hope it also brings joy to others.

What did you do when you found out you were an Art Series winner?
 
I was so over the moon when I found out I was one of the winners for the Kip&Co art series! I was sitting in the sunshine, sipping my morning coffee, messaging a friend when the news came through. And yes I cried! It was such a turning point for me. I have always partaken in some sort of creative outlet over the years but have only recently returned to my first love, painting. 2020 was a successful year with my art journey and winning the competition got the ball rolling. It's so rewarding to be recognised for something you're passionate about and I am so grateful for the opportunity.
 
FAST FIVE

1. How do you start your day?


With coffee and silence

2. What does creativity mean to you?

Creativity is knowing yourself and pushing the boundaries, challenging your thinking and approach.

3. What advice would you give to aspiring artists?

Stay true and trust yourself
4. Biggest influence


I've always admired Ken Done. I love his colour choices.

5. What’s one thing you're excited for in 2021?
 

To see where my journey takes me.

(Sarah Furzer)


SARAH FURZER

Tell us a bit about you!

I’m a mother and an artist living on the Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria. After graduating from Monash University in 2006 with a degree in communication design, I worked for several years at Studio Pip and Co developing communication programmes for many clients in print, branding and digital.

I’ve always preferred to work with different mediums on paper, playing with shape and colour before taking my artwork to the computer.

Tell us about your awesome artwork, what is it, and what was the inspiration?

The artwork i submitted was created one afternoon during lockdown. We had just recently cleared out our front lounge room and set it up as a studio space for my daughter and I to work from. The idea would be that we would homeschool in the mornings then unschool in the afternoons. It was a time for us to make, play and create.

I had just finished a few playful charcoal drawings and whilst scrolling through my phone I noticed that Kip&Co were running an art comp and the last day to submit entries was that day...I’m so happy I did.

The drawings were inspired by conversations with my daughter about the things we missed and loved. I craved days at the beach, a good ocean swim and a surf. My daughter loves reading and dancing. The drawings are based around these themes and the notion of looking forward to the weekend.

What did you do when you found out you were an Art Series winner?
 

I think i read the post about a billion times just to make sure it was actually me. I was so proud to be selected and to be up there with the other three amazing artists. It was such a buzz. My sister and I were visiting my parents at the time, so we popped some bubbles and celebrated!

FAST FIVE

1. How do you start your day?


Coffee.

2. What does creativity mean to you?

Expressing your ideas and imagination and making it into something.

3. What advice would you give to aspiring artists?

Keep at it... And keep being you.

4. Biggest influence


My family, always.

5. What’s one thing you're excited for in 2021?
 

I’m looking forward to going to a gig again. I’ve really missed getting on the ferry to Melbourne and seeing live music, getting amongst the noise and hustle then coming home all inspired.

(Sarah Rowe, 'Winter Light')


SARAH ROWE

Tell us a bit about you!

I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, on Moresby Street, which is why my little textile/art brand is called ‘Miss Moresby.’ Now located in Eltham Victoria, I take much inspiration from my natural surroundings to create my work. The shape of a leaf or the structure of a flower provides plenty of ideas which then just lead from one thing to the next.

I’m also led by process. My style swings around quite a lot. I have to change up mediums regularly to keep from getting bored. I like using gouache for smaller paintings these days and have loved using collage and Procreate on my iPad to keep things from getting too serious.

Tell us about your awesome artwork, what is it, and what was the inspiration?

Inspiration for 'Winter Light' came from all over the place. I love boucherite rugs and wanted to attempt to paint something like that, I also love the artwork of Morocco Machiko and have referenced a painting of hers I like. I seem to favour a dotty way of painting, these areas often end up looking like stitches to me. I keep adding layers until the painting looks finished.

What did you do when you found out you were an Art Series winner?
 

Had a glass of champers with my sister!

FAST FIVE

1. How do you start your day?


With a cup of tea, a bowl of muesli and something to read.

2. What does creativity mean to you?

Freedom and self expression.

3. What advice would you give to aspiring artists?

Believe in yourself and know what you want to achieve.

4. Biggest influence


Toss up between Matisse and fashion designer Stella Jean.

5. What’s one thing you're excited for in 2021?
 

The three exhibitions I have coming up, all before July!