We were so delighted to have Catherine Campbell create the artwork for our Autumn/Winter Markets Flyer. The talented artist from Melbourne shares some insight into her world..
How long have you been an artist for, and did you always think this would end up being your job?
I graduated from art school in 2001 and started having exhibitions soon after, so I guess I would say about eight years. I have only ever really been interested in making art, however it is a challenge trying to make it work as a ‘proper’ job. This includes trying to maintain a balance between different areas such as illustration work and my etsy shop so that I still have enough time to sit and draw.
How would you describe your style of artwork and how has this evolved?
Drawing is the basis of everything I do, I love to draw. My work also has a strong narrative element and this has evolved over the last four years. I am really trying to get more depth and complexity in my work while also maintaining the tension and balance of positive and negative space on the page.
What materials do you prefer to work with and which ones would you like to explore more?
The materials I use in all my drawings are pen, ink, watercolour and paper. I love paper, it is such a beautiful medium to work with. I am currently planning work for an upcoming solo exhibition so I am thinking of new techniques and materials to explore. I would like to create more three dimensional work, using paper and fabric, such as picture boxes and sculptural pieces. I would also really love to make an animation, I’m currently working on a collaboration with a local Melbourne dj which may result in an animation made to his soundtrack which would be very exciting.
Who is your favourite artists?
I have many favourites however the ones that have stayed in my ‘favourite all time artists’ list for more than a few years include Tracey Emin, Keiko Minami, Betsy Walton, Vania, Klimt, Mucha, Audrey Kawasaki, Jen Corace, and Evan B Harris. There are many more though.
What other areas of life inspire your artwork?
Most of the time it is the interactions I have with the people around me. I like to spin my narratives out of everyday situations, using certain objects, animals and plants as symbols to create a whimsical image. I also love fables, gypsies, music, spooks, pretty girls, sailing ships, twins, classic mythology and various other curious things.
Did you find it challenging to set yourself up as a professional artist? What advice would you give to other artists to make that step?
I must admit it was a very organic process that evolved slowly. Although I always knew I wanted to be an artist it took me a while to figure out exactly how I was going to tackle it. In hindsight I can see that all I needed to do was start making a lot of work, everyday. I had to get it out of my head and onto the page. I then found the huge art community on the internet and becoming involved in that helped me show my work to people in the outside world.
What has been the most suprising aspect of your career so far?
I’m surprised that I get to do this everyday. I get to sit at my desk and draw pictures and occasionally people give me a little bit of money for it so that I can pay the bills and keep going. Sweet.
Where would you love to see your art used?
Oh you know… book covers, magazines, beer labels, postage stamps, biscuit tins, tattoos, high art galleries, low art galleries, film clips, the credits on a feature film about a twisted sailor’s mistress, shoes, in collaboration with sweet music makers, in your bedroom, entertaining you on rainy days. That kind of thing.