My interest in arts and crafts started from a very young age, which is a great time to start as an artist. People never criticize your work when you’re young; they just pile on the praise, which only inspired me to continue. I made things out of random items from the craft store and spent a lot of time drawing in coloring books, on loose sheets of paper, even bedroom walls. Whatever I could get my hands on was a canvas to me. It wasn’t until I was about eleven or twelve years old that I started using graphite pencils, did my first ‘portrait illustration’ and truly fell in love with drawing.
I grew up in New Zealand where I did most of my schooling and I enjoyed taking the art classes in primary and high school the most. I started with mostly penciled portraits as I loved drawing people’s facial features (especially eyes). I then moved onto acrylic painting when I was at around age fourteen. I enjoyed the “messier” side of painting, being able to get a bit more creative using different paint mediums for colour and texture; it’s hard (if not impossible) to get the same effects using only graphite pencils. Now, I use both mediums together in creating my artwork. I love using the pencils to do detail and shading and using paints to add some extra flair to my work.
At the end of high school, I focused solely on art subjects for my university entrance portfolios. I ended up taking three entrance exams: graphic design, printmaking and painting. I was awarded a scholarship to university for my graphic design portfolio. Around the same time, my family and I moved to the suburbs of Perth, Australia. I enrolled into Curtin University to obtain my Bachelor of Arts in graphic design. I majored in illustration with a minor in digital illustration. Since then, I have extended my skill set by doing makeup artistry; the use of cosmetic mediums allowed me a whole new range of creativity. My work ranges from natural makeup to high fashion makeup to artistic makeup and body painting. I love that I can mix both my work and my passion for art together!
When I create an artwork, I usually have a general theme in mind prior to beginning. I then gather more inspiration from a collection of images, which I use as references. I start with the face as a base for the image, adding in extra elements and details as I progress through my creations. I rarely start with one hundred percent certainty on how it will look when complete, but I find it more interesting to be open to the creative process and allow the artwork to almost grow into its own form.
I also find motivation from other artists; one such artist is Nate Giorgio [www.nategiorgio.com]. He has a stunning realism style but also a great loose, sketchy style. I admire the portraiture work by Australian artist, Bec Winnel. My brother was also a big influence for my art when I was younger, as he drew a lot, too.
What I love most about my artwork is the feeling I get while creating. It’s very relaxing and I can sit for hours at a time working on a piece. It’s fun to experiment with new materials and mediums and even the pieces I don’t like add, in some way, to developing my own, personalized style. I have sold many of my art pieces in the past. I enjoy seeing the joy people get from receiving a commissioned piece of art that is a one of a kind, just for them. My goal is to continue selling my original pieces and eventually move onto creating and selling prints as well. A big goal for me is having my own solo exhibition someday; I would really like to be able to share my passion with others and possibly inspire the creative spark in someone else as well.