Tell us a bit about your background, and how you got to where you are now
From high school, I didn’t think being a painter was an option that I could actually make work, but I knew that I wanted to be in a creative field. I went a more promising route by going to film school for animation. I worked in that field for about five years and loved a lot of the aspects of it, but never felt quite creatively fulfilled. I begun painting in my free time, which turned into all my free time. I was working every waking hour and realized, working that much was not going to be sustainable long term. So I decided to take a risk, leave animation and work towards creating for myself. That was over a decade ago.
What type of work do you do for your clients?
Usually commission paintings. I do portraits of people or their pets in my style, or if they have an idea for a painting in mind, I will work with them to create that vision. But I only take on a small number of commissions a year and prefer to spend most of my time bringing my own ideas to life and let the painting find the right person.
Which of those do you enjoy most right now?
I love the challenge of bringing a clients idea or commission to life, but nothing can beat creating for yourself. When doing this, the pressure is completely off and I can take risks and go whatever direction I want with a painting without having to worry about pleasing someone, or making sure a portrait looks enough like the person I am trying to paint. There is a nice freedom in painting with intuition and curiosity.
What type of work do you do for your own enjoyment?
Technically almost all of my work is for my own enjoyment. But I really like spending time with my watercolor sketchbook and just playing around. The work I do in my sketchbook has absolutely no pressure behind it and I am usually filling it while I am on some sort of an adventure around the city or the world.
What is your creative process?
It can be quite a long process, and it changes depending on the body of work. For my recent portraits from my show “The poetry of flowers”, I did a lot of research into the concept. I did painting studies and experiments, then worked with a model and photographer to get a reference image to bring my vision to life. Then more sketches and color concepts from those photographs, then the long process of painting. For my current show “Fire Followers” it started as a research trip to learn about and find inspiration from forest fires and the flowers and plants that thrive off the destruction. From there, a lot of concept studies before creating the final images.
What are you planning to create next?
I have just begun working large in the last year or two. It has been a fun challenge for myself since out of habit I work super small with tiny intricate details. So this year I am working towards taking on another large painting.
What is your biggest indulgence?
Sweets, coffee and travel.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration anywhere and everywhere, and what inspires me changes over time as my interests change and as I evolve as an artist. If something grabs my attention or I am curious about it, I will draw, photograph or research that subject. Sometimes it stops early in that stage, and sometimes that inspiration leads me down a rabbit hole. I really try to follow those little sparks of inspiration because I don’t know if it is nothing or if it will lead me to a new series of paintings. Either way, I am learning new things.
How do you feel about being involved with Wrappr?
I love what you are doing and I am excited to be a part of it! I love the idea that when you are giving a gift that is wrapped in wrappr, it is like giving two gifts! The little card that you include with the wrappr that shows how many times it has been regifted is such a fun idea. It reminds me of old library book checkout cards where you could look back and see who had it previously.
What are your thoughts on the climate crisis, zero-waste products, things you’re doing to be environmentally friendly, etc.
In my studio practice, I try to create the least amount of waste as I can. One thing I started to do was find creative ways to deal with paint waste. It is almost impossible to pour out exactly the right amount of paint you need. If there is a lot left over, I put it in a container to use at a later date. If there is a small amount left that isn’t worth packing away, I have started brushing the leftover onto cards and post cards. I then use those cards to send out to family members or give them to people that are buying my art as a gift. The cards end up being these amazing little original abstract art pieces!