Being an artist isn’t your traditional career path, even though its among the oldest professions of all time. So how do people get into it? And how do they keep going when a creative funk settles in? From selling their first piece of work, to naming their biggest critic, Willy Russo talks with a range of inspiring creatives about life as an artist.
Jayde Chandler needed a couple of glasses of good wine, and an encouraging nudge from her husband to exhibit her first painting. The piece was included in a fundraiser for drought relief and sold for $2000. Not bad for a painting that never had any intention of being seen publicly. That was two years ago now and Jayde’s creative practice has gone from strength to strength. In between raising four young children and helping out on the cattle and sheep property she runs with her husband, Jayde creates vibrant colour rich paintings.
Jayde joined me from north west regional Queensland for this week’s Interview With An Artist.
Head to her Instagram @jayde_chandler_art and follow for regular hits of colour and joy.
Claudia Miranda took a chance. In 2018 she was a mum with a young baby and a steady job. But it wasn’t enough. There was a calling within her to create. So she took the leap and picked up a pen. Inspired by Picasso’s The Kiss, she drew her first piece. The Lovers. And it sold, quickly. So she drew another. And that sold. And before Claudia knew it, she had commissions out the door and brands knocking for collaborations. You see Claudia creates with heart and soul. And you can feel that when you look at her work or scroll through her instagram feed. Her comments are small pearls of wisdom, little dopamine hits for your heart.
I sat down with Claudia, 1.5 ms apart, in her Sydney home, for this week’s Interview With An Artist.
Ema Shin is a softly spoken textile artist born in Japan to a lineage of both Japanese and Korean family. She now lives in Melbourne with her husband and two children. Ema uses the age old craft of embroidery and weaving to create powerful, feminine pieces. Pieces that honour the women in her life, such as her mother and her grandmother. You see in Korean family trees, it’s tradition is to track the men, namely the first born males. In Ema’s family tree of 35 generations there is not one woman's name. Which is really interesting because it takes two to tango right? And then a woman has to give birth to a baby for the next generation of the family tree to continue.
Ema joined me from her Melbourne studio for this week's Interview With An Artist.
You can check out Ema’s work on Instagram at the handle @ema.shin
Laura Jones cares. Behind the broad brush strokes and bold colours of her paintings there is great thought. Thought about what is happening to the environment and to our society. Laura observes the way we humans are impacting the world and responds with her paint brush. A creative evolution that has so far incorporated landscapes, still life and an Archibald finalist portrait. Laura has a breadth of talent matched by a depth of conviction and she joined me from her Sydney studio, for this week's Interview With An Artist.
Find her work on instagram @_laura_jones_
Leah Fraser has a wild imagination. The self-confessed history and fantasy nerd paints whimsical mythical paintings. Pictures of characters who could easily have epic novels written about them. And although the artist has been away from the canvas, raising her two babes. She’s back. And she’s excited. Excited to see the evolution of her work as her life expands. Leah joined me from her Sydney studio, for this week’s Interview With An Artist.
You can check out Leah's work on instagram @lelefraser
Looking at a painting by Beth Gibbeson is like getting a sneak peak into her soul. Her pieces are big, bold, colour rich works based on warm tones. Because Beth hates to be cold. And her life is big and bold. She has lived in Egypt, she's married and has four children, she plays her studio music LOUD. From impromptu dance parties with her kids, to finding what she was good at when she was young, to sharing her passion with the students she teaches, Beth's life is full of colour. The Melbourne based artist joined me for this week's Interview With An Artist.
Head to her instagram @bethgibbeson to get a glorious colour fix.
At the tender age of 12 David Hinchliffe was seduced by the bohemian artists painting in his Brisbane inner city suburb. It was the 1960's. These artists drank WINE at a time when beer was the standard. They painted all day while others toiled in "real jobs". Drawn to creativity, David tried his hand at the canvas and found there was something there. He sold his first piece at age 12 for $20, a considerable sum given his father's weekly wage at the time was $30. But even with the talent, the passion, and the desire, David's life took a different turn. A calling to civil service, to contribute to the city he loved, saw him enter politics. There he stayed for 25 years, painting when time permitted. David finally gave himself to the canvas full time In 2011. From his first solo show in 1976, to now being represented around the world, David Hinchliffe still has much more to give. Head to his instagram page @davidhinchliffeartist to see his stunning work.
He joined me from his Brisbane studio for this week's Interview With An Artist.
Sydney based painter Eliza Gosse has a penchant for the past. More specifically, mid century architecture. Her paintings evoke feelings of nostalgia for days gone by. Think your classic 50s or 60s roadside motel with clean lines in muted colours. And Eliza’s not the only one with fondness for the aesthetic. Since graduating from her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2017, Eliza has held a number of solo shows, finished as a finalist multiple times in the well regarded Ravenswood Female Art Award and won a number of prizes including the People Choices award in the Waverley Art Prize.
Go to her Instagram page @elizagosse and I bet you'll find yourself smiling at memories evoked by her paintings.
Western Australian artist Lori Pensini began painting out of obligation. Twenty years on, she now paints out of passion. Feverish to know if she has enough time to paint all the stories she has to tell. Stories of ancestors. Stories of Australia. Stories of life on the land. A legacy eight generations deep with her children the potential ninth. This emotional and spiritual connection comes through in Lori’s work. Particularly in the eyes of the people and children she paints. The complexity she captures in their stares requires more than just skill with a brush.
Head to Lori's instagram page @loripensini and you will see what I mean.
Pip Spiro's path to much loved Australian painter has had a few detours. First a business degree. Then a period working in advertising in London. And then a move back home to mum and dad’s after quitting work to pursue her creative passion. Her first solo exhibition in 2018 sold out and since then her following has only grown.
Pip paints colour rich still lifes, with a recent series containing botanicals and shells, mother nature’s own works of art. What makes Pip’s work even more outstanding, is that she paints in water colours. If you have ever had a play with water colours you will know they are unforgiving. One wrong stroke and your picture is ruined. Pip uses layer upon layer to achieve a depth in colour that belies the medium. She joined me for this week’s Interview With An Artist from her studio in Brisbane.
You can check out Pip’s work on Instagram @pipspiro
Jumping castles inspired by mental asylums. Industrial grade confetti blowers. Copyright infringement treasure hunts. These are not your typical accoutrement to the fine art world and Cj Hendry is not your typical fine art world contender. A highly skilled, self taught drawer of hyper realistic images, Hendry knows there is a game to be played. And she’s playing it, by her own rules.
From selling her first piece in 2013 for $10000, to now selling pieces of hundreds of thousands of dollars, Hendry has come a long way. And yet, there’s still further to go.
Check out her work at www.cjhendry.live or on Instagram @cjhendry