Visual Female of the Month – February
– Chloe Sawyer
I came across Chloe’s work via Sideroom online magazine (which I had a few pieces featured on at the end of last year) and really liked her work. Her detail and line work is pretty impressive, and even more so when you realise how organic her process is. Yes, no tracing whatsoever. A true artist, Chloe is dedicated to her pencil and draws intricate pieces to which she adds colour in a whimsical manner. Women and nature are the main subjects in her work which is inspired by the endless possibilities that nature and humanity create. Check out Chloe’s Facebook page to keep up to date with her amazing work as she continues her journey as an artist in little old New Zealand.
Now for the interview….
When did you decide to pursue art as a career? And what inspired you to do this?
Ever since I can remember I have been passionate about creating beautiful visual imagery and have known it was what I wanted to base my life around. Studying the Visual Arts after school was just a natural step, not something I really had to think about haha. I grew up around creative people and have always been encouraged by my family to do what I love.
Your work often shows women or nature, why does this subject matter appeal?
I have always and forever will be inspired by the endless inspiration that nature provides. Along with nature, the inclusion of women is often a way of bringing myself into the work, conveying my own thoughts, feelings and ideas through the eyes of woman. I have also always loved to purely celebrate the beauty and femininity that is the woman.
What is your favorite thing to draw?
Obviously I love to draw nature and women but my number one obsession is hair and fur! Sooo many lines, sooo much fun. If I could draw lions, bears and flowing hair for the rest of my career I would be a happy girl.
You’ve had work in exhibitions. How different is it working towards an exhibition as opposed to sketching or creating individual works?
Exhibitions are a lot different to working on individual pieces as there is so much more to think about! Before you start planning the work you have to take into consideration how the art will work in the space you have provided, how you want the viewer to engage with the work and how to create a body of work that will be coherent and work in the space. I feel like it’s easy to over think the work when preparing for an exhibition compared to a looser more comfortable approach when creating an individual piece. However in saying this, i’m sure it gets easier and exhibitions are so necessary and rewarding!
Describe your artistic process:
Just to be difficult I think I have two different artistic processes, haha!
1- Art for enjoyment, therapy and to create aesthetic beauty.
2- Art to communicate messages, ideas and concepts.
If I am working with a theme or idea I do a lot of research on the topic, work out exactly what I what to communicate and what I want the viewer to take from the work. I then do a lot of concept drawings and experimentation. I have recently done a big body of work on modern slavery and there were weeks of preparation before any final work was done.
On the other end of the spectrum I do a lot of quicker pieces for enjoyment where I work from my feelings and current inspirations. I always do a lot of concept sketches first, then map out the general forms on paper, drawing from still life as much as I can and never tracing. As I slowly bring in the details I do a lot of improvising. This is where I have the most fun the only trouble is known where to stop!
What word would you use to sum up your style of art?
One word eek.. It’s hard to describe your own work but I’d have to say two words. Delicate and Whimsical.
If you somehow hurt your vision, would you choose to wear glasses or contacts?
Glasses! I’m secretly jealous of girls who get to wear those big mysterious, sophisticated shades.
Excluding sight, what two other senses are your favourites?
Oooh I would have to go alongside all artists and say sound. I don’t know where i’d be without all my musical inspiration getting me through hours of drawing. Secondly taste. If you didn’t already know a beautiful cup of coffee combined with some kind of sweet muffin is essential for creating beautiful work hahaha.
5 most pleasant things to look at:
Sharpened pencils and a blank piece of paper.
My cat and any other creature with fur.
The ocean, especially when there’s pretty surfable waves.
The drawings of Furry Little Peach.
5 least pleasant things to look at:
A drawing that was so good until I ruined it.
An empty coffee cup.
A grey doomy gloomy sky.
The alarm clock.
Who is the most inspiring woman you know and why?
If I’m thinking about art it would have to be the New Zealand artist Flox. She has proved that through hard work and dedication it is possible to make a full-time living as a woman artist. She has managed to find a niche in the market doing beautiful street art and continuously finding other creative ways of putting her work on a surface.
What is your favourite thing about yourself?
Eek what a scary question haha. I just feel so lucky to have something I’m so immensely passionate about and I am glad that I have the drive and motivation to take this as far as I can. I know that I have the determination to make art my career and future and that to me is just so exciting!
What is on your bedroom walls currently?
I like to keep my bedroom really simple and clear so it can be a peaceful place to go and sleep. On the other hand I let all of my creativity flow into my art studio which is an ongoing work in progress itself. An abundance of inspiration and motivational messages blasting at me from the walls hahaha.
Favourite clothing / accessory / product at the moment?
My beautiful yellow glazed, ceramic pendant necklace. It was made by my best friend and amazing artist Lilly Maetzig.
Favourite artist at the moment:
There are so many inspiring artists at the moment but my current favourite is Furry Little Peach. She produces the most magical, floaty yet descriptive illustrations. If you haven’t seen her work look her up!
And finally, any words of advice for people stepping into the creative sector?
As a newbie myself i’m still learning so much but the main thing that has been working for me is entering everything I hear about, constantly producing work and saying yes to as many opportunities as possible. It’s easy to feel alone as an artist so it’s so important to get involved in as much as you can!