Friday, April 29, 2011

Interview: Caitlin Shearer

Caitlin Shearer is a 21 year old illustrator who also runs a personal art blog from Seaside in New South Wales, Australia. As you will see below, her stylised watercolours of glamorous females are stunning, and her resume is truly impressive. Both originals and prints of Shearer's work can be purchased here, through her Etsy shop. I have personally just purchased a print of Cat Clock (the first image below) so I am putting my money where my mouth is on this one! I absolutely love her work.

How old were you when you first picked up a paint brush?
There is a photo of me as a toddler, paintbrush in hand, paint smeared everywhere (myself included), so I guess I was quite young when I found out painting was fun. At that age, I don't think I had a clue what I was painting, but my favourite things to draw as a kid were ballerinas, the family home, mermaids and the spice girls.

Is your family artistic?
Yep, my dad's dad is an oil painter who specialises in caricature and historical scenes, and my mum used to be a highschool art teacher.

What artistic training do you have, and do you believe you have benefited more from formal lessons or your own experimentation in developing your style?
I did take art classes in highschool, and also studied fine arts at university for a year - but ended up dropping out because the school was so far away from home and I wasn't very happy there. The life drawing classes I took in that year were entirely beneficial and helped to build my skills in realism and observation - and because it was a foundation year i got to dabble in textiles and jewellery which enabled me to see what my hands could do without paper and a pencil, which helped me to open my mind a bit. Mostly I would say trial and error and lots of time spent painting and drawing has been the ultimate tool in helping develop my style. In the last couple of years my art has gone from just teenage scribblings of girls to more serious scenarios and moody personalities.

So you explored several other mediums before developing your present illustrative style?
Yes, in highschool I spent all my spare time experimenting for fun. I've gone through textas, ink pens, crayons, pastels, acrylics, canvas, board, gouache finger-painting, pottery, jewellery making, collaging... pretty much everything apart from oil painting. Then somehow I settled on watercolours and it stuck with me. Something clicked.

What was the first piece of artwork you sold?
I think it was when I sold an acrylic canvas painting of red headed twins to a girl on Livejournal back when I was in the middle of highschool. I'd pasted it in my journal and she had liked it and that was that. I flipped - it was so exciting!

How was your work picked up by magazine publications?
The internet was the main thing in the beginning (blogging and word of mouth), and now I'm represented by The Hatch, so it's a combination of the two.

In what other ways has the internet aided your career so far?
The internet has been vital - it has allowed me to access people, opportunities, inspiration and resources that I honestly would never have come across in my everyday life. Things seem to spread invisibly and magically.

Do you feel a lot of pressure when creating artwork for clients?
Of course! When someone asks you to create something just for them, you want it to be worth their while and wonderful and something you can both treasure. It can be stressy at times, but it's just part of the job.

Where do you record your ideas for new pieces?
I just scribble things haphazardly in a white paged sketchbook. Words and pictures.

How do you name your pieces?
They usually just pop into my head - either it's a name for the main character or something sentimental that i'm usually thinking about anyway.

Who are your female figures based on?
These people come from my head and aren't based on any real person in particular (unless it's an actual portrait of someone) - but I imagine they are a mishmash of everyone I would like to know, and all the leading ladies in my favourite films and stories.
Photos can help in trying to get bits of poses right. Photobooth usually works well for this.

Is illustration your full time role? What do you do in your spare time?
I earn my living from illustration at the moment, and my other hobbies include going out dancing, watching films, reading, and cooking.

Who are your favourite artists?
J.W Waterhouse, Enoch Bolles, Al Parker, Ida Rentoul Outhwaite, Norman Rockwell.

What inspires you?
David Lynch, pressed flowers, The Nanny, 1950's fashion, Bettie Page, longing, the ocean.

Do you have a favourite colour to work with?
I've never really thought about it but pink and blue seem to be prevalent.

Is there a particular city you would love to exhibit in?
London or Paris!

What are your goals for the next five years?
Fall in love, publish a book, create a capsule collection of clothes with custom designed textiles, find an art deco apartment to live in, learn to drive, study graphic design, travel overseas.

Caitlin Shearer blog.
Caitlin Shearer Etsy.


Caitlin said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Wow! My friend recently told me that she's buying a portrait from this artist on Etsy. Great work and (of course) great name :)

Katrina said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Beautiful illustrations! Thanks for sharing. :o)


Krystal said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

she is endearing! and i love all the pretty illustrations with the red hair..gorgeous :)

samboy said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

i love the one with the 3 kitties in a tower. so adorable!

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