I few weeks ago, Dave and I went for a weeken wander into town, on which we visited the Red Door gallery, which stocks lots of lovely local crafty things and art prints. We’ve got a few things from these in the past, and although we are completely out of space on our walls (as well as out of money, eek!) it’s always fun to fantasy re-decorate.
One of the things I loved the most were the prints of Kirsty Baynham. As you know, I love all things bright, colourblocky and graphical, but sometimes I am also drawn to the whimsical pastel prettyness that is showcased on so many blogs, I just never feel it is quite for me in its delicateness. But these prints, and especially the image shown above, were the perfect marriage of the two aesthetics, and I immediately knew I wanted to feature the artist on the blog. So I got in touch with Kirtsy who kindly agreed to be interviewed AND to offer both a giveaway and money off for Oranges and Apples readers!
On with the interview…
Tell us about yourself
I’m an Illustrator, and I’m just about to graduate from Edinburgh College of Art. I’ve always been interested in painting and drawing, graphic design and textiles, and when I started college I got very into Illustration, but I still use elements of graphic and textile design (sewing and painting onto fabrics) in my work now. I’m also interested in writing – poetry and flash fiction – and in words in general. I have developed a love of poetry zines and typography mutually.
Tell us about your art, e.g. favourite subjects, inspirations, techniques etc.
My art is almost always very colourful, and I love pattern. Most of my drawings involve some form of make-believe – I often work from and use themes from my own writing, which is sort of modern-fairy-tale-esque and quite abstract and so my illustrations are often based around abstract ideas. I like the concept of idealism and fantasy, to the extent where it is confused with and merged into reality.
My process of working involves layering surfaces (digitally and by hand) so much so that I need extra disc space on my laptop to cope with all my Photoshop layers! My essential tools are Lamy ink, ZIG pens, fineliners, felt tips and my watercolour Moleskine.
I suppose I would describe my illustrations as digital collages as they are generally created by collaging together various sketches, watercolours, surfaces and patterns I’ve drawn. Most of my inspiration comes from poets and illustrators – specifically artists who paint interesting textures, and those who use unusual and sometimes childlike imagery. I collect sets of things (like Russian dolls) and I often draw from these collections.
My love for words manifests itself in my experiments with typography. I am interested in the aesthetics of speech, the sound of words, and in people who write in an abstract way – a few of my favourite poets are Tao Lin, Kristy Bowen and Leonard Gontarek. Poetry can be extremely visual, and inspires many of my colour schemes and compositions.
You’re just about to graduate. What are your plans for the future and where would you like to be in 5 years time?
I think realistically, I would like to be a freelancer of some form, and to find work in multiple places. I would like to be able to continue with the things I love – drawing and painting, making books and prints, and writing – and ideally I would be able to combine these things. I like the idea of being part of the crafts community and selling work online, and locally. I used to be very interested in making in general – customising clothes, sewing, combining materials like papers and fabrics – before I became so heavily involved in illustration. There seems to be a firm line drawn between craft and design – but as an artist who does not like to too strongly define my work, I think I can sort of see myself in either of those places, maybe both. I would be equally interested in commissioned design projects, the opportunity of working within a design team, and ‘making’ and selling things. Ideally, being able to eventually make a living just by doing the things I love would be perfect.
Name some of your favourite etsy sellers/craftspeople/artists/websites
I am always fascinated by the work of Naja Conrad-Hansen, Kime Buzzelli, Talya Baldwin, Gabriella Barouch, Alyson Fox, Yoko Hasegawa, Beatrice Alemagna, Mirko Hanák, Sarah Moon, and many more. Charles Wilkin’s book Index A, was responsible for initially sparking my interest in design.
As for Etsy sellers, Emily Green’s shop is one of my favourites – she makes beautiful, colourful patterned brooches. I also like Dr Craze’s unusual concrete jewellery and Jennifer Davis’ paintings and prints.
Shadowtrain is my ultimate place for finding poetic creativity and I would recommend it to anyone looking to be inspired.
Thanks Kirsty for the fascinating answers and for introducing so many wonderful people! I can’t wait to visit the Edinburgh College of Art degree show to look at her final project as well as lots of other brilliant stuff – the illustration bit is my favourite part every year!
And now for the giveaway:
Kirsty was also kind enough to offer one of her lovely prints as a giveaway price! To be in with a chance to win, simply visit Kirsty’s etsy shop, pick your favourite item and fill in the form below. I’ll keep this open for two weeks from today.
She is also offering 10% off everything in her shop – use voucher code “origami”.
This giveaway is now closed.