Blog

Meet the Artist: Emma Kidd

Meet the Artist: Emma Kidd

Today we chat with Emma Kidd, a Sydney based artist who makes articulated imaginary creatures with the humble paper and paint. I have always admired artists who can draw from their imagination and felt in love with Emma's creatures the day I discovered her work. Everything she does seems so effortless and yet I doubt anyone can replicate her style easily. Her creatures look like characters from another time, innocent beings trapped in Dante's Inferno. 

Tell us a bit about you. 
At the moment I tend towards the articulated creature: which is a bit like a puppet, 2D, hand-painted with limbs or other things that are attached with a brad or split pin so you can position them as you wish. I also paint on paper and sometimes canvas. Usually always with gouache. I think I started making this type of work in 2009.

Have you always been a creative person? Do you remember the definitive moment when you decided to be an artist?
I've certainly always been encouraged to be creative, my mother has seen me change my mind on the focus of that creativity, but generally it has always been something you can put in a gallery or on a wall. In 2004, before moving to France with my other half, I quit my graphic design job with the definite thought in mind to now pursue my own work. Of course I still ended up teaching English, bit more Graphic Design and waiting tables since then.

Who are you inspired by?
It is hard to say living in this age of information bombardment. I have a love for Brett Whiteley's freedom and style, Outsider Art (Art Brut), retro illustration, and tales of strange things, the multitude of creative people that put their work out there everyday for people to see. The people that tirelessly work at making it.

What is your typical work day like and what is your must-have item to help you stay productive?
I still have a child who is with me most of two days of "the working week". He no longer sleeps, so it is up to me to get everything I need done from Wednesday to Friday and bit and pieces scattered in times of rare naps, bedtime. To be productive, the house can't be too messy, otherwise I start muti-tasking cleaning things up in between paint drying or it becomes a form of procrastination. I just need to keep working otherwise I stagnate, which is what is happening a little bit at the moment, because I am questioning the type of work I am making.

What are you super excited about? Any upcoming projects or experimentation?
Strangely the thing that is stirring me up the most at the moment is I am studying yoga. Officially it is teacher training, but that isn't actually my aim. I am learning about basic anatomy, Yogic Philosophy and having to learn Sanskrit terms. It is keeping me on my toes.
Apart from that, I am thinking about making bigger paintings, that take more time, and more thought. Without over thinking, which can be my problem.

Can you share one tip for any aspiring creative and maker?
Don't be limited by thoughts that tell you can't do something, try. Get painting, making... you'll only get better.

WEBSITE: www.benconservato.com
INSTAGRAM: @benconservato
ETSY: BenConservato

 

Portrait Drawing: Abby

Portrait Drawing: Abby

I have never been confident with drawing portraiture and as a result, have always avoided it where possible. This year, I've decided to face this fear head on. You can never have a perfect piece of drawing but you'll never improve if you don't practice. 

So with this new mindset, I turned on my favourite podcast, pencil in hand and started drawing. And you know what? It wasn't as scary as I thought. Just like drawing animals and botanicals, it is all about applying layers and being patient. Trust your process and let it guide you along the way.  

I have kept this drawing quite monochromatic as I feel it can be too distracting with full colour, I might try another one will full colour one day, but for the moment I'm content and am looking forward to doing more in the future.  

Pet Portrait: Lewis

Pet Portrait: Lewis

Name: Lewis | Owner: Leonie

Friends in my street adopted Lewis from the RSPCA when he was about 4 years old. No-one knew his past history but he’d had a bad time as he was aggressive towards strange men. The young couple (his new family) both worked long hours and he was left at home. He suffered from separation anxiety so tried to escape their yard most days. Often I would see him “setting out” on an adventure along the street and I’d go after him. He loved this and turned it into a game I’m sure.
Lewis
 
One day I was out in my car about 5 kms from home and here was Lewis trotting along having an adventure! I stopped, called him, he jumped into the car and we came home!
As a result, Lewis started coming to my house for sleepovers, visits during the day, and longer stays when they went on holidays. I’m semi-retired and work from a home office so I was ideal for Lewis, he had company!
Lewis - work in progess
 
In the space of  2 years sadly the young girl (his adopted Mum whom he adored) was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 30 and sadly lost her life. As well as all of us, Lewis was devastated. He literally fretted and could often be found sleeping on her clothes in the wardrobe etc. His adopted Daddy was of course also devastated having lost his wife and asked me could I possibly have Lewis to stay whilst he got himself together.  Lewis moved in along (upon my insistence) with a piece of Mummy's clothing! After about a month he no longer slept on her piece of clothing so I knew he was recovering. About  4 months later, he went home again but every opportunity he escaped and came rattling my security door. Finally, I was asked if I’d like to have Lewis full time. he moved in permanently and I adopted him formally so he was MY dog.
 
That was now 4 years ago. He knows this is his “forever” home. He loves me and the feeling is mutual. After living full time with me for about 6 months I decided we had to get rid of the “strange men” aggression and the separation anxiety so we went to see a Dog Whisperer. He was nothing short of a m a z i n g and it was the best $165 I have ever spent.
 
Lewis is completely cured of the anxiety, he is far improved with men he doesn’t know. He’s a very happy (and spoilt) dog. So now we can enjoy our “retired” years together.