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.