Please welcome Ben Aslett, illustrator living in Devon, whom we chose as an interview partner this week.
His illustrations are simple, yet expressive: Little characters with oversized heads working at their computers, driving their cars or jogging around town, literally keeping their inner clockwork busy.
On our ARTFLAKES blog he explains when and why he started making art, what his usual workday looks like and what taste of chocolate he likes best. Go on reading, my dear!
In 1991, having graduated from the University of Applied Arts in Berlin, Anne Siems moved to Seattle – where she still lives. For our series of intervies we invited her to a virtual cup of tea and talked about her work.
In the beginning she created her pictures – which were mostly inspired by medical and botanical books – on waxed found paper. 2001 she changed to working on big panels, where now her impressive and enchanted looking artworks are still painted on.
Flower garlands, fawns, colourful birds and girls with fragile dresses evolve a dreamy atmosphere, whose imagery often reminds of the novels written by Jane Austen or the Bronte Sisters
Where she takes her inspiration from, which artists she admires and how Anne Siems spends a perfect sunday, you can read after the click.
Why and when did you start making art? When I was a kid, just like everyone else. I think drawing comes before words and I’m still really interested in that level of communication. After school I went to art school and just made a mess for a year. In England it’s typical you do this year that’s kind of based on the old Bauhaus school, where you do different disciplines- a mix of craft and art. They break down all your preconceptions. I didn’t like the rigidity of the design kids and I didn’t like the bullshit of the fine art kids. But I love art theory and art history and I love how commercial art communicates, so I chose to follow illustration.At university I learnt so much. I read as much as I could and soaked it all up. I lived with diverse image makers- comics artists, film makers, painters. It’s so healthy to be around a lot of people, otherwise I’d get too serious and fall down a hole. Now I try to make good images and learn along the way.
What kind of art do you make? I make pictures in quite a traditional sense. I am concerned with elements of design in an image- shape, line, colour, and composition. Early 20thC ideas. I like to write and draw. I make prints and do commissions. I am working on some books. I’d like to do more communal work.
Where do you draw your inspiration from? All over the place. With image making I like to be influenced by other mediums. Music, films, books. It all feeds into itself. I find science really responsive. I have a Steven Hawking audiobook about space-time that sets my mind off. He talks about abstraction and relativity- it’s all the same in image making, Steven! I want to talk to him and tell him that.
What does your usual workday look like? After breakfast I have a coffee and read e-mails and see what is happening in the world. Look at what I was doing the day before. Sometimes I will have a commission to get on with; sometimes I work on my own stuff; and othertimes I chip away at some books I’m drawing. On an evening I usually eat a nice dinner with my girlfriend and friends. Late night is my favourite time to think about new things.
How do you spend a perfect Sunday? Read in bed. Get a coffee in bed. See the cats on the bed. Go and walk around junk shops with my girlfriend all afternoon. Pretty easy and no bad news.
What is your favourite taste of chocolate? I like all chocolate. Anything milky.
Show me your favourite artwork (from your own collection or another artist) I am crazy about Rousseau’s Football Players. I love the strange figures and I love the beautiful place they’re playing in. There is something about where they are that sends my imagination into overdrive. There is some darkness to the woods, and something dark about the men. Something is awry, but so lovely at the same time. Are they two sets of twins? I love it so much.
Whom should we interview next? Oliver Butcher
If you could have coffee with a famous artist – dead or alive – whom would you choose? The Beatles, hands down. But if we’re talking image makers (weren’t the Beatles?) then Picasso when he arrived in Paris as a lad. We could hang out. Or Hockney at the Royal College.
What is your philosophy of life? Eat some food and get some sleep. Do your work.
This week we invited Tiffany Bozic, an artist living in San Francisco, to join us for a virtual coffee and a couple of questions. Having grown up on a farm in Arkansas, Tiffany got to know all kinds of nature at an early age.
And that is clearly visible in her artwork: Her paintings are crowded with animals, plants and natural scenes. By mixing her studies of nature with her dreams and thoughts, large-sized paintings result, that often appear kind of surreal.
Furthermore, the artists is inspired by the illustrations of John James Audubons and Erich Haeckels, a German zoologist of the end of the 19th century.
Tatatataaa… today we start with a new series on our ARTFLAKES-Blog: At regular intervals we will go fishing for interesting and wild artists, photographers and illustrators in the depths of the World Wide Web and kindly force them to answer some questions about their work and inspiration.
This week we begin with Raphaël of mydeadpony, artistic autodidact who lives in Brussels and has a fondness for ironic illustrations.
Meet Ozer Kurt, the first place winner of our ARTFLAKES Instagram Photo Contest. Kurt, who works as a Senior Digital Art Director in Instanbul, loves taking pictures with his various digital and analogue cameras. But there is one camera he enjoys taking pictures with even more, and that’s his smartphone camera!
Want to know more about him? Then read our interview:
Typically working in the mediums of painting and illustration, Paris-based artist Anastassia Elias recently started to create charming miniature worlds inside recycled toilet paper rolls. Her project entitled Rouleaux features diorama-like depictions of special moments. We wanted to know a bit more about her and her project and interviewed her this week.
Read our interview with the lovely Anastassia after the jump!
Based in Santiago, Chile, illustrator Fab Ciraolo creates beautiful illustrations/collages incorporating different elements of pop culture and fashion. In his works he combines things that usually would not go together, disney characters, girls, skulls, bears and nudity, but in his works it looks like they belonged together all along. Fab Ciraolo is an amazing artist and extremely talented, that’s why we choose him as our interview guest this week. Read our interview with Fab Ciraolo after the jump.
By the way, you can buy prints of Ciraolo’s works right here on ARTFLAKES.