First Im­pres­sions: Au­dra Au­clair

This artist re­veals how many hats she has to wear as a free­lance cre­ative…

ImagineFX - - Issue 163 August 2018 - Au­dra Au­clair

This free­lance artist has to wear lots of hats.

What was your first paid com­mis­sion, and does it stand as a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of your ta­lent?

They were two acrylic paint­ings for a lo­cal restau­rant. I was proud at the time, but I’ve grown a lot since.

What’s the last piece you fin­ished, and how do the two dif­fer?

A gouache por­trait in­spired by Ja­pan dur­ing Golden Week. It took me three hours to com­plete with con­fi­dent lines, colours, style and knowl­edge of anatomy. That first com­mis­sion took weeks. I was un­trained, afraid and in­se­cure.

You’re a child, you see a paint­ing or draw­ing that changes ev­ery­thing… Where are you and what are you look­ing at, and what ef­fect did it have on you?

I de­cided I was go­ing to be an artist the first time I watched Sailor Moon in our du­plex in Vancouver. I was six and it blew my mind. I’d never seen so many beau­ti­ful colours, move­ment, and strong fe­male char­ac­ters that in­spired me. I wanted to recre­ate those feel­ings, the in­spir­ing char­ac­ters. I wanted to cre­ate what I dreamed to be.

Does one per­son stand out to you dur­ing your early years?

My mum had faith in me, en­cour­ag­ing me to fol­low my dreams. My high-school art teacher, Kerri Col­well, fought to bring us to the city to ex­pe­ri­ence real gal­leries, and she cre­ated a safe space for us. My part­ner, Lopi, helped sup­port me while I worked 70-hour weeks to get my ca­reer started.

Is mak­ing a liv­ing as an artist all that you thought it’d be?

I’ve taught my­self so many skills I didn’t ex­pect I’d need to learn about more of the ad­min side: man­age­rial, busi­ness and so on. Most artists I know joke that only 20 per cent of our jobs is cre­at­ing art and it’s true! I wear more hats than I’d ex­pected I would, but it’s worth the pre­cious mo­ments I get to cre­ate.

What ad­vice would you give to your younger self to aid you along the way?

Don’t have an ego. Work twice as hard in the be­gin­ning, be­cause that’s what it takes – no one will do it for you. Don’t at­tend school for graphic de­sign, be­cause it’ll only put you in debt and de­lay your suc­cess.

Do you have an art tool that you can’t live with­out?

I’ve fallen in love with gouache for the smooth matte tex­ture and beau­ti­ful ef­fect that it cre­ates. I use M. Gra­ham & Co. but of­ten I’ll ap­ply Hol­bein Acryla gouache for the base lay­ers.

Is your art evolv­ing? What’s the most re­cent cre­ative ex­per­i­ment that you’ve made?

I feel like my style is be­com­ing “mine” and that’s a place I’ve been strug­gling to reach for 10 years. I’ve been ex­per­i­ment­ing with oil paints this past year and re­ally en­joy cre­at­ing larger pieces that al­low for more de­tail and com­plex­ity.

What does the fu­ture hold for you?

I’d like to com­plete the sci-fi/fan­tasy comic that I’ve been de­vel­op­ing the past five years. I’d like to travel more to help me cre­ate out­side of my cur­rent con­fines. Since I grew up in re­mote places, there wasn’t much to feed my brain with. Now I want to feed it with cul­ture and things I’ve never seen be­fore, to en­rich my own style, find hap­pi­ness in it. I’d like to make books of my art and trav­els to look back on and to in­spire peo­ple like my younger self. Au­dra is a Cana­dian artist who spe­cialises in ex­plor­ing the sur­real and beau­ti­ful fe­male form with her tran­scen­dent fu­sion of fine art and illustration with a va­ri­ety of medi­ums. You can see more of her paint­ings and learn about her fu­ture art projects at www.au­draau­clair.com.

I de­cided I was go­ing to be an artist the first time I watched Sailor Moon

Rue “An ex­pres­sion of our rest­less­ness and men­tal is­sues steer­ing us down wrong paths.” Scat­ter­ling “This piece was cre­ated with gouache and water­colour. They are medi­ums I cer­tainly favour.”

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