Creator is re-igniting her love of art
■ Tell us a bit about yourself. I’m originally from the UK. I came to New Zealand in late 2015, after having been here to visit just a year earlier.
I wanted the opportunity to work and travel the country, much like I had done in Australia and Asia. Yes you guessed it, I have that travel bug!
Before that, I lived a very sheltered life until I thought, “Stuff it, I’ll do what I think every young person does after university — I’ll travel overseas”.
I’m not a very courageous or brave person. I was just in need of a change of pace.
■ How long have you been an artist and how did it start?
It’s probably a typical thing for someone to say, “I’m not sure I would call myself an artist”, but I don’t think that’s the best word to describe me and what I do.
I like to call myself a creator. I like to be physical, use my hands for my craft and create something for a purpose.
I’ve always been interested in art, dating back to school age, but I guess the turning point was studying Graphic Design at university and then, years later when I had given up on that dream, falling into volunteering at The Arts Village in Rotorua nearly three years ago and re-igniting my love of art.
■ What media do you work with? I will give anything a try once! My method of choice (and what I would call my forte) is screen printing, and for this you need a slower-drying medium so you can ‘work’ it for longer.
You can use acrylic paint mixed with a retarder to slow the drying process of the paint — pretty simple really. I also love other forms of printmaking like linocutting or mono printing and for this oil-based or water-based printing inks are used.
■ Where do you get inspiration from with your work?
Sometimes particular lyrics from a song will stay with me and I might use it in some way to tell a story. I have a list of favourite songs that are often on repeat.
But also just day-to-day life.
I believe more and more every day that things happen for a reason, every experience is worth noting no matter how mundane you might think it to be.
■ What do you enjoy about creating art?
I have always been a lover of art. As a child, drawing was a relaxing hobby and at school art class was always the time to shut your mind off from science, English literature and maths to do something that just felt natural and fulfilling.
■ What do you have coming up/ what will you be up to in the near future?
I want to start an art/craft group called Lazy Sunday Crafternoon that meets every month, on the first Sunday of the month at The Arts Village. Anyone interested should come by. I would also like to continue my printmaking workshops throughout the coming summer.
Rotorua’s Sophie Perry has always been a lover of art.