Nude paint­ing, THOU­SANDS of flow­ers, and a LOVE-HATE re­la­tion­ship with so­cial me­dia IN­SPIRE this is­sue’s ARTIST TAKEOVER.


Vis­ual artist Char­lie Bur­rowes shares her work this month

As a self-pro­claimed “vis­ual artist for the dig­i­tal age”, Charli Bur­rowes – an artist, cre­ative di­rec­tor and pho­tog­ra­pher from Bris­bane – says it can be tough carv­ing your own ca­reer path, espe­cially when your work is so pub­lic. “I think the big­gest chal­lenge is find­ing your own voice, then feel­ing con­fi­dent enough to use it,” she says. “It’s tempt­ing to get caught up in mak­ing what you think peo­ple might want to see, espe­cially when shar­ing your work on so­cial me­dia. It sounds silly, but pulling away from that vir­tual pop­u­lar­ity con­test and ask­ing your­self what you want can be hard to do.”

You couldn’t mis­take the artist’s work for any­one else’s out there right now. Since emerg­ing onto the cre­ative scene, Charli’s multi-dis­ci­pline art­work (her lat­est ex­hi­bi­tion took eight months to shoot, 12 mod­els and “sev­eral thou­sand blooms” to cre­ate) has caught the eye of sev­eral in­ter­na­tional brands that have hired her to cre­ate unique cam­paigns, in­clud­ing Lorna Jane, David Jones, Kikki.K, Swisse, and Con­verse.

“I’ve been lucky enough to see my work up on bill­boards, [on] MTV and in ad­ver­tise­ments in mag­a­zines,” she says. “I still find it pretty over­whelm­ing when some­thing lovely like that lands in my in­box.” She’s also a global cre­ative am­bas­sador for Fu­ji­film and op­u­lent tech ac­ces­sories brand Frends.

“Def­i­nitely, ‘artist’ is my favourite hat to wear,” she says. “But I prob­a­bly wear my pho­tog­ra­pher [hat] the most! I jump be­tween my client work and per­sonal projects pretty of­ten, but pho­tog­ra­phy is the medium that I work across for ev­ery­thing. At the mo­ment I’m work­ing on a pho­tog­ra­phy book and an ex­hi­bi­tion, as well as try­ing to jug­gle client shoots and a film project in Tokyo.”

With pho­tog­ra­phy and in­stal­la­tion art as her main medi­ums of ex­pres­sion, Charli crafts her own breed of lux­u­ri­ous, artis­tic con­tent for clients by day, and works on larger-scale cre­ative projects at night (paint­ing in the nude feeds her cre­ative spirit, she says). She posts the results on so­cial me­dia un­der her pseu­do­nym Me Oh My Girl.

On her web­site you’ll find a quote by film­maker Saul Bass: “I just want to make beau­ti­ful things – even if no­body cares.” Is that re­ally how she feels? “It’s funny, I think when I first started out mak­ing things, I was very much like, ‘Well, I’m just go­ing to make what I love and if no one gets around it, that’s cool.’ I def­i­nitely still feel that way, but these days, I think I do ac­tu­ally get a real kick out of cre­at­ing work that con­nects with peo­ple,” she says. “I’m very lucky to have a small, but lovely, fol­low­ing [of peo­ple] who take the time to reach out when some­thing I’ve cre­ated has res­onated with them.”

I do AC­TU­ALLY get a real KICK out of CRE­AT­ING work that CON­NECTS with peo­ple.

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