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.