Celine - Arty Kiddy
Celine joined us at the Dragonfly Framing studio this morning to talk about how she started Arty Kiddy and the origins of her unique and playful art. Celine's art really reflects her bright and cheerful nature and there is so much more to her pictures than just colour, there's a story to be told in each, a conversation piece, each and everyone. Using many different media including magazine cut outs to create her imaginary scenes fashioning marvellous fantasy worlds, and all from the kitchen table.
Read on to hear more about Celine's story....
When did you start painting and creating your art Celine?
When my children were born and they started growing up, I introduced them to crafts and painting. When we painted together, they were always pretty flattering of my work! They would ask if they could have the pictures in their bedrooms, and that's how it all started. Perhaps about four years ago. My mother is quite arty, too, she does beautiful paintings and drawings. So art gene must have rubbed off on Celine.
What is your favourite medium and why do you like it so much?
Anything I can find really - I do a lot of watercolour with my children, but I use acrylic mainly. I really enjoy oil, but I'm not very patient. Waiting for it to dry takes longer than to do the painting so not really that practical for the type of art I do at the moment. I mostly use mixed media and collage, so the background will be acrylic and I will use pieces from magazines that I like, and I will create the scenery with that.
Where do you create your work and do you ever think that you truly finish a piece of work?
For me I work at the table in the dining room. There's lots of boxes, I get everything out, unpack before I get started. I work for a few hours a day during the week when the children are at school, then its all put everything away again before the family return home - I don't have any particular studio. And yes, when I'm happy with a piece, I'm ready to move on, but I will scan the work so that I can get it printed.
How did you choose the subject matter for your work?
My little girls - they love fairies and mermaids so I look for things that are a bit childlike and from a different world. Sometimes I feel pressured to change my style as my little ones grow, but I think, no, I like doing this. I use a lot of flowers in my drawings - the latest one has lots of plants and flowers, and I like to use lots of different colours. I'll use magazines to find pictures and images for inspiration or if I have a specific idea in mind magazines are my go to material to something that will suit my ideas, it might be an image of a piece of cheese for instance, that will make a great moon!
How would you define your creative process?
When I start, I never know how it's going to end. I don't know when I will finish, either. It's quite exciting! Most of the time I will do just a basic sketch, experimenting with different colours, different images, and one of my little girls might say - "what about a mermaid!" I get a lot of ideas from my children. I keep a sketchbook, and there's lots of ideas in there, but It's not too much of a structured process - I start when inspiration comes to me. I love doing it, and it's lovely to hear people say 'I love your piece' as well. I create one piece and I will print it several times, but I never use or sell the originals, they end up in the girls’ bedroom.
When do you feel the most inspired, is there a particular time of day when you are most creative?
I drop the children at school at nine, then cycle back home quickly and work I'll work until three. Then, I tidy up everything and go and pick them up. I don't tend to do anything when they arrive because they want my brush, they want this, that, everything! Sometimes we will do some art together, then when they've gone to bed I might get my stuff out again and carry on until maybe midnight. When I start, I can't stop - that's my problem.
What inspires you / where do you get your inspiration?
I started off doing if for my kids, but now I love doing it for myself as well. I really enjoy doing it. Everytime I do something now, the little ones will say, "Oh, can I have it in my bedroom!". Most of my inspiration comes from playing my kids and my imagination.
What is most important to you to express in a piece of work or is there a particular idea, theme that you find yourself coming back to and including in your artwork?
I hope that, when a child sees my work, that they are able to talk about it, get involved and have a moment of escape. I use vibrant colours to appeal to children, and families with young children. I've been considering a moral for my work, it's been in my mind, but I haven't come up with anything yet. But every picture has a latent narrative within, a conversation piece that stimulates conversations and other ideas.
Do you have any formal art qualifications or are you self-taught?
Nothing at all. I'm totally self-taught. I wasn't particularly good at art at school, either! I took it as an option - but I don't think it bought me any points.
Which artists (well known or otherwise) do you admire?
There's an American artist who art I follow - she's absolutely wonderful - called Cindy Thornton. I love the colour in her work - it's quite simple, but it's beautiful. She's a proper painter. Valerie Lacalmontie, is another one, a great French artist in my opinion.
How do you maintain your creativity?
I find lots of inspiration in looking through magazines and bringing images together. I used a picture of an apricot tart in an M&S food magazine to make the stars in one of my pictures. But mostly it just comes from my imagination, I have so many ideas in my head that I want to put on paper.
What music do you listen to when you are creating?
Not music, exactly, but BBC News. I know a lot about Brexit! Luckily it doesn't influence my work, and when it annoys me, I turn it off and have no noise at all.
Looking back on your work, what you do think about it now?
I have been serious with my art for about 18 months, and I can see my style has changed - there is a lot more detail in my work, now. But keeping it simple is nice, too, and trying not to overcomplicate. I enjoy doing it, and if I am able to afford a couple of family holidays from doing ArtyKiddy, then I would be quite happy!
Information about artists
Website URL: https://www.artykiddy.com
Contact Phone number: 07866 022 680
Bicester Village - Workshop/sale "The Voices of East London" concept shop 26-27/04/2019
Oxfordshire Artweeks 2019 - The Old St Edburg's School, Cemetery Road, Bicester OX26 6BB - 18-27th May 2019 11am - 5pm
Emmanuel Church Cafe, Bicester - Exhibition/sale 8,9,10 & 15,16,17 May 2019