Always a pleasure to showcase a fellow Rhodent on my blog! Today’s Homegrown Creatives post features Amy Slatem, a multi-talented illustrator, artist and designer… How much do we love those hoopoes and all her other inky goodness?!
Did you always know that you were headed in this direction – how did you get where you are today?
I’ve been drawing and doing art since I could hold a crayon. Art and creating things has always made sense to me and I’ve never doubted the direction I wanted to go. I initially went to Rhodes University for fine art, and when I discovered I could also do design through a journalism degree, I decided to study both simultaneously. Now it’s up to me continuously working on, experimenting and creating by myself, to grow my skills and develop my style.
What makes your work / products / services unique?
The biggest joy of working with pen, paint and paper is that every mark and brushstroke you make is unique. I like to focus on putting personality into my works, especially through quirky concepts or the expressiveness of particular mark making.
Where do you look for inspiration?
Often the best inspiration is when you aren’t looking for “it”. My inspiration is often found when doing anything else other than sitting in front of the computer or blank page desperately thinking, “I need inspiration! Inspiration? Please!!”. I also find that scrolling through other creative sites and Instagram and seeing other creatives’ work makes me eager to hurry up and get my own works done. I also love glossy magazines; they’re a great source of material for figure studies (or attacking with scissors for interesting collages).
Who are your creative idols?
I tend to have a dynamic list of idols which changes as I discover new great creatives who inspire me at that particular time in my creative journey. A few names at the moment: Steve Simpson, Anneke Jacobs, Kelly Vivanco and Jaco Haasbroek. I especially enjoy local artists as I feel I can relate to their work more and they show the quality of work that SA produces.
Where do you like to hang out – what are your favourite spots in your town/city/country?
I now live in Joburg and hang out at markets in town and go to a lot of live music shows and exhibition openings as often as I can. And any craft beer watering hole. But I’m originally from a farm in the Eastern Cape, so being surrounded by nature and animals in the silence of the landscapes is still my favourite.
Given the opportunity, where would you like to travel/explore?
I’d love to explore Scotland and Ireland and surrounds in Summer. Or India. With a day all to yourself (no meetings, distractions, to-do-lists) and an unlimited budget, what would you get up to? Fly down to the coast to a little town and spend the day on the beach drawing and enjoying the sea air, and wine.
If you could have any other profession, what would it be?
I wouldn’t want to be in other profession, but if I could I’d be a full time artist with a beautiful studio in somewhere like Bathurst, Eastern Cape being inspired by the magic there every day.
What does your workspace / studio look like?
My studio is also my lounge, or the other way round. I’d describe my space as organised chaos with paintbrushes, pens, colourful palettes and loose papers lying over the tables, couches and around my easel. My computer set up is also a major part of my workspace.
What is the work/design/product/project you are most proud of to date?
Whenever I complete a fairly large series of illustrations or work, because I’m so easily distracted by new projects and ideas that I’m always proud of myself for actually getting so many pieces done.