Wednesday, March 20, 2013

It's A Wonder.

Back in the beginnings of my exploration of the great depths of the internet, and the creative types it contains, I was introduced one way or another to Caitlin Shearer. A woman of immense talents, I was immediately taken with her ability to make paintings and illustrations that were filled with detail and realism, and yet encapsulated a nostalgic fantasy world which I yearned for. Not to be pigeonholed as simple a saccharine, cutesy artist, the scope of her vision involves both the sweet and the sensual. Pinups, heroines, novelty prints and fairy tales are a few of the subjects which Ms. Shearer has beautifully captured. I was lucky enough to send her a few questions about what drives her to make art, her future plans and candy, of course.

When did you start making art?
I'd always been encouraged to create as a child (doing things like pottery classes, making beaded bracelets for friends, drawing in crayon on the walls, whoops...) but became obsessed with drawing and painting when i was about 15. I started painting as a job when i was about 19-20.

Have you always wanted to be an artist, or was it something that became more of a career due to natural progression?
It was something i was absolutely fixated on so it wasn't actually a decision i had to think about making - it happened naturally, which was very lucky. Now I've altered my path and am studying a diploma of fashion design in order to combine these skills more in the future.

It's clear that you have a nostalgic feeling to your paintings and drawings; where do you draw your inspiration from?
I love the golden age of Hollywood, vintage clothing, relics from the past - I appreciate fine craftsmanship and an utter devotion to beauty so anything that holds onto those traits tends to get me excited. It's not really about wanting to belong to another era - it's more like appreciating things that have survived into the modern age and then seeing them through modern eyes.

How do you stay motivated and inspired?
It can be incredibly tough - to be honest I'm completely burnt out at the moment and have no inclination to paint. Studying full-time saps all my energy so I'm waiting for a while, mulling things over and then would like to attempt something entirely different - maybe ceramics or large scale abstract pieces.

Many of your illustrations depict women who are heavier than the "Hollywood" norm we see in mainstream media; you lean towards hourglass, fuller figured women. Is that a conscious choice in your art work, or is it coincidental?
I don't find today's beauty standards particularly encouraging or capable of making women feel worthwhile - voluptuousness and abundance reflects a full and valid life in my opinion. I've always had a fondness for rounded bodies - must have been because I grew up looking at my mothers old classical art textbooks. I just draw what I love and also what I know - so, what I see in the mirror and the people I see around me is what I ultimately put into my work.

You've begun making dresses and apparel with original prints, and I know you are currently in fashion school. Would you consider yourself more of a clothing designer, or a fine artist? What is your favorite media to create in?
I have no idea how to answer that - just a girl who wants to make beautiful and meaningful things. This is a funny time for me - very transitional - trying to decide how to mash all my passions together and learning to sacrifice one thing to take time to learn another.
I don't even have a favorite medium right now - a good black pen for writing in my diary - now things are more about tactility and life - cultivating love and cutting up food and painting walls and lying in the ocean.

I noticed several adorable candy and sweet themed prints in your creations; what is your favorite candy?
licorice allsorts!

A big thanks to Caitlin.
You can find her several places on the web: her blog, shop, and tumblr.


Kailey said...

A wonderful interview with a wonderful lady! Great questions Lydia and great answers Caitlin <33

Michelle | said...

I love Caitlin's work so so much. I think I'm going to finally treat myself to one of her dreamy dresses for my birthday next month!

Jenny Morris said...

i love her art! there is a print with a redhead called Call Me that I've wanted to buy forever!

Kristina Uriegas-Reyes said...

This is such a great post Lydia! I love Caitlin Shearer and I love this interview aspect of blogging. I've been wanting to do something similar, there are so many cool, creative folks I know, I need to start interviewing!


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