I felt really honoured to participate in The Couch this week because the RedBubble team have done such an excellent job, and are continuing to work extremely hard at promoting our work and keeping us happy and stimulated. Without RedBubble and this whole creative community of members, I believe my emergence from a mundane, everyday existence into one of creativity, would have been much slower. In fact, I wonder whether I would ever have emerged to the extent that I have now.
So thank you RedBubble for this opportunity to chat.
On the couch today we have Whirligig – an artistic all-rounder with an impressive array of drawing, printmaking, digital art and writing skills, and also one of RedBubble’s most enthusiastic members. Many of you will have received comments, praise, feedback and suggestions as she whirls across RedBubble.
Q. We’re very curious – where does your username “Whirligig” spring from?
A while back I was looking for a business name that was a little quirky and different. A “whirligig” is a tiny insect that whirls around on the surface of ponds. My life was a bit that way at the time – here, there and everywhere – and so were my creative ventures. So I called my venture “Whirligig Creations”. Fortunately I’m no longer whirling around. RB: except on RedBubble where we love your whirling around!
Q. You have a full spectrum of creative talents and interests – writing, photography and digital artwork. Which do you enjoy most and why?
Without a doubt my first love is drawing, with printmaking being an extension of that. Within printmaking the more immediate, spontaneous monoprints appeal to me most, and those methods that more often than not, render unexpected results, like collagraphs.
My newly acquired interest in digital art is simply an extension of my love of printmaking, and a close favourite after monoprints and collagraphs. With digital art no time is wasted setting up, or cleaning up ink and chemicals afterwards, which is handy as my creative time is limited. Also, it has introduced a new dimension into my photographic pursuits.
My writing is really in its embryonic stages, but something I feel compelled to do, as it is interconnected with my other forms of creative expression, each drawing inspiration from the other.
Q. When you get home from work, do you know which form of creative expression you’ll choose that evening – does it depend on your mood, the weather, your day, your imagination?
I don’t always know beforehand, which is bad because I’ll often decide to go home and finish off an assignment for my writing course, only to find myself working on digital images all night. Once my mind wants to pursue the imagery side of things, that’s it, and my assignments fly out the window. Hopefully, once this newfound infatuation with digital images settles down, I’ll be more self-disciplined.
On the other hand, if I’ve already commenced a story, nothing will distract me from that. But, if the creative desk is clear, what form of expression I’ll choose that night is anybody’s guess. Then it depends on my mood and my imagination.
Q. You mention in your profile that your creativity has been dormant for 10 years. Tell us about the experience of getting it back.
Honestly, I owe that to RedBubble! I heard about the writing competition on RedBubble, logged on, and Lo and Behold, there was this mega gallery of incredible artwork and photography as well! So from joining to learn from other writers, I’ve been lifted out of a slump, and now can’t find enough time in the day for creative expression. It’s due to this wonderfully supportive community of writers, visual artists and critics, all willing to help each other improve.
Q. Who and what inspires your work?
I’m drawn to artists like Egon Schiele, Anselm Kiefer, Giacometti, Rothko, Degas, Cezanne, Gauguin, Monet, van Gogh, Dali, Brett Whiteley and Fred Williams. I’m particularly inspired by raw, intense, emotional art.
I don’t yet have an extensive list of inspirational writers. That will develop as I learn more, but Maurice Gee, Tim Winton, and Kate Grenville have definitely got my attention. Then, of course, there are many artists and writers on RedBubble, as is evident from my Favourites and Watchlist.
Inspiration for my images and stories comes from the people around me, from nature, whatever I feel close to, from my own emotional state, places I know, and from reading and writing.