Q: Can you tell us a bit about yourself and where in NZ you're based? How does your environment influence your artistic process?
A: I've just recently moved to Southland, before that I was living in Coastal Otago. I try to spend a lot of time outdoors - in the forest, at the beach and in my garden. The shapes and colours as well as the plants, birds and animals I find in these places are an endless source of inspiration to me.
Q: What sparked your interest in art, and how did you begin your artistic journey? Were there any particular experiences or mentors that shaped your approach?
A: I think I've always been interested in art and have always drawn or painted or sewn or something else creative whenever I could get the chance.
Q: What themes or concepts do you find most compelling in your artwork? Are there specific sources of inspiration that consistently inform your creations?
A: There are a few themes that recur in my work including cosiness and home, and nature and animals. I'm interested in how we connect to the world close to us and in the interactions with the rhythm of the natural world such as seasons and weather.
Q: Could you describe the mediums and techniques you commonly use in your work? How do these choices contribute to the overall aesthetic of your pieces?
A: I mostly use gouache and watercolour paints, alongside coloured pencil, a bit of soft pastel and other mixed media. I love using these materials to gently build up layers of texture and colour to create my images.
Q: Can you walk us through your creative process from ideation to completion? Do you have any specific rituals or practices that help you get into a creative flow?
A: I keep a number of sketchbooks on the go and use these as a starting point whenever I am making new work. I don't have rituals as such, mostly I need to be feeling cosy, some music on and have a hot drink beside me and then I feel like I can work.
Q: For the specific design featured in our book, what is the story or concept behind it? Are there any personal or cultural elements incorporated into the artwork?
A: I was thinking of walks through our beautiful native forests and the little leaves and pieces of foliage that are scattered across the paths. I love how these are like repeating patterns created by nature.
Q: What are your aspirations as an artist? Are there specific milestones or projects you're currently working towards?
A: At the moment I am spending a lot of time in my sketchbooks drawing from observation as well as from my imagination and seeing where this will lead. I have some new products for my shop that I am developing as well.
Q: How do you hope your artwork resonates with people who encounter it? Is there a particular emotion or message you aim to evoke in your audience?
A: I hope that my work will give just a little bit of joy and also a reminder of the beauty of the natural world around us.
Q: Where can we follow your journey?!
A: I post regularly on Instagram @inmybackyardnz and you can find my shop filled with stationery and art prints at www.inmybackyard.co.nz