Amy Slatem {feature + giveaway}

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I am so excited by today's feature. I have long admired Amy's work and am thrilled to share her talent with you! She has some super rad skills with a pen and pencil and you can even get some of her artwork at the Arts on Main market in Pretoria. She proves that local is indeed lekker! 

“'Illustration' is a term used fairly loosely to outline my art, design and continuous doodling. My work largely leans towards portraiture in various mediums, focusing on capturing the nature and personality of whomever and whatever is my subject, be it people, animals or objects, often with an added twist of hand typography. I offer a variety of personalised and quirky illustrated projects that are often based around the ideas brought to me by clients," Amy says.

1. How did you start and how long have you been doing this?

Art has always been at the heart of most of what I do, but it’s only since I’d finished varsity and started in my 8 to 5 design job last year that I really started developing and focusing on promoting my illustrating and freelance commissions in my own time. I not only found that I had a lot more free time during lunch breaks and outside of work than I had while I was studying, but I also really needed to get away from the computer and back to pen and paper and creating with my hands. Things really seemed to start developing after I bought and began filling my first Moleskine journal with drawings, collages and musings early last year.

2. What sort of products do you make? Do you also provide services?

A general focus of my works is portraiture, but not limited to just faces, rather portraits as visual descriptions of my subject matter, from people to trees to buildings to objects. I provide personalized illustrative services to anyone who would like to have their ideas (calm or crazy) or perhaps the likeness of a loved one visually captured. I’m also very active on social media continuously sharing (especially on Instagram) whatever work or doodle I’m busy with or have just finished, so I guess I do some visual entertainment in a way too.

3. Where do you find inspiration for your creations?

People, my surroundings and general media – often sitting in front of a computer all day I tend to come across many interesting and inspiring things on the internet, especially via Twitter, that spark an idea which I jot down and revisit again later. My journals and random scraps of papers I’ve scribbled on when an idea strikes house a lot of base thinking and inspiration, but often I actually find that a blank page and a pen while listening to music is where most work starts.

4. What are some of the challenges of being your own boss?

To be honest, I’d have to say being “clueless” a lot, at this stage there’s still a lot of trial and error that I go through to find what and how things work with dealing with clients, costings, time management and general business things.

5. How do you perceive the South African creatives/design landscape?

Inspiring, diverse and professional (generally). I have a handful of really great and talented creatives which I follow quite closely, not only for their work and technique but how they individually navigate the creative industry and the local platform. It’s also far more encouraging and relatable looking at our homegrown talent because it feels more obtainable and possible to get to that level of success compared to looking at the international landscape. Local is lekker!

6. What is your favourite colour/ material to work with, and why?

I’m all about colour, but when it comes down to picking a favourite one and material: black ink, definitely. I love its possibility, its easy transitions from bold lines to subtle suggestions, from outlines to typographic possibilities. Give me any surface and a fineliner, brush and ink, ballpoint pen or koki and I’m a happy doodler. Its permanentness can be both exciting and frustrating, a challenge which I enjoy.

7. What would you do if you won the lotto?

My rational self would invest most of it and be responsible before booking a flight to somewhere beautiful and foreign that offers endless drawing possibilities… and wine. Once all my sketch books, experience and inspiration levels are sufficiently full, I’d head home and set up the most amazing and inspiring personal studio space with all the art supplies that my present self can only dream of at the moment…

8. Where to from here?

Buying that lotto ticket…

9. What has been your proudest moment since you started?

Realising what I sincerely want to do. Finding that passion and direction really helps to inform everything I do now with the consciousness of where I want to go –being a full time independent illustrator and making a name for myself in the industry, both local and abroad. I plan to get involved in more solo and group exhibitions, grow my client base and work on my own projects to keep exploring techniques and subject matter. 



Like Amy's Facebook illustration page and share the post with the necessary comment to stand the chance to have YOUR COVER PAGE personalised and illustrated to use on FB &/twitter. To enter, click here.

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