MADDY YOUNG

print1CH.89: If you were to categorize or describe the style of your artwork, what would it be and why?

MY: Technically speaking I guess it falls under the category of illustration, although in addition to that I have always considered my work to be quite autobiographical.

CH.89: Where do you draw your inspiration from

MY: I first started creating art as a means of documentation, I’ve always had quite a poor memory and art became a way to document moments of significance in a cathartic way. As I’ve grown older and more at ease, that inward gaze has turned outward; instead of creating works based on my own troubles, I now find inspiration in moments of peace within my experience and surroundings. I’m fascinated by the beauty of suburbia and nature, how memory attaches to the smallest piece of our surroundings that can hold absolutely no meaning to a stranger (walking home late at night, a rose in a neighbors garden, a scribbled note with directions on how to get to a friends house) I think I am trying to make something personal universal, to translate what makes me feel calm and present in a way that others can relate to.

CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about what your creative thought process is like when starting a new project/ piece of artwork?

MY: As most of my art is observational, I am constantly taking photos and notes detailing ideas to use at a later date. It’s important for me to have documentation and clarify in my thought process before starting a piece of work. It is rare that I will begin a piece without knowing exactly what I want to produce as a final result.

CH.89: Is there anything in particular that you would want people to take from your artwork?

MY: I hope my work brings focus to aspects of the everyday that may go unobserved otherwise, and invite the audience to engage with their surroundings more actively.

trying1CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about your lifestyle as an artist and what that is like?

MY: My work as an artist dictates most of my schedule and can be quite isolating. At the moment I am lucky to work within a group studio along side a number of artists whom I respect and am inspired by, which means less late nights alone and more socializing (which is something I struggle with usually). I try and keep to a routine, although at times this can be difficult. I think I’m always thinking about art in some way or another, even if it’s in the back of my mind, and I need a lot of time to process my thoughts and feelings when I am working.

CH.89: When starting out an artistic task, do you think it is better to have a particular direction/set plan guiding your way? Or, is it better to act on impulse and go from there?

MY: I work best with planning and structure, but know this is not necessarily the case for everyone. I keep a sketchbook for more loose work, but have learned over the years that my compulsive perfectionism will not be satiated unless I know exactly what I am producing, and how. Without this I am a mess of sleepless nights and last minute frenzies, which ultimately leaves me more drained than a strict schedule does.

CH.89: What is one major lesson you’ve learned as an artist thus far?

MY: I think perhaps the hardest lesson for me to learn is how to say no to projects I don’t have time for, or am not well suited for. When I was younger and overeager I was so thankful for any opportunity that I often overbooked myself with commitments that I was not especially suited for, and ended up continuously exhausted. If I’m being honest I still probably take on too many projects at once, but now I am more careful to make sure they are things that I am passionate about and to value my time more.

CH.89: Do you regard personal style & taste to be of highest importance?

roseweb1MY: I think above all else the focus should be on art itself. I’m not sure that a persons clothing and personal aesthetic should really be placed along side someone’s work. It’s nice to have and wear beautiful things, but I think it is more important to be creating something of significance rather than curating yourself. I think especially as a young female artist there is a lot of pressure to share those parts of yourself with your audience; you must always be accessible. I try to be selective with what I share publically in terms of my personal life; constantly inviting that critical gaze onto myself from the public is not always the healthiest thing for my own mental wellbeing. I keep a well updated website of photographs from my iPhone without commentary, which is my way of sharing my every day life with those who wish to view it.

CH.89: What do you consider to be the hardest thing about being an artist?

MY: I find it difficult to manage my time in a way that allows for rest periods and free time. It’s very easy to accidentally work 12-hour days and over weekends when art becomes your career and stops being a hobby. Being passionate about your work sometimes means you loose sight of where work ends and fun begins (because often your work is something that you consider to be fun). Learning to take appropriate breaks and work reasonable hours is still something that eludes me sometimes

CH.89: What is one thing you love about being an artist?

MY: The satisfaction of creating something that you are happy with, getting to the end of the work with no torn paper or spilled ink. I realized not too long ago that no matter what mental state I am in, the one thing that makes me feel most happy and satisfied is knowing I have worked hard at my arts practice that day (even if it is something as small as drawing in my sketchbook for a few hours).

CH.89: Is there anyone in particular, any artist’s that inspire you in any way?

MY: I always find myself most inspired by the artists that I have the most interaction with; artists like Tallulah Fontaine and Georgia Hill are perpetually surprising me with their hard work and imagination, and I often seek advice from them both in regards to art and life! It is nice to feel that sense of sisterhood with your peers, and I often push myself further as a result of these friendships.

CH.89: What do you think of technology in terms of being a useful tool for artists today?

cover1MY: I’m 100 percent for technology within the arts. I go through phases of obsession with different techniques and crafts where I decide to learn as much as I can in a short period (the most recent pursuit being chainmail) this would not be possible without a vast amount of knowledge made accessible by technology. I think anything that allows you to create in ways which you would otherwise be unable to is great to have.

CH.89: Do you think being an artist allows you to view the world differently from those who don’t follow creative paths?

MY: Not necessarily, not being able to create doesn’t necessarily dictate a lack of ability to appreciate; I am sure that there are people who view the world with the same sensitivity as I do, without ever feeling the urge to synthesis because of it. I think perhaps being creative gives you a habitual talent for observation, but I don’t necessarily think this is exclusive to the creative fields.

CH.89: Do you enjoy traveling? If so, do you have a favorite city?

MY: My favorite city so far is Los Angeles, but perhaps due to the people I know there and the specific times I had on my last trip. Growing up in sunny Brisbane acclimatized me to the warm weather very well, and I loved the sun in Los Angeles.

CH.89: Do you have a favorite author or book?

MY: I’ve been reading more non fiction lately, biographies of female artists I admire like Georgia O’keeffe and Louise Bourgeois, or various feminist texts. Growing up I think my favorite author was Kurt Vonnegut, although I haven’t read one of his books for a while now.

CH.89: Any future goals or plans for your artwork?

MY: I’m currently concentrating on studying a new artistic field, as well as organizing a solo exhibition for the coming year.

CH.89: What does being an artist mean to you?

MY: I feel very lucky to be able to work within the arts; although it can sometimes feel overwhelming, I think there is a lot of freedom that comes with working creatively. It also means being patient and soft with your own thoughts and feelings, nurturing what it is that makes you feel and think in ways that can elicit an artistic response. Learning to be patient with myself was something I don’t think I would have concentrated on were it not for the arts, so I am very grateful.

CH.89: What’s the last song you listened to?

MY: I’ve been listening to “Let love in” by Nick Cave And The bad Seeds on repeat lately, I think “Do you love me?” was where I left off last.

CHECK OUT MORE ON: MADDY YOUNG

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