HOLLY STAPLETON

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

HS: That would be hard to nail down. I think because my style keeps changing and I’m not really aiming to exemplify a certain style when I draw. If I had to choose I would maybe say my art style is illustrative and minimalist.

CH.89: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

HS: I tend to draw inspiration from music for a lot of my animations, and for illustrations too. Also from films I enjoy and good conversation with friends. Sometimes even just from people-watching.

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

HS: I work as a waitress part-time so I often have ideas written on blank receipt paper and shoved into my back pocket. Then I like to come back to the idea a little later and sketch out something rough. Once I have the sketch to visualize it, I start playing around with it on adobe illustrator or through multiple sketches by hand. It usually pops out the other end looking completely different than I initially envisioned.

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

HS: I used to be extremely shy. I feel like I took so much of the world in, listening and watching with nothing to say and it finally refracted outward in an art-form. Now I have “something to say” in a sense and I’m not afraid of the space I take up doing so. If there’s something people can take form my art work it’s that sometimes the crippling things in your life don’t have to have as much power over you as you may think.

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

HS: I wouldn’t typically say I have an artist’s lifestyle. I do a lot of work from home or in cafes. Sometimes I like to sneak into university libraries and find a quiet room to draw. I usually have only 2 freelance projects going per-week as I also work part-time as a server. I’m not the type to spend 12 consecutive hours on a project as I really value my free time and like to come back to something after a break with a fresh perspective. Other than that I just like to spend time with friends and eat good food.

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?

HS: It’s nice to have a bit of direction, but the work I have been most proud of comes from being guided by impulse. And there is a nice element of trust that ties into it, calmly letting your subconscious mind take over and trusting that process.

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

HS: I have learned that it’s good to set expectations for yourself but not to hold onto them too closely.

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

HS: In the field of freelance design, I think that valuing your own taste too much can be extremely limiting. Especially since my style is always changing. I like to try to interpret the intentions of a client and mold my style around that. This way I am never fixed or stagnant, and there’s room for me to learn more and change my taste.

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

HS: For me, it seems creative flow either comes gushing out, or the tap is dry, and never in between. I definitely struggle with that imbalance, but I am learning to appreciate the ebbs and flows.

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

HS: One thing I love about being an artist is the way you can meet yourself full-circle and really come to know yourself. It can be almost like a romancing of the self. I think that people who are self-employed or work in solitude can also experience this feeling of self-connection.

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

HS: Jun Cen’s illustrations are intoxicatingly beautiful. I also love the labyrinth-like worlds created by artist like Charlotte Edey and Tishk Barzanji. Karen Lynch’s analogue collages are also very mesmerizing to me.

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

HS: I think technology is an incredibly useful tool. I don’t think I would be where I am without Instagram, nor would I have been able to find out about so many incredible artists. It took me a while to figure out that just because apps like Instagram are so quick and simple, does’t mean they have to be used passively.

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

HS: I definitely think that artists can have a different viewpoint and take on things. But I don’t think that you have to follow a creative path to be creative.

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

HS: I only adopted a travel bug in the past couple years. I am going to Indonesia in the new year which I am really looking forward to, but I would have to say my favorite city is definitely New York.

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

HS: I have always had the “I need to read more” affliction without acting on it. I have a hard time picturing someone else’s words the way I want to. But in the past I have really enjoyed Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov because he writes desire in a way that you don’t have to try and picture, because you can already see it.

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

HS: I really want to get more into editorial illustration. I just completed my first one for an amazing magazine called “Oh Comely” based out of London, and I loved the process of bringing words to life with illustration. It’s something I would love to explore further and I plan to submit to some magazines over the next few months and see what happens.

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

HS: To me, it means going inside yourself to the place that you connect your most intimate thoughts. I think that lots of people neglect to acknowledge themselves as artists because they feel like they don’t have enough to put their name on. But I feel just as much of an artist from admiring as I do creating, because I go to the same place in my mind.

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

HS: Oh Honey- Delegation

CH.89: Any last words on the aesthetic of your artwork?

HS: I think that sums me up!
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