MAIRI TIMONEY

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

MT: I would say that the style of my work is contemporary landscape collage or painting. Within my work I mainly focus on making multimedia images that portray fictional places and scenes that I build through a mixture of collage and painting. I like to collect imagery and materials from various sources to piece together visuals which are both aesthetically and compositionally engaging. I also enjoy combining different media to consider surface, space, pattern and color whilst the overlaying imagery allows me to explore my interest in place and narrative.

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

MT: I’m always inspired by architecture, interiors and landscapes that I see in day to day life or when I travel. The structures and color combinations give me ideas to include in new pieces and I always try to take photographs that I can use later. I also find creative blogs and magazines really useful for finding inspiring new projects, as well as being able to look at the work of my favorite artists and designers too.

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

MT: I usually like to start by visualizing the piece as a whole and start to think about the type of surface I might want to work on and the scale. Depending on the order of the ideas I’ve had for a new piece I will either begin to think about the composition and the elements I would like to include or if I’ve had an idea for a particular color palette then I will start by thinking about how those might work together on the board. Then I start to mock up the idea by sketching it quickly with pens and pencils working in elements I’ve been thinking about using, working with paper or more often I have been using photoshop to digitally plan out the idea for a new piece of work. 

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

MT: I’d like people to feel a sense of calm or interest in the places that I am depicting. I like the idea that a viewer might feel the way you do when traveling through a new place where you pass by buildings and scenes that are new to you. An intrigue into the lives and people who have inhabited these spaces or the history of the surroundings and the slight mystery of an unfamiliar setting. 

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

MT: It’s a combination of making new paintings, working to support myself financially and all the other things I enjoy doing like spending time with friends, exercising, watching films, reading and traveling. 

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?

MT: I really like to make carefully considered pieces which I have planned out before on photoshop or previously sketched out. However, whilst I am doing this planning stage there is a lot of instinct that comes into play as I develop and figure out what works best. And even when I take what I have planned onto a physical piece of work, it doesn’t always translate and what works well digitally might look awful when it’s painted and I have to adapt or change my plan. So, I think the answer is that I like to plan out my work to some degree but there always has to be an element of impulse and instinct too. 

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

MT: When I first graduated and started showing my pieces, I used to say yes to absolutely every opportunity that came my way. I was so honored that anybody would like to exhibit, feature or represent my work. I’ve learned now that it’s just as important to say no to some things too. It’s important to make considered decisions and only invest energy in things that are right for me – I have learned how valuable time is more than anything.   

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

MT: Yes, I think it’s very important as it lets your work stand out and brings a unique quality to everything you do. 

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

MT: The hardest thing , personally, is the lack of financial security which means working other jobs which means limited time to make work. You can also spend a lot of time working alone and it can be very isolating.   

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

MT: I love that it gives you a place to channel ideas, thoughts and feelings. I like that I can absorb any of the things I see and experience and use it all to create something unique. I like that it gives me a way to process the world around me and produce a physical piece of work which captures my own perspective.

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

MT: Peter Doig has always influenced my interest in capturing the world around me, Bridget Riley has driven my fascination with shape and color and I have always loved Robert Rauschenberg’s work for the way he uses imagery and a mixture of photography and paint in the pieces he creates.   

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

MT: I think it is such a great way for artists to experiment and share their work in new ways. As I mentioned before I enjoy using programs like photoshop and illustrator to digitally plan and experiment with new pieces before I go ahead and make them physically. I also love being able to share my work and connect with others on social media. Being able to sell your work online is now so easy and it’s great to feel like you’re able to work independently if you wanted to do it that way. I think that this type of technology has given us a lot of freedom. 

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

MT: I suppose those who are seeking to process and understand the external world and use it to inform the artwork we create are always observing and analyzing what goes on around us possibly in a different way to others. But it’s very hard to say as I’ve only ever seen the world from my own perspective, and I guess every individual sees the world in their own different way – regardless of their path. 

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

MT: Yes, I love traveling so much. My favorite city is Tokyo or Barcelona and I’d love to go back someday. Hopefully soon. 

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

MT: I just got a new book the other day called ‘Remote Places To Stay’ and it illustrates some of the world’s most isolated hotels and I absolutely love it. 

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

MT: I’d really like to have a solo exhibition in a city I have never shown work in before and develop an entire new body of work for this. One day I’d like to have a beautiful studio with big windows that let in lots of light, I’d like to have space to make lots of different sizes of artwork and I’d like to work as an artist full time. 

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

MT: Being an artist means having the freedom to create and use everything you see and experience to make work which helps you connect with others and the world around you. 

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

MT: The last song I listened to was Perpetuum Mobile by Penguin Cafe Orchestra.

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

MT: Hope you enjoy 🙂

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