Artist Interview – A ‘crappy day’ can be inspiring
Since moving to Australia three years ago, emerging artist Adam Craemer has rediscovered his passion for art and is making waves on the local art scene. 2015 is shaping up to be his biggest year yet as he’s just been named the Perth winner of Raw Art Awards’ visual artist of the year. His work is a mixture of Portrait, Street and Abstract giving him an incredibly distinctive style. This week he took time out of his hectic schedule to answer our questions.
How did you become an artist?
Well both of my parents are Artists back in South Africa, so I guess being around art paraphernalia all the time kind of just meant I was bound to go in that direction eventually. My brother is also pretty handy with the paint brush.
having a crappy day at my day job can sometimes make me want to go and get away from it all and paint.
I did art and textile design in school and briefly embarked on a graphic design course at one point. Then I moved to the UK for 6 years and didn’t pick up a brush or pencil at all. Moving to Australia three years ago was my turning point. My partner pushed me to get back into it as a hobby, and then I sold a few pieces. It kind of kick started from there and I was back into art and enjoying it again thanks to her. This year has been my first year of entering various awards and trying to commit more time to art.
What inspires your creativity?
I get inspired to create by anything really. A great song or artist that I just can’t stop listening to could be one; or a really good surf can make me super keen as well. Also, I think even having a crappy day at my day job can sometimes make me want to go and get away from it all and paint. Seeing other artists’ work inspires me the most. When I see someone’s work that I really enjoy, it fires me up to go and make something that would hopefully make someone else feel the same way.
We love your painting Jen. Can you tell us about the process of creating it?
Jen was one of my first true gritty graffiti style pieces I made. I saw this picture with all these women in it and this one girl’s face just stood out to me. I kind of had to just do something to make her stand out, so I took her out completely and then ran with it. I had prepped a canvas for another piece then decided that I’d try to use the more graffiti / urban style background alongside an elegant woman figure, to see what would come out at the end. I like to experiment with mixed media, so using aerosol, acrylic, pencil, markers and portions of medium applied paper cuts, Jen was created.
Do you like taking on commission work?
I traditionally enjoy painting what I feel like and I have been lucky enough to sell a fair few pieces to various collectors in my short time in Australia while painting in that way. I do like to be in my own world in my studio with no one around when I paint. I find it is when I am at my most comfortable and creative. In particular when I am doing Abstracts, I feel it is true ‘letting go’ painting for me. Even if the piece doesn’t come off the way I’d initially imagined, I get to just play with colour and texture, I love that.
But obviously if a commission came along that I felt I could meet the brief on, I would go for it. I have had a few commissions recently for Abstract, as well as Portrait style pieces, which is good for my art as it does challenge both sides of my style; the two are pretty much polar opposites in terms of style. I really enjoy sitting down with someone and discussing what their take is on the piece or pieces that they’re after. The colours they prefer, the room type and makeup of the space their art will hang in. When doing a commission I want the buyer to get as much fun and involvement out of the experience as I am.
What are 3 pieces of art from any artists that have an influence on you and your work?
I am busy looking into doing some super textured abstract large panel pieces as a series soon, so for my fix of textured style with an urban take I really love José Parlá’s work.
Anything from David Bromley…
Any street style art that is clever and technical at the same time…
Do you collect art? If so, what’s your favourite piece?
I would love to be able to collect art. Unfortunately at present I spend far too much of my money on marketing, art supplies and surfboards to afford any decent art. But I am planning on buying a few pieces off of Bluethumb soon once we decide on what sort of ‘beach style’ house we are going for.
Who is your favourite Australian Artist and why?
I don’t have one favourite. There are so many interesting / cool / quirky / etc artists out there that I could never whittle it down to just one.
People I like include: David Bromley, Andy Quilty, Anya Brock, Dave Wolfy, Caroline Christie, Lara Scolari, Megan Weston, Loui Jover.
You can check out Adam Craemer’s art online here.