Monday, 17 December 2012

Caitlin Hackett

One of our visits in New York was to see illustrator Caitlin Hackett in her apartment. A small group of us squeezed in, while she showed us some of her work displayed around her apartment, and some pieces of work in progress in her studio room.
Her drawings are ambitious and highly detailed...and so impressive! Her subject matter is quite dark, focusing mostly around mythical creatures. It seems ideally suited to epic fantasy stories; and in fact she did share with us some of her original drawings for a story book she was commissioned for.
Caitlin usually works using biro and watercolour. As we could see from a piece of her unfinished work on the wall, she sketches out the image in in pencil, then goes over it in pain-staking detail in biro. Although time consuming, the end results are stunning.

However, she explained frankly to us how her traditional method of image making was hard work when she was asked to change details of her illustrations for the story book. Rather than using some sort of high-tech solution to make quick alterations (as more digitally dependent artists may be able to), she had to completely re-do the drawing.
I thought it was interesting to see that, like AndrĂ© da Loba's studio, Caitlin's apartment and her studio room seemed to reflect her style of art work. The space was very neat and orderly, like the precise and clean look of her drawings, rather than the chaotic and overwhelming environment AndrĂ© worked in (which I thought corresponded nicely with his prolific nature and spontaneous ideas). She also had a beautiful cat that followed her around and observed as she showed us her studio!
Although the drawings were obviously the main focus of her talents, I was fascinated by some little puppets she had made.
Although these were more of a fun side-project for Caitlin, they have so much character and are so skillfully made! I don't know if it's just that I'm naturally inclined to admire 3d art work, but (I hesitate to say) I think I was drawn to these even more than the drawings. Rather than being a complete departure from her usual work, the detail painted on them is clearly in the same intricate style as her drawings. This visible link between her 2d and 3d creations is something I need to think about establishing in my own work, so I found these inspiring for that reason too.

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