Beneath the Surface

In one of the artist application we were asked some great questions, we thought were would share our responses with you, so you can get to know us a little better. 

What inspires you as an artist?

Jola: Colour! The vast tonal range, especially in nature, it is amazing watching the colour change with weather and time of day. I also love colours in led light windows they awaken imagination linking back to nature and the past. I draw a lot of inspiration from Arts and Crafts (predominantly William Morris), Art Nouveau and Art Deco.

Sam: I am fascinated by art forms in nature, but in contrast to that I also love forms in architecture. I am always looking at how the man made has drawn from the natural form. I am inspired greatly by mid century modern design, poster art and Pop Surrealism.

Which artist are you most intrigued by / obsessed with? And why?

Jola: At the moment Alphonse Mucha, the design theme and difficulty of the technique. I relate to his use of flat colour and line.

Sam: Mark Ryden is always a stand out. His imagination intrigues me, I love the stories his work tells, and I feel like every time I look I see something new. I also have a great deal of love for the work of Shaun Tan the detail and the thought process is amazing everything has such a great deal of purpose.

Your favourite book

Jola: My Many Years: Arthur Rubinstein. Autobiography/memoirs, of a Polish classical pianist. He describes his experiences through life and his works so vividly it’s a pleasure to experiences his fascinating life through his eyes.

Sam: The Thoughts of Nanushka: Nan Witcomb is a collection of poems by a well-known South Australian. Her poetry is reflective and beautiful in its simplicity. Yet somehow she manages to really capture the human condition so extensively in such a raw and emotive prose.

What part of your practice is the most rewarding for you?

Jola: I enjoy being able to achieve the intricacy with all the fine detail in cutting and the challenge and subsequent reward of delivering on the most difficult elements. I find a great deal of satisfaction in practicing and honing my skills and technique and I love having the opportunity to interpret and create dimensions through cutting, layering and colour.

Sam: I am loving the opportunity to reinterpret iconic imagery and the nostalgia that it conjures. I find the design element immensely rewarding as well the inherent challenges and rewards. I also feel blessed to be undertaking this project in partnership with my mother.

What are you obsessed with at the moment? (an idea / tv show / person / process / website / feeling)

Jola: Discovering interesting and beautiful Architecture, I would love to interpret so many wonderful buildings I see.

Sam: I am inspired daily by my two beautiful little girls. I love showing them how beautiful nature is and that it can be used as inspiration and re-purposed creatively. 

What is something that most people coming to your studio might not know about you or your practice?

Jola: I am a trained opera singer and piano (and violin) player. I was an actress in an experimental children’s theatre, there creating scenes for shadow puppet performances began my interest in paper cut design. I am a retired textile designer by trade. I have a large collection of vintage glass beads dating 1920s-50s, that’s another interesting story!

Sam: Probably my early interest in fine art and my journey as a young artist. At 8 I fell in love with art, I painted with tempera, mostly landscapes, featuring children playing, growing up in Europe my artwork featured a lot of winter scenes. At 10 I discovered ink, painting mostly monotone/duotone scenes of old towns (old bridges, little shops and cobblestone streets).

At 13 coloured pencils became my medium and animals my subject (mostly horses, for which I won awards). Throughout my early teens my love of pencil continued with my focus shifting to photorealism. During mid-teens my preferred medium became gouache as I producing artwork inspired by surrealism.

In late teens my artwork reflected influences by Escher, my discovery of Bauhaus, and my growing obsession with poster art (from Art Nouveau to propaganda poster art).  

To learn more about our practice please visit Inside our Studio page, to see our creative experience head to Creativ CV and if you would like to read a little more about what inspires us check out the Q&A at Beneath the Surface.