A Gloriously Good Time of Bright, Bold and Vibrant Colours Courtesy of NZ Artist Evie Kemp
When discussing who we might next collaborate with to create new label designs for our Tailored Spirits range, NZ-based artist Evie Kemp was a no-brainer.
Self-described as the ‘creative version of a one-woman band’, Evie’s art is just a little bit extra, making the world a bit more beautiful and a lot more fun.
We spoke to Evie about the magic behind her work, embracing the art of being “too much” and the very nice, very colourful new label design that she has created for our Tailored Spirits offering here at Archie Rose.
Tell us about your journey to becoming an artist - did you always know it was what you wanted to do?
During high school I was actually really into debating and wanted to be a lawyer, however, after enrolling in a law degree at University I really was quite miserable and quit halfway through to focus on something I was really passionate about and would allow me to be creative, which was art, something that I had always enjoyed.
So I scrambled together and made a portfolio of bits and pieces I had been working on in my spare time and went back to university and studied graphic design. While I was there I had a couple of really encouraging tutors and found my confidence within illustration! By the end of my degree, I had made a range of textiles and was selling those at markets, developing my art and style to where I am today.
Do you have a favourite artist? Are there any artists that inspire the work you do?
I’m inspired by lots of artists, but in particular, I just love the work of Sonia Delauney! I appreciate how she blended art with textiles and gave her art practical applications which is a facet of art that really appeals to me. Art made practical, something that you can use every day is the most exciting way to make art, it’s something that a lot of people can enjoy and own and most importantly is art that is for everyone.
What inspires you generally?
I feel like everything inspires me! I love art, I love going to art galleries, I love just walking down the street and looking through windows, I love fashion, I love makeup and the list goes on! I am obsessed with TV shows about creativity. Things like Pottery Throwdown or Blown Away (a glass-blowing competition on Netflix that I would highly recommend), just blow my mind (no pun intended). I love watching stuff like that, it makes you look at things differently and reminds you that you never know where inspiration may come from. I also spend a lot of time on Pinterest and reading magazines. All in all, I’m happiest when I am consuming content.
How would you describe your style?
Bright, bold and vibrant colours! My style has developed as my confidence has developed. It comes first through my art and then I sort of start living it. Art gives me a lot of joy. I find confidence through expressing myself in colour and patterns. I just love bold, bright prints and I have always been obsessed with textile design so that’s what I am drawn to when buying clothes, I can’t help it!
What is the art scene like in New Zealand?
It’s interesting…quite divided. In New Zealand, there isn’t as much of a strong, colour-focussed design scene as there is in Australia. In Melbourne for example, there is a real appreciation, particularly for how you can apply art and design to the every day and for embracing colour and pattern and ‘energetic’ designs. In New Zealand however, art is often a lot more minimalist with darker colours. Bright, bold and vibrant isn’t embraced as much over here so I definitely feel like a bit of an outlier but I do have a really cool community of people who are all making cool stuff and we all support each other so that’s really fun.
You once said that by embracing being “too much”, that’s where the magic happens. What do you mean by that?
I have spent so much of my life trying to ‘fit in’ but when I realised that I didn’t need to please people and stopped second-guessing what I thought people would want, I was encouraged to go a bit wild and started thinking and creating differently…..that’s when things turn out better than you had ever dreamed and the opportunities start to grow!
I just feel like again and again I’ve seen that happening and I really just encourage anyone reading this to just follow your heart and follow your gut. I just want to say to any aspiring artists reading this, if everyone likes what you have created perhaps no one loves it, but it’s worth noting that if you want people to really love it it’s likely there will also be people who really hate it and that’s okay!
Talk us through your design process and what inspired the final label design you created for our Tailored Spirits.
I love a G&T (my all-time favourite drink) and I love the whole idea of making your own spirit through the Archie Rose Tailored Spirits offering!
My idea centred around the botanicals and then evolved from there to ‘fantasy botanicals’. I wanted to create something that felt really fresh but also uplifting, celebratory and that verged on abstract with a ‘slightly off’ colour combo. It was such a fun project to design thinking about how my art would sit on a label on a bottle and elements like the pops of black and where the colour sits and who it might appeal to (hopefully lots of people).
What is the response you are after when someone views your work?
That’s such a cool question! I don’t think I consciously think about that but when I create I do think about my own feelings. A lot of the time it comes down to joy and wanting to create something joyful and something that makes people smile, whether that’s because the art is a bit weird or perhaps it’s just really colourful.
What’s next for Evie Kemp?
Things are slowly getting back to ‘doing things in the real world’ post-COVID. I really want to make some time in the second half of this year to dedicate to my own art practice so I can make original paintings and artworks with a looser style so that I can try new techniques and ideas! It would also be really nice to do some new workshops now that the world is slowly opening up.
Want more of Evie? Make sure to check her out at https://www.eviekemp.com/ or at @eviekemp on Instagram