Kitty Cooper’s painting ‘Girl in the water’ is gracing the cover of our first journal. Her bold surrealist style draws you into a world you wish to be a part of, and we couldn’t be happier to have her on board with us at Eye Flash.
Can you tell us a bit about how and when you started creating art?
I was always very creative growing up and got really into painting and art at school. When I was around 15/16 I knew I wanted to be an artist. Studied Fine Art but dropped out and been painting ever since. Which is about 15 years now.
How have you seen your art evolve over time?
It’s changed quite a bit over the years and I’ve moved between portrait and landscape work but I’m focusing now on what I’m most interested in, which is the same really as when I first started making paintings, mixing juxtaposition, pop art, surrealism and painting people/characters. Whereas when I started I worked in a collage style, using found/ pop culture images, now I draw mainly from imagination.
What have you achieved so far regarding your art, and what do you hope to achieve in the future?
I think this year I’ve found my style and a way of working that seems to really suit me, which is really satisfying and I’m so looking forward to making paintings of the many sketches I’ve accumulated over the years, and of the new ones I’ve done lately. I have a wall in my studio covered in sketches to be painted. Selling my work online and having happy customers feels like a huge achievement to me and I’m so grateful to be able to do that. So glad to have a place like Etsy to sell my work and for people to find me. Also, Instagram is great for getting feedback on new work or sketches. I exhibited with Etsy in London in 2014 which I was really proud to be a part of. I’ve exhibited quite a bit on the Island over the years too. Had my work published this year in a Canadian magazine called Spirituality & Health which was really great, alongside a poem by Jane Hirshfield. I’d love to do more things like that. I also did a commission recently which I was really pleased to complete and know the family were really happy with them. So nice when your art is linked with others in that way, or a poem, adds a different angle on it, is interesting. I hope to continue as I am, making paintings and creating more prints of them, possibly some cards too. When I have quite a few I may look to exhibit them. I also have an aspiration to make a comic book/ graphic novel but that will probably be more of a long term project.
What three words describe your style of painting?
Who is your favourite current artist?
I follow so many artists on Instagram and have loads of favourites. Kelly Vivanco has been a big inspiration for me, also Tara McPherson, Mab Graves, Glenn Arthur, Audrey Kawasaki, Dilka Bear, James Jean, Wendy Ortiz, Richard Salcido, Miho Hirano, Jeremy Miranda and Peter Doig. My favourite though is probably Daniel Clowes.
What inspires your art?
Anything and everything! I tend to work in a stream of consciousness kind of way when I’m drawing and see where it goes, while watching tv or something. I’m inspired by loads of other artists, faces, characters, philosophy, comic books/ graphic novels, music, films, tv, books, folklore, myths, space, time, death, animals, nature, gaming, surreal/weird stuff, beauty, the sea, my cat, everyday life, emotions.. etc.
Your painting, ‘Girl in the water’ graces the cover of our first journal, can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind it?
It started with a sketch of the girl in the jumper, with water and trees/woods behind and I knew it would be at night with moonlit water. Then when I projected it onto the wood, I’d planned a frame within the picture but I decided against it, so there was a lot of space around her, so it became her in the water and was a perfect opportunity to add some shapes/ spirits in the water too. It has a few similarities to a Swan Lake picture I’ve done. It evolved a fair bit from sketch to painting.
You can see more of Kitty’s art work here.