Together Loves – Evie Kemp

Tell us about your background and how you got started?
I’ve always loved art & design, and have been making and collecting since I was little. When I went to university I started out studying Art History but switched to Graphic Design when I realised I wanted to be on the ‘hands on’ side of things. While I was studying Graphic Design I found my love for illustration with a the help of a couple of great tutors. I ended up specialising in illustration­ specifically for fabric design, as well as getting the contract to illustrate the children’s book ‘A Dog Like That’ at the end of my final year. The fabrics I’d created at uni got a bit of interest so I started selling those at markets and on etsy while working as a mac op making ads for APN newspapers, and then I moved on to create art prints. That was about 6 years ago now.


What do you love most about what you do?
My most loved thing, and something I don’t get to do often enough is meeting people. Twice a year I take part in a studio sale, and the people I meet and talk to there are just amazing. Working alone you can really feel like a bit of an island, but when there’s kids choosing their favourite prints, new faces and old just coming by to say ‘hi!’, people showing you where they put up a framed piece and just chatting and getting to know one another, it completely fills my heart and humbles me. It gives me so much encouragement to do more and do better. On that same note, I LOVE getting pictures through instagram of where my prints end up, it’s exciting and inspirational.


I’m doing more to increase these connections and relationships because they are my absolute favourite. Our next studio day is Sunday 20th November at Espresso Workshop in Parnell, I can’t wait!


Where do you find inspiration for new work?

My inspiration mostly comes from something I want! I have a gap I want to fill at home or I just get a bit obsessed with stuff. With my animals, a lot of those come from requests which is really neat. I have the biggest list of native birds to work through at some point.

Do you have a favourite piece or series?
Cantankerous cat will always be my favourite. He was one of my very first prints, and he has a naivety that I can’t replicate! I’ve moved away from that more stylised and simplified line drawing in recent years but I always feel in my heart that it’s the most ‘me’.

Tell us a little bit about the art styling side of your business?

This is very new and exciting for me, and as I write this I’m in the process of really making it the focus of my business which is quite a huge step. I’ve been styling and collecting all my life, and after being asked a few times over the years, I’ve shyly and slowly decided to offer up styling and sourcing to the world. It’s a combination of all the tricks and info I have from life in the art world, combined with my extreme magpie tendencies and unique style. For me, art is what makes a house a home, it’s both deeply personal and yet totally curated, and it takes a lot of confidence and searching to get right. I’m helping people find the vision they want, and take it from start to finish. I love it because I truly believe it’s life changing, and I’m so incredibly passionate about it.


Tell us about the tools of your trade?
Unfortunately my tools are neither glamorous or romantic, but very basic!
My main tool is a mechanical pencil with 2B lead, and a great eraser. I have a very specific pencil I love and when I lose it I don’t know what I’ll do. I then colour digitally, so my macbook pro is everything to me!

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Who inspires you?
I think like everyone I have a couple of main ‘camps’ of inspiration. I have the people in my life who are just so kind, hardworking and awesome ­ they always inspire me. My mum is a huge inspiration to me and always has been, she’s the most fabulous woman I’ve ever known. Creatively I’m currently re­-reading a book on Zandra Rhodes ­ I’m a huge fan of all the pop movement trail blazers of the 1960’s ­ in all fields, fashion, art, music… I see them as making their mark on the mainstream and making life bolder and more brilliant for the masses, which is really my biggest inspiration.


Interview by Delena Nathuran | Artworks and Words by Evie Kemp