Remember our advertising all the way back in July? – we were looking for an Albany-based marketing assistant to support our regional tour of eaters.
there was a strong response to the opportunity and a competitive selection of candidates applied for this short-term contract. Unfortunately, we could only choose one for the role.
Now that the dust has settled in the wake of our whirlwind trip to the Albany entertainment centre, we’re delighted to introduce you to the emerging artist who came on board and helped us spread the word to communities in the great southern.
Stoney worked alongside our team in the four weeks before eaters went “down south” – as our person on the ground, they contacted local groups whose interests aligned with the show’s message, engaged with communities and local businesses, and even did some good old fashioned flyering and postering.
With a successful Albany show behind us, Stoney was kind enough to have a chat about their personal practice so that our audience could get to know them.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. What set you on the path to becoming a visual artist, and has art and illustration always been something you’ve been drawn to?
I have always been drawn to art! I was the creative child in the family, and the constant praise and attention that creativity got me really kept me going! however I chose not to pursue art after finishing school, because I was pressured to “get a real job.” So I tried committing to the rat race for nearly a decade, as was expected of me. After a few big life events, I was given the space to be able to really evaluate what I wanted to do with my life – and “corporate drone” wasn’t it! Leaving my job to pursue an arts degree was the moment where I truly committed to building my artistic practice.
How has growing up in the Great Southern region influenced your artistic practice? What unique advantage has growing up on Menang Noongar Land given you?
Growing up on a farm in the 90s really restricted the amount of art that I was exposed to. This lack of exposure has meant that I have had to actively seek out art if I want to see it, and because I lack any preconceived notions around what is and what isn’t art, I find enjoyment in a wide range of art styles. Being so isolated meant that the possibility for connectivity brought by the worldwide web was very intriguing to me as a rural kid with limited technological experience. The explosive growth and popularity of the Internet and the possibilities of digital art mediums really held my attention; it was really like nothing else I could experience at the time!
Seeing my parents live the reality and struggles of farming life, and working the land to survive, really instilled the sense that if I want something I have to work for it. If I don’t put in the time and resources to the thing that I want to grow – Be that grain, or an arts career – then no one is gonna come and hand that to me. Not that I think that having a good work ethic is unique, but I think there’s an emphasis on becoming an overnight success – perpetrated partially by the Internet – that suggests to people that their wants will come easily to them with minimal effort. Growing up isolated from easily accessible conveniences and support systems has really helped diminish any false notions of my pursuing this career as being the quick and easy option, and that I will have to put in the time to grow my career.
You’re currently studying a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art and Digital Media. When your studies are complete, where do you hope to go with your artistic practice?
While I am setting up my art practice to be accessible no matter where I am in the world, I actually really like living in Albany and I’d like to stay here and contribute to the local arts community and culture. There is a thriving traditional arts scene down here but technologically assisted creatives still seem to be few and far between (and if you’re out there, hello!) My overall artistic style is still very much in its infancy, so I am very excited to see where it ends up. Lately I have been experimenting with connecting the digital to the traditional through augmented reality art, so we will see how that goes!
sunflower curse, 2022.
On your website, you mention that your art is built on a basis of traditional art processes, redefined through digital illustration technology. Can you describe your typical workflow to us when you’re creating a piece?
Traditional art processes redefined through digital technology is the best way I can think to sun up my feelings on why I am doing a fine arts degree if I am a digital artist! All of the fine arts units follow a similar process; pick a subject, do some artist research, test your medium, revise the concept, repeat. My art process, whilst done entirely digitally, follows the same path. My subjects have recently been coming from things like my phone’s terrible attempts at AutoCorrect, or unexpected phrase combinations that sound fun to say. Once I have a subject I spend some time finding inspiration from art in whatever style I’m obsessed with at the time (currently it’s retro-vintage) their style of line work, that shading, those details etc. My artistic digital process itself is nothing groundbreaking. It begins with a sketch of the composition, then I lay down the basic flat colours, build up contrast with shadows and highlights, refine any line work, forget to name all of my layers, doubt myself and my skills, and then post it to social media anyway.
frog gang, 2021.
You recently did some work with us (pvi collective) marketing our show “eaters” at the Albany Entertainment Centre. What attracted you to the role, and what did you find useful about the process?
Jobs in the art industry are few and far between in regional towns, so as soon as I saw it I had to throw my hat in the ring! The mission and vision behind the art that pvi collective create, support and promote reflect the kind of things I would like to be doing with my art one-day; and they also just seemed like fun people to work with. The digital media half of my degree is very much focused on building engagement, identities, and brands through the utilisation of digital and social media networks, so it was valuable to put all of that theory into some real world experience. Marketing is also my backup plan in case I do not make it as a visual artist! It was enlightening to see just how many people, how many moving parts, and how much work is involved in arts events promotion.
Bubblegum Octopus, 2022.
Something that you mention on your website “The Aesthetic™️”. Can you tell us what it is, and why you live your life for it?
I will be the first to admit that some of my artwork does not have a deeper, or more nuanced meaning other than “it looks cool, and people might enjoy it.” It was created purely for the aesthetic. “Aesthetic” as a word is chronically overused on the Internet to refer to a loose style or genre, and I (ironically) started applying this concept of doing things “for the aesthetic” as a joke to things I did in my non-art life. It looks fun, and I might enjoy it! Somehow, doing things “for The Aesthetic” became synonymous with “doing things that match the vision I have for my life.” Living my life “for the aesthetic” became my own way of trying to find the beauty and the joy in even the most mundane tasks. Why own one set of plain white mugs, when I could collect an array of fun, mismatched coffee mugs? Doing housework is not very aesthetically pleasing; but being the kind of person that cares enough about them self and other people in their household to maintain a tidy home is very much “for the aesthetic.”