I live in the realm of make-believe most of the time, and I think my work reflects this—even down to the subject matter. I can’t get behind an idea for an illustration until I can empathize with it; imagine myself experiencing it. Having moved back to Wellington and Weta Workshop after a tumultuous period in America, I further withdrew into my work and tried to visually create a lot of the daydreams that helped me slip away from painful realities. Sometimes I even draw people sleeping or relaxing, if that helps me get in touch with the wilderness of my mind.
I like every piece I make to tell a story. I’m not interested in poses of characters or impressive landscapes unless they make you feel like you’ve intruded on a real moment in time and not a stage production. Being a concept designer, it’s constantly a challenge to bring subtlety and intricacy to a piece while still fulfilling a brief (and sometimes it’s an awful brief), but I like to think I’ll figure it out one day.
I’m one of the most impatient people I know, so I hate spending a lot of time on my art. It’s not that I don’t enjoy making it, I just get really excited to see how it will turn out and whether it will look anywhere close to how it is in my head. I love intense but limited colour palettes, and I love to experiment with texture and lighting in my work. My focus is usually intimate, although as I mature as an artist I am trying to broaden the scope of my work, and expand the scene I’m trying to conceive.
As for what inspires me, I suppose there is no logic to it at all. Sometimes it’s a film or a piece of music, but usually it’s an errant thought that grows louder over time. As much as I’ve tried, I’ve never managed to force inspiration to happen. I have just become better at receiving it when it’s given to me.