Once again browsing through Etsy for beautiful things I can't afford and shouldn't really buy more of (even though I do. Every. Time.), I came across some stunning art from an amazing artist called Rhian Davie. Being intricately detailed, vintage-inspired work, with it's own unique elements, and recalling elements of Katie Scott and Jessica Roux's work (two of my favourite contemporary artists) - it was right up my alley. I immediately purchased this print (because rabbits).
And popped it up in my front room. And when, naturally, a week later I decided to purchase something else:
I thought, I'd better get this artist to join me on the blog. So here we are, on the first Friday of the month for #FiveMinuteFriday with Rhian Davie, answering some of my nosy questions for you to enjoy.
1. Can you tell us your story?
I have always loved drawing & art.
I have this one distinct memory of being around 3 years old and painting at the kitchen table in the morning while my sisters had to go to school and thinking this is great I wish I could do this forever .
I got seriously into illustration in my final year of school and bought illustration books that I fell in love with. I discovered lots of talented illustrators, and Cecelia Carlstedt was one of the main artists that stood out to me at that time for her use of pencil and ink. But I mainly realised that illustration was a combination of everything I liked and was studying: media, English and art. I then did an art foundation course and went to Cardiff to study illustration a year later.
2. Your style has a definite vintage feel to it, with a modern twist, what drew you to this approach?
I'm not too sure why my style has turned out this way in particular. I definitely love natural history and scientific prints, but I think I just really like the composition that old drawings have and in working digitally it's a combination of old and new which I enjoy. I do sometimes feel fraudulent in the fact that I only create digitally so I guess it's my way of comfortably merging the two.
3. Who (or what) inspires you?
I'm mostly inspired by nature. There's just so much we don't know about. I only found out that hammer-headed bats exist the other day. (If you don't know what that is or looks like, Google it) but I just love drawing while discovering the world around us.
There's also a fragility and impermanence in nature that I'm inspired by, so I sometimes do illustrations on this too.
Other things I love that inspire me could be anything from friends and family to films, to being outside and going on walks and music. I love going to gigs and I'm missing them a lot right now due to this pandemic.
4. I love the detail in your work, you must have the patience of a saint! What draws you to create such intricate, detailed pieces?
Thank you; it's definitely time consuming and I do often get distracted! One of the benefits of working digitally is being able to zoom in really close to what you're drawing & I guess it's just become a bit addictive that way! I'm also obsessed with textures so I love to try and recreate them as best and in as much of a time-consuming way as I can.
5. What do you love about working digitally? And if you couldn’t work digitally, what would be your medium of choice?
I love the freedom working digitally has in terms of being able to erase mistakes easily and being able to create a composition with layers however I want. Before working digitally I was using acrylics, watercolours and pencil but I could never work with them as well as I'd like to. It was always quite messy. I also used to love collaging and collage work so I think if I didn't work digitally I would probably be doing that.
6. What advice would you give to someone wanting to start out in digital illustration?
My advice for wanting to get into digital illustration would be to try and transfer the way you have been drawing or painting into the digital realm and to play around and alter the brushes on Photoshop or create your own to what suits you. I don't know if you can do this on procreate too as I only work in Photoshop at the moment, but I would mainly say
explore this and to keep at it until you find your style.
7. Why create? What do you love about it?
I create because I have to. It's the only way I know how to be. I love the joy and finding a new way of thinking, it can bring people together and be a voice for the voiceless.
Thank you so much for joining me on the blog today Rhian, and for answering all of my questions! Your work is so beautiful.
Thanks for reading!