Interview with Artist Hive artist: Benitta
Sophie Blackshaw | On 05, Oct 2013
Google her name and it won’t be long before you uncover a small assemblage of both hand-drawn and digitally-produced portraits depicting the faces of real people, each one differentiated by either gender or generation, or both.
And that’s not all you’ll find. Indeed, it would be hard to locate an artist who hasn’t dabbled in a variety of artistic genres, but maintaining at least three – even after losing two years of work and 20 years of equipment in a devastating flood – is something that artist Benitta has accomplished and something we believe should be celebrated.
Read our interview with Benitta below and find out about her third, and arguably most intriguing talent (it involves TV), and how she coped with the Brisbane flood.
CD: Describe yourself as a person and an artist in one sentence
B: Self-taught artist who loves being creative.
CD:Â We read on your website that you work a variety of mediums: does any one in particular take your preference and why?
B: I have always had a soft spot for pastel â€“ I got my first set when I was eight. I love that pastel is a vibrant medium with great luminosity and richness of colour that no other medium has.
CD:Â Can you elaborate on the kind of set designs you do freelancing for creative production companies?
B: I produce freehand sketches, scaled designs, plans and isometric drawings in consultation with the creative director of Pen2stage (http://pen2stage.com).Â The work varies from creating a set from elements provided to hand drawing scenes (in adobe illustrator). The files are then sent to be printed and constructed.
I have also just finished creating characters (Princesses, and the seven dwarves) for Cinderella and Prince Charmingâ€™s wedding stage production. Costumes will be created from these character designs. I will also be creating the sets for this product.
The set designs/characters are used in family shows for Asia and the UAE (United Arab Emirates) market.
CD:Â What is it about all the work you do that you love?
B: I love the variety of work I do. No two days are the same. I could be working on a portrait painting one day, then the next hand drawing a set design.
CD:Â What draws you to doing portraits?
B: Initially when I was younger (12 or 13) I started drawing portraits to develop my skill in drawing realism.Â I would also go to art galleries and see works by Renoir and be inspired by his portrait work.Â I also find people fascinating and love to capture a moment in time.
CD: What kept you inspired and motivated to keep going as an artist even after your works were lost in the Brisbane floods?
B: At the time of the floods I had two years of work at my place getting ready for a solo exhibition. I was devastated and thought how can I restart Â again (not only was it two years of work it was 20+ years of reference material and art supplies) but a friend reminded me that a flood can take away your art but it canâ€™t take away your talent to create more.
I also get inspired from many sources in particular my parents, friends and people who are passionate about what they do (not necessarily in the creative field). I also surround myself with creative people (photographers, singers/songwriters, musicians and other artists) and feed Â off their energy!
CD: What are your thoughts on Brisbane as a place for artists – is it a nurturing atmosphere?
B: Brisbane art scene is alive and well and there are many places for artist to have their work seen. Organisations such as Artist Hive is a great way for artists to get their art out there, meet other artists, and collaborate.
CD: Do you have any kind of mental picture as to where you’d like to be in five years time?
B: My main goal in the next few years are to have a solo exhibition overseas (UK) and to get into art licensing.