One of my 2021 resolutions is to “draw more.” It’s been an interesting exercise trying to get back into the habit of my alleged favorite thing to do. I’ll stall and look at my phone and my favorite scrolling-for-escapism lately is in-progress sketchbook posts. No surprise, I LOVE the work of artist/illustrator Chris Gambrell; his are the dream sketches one aspires to, prolific, loose, effortless planes of color rendering the most gorgeous portraits. Recently chosen by Vogue to be one of seven artists to draw their favorite couture looks from Vogue’s runway archive, Chris Gambrell’s work bridges finished and unfinished, combining shape and texture to create images that emerge, as if in relief, from the paper. This is the interview to read for those of us who need a push to keep going, be less precious with sketching, and very specific advice on how to get unstuck.
Over the last few days, between editing my interview with artist Natalie Osborne and tackling some urgent projects at the office (from home) and negotiating what childcare looks like as quarantine rounds month six, I keep coming back to her comments about Art as work:
“That painting kicked my butt! That painting beat me up! That one was hard.”
If you follow Natalie’s Instagram, you know that her pieces have a signature look. Her bold, graphic portraits have a cohesive style that is instantly recognizable in any interior. In fact, I love seeing her work photographed in people’s homes (on this wallpaper!), styled in varying interior styles, each with that familiar face looking back.
My conversation with Natalie Osborne is one of my favorites, not because she gives away any artist’s secrets to effortless creation, but because she breaks down the time, energy, and financial commitment that goes into being a successful full-time artist. As a Creative, it’s a relief to hear that the struggle so many of us have in finding our voices may just mean we need to commit more fully: To take our Art as seriously as we take our work.