{the interview series} Caitlin Shearer

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Hoje trago-vos uma ilustradora cujo trabalho já sigo há muito! É um prazer apresentar-vos Caitlin Shearer - uma interessante jovem australiana que criou um universo repleto de magia e glamour para as suas misteriosas personagens... Caitlin começou a desenhar desde nova e transmite nos seus trabalhos uma forte influência pela feminilidade, pelo espírito vintage e pela atmosfera cinematográfica. Fiquem a saber um pouco mais sobre Caitlin nesta reveladora entrevista!

E não se esqueçam de seguir {the interview series} também no facebook e de ler (ou reler) a primeira entrevista da série, publicada na semana passada, a Sandra Juto.
(Por motivos óbvios de extensão e compreensão do texto, tanto pelos entrevistados como pelos potenciais leitores do resto do mundo, a entrevista segue em inglês.)

Today I bring you an illustrator whose work I follow for a long time! It's a pleasure to introduce you Caitlin Shearer - a very interesting young Australian woman who created an universe full of magic and glamour to her mysterious characters... Caitlin began to draw since young and her work reflects a strong influence by femininity, all things vintage and the cinematic atmosphere. Find out a bit more about Caitlin in this revealing interview!

And don't forget to follow {the interview series} also on facebook and read the first interview, published last week, to Sandra Juto.

Caitlin Shearer
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1. Let’s pretend we don’t know each other and I’ve never heard about Caitlin Shearer. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hello, I'm Caitlin, 21, a girl who lives by the ocean with her Family. I love to paint, read biographies, go out dancing and watch old films. I work as an illustrator and am currently searching for an apartment so i can move to Sydney.

2. You are so young and already accomplished so much: you have a recognizable style, you’ve participated in exhibitions and are a published artist. How and when was this passion born?
Thank you. I do feel like I have quite a lot still to accomplish but am proud of the work that has happened so far. Drawing and painting took over my life towards the end of highschool and I dedicated all of my time to it - so it's an obsession, a compulsion that I couldn't imagine stopping now. As a kid I always had a fondness for painting pictures, and an appreciation for beautiful picture books as well as the more adult art books in my mums bookshelf. I think having certain creative relatives allowed me to be surrounded by these things (my mum has nude sketches hanging all over the house, and she renovated our old bathroom with a mermaid mosaic and shells imbedded in the walls.) and that paved the way for my adoration of art.

3. You paint mainly in watercolor, which is a versatile but quite difficult medium, but you also use pencil, ink and gouache, for example. Can you tell us why do you like these mediums?
I like the immediacy of lead pencil, and also the fact that it can be erased without worry. It's a tool that allows me to get all my linework down - it's the precise part, and then adding the paint is like filling in all the gaps with a more mysterious substance.
I enjoy the unpredictable qualities of water-colour paint, and also the care and precision that goes into working with it. It can be very soft and fluid, but is also entirely malleable. Ink I use for vast black spaces (simply because it is waterproof and gives a nice sheen) and gouache I use for detailing because it is opaque.

4. Do you sketch first or you’d rather be more spontaneous? Would you share your creative process with us?
I don't usually sketch - I just start to draw a figure, and this usually means I erase things over and over until I feel the linework is perfect. Then I add the background and then I'll add the paint in lots of different washes.

5. Your characters are feminine and mysterious… and they also suggest an exquisite sense of fashion. They come out of your imagination or are they inspired by real people?
These characters usually come out of my imagination (the clothes too) - unless they are a particular portrait of a person who exists/existed (so, Dita Von Teese or Audrey Hepburn…). I think they are probably a mash up of all the women I wish I was, all the women in my favourite films, all the women I could have been in my past life, and all the women who perhaps I've yet to meet in my life.

6. I really admire your commissioned portraits, they must be a challenge! Would yell us how you create them?
It is quite challenging to get someones likeness quite the same on paper, but practice makes perfect, so these commissioned portraits are also helpful skill building projects.
I usually discuss with the sitter what kind of portrait they would like, and I try to learn as much about them as possible so I can inject their personality into the work. Then I work from photos and we go back and forth until the painting is completed and both of us are happy.

7. The way you paint women show that you’re fascinated by feminine power, is it true? Can you share some names of women you admire?
Yes, i'm quite obsessed with femininity and what it is to be a woman. I think for ever I've been obsessed with females and something about them is endlessly captivating - as much as I love males, I can't help having my work revolve around women.
I'm currently reading The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer, and a couple of other books about the impact of science on women and the psychology of love, so it's providing some interesting points and I find myself forming new opinions on these subjects and I think that's important to be open to letting your brain morph.
Among my list of admirable women, I would count: Anne Frank, Nigella Lawson, Winona Ryder, Tina Fey, Sofia Coppola, and Katharine Hepburn.

8. Your illustrations travel all around the world. What means do you use to promote your work?
It's something that's hard for me to understand properly, as I've never travelled anywhere, so cannot begin to comprehend… but it's an extremely exciting thing to think that my work has some caring new homes in places millions of miles away. At least if I never get to go there, my paper ladies will. I guess I just use the internet to promote my work. Blogging about work and sharing with likeminded people has probably been the main thing.

9. Would you give us a glimpse of your working space? Describe it and tell us what you love most about it.
I work out of my bedroom so it can get a bit stifling when you spend all your time in one solitary place, but it's big enough that I can have my desks and my bed and bookshelf all spaced out and not too crowded. We live right by the ocean so one window looks out onto a green hill and then my balcony looks out to the bush and the ocean, which is refreshing and peaceful and helps to brighten my spirits.

10. You live in the other side of the world for us Portuguese people: Australia! Tell us a bit about the city where you live.
I live in a quiet beachside suburb where i grew up and attended school. The scenery is beautiful - an abundance of bushland and wildlife - and the beach is amazing, but to tell you the truth there is absolutely nothing to do here (apart from swimming) and so I travel two hours to the city a few times a month so I can see my friends and have fun.

11. You also have a passion for all things vintage and you even own a second etsy shop dedicated to them. Does this influence the way you live?
My mum and I love to go out and search for treasures in all the second hand shops around here. It's such good fun and so the house is decorated with lots of zany 70's glass vases and lace curtains and such. I buy all my books second hand, and the money also goes to charities so you're doing a good deed. One brother always tells me that I don't belong in this era, so maybe that's got something to do with it.
I simply adore the clothing of the 1950's because the silhouettes are more flattering, the garments are more interesting and also manufactured with impeccable skill, much unlike all the cheap mass produced polyester stuff of today. I think it's important though to appropriate those styles into today's setting - you can't go down the street with your hair in curlers and gloves on and cats eye glasses too - it's just too much and ends up looking trite.

12. If you could live in any historical era of your choice, what would it be? Why?
If I could live in the 1950's for a little while I'd be happy. I have absurd longings to be a housewife and surround myself with babies, bake pies in a pink kitchen and make cocktails whilst wearing organdie aprons and pearl earrings. Movies make that era look so idealised and aesthetically wonderful, but the repression of women and the lack of choice is a terrible thing, so I'd probably get there and be too bossy and opinionated and they'd send me back to the future quick stat.

13. Your blog is full of beauty and color: mainly with images of your work. But what else are you passionate about doing?
I love to cook for family and friends, I like to dabble in sewing, and I like dancing, reading, and watching films.

14. What advices would you give to someone who would also want to become an illustrator?
It's really tough work and it's also a very solitary profession. it's not going to make you rich so if you're going to go down this path make sure that it is your ultimate passion.

15. What are your plans for the future? And your most unrealistic dreams?
Within the next six months I hope to move into a place with some friends in Sydney, get back into the world, meet new people and take advantage of my youth. I'd also like to study graphic design and sew a new wardrobe of dresses for myself.
My most unrealistic (but hopefully will happen) dreams for the future include having my own beautiful art deco apartment, falling in love, living it up in london and studying illustration at Central Saint Martins. I'd also like to publish books full of poems and drawings, and make my own capsule collection of clothing with custom textiles I'll design.

Now some quick question and answer game so we can find a bit more about you and your tastes! Tell us one:

book: Marlene Dietrich, by her daughter Maria Riva
music: The dancer by Pj Harvey
movie: Mermaids
personality/artist: J.W Waterhouse
color: Blush pink
object: Glass of water
animal: Kitten
drink: Ginger Beer
food: Peaches
season of the year: Autumn sunlight
travel destination: The bottom of the ocean
piece of clothing: Black dress
secret: Never been in love.

Thank you so much for adding a sweet touch of glamour to this series, Caitlin!



  1. desconhecia o trabalho da Caitlin.
    gosto do tipo de perguntas que colocas. já deu para perceber que não são tipificadas e que tens o cuidado de "adaptar" a cada entrevistado. boa!

  2. já a sigo há um bom tempo. e gosto muito, sempre! é uma inspiração melhor que a outra!


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