Posts Tagged: creative arts

Skyler Castillo: dabbler, artist.

Just 20 years old, into sketching, film and aesthetics, Skyler Castillo has become a regular fixture around Visible Ink, starting out as a volunteer at Brisbane Youth Week and going on to co-found a monthly creatives meet-up, KISVIS. Her passion for creation, motivation to learn, and open, friendly approach to collaboration make working alongside Skyler a lot of fun and we love having her around the space.

Q: So how did you first hear about Visible Ink?
I first found Visible Ink through my school. We were just having a day trip around the city and from the second I was introduced to the space I fell in love with the chill atmosphere. They [Visible Ink] haven’t been able to get rid of me since. I use the space mostly just to develop my skills as an artist by hopefully working on bigger and bigger projects as well as collaborating with other artists.

Q: What does developing your skills mean for you project-wise and how does that relate to being an artist?
Well currently I’m working on building up my portfolio of work. I’m hoping to work in the Art and Graphics industries in Melbourne at some point, although really I’m kind of just winging it. I’m an artist at heart. I’m just your stereotypical struggling paint nerd and  I wouldn’t have it any other way. There’s a saying “What’s bad for your heart, is good for your art.” and I think finding ways to get around a barrier or block is what makes artworks so good. Plus let’s be real, drawing a pretty picture is pretty dang cool.

Q: What are a few of your projects and what are you working on project-wise currently?
Currently I’m building some 3D-printed prosthetics using online resources (check out e-nabled) I’d like to get some working models out of the printer and stylise them so they look more like art to bring attention to what technology can achieve. Lately, I’ve also been exploring digital art, a medium I haven’t gotten into until recently but it has been a fast learning curve.

Q: What would you say led you to where you are today? How was it that you got started?
Probably growing up in an uneasy neighbourhood with little-to-no money, yet I always found a way to do art. I’d borrow friends colouring pencils overnight and ask the teachers for printer paper to make my own sketchbooks. I’ve just always enjoyed being creative so I’ve never let anything get in the way of that. I think this has also incorporated it’s way into my work as far as subject matter goes, I’ve been inspired by almost anything that nobody else sees. Trying to explain things to people can only go so far – and I’ve never been great at describing things – so to me it’s more meaningful to create the visual representation of the warm rays of the sun through leaves or the black abyss, then to merely say it in words which would just sound off and cringe.

If you’re passionate, you’ll find a way. Just keep at it. There’s advice people just don’t give you about starting out or deciding on a direction. So in the end practice makes all the difference, even if it’s just doodling every other day. If it’s finding time do draw, paint, create on the bus or train, while talking to people, while drinking coffee,  there’s always five minutes you can doodle on a piece of paper. And if it’s materials holding you back, there’s heaps of free ways to get what you need. Volunteering at events or finding youth spaces like Visible Ink – almost all are equipped with art supplies – even at your school, ask your teachers if they can help by making it a part of your school work somehow. There are plenty of opportunities to volunteer and do a project for free to gain experience and see where that leads you. Brisbane is surprisingly filled with opportunities.

Q: Now that you’re on this path, what keeps you motivated to keep moving forward?
Just my overall passion for trying new things, this is what I do in my spare time this is what I want to do for a career. If I slow down I’m not moving closer to my goal.

Q: Other than hanging out at Vis Ink, what else do you get up to?
Most of my hobbies are creative as well. I do film projects here and there. Recently I have been dabbling into photography, which started just as a reference platform for my art but I fell in love with it after learning from photographers like Peter McKinnon and Mango Street. I’m also a terrible drummer but it’s fun and hot damn, it lets off steam!

Find me at @kitten_phlegm on Instagram and feel free to message me for art meet ups and collabs!

Creative Hangouts

Visible Ink is hosting a series of casual creative hangouts on everything from visual arts to music to sound and lighting equipment.

UPCOMING DECEMBER-JANUARY SESSIONS

  • Intro to Colour Theory | Wed 19 Dec | 2pm
  • Introduction to Vis Ink’s Music Production + Recording Equipment | Thurs 20 Dec | 5pm
  • Watercolour Basics | Sat 22 Dec | 10am
  • Intro to Knitting | Wed 16 Jan | 4pm

Keep an eye out for upcoming sessions here or in the space. And feel free to chat to staff if you have a hangout you’d like to host.

Nikki Nicnevin & Found Fashion

Found Fashion – a guide to second-hand shopping in Brissie – is a bright and quirky zine. Creator, Nikki started the project because they are passionate about bringing inclusive thinking into fashion and wearable art.

“Expressing yourself through your outfit shouldn’t be more difficult because of your looks or your budget.”

Why did you choose to create Found Fashion and what do you love about it? No matter what I’m working on, I thrive on the pride I feel when I look at a finished project and say, “I made this.” but this zine in particular is extra special to me since I’ve always wanted a career in fashion but could never afford to study after high school. I’ve modelled before at a professional level and have always loved dressing up, being in front of the camera.

It would bring me a lot of joy to rally some local young people as models for this project, especially those of marginalised identities, as I know first-hand how good it feels to look the way you feel inside.

Nikki first started swinging by Visible Ink in 2016, being bored and dropping in for their partner’s rehearsals. “Once I saw all the fantastic features available for FREE, I was completely hooked. Now I come here on my days off to indulge in self-led art therapy and to keep my creative side sharp.”

Is there any advice you wish you’d been given beforehand, before starting Found Fashion, or any creative project? Art is easy. We think it’s hard, but it’s not. Don’t judge your work in terms of ‘good’ or ‘bad’ art; everything you create does something good for your spirit! Also, if you’d like to model for me, I’d love to hear from you. No experience required – you’re eligible if you occupy a physical form! :)

In their downtime, you can find Nikki painting, baking, singing, writing, taxidermy, window-shopping, dog petting, etc. etc. – “I’m the kind of person who hates to waste a day off!” – or you can follow them on Instagram or Facebook @caointeach or Nikki Nicnevin. You can also see a digital version of Found Fashion.

Is there anything else you’d like to add? Thanks to the Vis Ink team for putting up with my weird (and usually barefoot) antics! <3

Announcing our new Developing Artist in Residence!

Each year Visible Ink offer opportunities for young and emerging artists to have space, resources and mentoring to develop their practice. The Developing Artist in Residence (DAIR) works closely with VI staff to curate exhibitions, facilitate workshops for other young people and produce their own works, showcasing them at various venues across Brisbane.

With that in mind, we’d love to introduce you to Skyler Castillo: artist, dabbler, and Visible Ink’s DAIR for 2018. Check out her interview on our Profiles page.

Emerging Visual Artists: Sam Bradley

As a part of Visible Ink’s Enterprise program, we support young and emerging visual artists to scale their work to suit large sites and submit an Expression of Interest. This year five young artists worked with Jugglers and Brightsiders to submit their EOI to Brisbane Canvas. They were successful in their designs being incorporated over two sites during the Brisbane Street Art Festival.

We’d like to introduce you to the artists that have turned out some amazing designs during this program, including Sam Bradley, who uses traditional signwriting techniques to create custom calligraphy and lettering.

You first got involved with Visible Ink through the Visible Ink Emerging Visual Artists (EVA) program, what was that like?

I really enjoyed the opportunity of working with The Brightsiders team (Jordan & Jordy) and Emily of Frank and Mimi fame. They were all extremely welcoming and made the whole project an important and valuable learning experience. The time spent spraying and brushing up the Jugglers driveway poured metho on my creative fire and painted my greymatter full colour.  It’s been surreal seeing these professionals work and teach up close, the techniques, tricks and attitude they taught will always be remembered.

I’d also like to thank everyone at Visible Ink and Jugglers Art Space (shoutout to Pete) for giving us a place to scribble and learn. And of course, a big thanks to Imogene Peach and Ashley Peel for their contributions and motivation in bringing our mural to life!

What are you currently working on, project-wise?

Currently I’m putting together a series of T-shirt screenprint designs for Velvet Couch Clothing, an Aussie streetwear company run by Gerard Ahrens who supports all kinds of creative talent worldwide.

What do you do and why did you choose to go down this path? 

I like to make original hand lettering focused design work combining traditional media with graphics programs. I also enjoy hand painted signwriting. There’s something about handmade letters that add a humanity to the work, no font licenses, the possibilities are endless and hopefully it can’t become obsolete when the robot overlords take over, ha ha!

What would you say led you to where you are today? 

I’ve enjoyed drawing and graphic design most of my life but didn’t get completely immersed until I saw a signwriter gold-gilding a sign at the pub next to a pizza shop I worked at. Now I’m just trying to get as skilled as possible, and make as many (arguably) beautiful things as possible until my inevitable demise. There’s so many talented artists painting walls in Brisbane and obviously on Instagram, that quality inspiration is everywhere you look.

Is there any advice you wish you’d been given before you started in this field? 

Just start drawing. I think a lot of people (myself included) are scared of being bad at something but the great people you see now just pushed through the self doubt of it. I’d recommend buying a ream of A4 paper, as many kinds of pens as you can and copy your favourite art styles as a reference. By the 500th sheet of paper you’ll probably have some good stuff. Also make sure you’re actually enjoying it and taking chances which will reflect in the work.

The best advice I’ve been given is to just keep working consistently and don’t compare yourself to others too much. Everyone has a unique style and once you harness that it’s a secret weapon – no one can do better.

What do you get up to in your down time? 

I love skating, cooking, stand up comedy, hanging out, mashing around town on a bicycle listening to heavy hip hop and learning old school signwriting techniques.

How would you suggest young people get involved in similar opportunities such as EVA?

Keep an eye out online by following your favourite artists locally and abroad, go to events in your city and visit Jugglers Art Space on a Saturday for a paint sesh.

Where can people get in touch with you?

I mostly post work at www.instagram.com/beradsdesign or www.berads.com, check it out y’all. Or if you want to meet Sam in person come along Sunday 15 April, 10am-4pm at Toombul Skatepark – 46 Parkland Street, Nundah – as a part of Brisbane Street Art Festival and funded by Brisbane Canvas to see his work.

Emerging Visual Artists: Lisa Tran Kelly

We’d like to introduce you to the artists that have turned out some amazing designs during this program, including Lisa Tran Kelly, a multi-disciplinary artist who utilises mediums such as pencil, ink, acrylics, oils and gold-leaf.

As a part of Visible Ink’s Enterprise program, we support young and emerging visual artists to scale their work to suit large sites and submit an Expression of Interest. This year five young artists worked with Jugglers and Brightsiders to submit their EOI to Brisbane Canvas. They were successful in their designs being incorporated over two sites during the Brisbane Street Art Festival.

 

You first got involved with Visible Ink through the Visible Ink Emerging Visual Artists (EVA) program, what was that like?

I had actually visited Visible Ink briefly a few other times as one of my friends volunteered there hosting workshops. I really enjoyed our time at Vis Ink for the program and found the rooms and materials available awesome. It’s a really inspiring space and making simple things like printing, scanning and art materials readily accessible to youth is a really fantastic idea that can help build the grounds for creative support and motivation. Knowing that I can access this place when I need to is something I’m very grateful to have in Brisbane and gives me a huge sense of hope for the future development of emerging artistic communities within the city.

The same goes for my experience with the EVA program. It was really valuable to have mentors taking us through elements of making Council-level applications and how to scale up our works. It was a great opportunity to be able to meet up with other like-minded emerging artists and work alongside them as well.

What are you currently working on, project-wise?

Currently I am working on a few different projects. I’m creating a mural with Brienne Aspinall for Brisbane Street Art Festival and have an upcoming group exhibition (“Art with Heart”) showcased at Juggler’s Art Space that will be raising funds for the Asylum Seeker Refugee Centre in the same month. So I am creating a series of paintings and gold-leaf wood blocks that represent the values of my Vietnamese heritage and the expectations and sacrifices made for me and my younger brother. As well as this, seeking to explore the extreme differences in lifestyles and times and generally the impact of experience that immigration and assimilation has on the persons involved and our broader Australian community.

What do you do and why did you choose to go down this path? What do you love about it?

I have an undergrad in Psychology and am currently completing my Masters in Social Work. I’ve always practised art on the side and have had opportunities to combine both interests plenty of times through an art residency with Brisbane City Council and work for the Queensland Eating Disorder Day program.  For work I am a disability support worker and occasionally fulfil speaking roles for The Eating Issues Centre.

While I love art and it is a huge focus in my life, in choosing what to study I have always wanted to use the privileges I have to learn skills and techniques to help the people most disadvantaged in society. I love building connections with others and making a positive difference in the community and hope to eventually build a career that combines artistic practise with these principles.

What would you say led you to where you are today?

Mental health and recovery are themes that go hand in hand with creativity so it can be a natural relationship. And while I’ve studied in the human services fields I feel like in many ways my non-art-related study has really driven my thirst for practising art as I’ve had to work hard to create and pursue artistic opportunities while still focusing on study, placements and support work roles. I have always been greatly inspired by my grandmother who is a brilliant artist and art teacher and who has taught me the value of practising art and immersing yourself in the world because with an artistic perspective beauty and meaning can be found within everything.

Is there any advice you wish you’d been given before you started in this field?

I think one of the biggest things that has come up in commissioning is determining pricing point as an emerging artist starting the first few big, important jobs. There isn’t a union that sets the minimum rate for producing an art work or large art job so I’ve struggled with pricing my work fairly and have finished a few jobs feeling exploited in the past. I’ve been lucky to have professional artists as friends and mentors who I can contact for guidance in this area but I wish I had been aware earlier of how to assert myself and had some better reference to inform my commission prices. I would definitely say before agreeing to a price on a large job to seek advice and perspective  from others in your industry.

What do you get up to in your down time? 

In my down time when I’m not studying or painting – music, playing Zelda, or being outdoors swimming in some body of water. I love playing music. I have a harp, electric guitar and ukulele I love to dabble with and an old piano I’ve played since I was seven.

How would you suggest young people get involved in similar opportunities such as EVA?

I suggest to look out for opportunities via ArtsGuide Brisbane, local galleries in your area and art universities. There are so many great opportunities out there it’s always worth getting involved and putting yourself out there.

Where can people get in touch with you? 

You can find my artworks @themoongallery on Instagram, on my website  lisatrankelly.wixsite.com/website or Facebook @themoongalleryartbylisa. Lisa’s upcoming mural as a part of Brisbane Street Art Festival and funded by Brisbane Canvas will be open for viewings Sunday 15 April, 10am-4pm at Sherriff Street, Petrie Terrace.

Emerging Visual Artists: Imogene Peach

As a part of Visible Ink’s Enterprise program, we support young and emerging visual artists to scale their work to suit large sites and submit an Expression of Interest. This year five young artists worked with Jugglers and Brightsiders to submit their EOI to Brisbane Canvas. They were successful in their designs being incorporated over two sites during the Brisbane Street Art Festival.

We’d like to introduce you to the artists that have turned out some amazing designs during this program, including Imogene Peach, Brisbane based artist and real life peach.

 

You first got involved with Visible Ink through the Emerging Visual Artists (EVA) program, what was that like?

The Emerging Visual Artists program was a super great experience. Having other artists want to lift you up like that is a true rarity in the art world and to have the fortune of such established and incredible artists there to support you and teach you their little secrets was incredibly uplifting and rewarding. I gained such great exposure, opportunities, and also learnt a lot of really valuable skills using new mediums, responding to artistic briefs and transforming works into large scale formats.

For anyone wanting to get involved with similar programs like Emerging Visual Artists I would suggest, look anywhere and everywhere for inspiration and opportunities, no matter how small or large. Humble beginnings are where all great things start. Instagram is also always a great place to network and share your artistic platform.

What are you currently working on, project-wise?

Currently I’m working on a show that explores my personal growth and struggles with gender identity, body image and performative femininity through experimenting with various iterations of the human form. It includes many portraits of friends of all identities and walks of life, using acrylic, markers and a little aerosol as my main mediums. It embraces the fluidity of the human form and experience. I also have had the incredible opportunity to work alongside some other amazing artists for the Brisbane Street Art Festival this year and will be completing a fun mural for them in April.

What do you do and why did you choose to go down this path? What do you love about it?

I have been producing art for a long time, but have only just found the confidence to embrace it fully after some tough times really made me realise creating is really when I feel the most comfy and myself. I currently do commission based works for a whole walk of different clients. The thing I love the most about this is the special connection you gain with someone by drawing them and the huge spectrum of different clients I paint for is always exciting as each work is something different to the one before- it really makes the whole experience fun and inspiring each time I get a job.

What would you say led you to where you are today?

I think what really led me to where I am now was through the power of positive thinking and mindfulness. I have a rough history with mental illness and found that the best way for me to express my tumultuous relationship with my brain was not so much through words, but with my hands, really getting in touch with what I love doing and holding on to that so tightly. Art has played a huge role in my recovery and still does everyday I pick up a pen or brush. The strength of other friends and the ones I love who have really been pushing it up hill and have come out on top has inspired me to take every opportunity I can and to always keep creating.

Is there any advice you wish you’d been given before you started in this field?

I think the best advice I have been given in regards to art is to believe in what you do and always do it with agency. Self doubt has always been my biggest obstacle, but listening to the positive feedback you’re receiving and accepting that you are deserving and worth this is a HUGE step in the right direction.

What do you get up to in your down time?

In my spare time (which I have a lot of) I love to annoy my cat, take care of my garden, craft anything and everything and enjoy the present with the ones I love.

 

You can get in touch with  with Imogene via Instagram at @imogenepeachart and also on Facebook by the same name. Or swing by and check out her mural work Sunday 15 April, 10am-4pm at Toombul Skatepark – 46 Parkland Street, Nundah – as a part of Brisbane Street Art Festival and funded by Brisbane Canvas.

Library Support Call-Out

Copy and Destroy will be revamping as 2018 comes into full swing, with fresh look at how volunteers can help with the collective, and ways we can reward those who put in the extra effort
to keep Brisbane’s zine scene alive.

However, we know here that trying to get zine makers together can be a bit like herding cats, so we are offering individualised considerations for times people would be able to help and options of group work versus individual quiet work. Can only make it in during certain times that may not be during meetings or usual Library opening hours? We can arrange other time for you to contribute.

For those who are able to give their energies to the library further, they shall be rewarded with:

  • Extra printing privileges at Visible Ink (including extra sticker paper, colour printing, and coloured papers)
  • Food and drink while they put in those efforts
  • Resume referrals regarding work done
  • Exposure for their content creation works on the C+D Blog and Instagram
  • Invitation and priority for free Visible Ink workshops in 2018

The jobs that need to be done range from library administration to content creation. These include:

  • Categorising and inputing zines into the database
  • Cleaning and sorting Library display boxes
  • Cleaning and sorting zine making materials
  • Contributing feedback, ideas, and plan making regarding the Library
  • Developing a series of Instagram posts for promotion
  • Helping with Facebook posts
  • Writing zine reviews
  • Writing blog posts regarding the zine scene, personal stories regarding zine making, or other
    such stuff

If you’re interesting in joining in, or getting back on the Copy and Destroy train, email us at copyndestroy@gmail.com or DM us on the Copy and Destroy Instagram account.

KisVis

We grabbed five minutes with a couple of the founders from KisVis – Keeping it Simple at Visible Ink – to talk creative, hanging out, and how their new project is just all of their favourite things bundled into one chill evening.

We’ve known you both for a while now, having worked with Visible Ink on Youth Week 2017 including the Launch on King George Square and The Pod on Brunswick Street Mall, but how did you actually find out about us?

Wanita: I heard about Visible Ink while at school and wanted to check out the space.

Skyler: I thought it was a great youth space with awesome resources I had to use.

And currently? What are you doing here at Visible Ink?

Skyler: KisVis – A once a month event for young people 15-25 years to collaborate and relax on a Friday.

Wanita: We’re hoping to bring together creative types from all forms of art and all walks of life.

Skyler: Yeah, I just wanted to get a bunch of young creatives together.

Wanita: And I’m always working on personal art and film projects. Also there’s Youth Week 2018 planning.

So what do you two love about all of these projects, why are you so passionate about the arts?

Wanita: I love learning new skills and sharing what I know with other people doing artsy, creative things.

Skyler: I’m an Artist that works on projects here and there. I love it because visual art is a whole other language, it embodies everything in life from culture to your personal self.

Hanging out in their down time, Wanita and Skyler can’t help but become a “jack of all trades” when it comes to creative projects.

Wanita: Artsy stuff are my hobbies, writing and all forms of creative media.

Skyler: I’ve done a short film, painting, drums but mostly sleeping because hell yeah!

Wanita: There’s also skating, thrift shopping, coffee drinking…

One last question, how would you suggest young people get involved in this opportunity or opportunities like this?

Wanita: Come a long to Visible Ink and check out the space. There are so many chances and people here for you to connect with, just coming in and checking it out.

Come along to the next KisVis – check the Facebook page for upcoming events.

facebook.com/keepitsimpleatvis/

@wanitaconnorscribbles
@skyler_can_draw

Sober Bob

Sober Bob – sometimes known as Anne – is a young Brisbane creative, dabbling in various forms of design and independent media circulation. She runs her own design business, built off the back of a history of freelancing in IT.