Maeve Baker is an animator/illustrator. Maeve talked to Visible Ink about her involvement in the space, background and inspirations.
I have always been a draw-er and loved cartoons. During my final year of high school, I made an animated film out of paper which got a bit of attention and won a Creative Generations competition. My art teacher at the time suggested that I study animation, which I didn’t even know was possible, but which seemed to make so much sense to me. 2 years after school I began my Bachelor of Animation at the Queensland College of Art.
I first learn about Visible Ink when I needed to print and bind a 4-page comic for an exhibition in November 2016. A friend at uni said they did free printing and so a few of us went there to print our comics, not expecting very much other than printing. That afternoon I met the staff, who showed me around the art area and explained all of the facilities available at VisInk. I was back the following week to paint.
I have 3 comics underway which I pushed aside during the uni semester, which I hope to finish off and distribute to comic shops in Brisbane. I have also got a couple of short animation projects to complete for the Brisbane Feminist festival organised by the One Woman Project. I’m hoping to finish several large scale paintings and then have an exhibition before the end of the year.
I love being able to create a small world with characters and environments that aren’t real. I like the fact that looking at someone’s animation and drawings is like looking at someone’s dreams in that every aspect of the work is a piece of the artist. Even just a single piece of paper can contain so much information about a person and I love being able to share that. Often you communicate things through art that you can’t speak with words.
Also I think that animation is just magical- moving drawings, whhaaat?!
I have always drawn been interested in cartoons and comics, even when it felt inappropriate to still be watching ABCKids as a teenager. My parents always encouraged my artwork, providing me with paper, pens, pencils and paint to ensure that I kept up the hobby. The more I drew, the more I got associated as a draw-er and the more people would come to me to ask for designs or to collaborate on projects. As I met more and more people with an interest in art and animation, I realised that it is actually a thing and that if you work hard enough you can draw for a living. This is now my project, to try and establish myself as an artist so that I can create animation, drawings and paintings 100% of the time. I’ve not found anything else that has brought me as much joy as creating art, so I’m just going to run with it for now and try to make it work.
What I create for money are specific to the brief given by the person commissioning me, the things I make in my spare time have the potential to be completely limitless, abstract and weird. I still struggle with this, but it’s really fun.
I also like swimming, yoga and reading, but mostly I just lie around, hanging out with my friends and watching 30Rock.
I wish I had pushed myself more in my earlier years when I decided to pursue art. I would draw maybe once a week and usually only as a necessity, for a uni project and never for my own pleasure. I wish I had nerded out on art more and created more because 1 it feels great and 2 it allows you to learn and progresses so quickly. It’s such a simple thing, but it can be so easy to let yourself off the hook and so hard to force yourself, but it’s necessary. Going to galleries or researching an artist whose work you really love is just as good. Look at and make as much art as you can and soon you won’t have to force yourself, it’ll be second nature.
I think the more people you meet and talk to about art, the richer your experience will be. There are so many little exhibitions, workshops and events happening all the time, you just have to know about them. I am definitely a more introverted person, but it has usually always paid off when I’ve put myself out there and gone along to art events happening in Brisbane. You meet inspiring people and see inspiring things and remember why you do it in the first place, it’s great.