We first came across Australian artist Caitlin Shearer's work back when we were running this blog under a different name and still have the photo prints she kindly mailed us (in pristine condition might we add). We have been huge fans of hers ever since. Join us as we discuss her Kate Bush obsession, love and talking chiwawa's...
PSD: Tell us a little about yourself and what made you want to become an artist?
Caitlin Shearer: I'm a young woman living in a quiet house who has an obsession with the golden age of Hollywood. I wanted to become an artist because I love to paint and through painting I can explore the worlds that don't exist in reality and take my solace there.
PSD: How would you describe your work?
Caitlin Shearer: Soft portraits inspired by anxiety, loneliness and frustration.
PSD: So how does a day of work start and end for Ms Shearer?
Caitlin Shearer: My computer turns on at 6am with an alarm clock set to Kate Bush songs. The morning progresses with emails and tea and pilates and trips to the post office. The afternoon has me at my desk drawing pictures, scanning things, attending to emails again. Before bed I read a book about someone who is long gone and then I struggle to go to sleep and then the day decides to start again.
PSD: Theres a very vintage and fairytale feel to your work. Where do you get your influences from?
Caitlin Shearer: I am influenced by vintage cinema (so much love for actresses like Billie Burke, The Ziegfeld Follies, Cyd Charisse, Jean Simmons, Rita Hayworth…etc..), Grey Gardens, 1950's illustrated advertisements, David Lynch films, pressed flowers, Sylvia Plath, Charles Manson-esque tragedies, pastel kitchens, loch ness, The X-Files, insanity, sewing kits, cake.
PSD: You have created some of the most stylish femme fatales ever seen on paper and have collaborated in the past with fashion designer Karla Spetic. Would you say that fashion plays a big part in your work?
Caitlin Shearer: Oh, you flatter me! Give me another ten years and then we'll see. :)
I am obsessed with personal style, aesthetics that are rigidly upheld by the wearer, DIY, handmade goods and vintage dresses.
I appreciate the beauty in these things and I like that clothes have transformative qualities that allow you to either escape yourself or to exaggerate your hidden qualities. I think what I like most is the ways in which clothing can shape the body - the way a corset can pull a waist in to show an extreme curve, or the way a perfectly made shoe can showcase a neatly arched foot. Actually, I wish I was a fashion stylist for films. That would be my dream job - to source all sorts of beautiful creations in order to create a visual representation of someone immortalised on screen.
PSD: Finish the sentence: "If I was a superhero for 4 minutes with a bag full of half eaten jelly babies, a bowl of Kellogg's Frosties with no milk and a talking chiwawa with a bad attitude, I would…"
Caitlin Shearer: ...think i'm having a sugar induced nightmare and be sad to awake and find no small four legged companion in my life.
PSD: You went from Caitlin Quiet to Caitlin Shearer. Are you a double agent?
Caitlin Shearer: No, merely a girl who can't make up her mind. To retreat into a pseudonym or not?
PSD: Are you inspired by any particular artists? And if you could invite four artists living or dead around for lunch, who would you pick?
Caitlin Shearer: I'm in love with John Willie, Olivia De Berardinis, Olympia Le Tan, Norman Rockwell, Sofia Coppola, Aline Kominsky Crumb.
Four artists I would invite over to sit at my table would be Andy Warhol, Kate Bush, Wes Anderson and Vivienne Westwood.
PSD: Tell us 3 things about yourself that people dont already know?
Caitlin Shearer: I've just started taking ballet classes, I've never been in love, I wish I was kate bush circa 1978. (can you tell i'm obsessed with her right now?)
PSD: Describe the feeling of selling your first piece of work?
Caitlin Shearer: Imagine a young girl with ringlets shrieking 'oh my god! oh my god!' over and over.
PSD: Do you prefer to work in silence or have a bit of music in the background? If so who do you listen to?
Caitlin Shearer: I've always got music! I find I work really well to Interpol, Grizzly Bear, Beach House, Bon Iver, Deerhunter and Dustin O'Halloran.
PSD: The internet. A blessing in disguise for getting your art out there or a distraction form producing any work?
Caitlin Shearer: Both! I wouldn't have a job without the internet, and have made so many great friends due to cyberspace. Then sites like tumblr completely overwhelm me and make me cry a little because there's already so much stuff out there and who needs to create anything else.
PSD: Any words of wisdom to anyone out there wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Caitlin Shearer: Indulge in your obsessions and cultivate a unique aesthetic. Love what you do and you'll be okay.
PSD: Is there anything that your working on at the moment?
Caitlin Shearer: I'm designing a set of textiles so i can release a range of scarves and clothing in the next few months.
A big thank you to Caitlin Shearer for giving us this interview. For more info on her and where to purchase her work, check out the links below:
caitlin shearer shop on ETSY
caitlin shearer shop on Society 6