Artist Inquisition: Chanelle Nillson

Words: @lauren_guymerImages: courtesy of artist

As part of our ongoing Artist Inquisition series, we caught up with visual artist and designer Chanelle Nillson whose collaborative exhibition 'Rave In Paradise (R.I.P)' is currently on exhibition at Off The Kerb Gallery. Enjoy!

Hello Chanelle, can you please tell us a little bit about your exhibition, Rave In Paradise, showing at Off The Kerb Gallery this September?

Rave In Paradise explores people’s fascination with eternal life, endlessness, and takes a light-hearted look into life/death and other contrasting aspects of our universe. Alexia Brehas and myself talked a lot about this theme and thought it would be a really fun idea to work on together.

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 8.51.39 pmImage courtesy of artist

How did you and Alexia come together to create the exhibition? And how do both of your styles work together?

Alexia and I met a couple of years back, on social media, through our love of art. Straight away I think we both established a connection with our similar styles and we hit it off.

Is there an artwork in this exhibition that you’re most proud of, or one that has a particularly interesting backstory?

All of the pieces in this exhibition have a close place in my heart, as I put so many hours into each of them, so I couldn’t say a have a favourite! Funnily enough I only have one portrait in the mix though, which I was surprised by as I have done many other portraits recently.

IMG_7092Image courtesy of artist

How does living and working in Melbourne influence your work?

After traveling around Australia, and having been to the opposite side of the planet and back; I still believe Melbourne to be my favourite place when it comes to art and coffee (my two favourite things). I definitely couldn’t imagine myself being able to work as passionately somewhere else, purely because here I am surrounded by so much creative energy.

How did you first get involved in art - were you one of those little kids who always loved being creative, or is it something that came later?

From the moment my hands could grab hold of something I have drawn. I wasn’t good, but I loved it. I remember from a young age wanting to be a cartoonist!

What is your creative process like and where do you make your art? Is it a slow burn and you find yourself working on pieces over a long period of time, or when inspiration strikes, it's all done and dusted relatively quickly?

I have a really big desk set up in the corner of my unit where I create all my work. Some pieces I will start in the morning and work on through to the end of the day with minimal to no breaks, I really love these days and sometimes if it’s a smaller piece I can finish it late that night. Other pieces that are larger, I can spend hours on end working on each day for weeks or months.

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 8.52.07 pmImage courtesy of artist

Who or what do you turn to for inspiration on days when creativity just isn’t flowing?

Given that I own my own business as a full time freelancer, when I am lacking in inspiration I will use this time to work on my boring admin and paper work. usually by the end of it, I’m so drained that I cannot wait to get my hands on some pens and pencils again!

What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

This trusty old cliché; “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life”. A few people have said this to me, but I remember my grandfather embedding it into my brain!

IMG_7677Image courtesy of artist

What question do you wish we'd asked you, and what would your answer have been?

“If you could earn a large income from art, what is one of the things you would do with the money?” Buy a huge enclosure in my backyard to home lots of unwanted cats and kittens!

Rave In Paradise, 9-22 September 2016 at Off The Kerb Gallery in Collingwood, Facebook RSVP.

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