“I almost became an Illustration major, but one of the professors really didn’t like my work. A lot of the older professors have this strange idea that there’s a really big delination between drawing and illustration..it’s a break up I’ve never understood.” - Caitlin Hackett
Here's my phone interview with the artist, Caitlin Hackett If anyone else wants to share their Illustrator interviews, e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Do you do your Illustrations for a living?
“No, I actually work full time on top of my studio career. I don’t get enough time to work on my art as much as I’d like, it’s actually pretty crazy. I waitress full time…I also work for a video game company doing creature design so I work 80 hour weeks.”
How did you get the job at the video game company?
“I found it right as I was graduating Pratt..I saw an ad on craigslist. I never really thought of doing design because I was a fine arts major. I’ve been working there for a year and a half.”
How long have you been out of college doing this?
“I graduated Pratt in May 2009…like a year and a half now?”
How did you get yourself out there as an artist?
“A lot of it was luck with my senior show…a lot of people came who were friends of professors that were curators. It’s kind of a small world, especially in New York…a lot of the curators knew each other.”
Is there any story behind what got you started drawing the monsters you draw?
“A lot of my inspiration comes from endangered species…when I was growing up I planned being a wildlife biologist and I ended up being an artist. A lot of my concerns are based on environmental problems. It’ll kind of come just randomly…I’ll read an article about a certain animal and I’ll be like ‘I like that’. It may have started as a certain species but the drawings take a long time and they change. It’s definitely a long process…when I start it’s about a specific species, but you know how it goes…a piece when you work on it long enough…it definitely changes over time.”
Is there any other process you’re fond of besides large ballpoint pen drawings?
“I definitely pretty much use only ballpoint pen and wateroclor, I would like to get into oil paint …I’ve been interested in trying other methods with the paint.”
I read in your interview in Hi-Fructose that negative opinions from a teacher got you started on your large illustrations. Were there any other hi lighting experiences from your college career?
“Yeah, I had a couple really fantastic professors…an oil painter Chris Wright, I was in one of his classes before I switched from painting to drawing major. I never really preferred painting…as you can see from my art I love line. When he saw my personal sketchbook, he said ‘If that’s what you like what to do, that’s what you should really do’ and I think that’s one of the other turning points I really had. If I want to draw the things that I’ve always thought of, then why not?”
What are you up to right now?
“Well my apartment is my studio, I’m working on a bunch of small works for a show next month. It’s a group show, and all of them are under 11x12, which is hard for me because I like to go outside the bounds of the page. Endangered backyard birds that ended up as creepy mutations…they’ll all be up on my site soon. I’ve got to finish them today.”