Day 14 – Cass Urquhart
Originally from Brisbane, Australia, Cass Urquhart now lives in Melbourne, creating gorgeous artwork. Some look familiar? Yep, Cass does some freelance work for Frankie Magazine.
Are you a self taught artist, or what studies did you do to get where you are today?
A little bit of both. When I finished school I studied Fine Art, however the course was conceptually based so we didn’t really learn any technique. Drawing and painting weren’t really encouraged, however I loved it and did a lot of drawing in my spare time just for fun. A few years later I went on to study Visual Communication at QCA, and this gave me the technical foundation that I needed to realise my creative ideas. After a few years working as a graphic designer, I gradually started to explore art and illustration again.
What tools, programs and apps do you love or cannot live without?
I love to work with traditional materials like pencil or ink to work out initial ideas. Then I’ll scan these onto my computer and do final editing and piecing together in illustrator or photoshop. I recently bought an apple pencil and have loved drawing on an iPad Pro, using the astropad app.
Your art provides inspirations to so many others. What or who inspires you?
Travel is always hugely inspiring, and also taking short courses is a great way of generating ideas and getting inspired to try new materials or subject matter.
Can you describe your process including how long a piece of art or photography takes you from concept to complete?
The process varies greatly depending on the brief and style of art. For a portrait illustration I would probably spend 4 – 8 hours sketching in pencil, and then about 2 hours putting on finishing touches in photoshop. For a different kind of project- say a range of art prints, I’ll start by thumb nailing ideas in my journal. Then I might spend a whole day expanding on those thumbnails by drawing them larger, in more detail and trying out different compositions just in pencil or ink. Then I’ll choose just a few sketches to take into illustrator for colouring to create the final pieces. Sometimes it comes together really quickly at this stage other times I’ll take longer trying out different colour palettes, or rearranging elements until it feels right.
What part of your process do you love the most?
I like the part when you are a couple of hours into a drawing or painting, and it turns a corner from looking quite horrible, into something that you see has potential. At this point the anxiety levels reduce and you can relax and enjoy the process.
If you weren’t an artist, what do you think you would be doing for work?
I’ve become really interested in textile and fashion design recently, so I think it would be something in that area.
Who is the most fascinating or inspiring person you have met or worked with?
This is a bit corny but I think I would have to say my mum. She is the most hardworking, passionate and dedicated person I’ve ever met, and she taught me from a young age that success in career and business can be measured by personal growth and positive impact, not financial remuneration alone.
Name an underrated artist
That’s a really tricky question and so hard to answer this day in age as it seems everyone is very savvy with getting work out there on social media. However I love to follow artists of all levels on instagram, and watch their journey as they change and grow- it’s really exciting and inspiring.
What artwork of yours are you most proud of?
One of my favourite pieces has been a print I made of Mt Fuji and a Shinkansen. It took me by complete surprise when people connected with that artwork- I think a lot of Australian’s really love Japan. It’s been my best selling artwork to date.
What’s next in the professional pipe works for you?
I’m working on a series of prints inspired by World Expo ’88, and working on some new product ideas for my online store.
Bonus fun questions
What is your pet peeve? When people take up the whole footpath, and expect you to move out of their way, with no gesture or attempt to walk around you at all. Lol.
What is your current favourite album? I really like the new Yumi Zouma single, so I’m looking forward to their new album
Apart from art, what is your favourite thing to do? Sewing, Yoga, drinking gin and watching Netflix
If you could tame any animal and have it as a pet, which one would it be and why? An otter or a hedgehog because I think they are the cutest animals in the world
Website: Cass Urquhart
Social: Cass Urquhart on Instagram
Images courtesy of Cass Urquhart © Cass Urquhart