Originally from New Zealand, Kaitlin Beckett can be currently found depicting beasts and merging bio-mechanical creations in Melbourne Australia. She was a musician for most of her life but had always drawn and painted. She remembers horses being the main thing she drew at very early age. Music was her creative outlet initially, as she found art frustrating due to the huge gap between how she wanted her art to look and what she was technically capable of. One day she decided she was just going to paint and not worry about anything and she didn’t stop after that point. Living in Australia, Kaitlin is surrounded by creative people. Though the gallery scene – is not huge, social media is great to link up with people all over the world and helps her promote and sell artwork outside of Australia.
Tell us what a day in the shoes of Kaitlin aka Curious Bestiary is like from morning to evening?
I’m a night owl so no early starts for me. I usually begin with the less neurologically-heavy tasks so I can free up my evening for art – answering emails, looking at cats on the internet, social media and reading my favourite blogs, then I load up on coffee and get working. I spend the rest of the day painting, metalworking and pushing the cat off the desk, then I stop around midnight and watch a few episodes of a tv show while sketching.
When getting into your creative zone – what gets you inspired to start creating?
I mostly work at night…mostly. I have found that it’s very hard for me to get into a creative mindset if I think I might be interrupted by something, so late nights are ideal – I can shut my doors, turn off my devices and fully immerse myself in a project. I’m a manic list-writer too, and writing down the things I want to accomplish in the day helps me stay motivated.
What is your studio space like and area/ neighborhood that you live?
Brunswick East is a quiet inner suburb of Melbourne, I’m not too far from anything. It would be nice to have a shared studio space as working by yourself can be isolating, but I have a nice big room just for art in my home and I get to decide what music is on 🙂 Now that I’ve been in there several years, everything is piling up dangerously…one day I might be on an episode of Hoarders.
We absolutely love your recent creation Ink Bag Octopus. What inspired this piece and your technique of fusing biology and machinery?
I’ve painted blood bag creatures before and have always painted octopuses, and with this piece I was just playing with the idea that an octopus low on ink might need an ink transfusion. And I remember when I was a kid I went to hospital and needed a drip and the doctor told me they were going to put in a ‘butterfly needle’. I was so distracted by the idea of this that I didn’t fuss too much when they put it in. Mixing animals with machines seems a natural result of a life spent watching nature documentaries and sci-fi films.
We see you also work with metal art. How long have you been working with both mediums and do you wish to explore other forms of media? Do you prefer one over the other? If so… Why?
I started working with metal a few years ago, mostly while exploring various sculpture mediums, and enjoyed it though it took a while before I started creating finished pieces with it. Embossed metal requires a totally different approach than painting, and I get to explore themes with metal that wouldn’t fit with my painting style. I like to think of them as representing two halves of my personality. The markets for each are pretty different even though I have put a few of the metal works into gallery settings. At the moment I am alternating ‘painting day’ and ‘metal day’, this helps keep me working on both facets equally rather than working on whatever I feel like at the time.
How have you evolved as an artist over the past five years?
Aside from developing the metal art side, I’m coming into my 6th year of full time art, so I have been getting much better at structuring my day and staying focused.
If you could be part machine and a biological species what would you choose and why?
Honey Badgers are pretty cool. A honey badger with high powered laser eyes and a jetpack would just be unstoppable.
Do you have any upcoming exhibitions you would like to tell us more about or any future collaborations?
I’m just about to start making my paintings available as t shirts, which I should really have done a while back!