Where do we start with Electra… Firstly, yes, that is her real name.
We talked Tumblr, Tablets, and Tutorials after I tracked her down like a die-hard fan girl.
After spending time working on a film in the capital, Electra Sinclair wanted to dedicate more time to her illustrations, so moved into a studio in the heart of K road: Inky Palms (see what they’re up to here). Currently working from photographs of her nearest and dearest, Electra creates vector portraits that are vibrantly graphic, stunning works of digital art. We had a chat about her prints and recent 'HER', a show she curated to celebrate female illustrators from all walks of life.
"There are a lot of preconceptions about girly-ness and female illustrators", she explained to me. HER sought to break down these barriers and celebrate gifted females for their talent and output. The show provided an amazing overview of illustrators and emerging artists, "We had a good mixture, something for everyone". A total of nine ladies were asked to show work by Electra, and I fully recommend looking at every single one of them. From pinks to purples, to line works, to more graphic stuff, there really was such a diverse collection that night at the irresistible YES Collective. The illustration community is getting exciting. Check out the photos here.
Electra, by Clare.
The tutorial Queen began teaching herself Photoshop and Illustrator at the tender age of 14,"I don’t know why it attracted me so much, of all the things I could of taught myself. It just did."
We wholeheartedly think it paid off.
Learning about shortcuts, ubiquitous digital language, and the world of Adobe Programming has become a speedboat for Electra's success, in her artistic practice and also her past student life.
Although Electra is 'divorced' from traditional mediums, she is still tempestuously open to all kinds of artistic methods and has an extremely admirable attitude towards talking about the art world and studio practice. She definitely made me feel excited about getting back to my studio!
She was at the Zine Fest this year and managed to do some experimentation using a risograph printer. Producing a charismatic publication for the event let her learn more about printing and its endless possibilities. Electra is open to learning, and is not daunted by the idea of not knowing how to do something at the beginning. Education is infinite when it comes to publications, distribution, creating and showcasing. We're pretty sure it’s a constant, and often intense engagement. Knowledge is power after all.
What would she consider herself? A digital artist, illustrator, designer?
"I always struggle with that label, I guess I’m a digital artist, but then I’m not exactly an illustrator, I don’t know, maybe? Where do you draw that line? I’ve used all of those lines. I kind of float somewhere in between"
I asked Electra what advice she would give to fellow creatives in the community on self promotion and getting your own work out there in the world. Considering there is such an abundance of media platforms, where the hell do you start? How do you go about it?
She offered us this:
- First and foremost, "You have to love it to make your best work" and, “You gotta make it fun for yourself."
- Secondly, she’s a big fan of Instagram (finally someone can admit this for art purposes). It’s easy to find artists you love, contact them and meet up with them, she told me. We can talk to our favourite artists and have their work at the end of our fingers, stored away in our phones for inspiration. Screen shotting should be a sport(she also really appreciates her 15 year old female followers! pink pink pink).
- Thirdly, "I try to get my stuff out there as much as possible. You obviously don’t want people to steal your work, but I’ve managed to make a lot of connections by doing so. You have to get your work out somewhere, within whatever platform you are comfortable with. That’s the only way to do it."
Attracted to bright colours and humorous design which I immediately picked up on when I met her (the delectable lilac jumper helped), I asked Electra who inspired her on a day to day basis as well as what kind of artists she enjoys looking at. A dash of David Shrigley's humour, along with the digital finesse of Swedish artist, Sara Andreasson's (seriously look at her shit, it’s unbelievable) were a couple of favourites, "I love looking at what everyone around me is doing. Inspiration is bustling in Auckland City at the moment, particularly around K road every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night."
What's the coolest thing anyone has ever said to her about her work?
“One guy said my art was really punk once - I can’t forget that”.
Cooling down after HER, Electra is getting back to her daily grind, and is also currently working on an end of year show. Keep your eyes peeled mates, this girl is on to it.