Amy Hodkin is the blogger behind The Creative Outlook. She is studying Printed Textiles and Surface Pattern Design and is producing some awesome work. I wanted to include her in my “Friends Who Make Things” series because she was one of the first people I talked to when I started blogging and she has continued to be an inspiration. Her work is so...her own. I was able to chat with her about her work, the daunting task of following your dreams, and Alexander McQueen.
Jenna: Hi Amy! You are one of my favorite artists in the blog world and you are at such an exciting time in your artistic career! I love to see young artists pursuing their passion and kind of tackling this time of great potential ahead of them. Your work is so expressive already; I can’t wait to see what comes next. How are you liking your experience as an artist and your time in school?
Amy: Thank you that's so kind. It's quite scary actually considering this is the route I've chosen and even though university might help me make contacts nothing is set in stone. The thought of my future makes me worried because I definitely don't want to have to work in retail or a cafe ever again and going down the art route is always a difficult one. It's everything I ever wanted it to be although it's more of a design course so I wouldn't call myself an artist. Right now our focus is on experimentation which I love, but I think the importance of applying the designs to fashion/interior/etc. comes within the second year and the problem with design is that sometimes going down the commercial route is the easiest... I'm not sure I want to do that ever- I'm not sure I could do it!
J: Totally, working in art and design is a weird scary path to take, but it comes with the biggest rewards. Things may not always go the way you think (Lord knows I have no idea what I am doing), but unexpected cool things can happen along the way if you keep working at what you do. All your experimenting seems really cool and like its giving you a wide variety of experience. What have been your favorite projects? Do you think you are moving more towards a specific style?
A: That's so true, I've actually stopped myself from trying to imagine the perfect outcome because it never turns out the way I think it will. It means I don't have to get my hopes up haha! That's probably why I love all of the experimenting, it gives me a chance to look at what works and what doesn't in terms of my own personal style. I'm actually really loving my current project, the module is based around 'slow crafting' and I've chosen to do paper screen printing with the theme of animals. My Photoshop project was great fun too because I love how fast you can work with computers! I think I can see a style emerging but I don't really know how to describe it... I know drawing and collaging are definitely my favourite ways of working when it comes to putting ideas onto paper.
J: Your blog is an explosion of creativity. I love the title, "The Creative Outlook", because to be an artist you really need to see every part of life as a chance to find inspiration and be open to experimentation. That's why I particularly love your collaging and journals. Do those sort of come into fruition as you gather things and make them, or do you plan out themes and visual paths beforehand?
A: It makes me happy that you said you like the name because some days I think it's really bad haha! But that's a cool summary of it and actually very true. I never plan my journals or collages, I think if I did then I wouldn't enjoy it. I just grab a load of stuff (papers, photo's, magazines) and then play around with it! I don't have to worry about anyone seeing it so it gives me a chance to just 'let it all out' and create things I probably wouldn't do on my course.
J: Where have you found the most inspiration in your life? Any artists, designers, films, places, or memories stand out? How do you think it translates to your work?
A: Hard question which I always struggle answering but visiting art galleries is ALWAYS a good start for inspiration because you could find anything there. I love Alexander McQueen, and I know that's one designer I'll never not be inspired by. My favourite part about his work is the theatrical side- the way he puts on a show and tells a story. The clothes are beautiful too, but when everything is brought together with stage, music, lighting and a concept that's what I really love. His collection 'Joan' is inspired by Joan Of Arc, so lot's of the clothing was made from chain mail but also inspired by menswear as well. Their hair was styled to show big foreheads, they wore red contacts in their eyes and when the final garment came out the model was surrounded by a ring of fire. It was quite sinister- I admire the thoughts he put into things to create an atmosphere. For Givenchy he designed a collection called 'Eclect Dissect' and said that his idea was based around a mad scientist who cut up women and mixed them all back together. I really love the story telling aspects and you can tell he had so much passion. I think that's inspiring- I could list off a reel of artists and designers I like but the thing what makes them great is that they're passionate about what they're doing. When I see them creating new work it makes me want to make something!
Thank you Amy for taking the time to talk with me! These are a few of my favorite of her pieces. Take a look at her blog here and her portfolio here!