Every series of Urban Walkabout Guides is unique and visualised by a local artist whose illustrations grace the covers. Their expressions work with ours to bring you Melbourne precincts in all their colours. There’s always a story behind their practice and outputs, so here we give a little more on The Artists. Meet Carla Fletcher.
The first series of the art for Melbourne guides is titled "Local Portraits" and will feature local Melbournians on each cover. "These portraits of real people that live their daily lives in Melbourne are human characters, the sum of the parts, that give Melbourne it's unique sense of place," says Carla.
1. Tell us a little about your artwork.
My work is different techniques and different subject matter at different times. The thread is that it is from me and my experiences. I'm not sure if this is a good or bad thing but it is just what I do. I am definitely not one of those artists that sticks with the one thing and does it a million times over.
2. How did your journey start?
A few years ago I discovered one of my first colouring books that had been stashed away ... After flicking through the pages I realised that even as a four year old I would edit and rip out pages I was not happy with – could that be considered a start?
3. What have been your biggest challenges?
My biggest challenges have usually ended up being my greatest lessons and catalysts for growth. Usually when you feel uncomfortable, unhappy or anxious there is something shaking things up and if you try to find the lesson in it or what the seed of the discomfort is (and then process it) there can be a great opportunity to grow.
4. What keeps you motivated to continue creating?
It seems I have an intrinsic need to create. I find it exciting, it's not necessarily complicated, though it can be mysterious. It can be as simple as looking at a colour or surface in a new way. The spark is elusive but addictive.
5. Who or what inspires you?
A great bottle of pinot noir can be inspirational ;)
6. What is Melbourne's best-kept secret?
Wow. That's tricky. I don't think Melbourne's incredible food, art, music and fashion is a kept secret – it's world class.
7. What's the story behind the artwork that features on the cover of the Urban Walkabout guide?
The artwork for the covers are portraits of people who live in Melbourne – it's great to make such a personal connection with a city.
8. Whose artwork have you collected or would you like to collect for your home?
I love surrounding myself with other people's work. Most recent is my wedding present a few months ago - my husband bought a colourful contemporary embroidery piece from Nicola Loder's show at Helen Gory Gallery.
9. Tell us about your latest project?
I have just returned from an Artist in Residency in the Hunter Valley in NSW. It was a spectrum of experiences. I spent time in the breath taking landscape, taken through an open cut coal mine and even visited one of the countries best horse studs. I will be returning to Muswellbrook Regional Art centre for a major solo show in 2013/14.
Make sure you keep your eyes peeled for the next 4 titles in the series (Fitzroy/Collingwood; South Yarra/Prahran; St Kilda; Toorak/Armadale) and collect them all!