CARLA MC RAE
By SPECIWOMEN Illustration SENDRA UEBELE
"I have pretty much been drawing since I can remember."
Give me some background information
I am an artist and illustrator based in Melbourne, Australia. I grew up on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, and have pretty much been drawing since I can remember. I studied graphic design while I was still on the coast, and decided to move to Melbourne after I graduated to work in design. That didn’t really go as planned, and I started freelancing — mostly illustration and a bit of design. I also started working for the sock company Odd Pears a little bit, taking care of design and social media. Right now, I work from my bedroom studio balancing freelance illustration, design and personal art projects.
How did you first get into art?
I drew a lot as a kid. It was my favorite way to spend time, process my feelings and express myself. I was pretty shy, so it suited me fine to sit at a desk a lot and immerse myself in my own world. I guess I never stopped drawing, and have been lucky enough for people to like what I do too!
What is the purpose of your work?
Hm, I guess it has two purposes now. It used to just be for me, to keep myself happy, relaxed and positive. But now, it has to pay the bills too — and I am really privileged to be able to say that! Primarily, I have found that I need to try and block all of that stuff out to get the work done and for it to be good work.
What materials do you use?
For paper works, I usually choose between colored polychromos pencils, pigment markers, copic markers, fine liners and pencil. When I paint murals or wooden panels / sculptures, I like to use house paint.
Who inspires you?
Loads! I’ve been looking a lot at the work and lives of Dick Bruna, Tove Jansson, Ellsworth Kelly, Georgia O’keeffe, Nathalie du Pasquier and Seiichi Hayashi. But closer to home, I’m really inspired by the passion and enthusiasm of my friends too — David Ghostpatrol, Evie Cahir, Leona Fietz, Felix Wilson, Magda Ksiezak, Robert Bowers, Nadia Hernandez, Alice Oehr… I could go on.
Where do you prefer to work?
In my own space surrounded by my familiar materials, pads of paper, books and good light. I could probably work anywhere if I set myself up accordingly, but I think I work best in the place I have set my routine.
Who is your work for?
Anyone who wants to enjoy it. I wouldn’t like to ever feel like my work was only catering to a specific group of people or excluding anyone. I focus on thoughts and feelings that I feel are pretty familiar and global to humans, and I try to keep it vague enough so that the viewer can project themselves into the work and feel it deeper.
Has your art ever been on display?
Yes, I’ve been part of many group shows over the years and have enjoyed two solo shows in the last two years. Also, I’ve been painting a few public walls recently so my work is always present for the general public in some places now :-)
All work documentation is the artist's courtesy.