When we first came across the Instagram account Blue Rare, we were presented with very little information as to who this nothing-short-of-maximalist work was created by. With just the name to go by, and an overwhelming feeling of wow, this work is amazing, we wondered out loud, we’ve got to meet this artist. There is so much information crammed into these wonderful digital works, it’s hard to go about describing the punchy digital mayhem if you haven’t seen (and loved them) already. So let’s go deep into the wild imagination that birthed this business. Please enjoy.
Blue Rare is actually the creative moniker of a 19-year-old college student in Washington. Her name is Audrey and grew up in Texas, but moved to Washington around seven years ago. For as long as she can remember, she has been making things, “From making clothes for my barbies in elementary school, to hoarding anime clips for AMVs in middle school, to putting together shitty Soundcloud mixes in high school,” she tells It’s Nice That on her eclectic list of activities – which very much explains the myriad of subjects that we can now see in her digital art.
“Drawing has always been my absolute favourite thing to do,” she continues, but when she became interested in digital art just over a year ago, the medium sparked a new form of creativity in the form of Blue Rare. In between high school and college, Audrey took a year out and spent a great deal of time drawing. She hoped all the hours spent on her practice would culminate into something bigger, and just like that, Blue Rare was borne. Originally conceived as a clothing brand for her original illustrations (which is still very much the goal), very slowly, she transitioned to making a buzzing feed of digital art, that is Blue Rare.
Lots of creatives like to say that they draw inspiration from everywhere. But with Audrey, we can certainly believe it. For her, inspiration can come from the shape of a tree, a song, or a weird colour combination she’s seen somewhere. “I find a way to work anything that strikes me into my art,” she continues. Recently, she’s become obsessed with anything relating to festivities, the seasonal and holidays. “I think snowmen in particular go hard as fuck,” she says. Elsewhere, Audrey cites Juliana Horner as a key influence. She first came across the Instagram star when just 15, a time when she had no idea what she really liked or what she wanted to do. “Not that I have any definite ideas now,” adds Audrey, “but everything Juliana created just made me feel like being as strange and as out there as I wanted to be, was a powerful and beautiful and beautiful thing. I think that put me on the artistic trajectory that I am on now.”
With time, she came up with a vague sort of formula which forms her “weird, colourful, kinda cute, kinda creepy, shit crammed together.” That being said, Audrey has no desire to deviate from said template, it’s what she likes and allows for a whole range of variation in her wonderful works. Each piece is different from the last, not to mention, different from anything anyone has even seen before. She talks us through her most recent piece, something she has just finished working on at the time of our interview.
The piece is called Buddy System and is a mishmash of a bunch of ideas that Audrey’s had recently. “I have been watching episodes of The Simple Life from 2003,” she says, “so I knew I wanted to include Paris Hilton, and I figured a Paw Patrol screengrab was kind of the visual and conceptual antithesis of a photo of her smoking, so that’s how I made the background.” Elsewhere in the composition, she includes dudes based on a doodle she made on her phone one sleepless night. As for the rest, the other elements is “stuff I thought might look neat in the moment.” Led by intuition and a curiosity to cut and paste seemingly disparate ideas together, fundamentally, Audrey’s work is all about getting things down on the digital canvas, and curating them until she’s happy with what she’s looking at.
As for the future, keep an eye out for a number of upcoming collaborations that Audrey has in store with some extremely exciting artists. Other than that, clothing is still on the cards as well as animation, tattooing and music. And we can’t wait to see them.
About the Author
Jyni joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in August 2018 after graduating from The Glasgow School of Art’s Communication Design degree. In March 2019 she became a staff writer and in June 2021, she was made associate editor. Feel free to drop Jyni a note if you have an exciting story for the site.