January’s Nicer Tuesdays kicked off with a talk from London-based maker and illustrator Naomi Anderson-Subryan, who ran us through the defining aspects of her creative practice and her interests in general – those being a love of all things kitsch, a fondness for bric-a-brac (of which she has an extensive collection), and a brilliant eye for colour. The audience also heard how her time spent studying acting has significantly influenced her character designs, emphasising the importance of facial expressions in communicating not just surface-level emotions, but deeper and wider narratives as well. Treated to a slideshow of her vast ceramic works, the link between the two could be seen clearly on the faces of the anthropomorphic pieces that were presented. Their wide eyes, arched eyebrows and agape mouths create a sense of melodrama that is palpable across the series.
Naomi also discussed her illustrative process, which spans not just ceramics, but paper-based disciplines too. “All of my collages are made by hand and I paint all of the papers because colour is super important to me and I want to be able to control the palette,” she explained. “I have a real connection to my process and making with my hands influences everything I do.” As well as revealing how this connection inspires her to work with different materials – from clay and wood to felt and paper – she also spoke about finding inspiration in general, offering some sound advice to other creatives in the audience: “Inspiration is about tapping into who you are, what makes you you, and visualising that.”
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