I spied Dear Colleen on Instagram where my beady (nosey) eyes loved her ‘100 days’ project of drawing the food she ate every day for 100 days. Everything so intricate and lovely and also really interesting to see it all spread out on paper. I wanted to spread my wings to Dunedin goings-on and have pulled her into the Queenstown Life net. I love her work and I’m so sure you will too. Colleen and her, now husband (*round of applause*) sped off to LA to show off their tiny gallery at the fairs there as a part of ‘Spark Your Potential’.
I’m from Bristol in the South West of England but have been living in New Zealand for 5 year now. Usual story, came over on OE met a boy and am now very happily married to him and living with our 2 dogs by the sea in Dunedin. I have a background in Graphic Design a field I worked in for around 7 years before heading overseas. I started illustrating and selling goods under the handle of Dear Colleen after I moved to New Zealand, I actually didn’t really think it would turn into a business but I’m pleased it has. I now split my time between illustration work, graphic design and very occasionally teaching.
Involvement with creative scene in Dunedin
There are a lot of cool creative things happening in Dunedin at the moment – volunteers from the DCC, tourism Dunedin and other influential people from around the city worked hard to put together the street art festival last year so we now have some beautiful paintings free for everyone to view in the heart of our city. I think partly off the back of this creative energy and just a general ‘lets give it a go attitude’ I’ve become a member of the ‘Dunedin Designers Inc’ society (formed around a month ago) the society’s aim is to support local creatives and small businesses. I’m very much in a behind the scenes rule but a number of society have already set up a gallery and retail space called Guild in the heart of the city.
Spark your potential
Something I’ve noticed with living in New Zealand is how fast and easy it is to network, something I wouldn’t say I’m very good at. However having a friend in the right place, meant my partner Scott and I got given the chance to be part of ‘Spark your potentials’ opening line up. Scott and I had been quietly planning to travel to 2 large art events in LA and London on our own but when we were asked to turn that trip into something bigger we went for it. We both love lowbrow arts and feel like it has been under represented in New Zealand despite a wealth of talent. That’s how Tiny Gallery came about. It was very well received in LA and London. We’re now sorting out plans for it’s NZ tour likely to start in Autumn this year. You can read more about it here: www.tinygallerynz.com
What do you hate/ love drawing
If you know my work you’ll see I draw a lot of food. I’m a passionate foodie and someone who is always obsessing over what their next meal is going to be. I really enjoy drawing anything botanical. I’m not really a fan of drawing mechanical things.
The 100 days project
I’m hoping to do the same project again for the 100 days site. This year I think I got to around day 80 sadly over the course of the 100 days my mother in law got sick and then really sick and then passed away. Weirdly I can see the story of this all happening in the way our eating changed over those few weeks. By the end as things got really bad I couldn’t keep the drawing going and I had to stop. It was a real lesson to me in how fast things can change in 100 days.