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Thursday 14 December 2017

Meet the Illustrator: Kim Siew

 Describe your illustration style in ten words or less.
Graphic, quirky and cute.

What items are an essential part of your creative space?
My favourite Molotow GRAFX fineliner, sheets and sheets of paper, my computer, pot plants to keep me happy and a bottomless cup of coffee to keep me sane.

Do you have a favourite artistic medium?
I always love the surprises you get using paper collage, textured papers and pencil work.

Name three artists whose work inspires you.
It is so very, very hard to limit it to three… but I always come back to Margaret Kilgallen, Jon Klassen and Noel McKenna.

Which artistic period would you most like to visit and why?
I was actually around during this time, in the early 1990’s, but a particular group of New York artists influenced by skateboarding, graffiti and underground music started a DIY kind of movement—some of my favourite contemporary artists are from this group—Margaret Kilgallen, Clare Rojas and Barry McGee. They were making art for themselves, putting on shows for their friends, and that’s very liberating and empowering. There’s a documentary about them called Beautiful Losers.

Who or what inspired you to become an illustrator?
Writing and drawing was something that I always snuck away to do as a child. I loved writing letters to people and would always fill the pages with little scribbles and stick figure scenarios… I couldn’t wait for someone’s birthday as it meant I got to draw them something. It wasn’t until I turned 30 that I really looked into drawing as something I could do seriously.

Can you share a photo of your creative work space or part of the area where you work most often? Talk us through it.
My studio is in the back room of my cottage that I share with my partner. It’s sort of the ‘out house’—it doesn’t have a real roof, just some tin sheets stuck on top of brick. But all the sun comes into that room and the studio door opens onto the garden, so I keep the door open whenever I’m in there and the plants come into the space and keep me company. The floor is concrete and painted a light olive green, there are cat paw prints in the floor from the people who lived here before. My desk takes up most of the space with some of my favourite artworks hanging above my desk—from Max Berry, Antwerpen, Mel Kadel and these little landscapes made by mb art studios.

What is your favourite part of the illustration process?
When I realise that the moon has come up long ago, the world outside is quiet and I hadn’t even realised that any time had passed. It is that sweet moment we all long for.

What advice would you give to an aspiring illustrator?
Keep going and don’t be afraid to share.

Kim Siew is a Sydney based artist who also works under the name of Akisiew (a-kiss-u). Aside from her illustration work, she also creates public murals, which can be found around the Inner West of Sydney. She has currently released her second children’s book, written by Debra Tidball, called The Scared Book.
you can follow Kim on facebook or visit her website for more information.