We partnered with Australia based artist, Vanessa Stockard to develop a design for one of her beloved characters - Kevin the Kitten.  We were completely drawn in Stockard's art style as she pays homage to many iconic figures.

Despite our great distance and time difference we were eager to work with Stockard. We took some time to learn more about Vanessa and her work below. 

P: What do black cats mean to you?

VS: I use cats as a metaphor to play with the idea of angels and demons, I see them as heaven and hell creatures. 

P: How do you use symbolism in your work?

VS: I use a lot of symbolism in my work, over the years I have amassed quite a lot of iconography. I use them in my work when I want to express something, however it is not important for the viewer to know what a painting means to me. It's only important for the viewer to have their own experience. 

P: How much of your past do you immerse in your works or do you look more towards the future?

VS: My style of work is really a mashup of the past with references to every day life, things that I have seen or heard, films I’ve watched, music I listen to. Often I’m in a trance state and not really aware of what I am making. At the end of the day it becomes clear what I was thinking or trying to communicate to myself. Other days I just want to learn, and I do that by K-bombing the masters.

P: We saw you posted Edvard Munch on your Instagram. How important is it for you to know other artists’s work throughout history and how do past painters mold your work?

VS: Historical painters have shaped the way we see, and I have absolute respect for the rigorous training, the individual skills that shine through regardless of teaching and the dedication that is needed to achieve this. I learn something new about each painting I pay homage to. 

P: If you could be something other than a painter, what would your dream job be?

VS: I wanted to be a musician when I was young and the simple truth was that I was not good enough and had missing sections of important knowledge that made it impossible to be great. I chose painting as my second love and it takes thousands of hours to get any good. I will never stop learning. I love fragrances and my dream job would be to be a ‘nose’ in a perfumery. The idea of creating nostalgic memories with scent is a favourite of mine.

P: Do you still own your first piece of art that you consider to be “work”?

VS: I’m not aware of the first piece of work is or was. I’m pretty sure next year I will consider most everything I have painted to be terrible.

P: What are some of the goals you want to achieve through your art?

VS: I just want to keep doing my thing. I’d love to branch out into animation and I love writing as well. I see a book in my future and of course I’ve talked about having a T-shirt empire one day and you are helping me on that journey. 

Check Vanessa Stockard Instagram