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Five Questions with Linda Weil...

The artist behind our current exhibition, Grimm Visions, answers our questions for this week's blog!

The first thing we notice about you is your accent - where is that from?

I was born in Campbell, California, near San Jose about an hour from San Francisco. I came to Australia in 1972 with my mother and younger sister when I had just turned 16, and still have somewhat of an American accent. But when I visit the US everybody comments on my 'Australian' accent. So I guess my accent is now a bit of a mix, but I am proudly Australian!

How long have you been working as an artist?

I have always been an artist and cannot remember a time when I wasn't drawing something. I worked professionally in the print media as graphic artist/illustrator and art director for many years. I drew illustrations both in traditional mediums and digital for magazine publications all through the 80's and 90's. I began exhibiting my own personal drawings around 1998 or thereabouts at local shows and galleries. I began by showing mainly realistic wildlife and nature studies, always working in pencils. I have been an exhibiting artist for more than 30 years.

What would be your best tip to budding artists, or people who are trying to fit more creativity into their lives?

Top tip? Practice! Try and practice your art as much as possible, if you can, make it part of your day just like your morning walk. Even if it is only a 10 minute doodle while chatting on the phone, that can still lead to amazing places. Some of my best works started as random doodles. Go to workshops, look at art in galleries, read about other artists and see how they do things. It can help to do a class or find a teacher. A class is a great motivator, see your if your local council or art group do weekly classes. Make that class your own special time when you can totally dedicate yourself to your art projects without distractions from family, work or chores.

Second tip: draw what you love and know and want to draw. Don't think too much about trying to make money out of your art, because you probably won't. Make the art that you find enjoyable to do. Your success will be measured by the satisfaction you achieve in the creation.

What led you to an exhibition of works based on the Brothers Grimm?

I have always loved myths and fairy tales. As a child I had a big book of illustrated Grimm tales - one of the more child friendly versions - that I read again and again. I would read the stories and try and copy the illustrations by Fritz Kredel. As an adult, I discovered the original, un-sanitized stories and became fascinated by their sometimes disturbing images and dark moral observations. I always wanted to investigate these original stories and try to illustrate them in a way that retained some story book charm but kept the darker vision. When Jo invited me to exhibit at Blarney, she stipulated that the exhibition should be book related. This gave me the opportunity to achieve my dream of drawing Grimm - thank you Jo and Blarney!

What’s next for you and your artwork?

What's next? Well, I have started fooling around with clay recently and am having lots of fun playing with three dimensional forms. Not sure where that will lead to, but it sure is challenging and I hope to include small sculpture into my art practice. Also, I have been expanding my drawings more and more into Steam Punk style works and will be creating a new series in the next year or so to exhibit in Melbourne. And another thing that has me excited is thinking about and rereading the works of Jules Verne - another childhood reading favourite - so maybe a series of Steam Punk style drawings based on the novels of Jules Verne? I never run out of things to draw.

Thanks so much, Linda!

Linda's Grimm Visions exhibition finishes up this Monday, 25 April, but we look forward to working with Linda again in the future! Perhaps we can entice her back with her Jules Verne illustrations.

If you visited the exhibition, and would like to make a comment about her work, please do so in the comments below!

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