Posted by on 5/7/2020 to Featured Artists
Featured Artist - Cally Jane
At Calypso we publish cards by artists from all over the world – tell us where you grew up and where you live and work.
I grew up in the UK and now live in a quiet and beautiful part of England. We live in a cottage in Northumberland and are extremely lucky to have vast, golden sandy beaches right on the doorstep.
What is your work environment like, do you have a home studio? An ocean view? what sort of music do you like to listen to while you work?
I have a home studio with both countryside and sea views. It is easy to feel inspired and to focus on creativity in such a lovely setting. I live with my partner, Phil and our chihuahua, Jasper. They’re often close by throughout my working day. Phil plays guitar or I might listen to gentle music. I’m currently listening to a lot of folk rock both old and new.
How is your day structured as a working artist?
I start my day with some fresh air (and coffee) before settling down at my desk. I’m usually fully immersed in my work and rarely keep an eye on the time. I think not having to set alarms or clockwatching is the ultimate luxury associated with being freelance. (As long as you meet those deadlines of course!)
How did you begin your career as an artist?
My career as an artist began with a position at Hallmark Greetings Cards. As a student I took part in work experience and was lucky enough to be offered a position upon graduation. I spent many years as an in-house artist, an invaluable experience. Such a joy to be in the company of professional creatives working in all styles and mediums. Before I became freelance, my job title was ‘Master Cute Artist’ because I specialised in cute characters and children’s illustration. That job title still makes me smile.
What was your first big success as an artist?
I loved my studio job but my ultimate childhood ambition was to illustrate children’s books. My first big success as an artist was gaining my first book deal. The excitement of seeing my books on the shelves of bookshops and in libraries is a thrill that will never diminish.
What inspires your work?
Currently I am hugely inspired by feeling calm and centred and leading a life as simply as possible. Yoga, mindfulness, walking and music are reflected in everything I choose to create at the moment.
What is your earliest memory of creating art?
Both my parents were artistic and other family members were designers so I have many early memories of creating art. Even before I started school I was certain I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. Though one memory of painting a mural on my bedroom wall without permission is better left forgotten!
What is your favorite medium?
My current favourite medium is gouache. I love the vibrancy and flexibility. The colors are clean and they repro beautifully.
How has your style changed over time?
My style has constantly evolved. When I worked in-house I learned how to be adaptable, changing my look to fit any brief. It was always a fun and exciting challenge. Upon becoming freelance I dedicated time to developing my own individual hand. I think it’s important for an artist to have her or his own distinct style.
I started out drawing and painting before finding the joy of digital art. I have since gone full circle and am back to drawing and painting. I think that’s where my heart has always been. Mixed media is fun too but ultimately I want to keep that hand painted look in my work.
Of all the cards we publish by you, do you have a favorite?
My favourite design you have published is ‘It’s all the little moments that make life a big adventure’. How nice it would be to have the keys to that little yellow campervan, a cup of coffee and a chihuahua without a care in the world. I wonder where I would go?
Click here to see the entire Cally Jane collection.