We are delighted to bring to you the fourth of this years series of interviews and the sixteenth of this fascinating series, within our Portrait of an Artist column entitled “Seeing through the eyes”. This is a section that has been created by our wonderful Portrait of an Artist Editor, Ile Mont. Mont has been inspired by the life and works of Carolyn Hall Young, as so many of us have. Young was the main contributor to our Portrait of an Artist Flickr pool and filled it with portraits of so many wonderful people, not only of herself. It is for this reason that Mont wanted to create this section, to enable us to view the artists style through their own eyes. At the end of each interview, Mont will keep Young’s tradition alive, with a portrait of herself, seen through the eyes of the artist. In this case, you will see that at the end of this interview there are portraits of Mont, seen through the eyes of Catherine Caddigan, what a gift!
Please continue to post your mobile portraiture to our dedicated Flickr group or use this hashtag on Instagram #tawportraitofanartist, this way, Mont will search through these artists first to interview. (Foreword by Joanne Carter).
All images in this interview ©Catherine Caddigan, with the final images a collaboration ©Ile Mont/Catherine Caddigan.
Would you like to introduce yourself?
I am Catherine Caddigan, and I am a mobile photographer and artist. I was educated in art, concentrating on photography and printmaking, always involving photographic captures.) When the iPhone 4 came out I got one and the world of iPhoneography opened up to me. I have found a supportive and extremely talented group of artists in this community. I am grateful to Joanne Carter for her support of this new genre and to be participating in it.
What does “being creative” mean to you?
Being creative means to express, though images, words, music or even with your body a unique look at the world; engaging with our mind in a way that helps “notice” or interpret the world in a new way.
Can you describe the time when you first realised that creating was something you absolutely had to do?
I always liked to draw and make art, but when I was young, I went to a museum on a field trip, and when I saw the art on display in these places I think I knew that was what I wanted to do more than anything else.
What are you trying to communicate with your art?
The stories that emerge when I work are sometimes personal, but always meant to be taken by each viewer to their own personal place. My experience of the world I think can seen though images I make, whether about a simple emotion or a large scale cultural issue.
Why portraits and self portraits?
I have been interested in portraits for a long time. I started with my DSLR, and then moved to mobile art. As my medium changed, I have become more interested in using a portrait as a starting point for something larger.
What do you think are the ups and downs about working with your own image?
Firstly, I am not that comfortable with my own image, but I think when I use an effect on a portrait it should be in the process of telling a story, not disguising a person or myself. I am an available subject, when I have an idea I want to pursue.
Is there an artwork you are most proud of?
That is hard to say and changes with time, and with the different results I am getting with my work. It’s usually something very recent.
How do you know when a work is finished?
That is hard for me to say. I can work on something a long time and because of the nature of mobile art it is easy to generate endless variations. My mistake is to want to post it too soon, and not let something percolate. I sometimes come back to an image and rework it. I heard somewhere that a work of art does not get finished it just stops in good places.
What kind of creative patterns, routines or rituals do you have?
Actually, the beginning of the process is, for me, to constantly collect images, no matter how mundane they seem. When I have some time to create, I will begin to go over images that I have on my camera roll, looking for something that inspires me. I often work in Procreate, and come to a dead end, then will just build a new image on top of an old one, deleting and adding layers. Very occasionally, I will begin a project with an image in mind, but that is rare. It is often the process that engages me as an image develops.
What inspires you?
As with my childhood experience of going to a museum, I am definitely inspired by seeing other works of art, I collect images from social media, I have books of artists and shows that have affected me. But often the simplest thing can inspire me, literally a cloud, the look of a frozen pond, an old handwritten letter. I have boxes of old letters, and photos, which I go to, looking for inspiration.
What are your favourite tools and apps while creating?
I like my iPhone 8 and my iPad Pro. I often use Procreate and less often IColorama for painting and layering images, For finishing, I take an image to another level by taking it into Snapseed, Hipstamatic, Stackable’s or Distressed FX.
What’s the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative?
Push things beyond where you think they are finished.
What advice would you share with us?
Experiment and be open to new things. Enjoy and be inspired by the art and the world you see, but don’t compare, you have your own story to tell.
Thank you very much for your insight and time, Catherine!
I have been seen through the eyes of Catherine Shell Caddigan!
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