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INTERVIEWS,  Mobile Artists on Their Artistry,  News

Mobile Artists on Their Artistry – Interview with Susan Latty from Sydney, Australia

We are delighted to publish the eighth of our new styled interview entitled ‘Mobile Artists on Their Artistry’. Within this interview, we ask highly successful mobile artists twenty questions about their backgrounds, their work, social media, how Covid-19 has influenced their creative life and so much more…

Today, we are proud to feature our latest interview, this time, with award winning artist, Susan Latty from Sydney, Australia. She primarily uses the medium of mobile photography and art to create portraits of flowers with meticulous attention to detail.

Each image captured in her signature style is the result of her artist exploration of emotional transition as time transcends shifts of experiences, often invisible to outsiders but nevertheless deeply felt. Containing the necessary traces of people, whilst being physically absent, her work discreetly leads the viewer to the threshold of a quiet unanticipated, silent introspection. 

Each photograph implores the viewer to stop for a few minutes and soak in the details that can go unseen in the everyday. Sensitive to the omnipresent vibrations of life influx, she embraces each image with a timeless and serene aesthetic.

We are also proud to offer a collection of her work for sale in our exclusive online gallery, please take a look here.

How would you introduce yourself to someone who doesn’t know your work?

I am a photographic based digital artist who uses mobile devices to create my work. Flowers and the landscape are a great inspiration for me, offering endless possibilities and potential for expression.

The images I take provide a point of departure to respond both creatively and emotionally through editing, a process I find meditative.

‘Beauty as an explosion of energy perfectly contained’ ©Susan Latty

What name do you use within social media and was this a conscious decision?

I have used @pause.and.breathe on Instagram from the beginning. The words reflect an awareness I have built into my life to live more mindfully, to manage anxiety and to promote a sense of peace. My creative work is a natural expression of this practice and I hope the words may trigger a similar response in others.

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‘Rhapsody’ ©Susan Latty

What kind of family did you grow up in?

A small loving family…… I have a younger sister. My parents worked hard to offer us a good Catholic education and were very protective of us. I am very grateful for their generosity, love and support. However, for me, a shy anxious girl who liked to please others, elements of my upbringing promoted lingering guilt, fear and lack of confidence.

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‘Floating’ ©Susan Latty

Did your childhood influence your ideas about creativity?

Mum loved to draw and paint but mainly by copying things and for craft projects. Dad loved photography, particularly taking photos of the family and enjoyed using his darkroom. They encouraged me to do as they did, which was creative in its own way. Within my narrow experience, that was the extent of my young creative life.

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‘Beauty triumphs over the suffering inherent in life’ ©Susan Latty

Did your parents support your creativity?

My parents supported my desire to attend the National Art School when I completed high school. I had no clear ambition associated with that path. I’m sure Mum and Dad thought it was a nice thing for me to do while supporting myself with part time work before I settled down to have a family.

Fortunately for me, attending art school began my awakening to the possibilities in life, causing me to question certain assumptions and make more independent choices.

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‘Beauty is quietly woven through our days’ ©Susan Latty

When was the first time you knew you wanted to be an artist?

It depends on what you define as an artist! It is a label I have had trouble with all my life. I have always created in some way. Much of my paid work has involved the skills of an artist, but I have only been happy to call myself an artist in the last few years. For me it comes with the recognition that I have an authentic artistic voice that needs to be nurtured and expressed to maintain my health and happiness.

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‘Sweet Memories’ ©Susan Latty

What is creativity to you?

My authentic response to stimulus informed by intuition, imagination and an openness to unknown possibilities.

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‘Courage is a spark that can become the flame of hope’ ©Susan Latty

What did you do before (if appropriate) becoming an artist?

I didn’t do any paid work for many years while my children were young. My younger daughter Catherine was disabled and her care was my priority. Sadly, Catherine died when she was ten and the ensuing grief and personal growth have shaped my life. I established a Calligraphy and Design business in the early 90s which I ran for over a decade, teaching and doing freelance work. As this was a niche business, I also worked part time in a variety of other jobs including at a high school where I remained for 17 years. In 2006, I retrained as a Landscape Designer which I loved.

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‘Embracing the moment’ ©Susan Latty

Where are you most creative?

Probably at home…… in the kitchen, in the garden and in my creative workspace. When making art, I do respond best to this quiet peaceful environment as it gives me the space to consider my inspiration and emotional landscape. However, I like to make art every day, so the portability of the iPhone and iPad means I can create wherever I am.

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‘Remember to Pause’ ©Susan Latty

What inspires you?

Inspiration is everywhere but I am particularly drawn to natural beauty, small details, colour, the play of light, subtlety, fragility, kindness, compassion……

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‘Impermanence’ ©Susan Latty

Who inspires you?

Firstly, I want to mention my beloved family and friends. Each person brings such richness to my life and inspires me in different ways. My grandchildren remind me about the wonder of being in the moment and delighting in simple joys. These insights inform my creative practice.

An Australian artist I have long admired is Cressida Campbell. Campbell is best known for her exquisitely detailed woodblocks and unique prints depicting still lifes, domestic interiors and Australian Landscapes. I love her work!

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‘Finding stillness in the dance’ ©Susan Latty

Does your engagement on social media help you to plan your future projects?

Opportunities arise on social media such as a call for an exhibition or competition and the prescribed themes can foster new ideas resulting in a body of work. However, generally I create what I need to create that day, responding to what’s happening in my life.

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‘Sunday Bouquet’ ©Susan Latty

What does your average day look like?

I am fortunate to be retired now so I am not tied to a routine. My days will vary but will always include exercise, meditation and art. If I’m lucky they will also include a visit from my grandchildren or time with family and friends. My husband, Tony, and I love our time together and laugh a lot!

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‘Celebrate simple pleasures’ ©Susan Latty

Is it your intention to ask questions or make the viewer question what they see?

I guess my intention is to remind the viewer to pause and be in the moment. It is so easy to get caught up in habitual routines and responses and I use my work to remind myself and hopefully the viewer that we always have a choice. Simple choices can have profound impacts on our health and well-being.

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‘Peace is a practice not a hope’ ©Susan Latty

Is there humour in your work?

Not intentionally, unless of course you find flowers hysterical!

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‘Floating in light’ ©Susan Latty

How important is failure in your work process? Do you incorporate it into your creative process?

I don’t really think of failure as such while I’m creating. When a piece isn’t working, I have learned to walk away from it. I am very careful not to let my inner critic get started with thoughts of failure.

I try to be kind to myself and divert my energy elsewhere. Often the next day it is easier to see a solution or feel comfortable in not continuing along that path. I save edits as I’m working so going back a few steps often offers a fresh beginning.

I have also observed that if I go through a few days when I don’t feel satisfied creatively, it can be just before an insight. Maintaining an open positive outlook and a kindness towards myself helps foster this progress. Failures as such are often opportunities in disguise!

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‘Bouquet’ ©Susan Latty

How do you deal with criticism?

Constructive criticism is an opportunity. Unkind or passive forms of criticism speak more about the other person.

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‘Reminiscence’ ©Susan Latty

Has the Covid-19 pandemic influenced your creative life?

The pandemic has underlined the integral role my art practice plays in my life. As someone who needs to actively manage anxiety, the mindfulness my creativity fosters serves to remind me of the abundance and joy in my days. By spending time responding to these observations and my emotional landscape, I am offered choices in my focus. This meditative practice without doubt supports my intention of finding peace.

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‘Rain soaked light’ ©Susan Latty

Who dead or alive would you like to have dinner with?

My daughter Catherine who died in 1994. We would have prawns and chocolate mousse.

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‘All the world is suffering’ ©Susan Latty

What is the best piece of advice that you’ve heard and still repeat to others?

Be in the moment. It is the journey that matters, not the destination.

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‘Blossoming into the moment’ ©Susan Latty

Contact Details

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‘Resolve’ ©Susan Latty

Please help…

TheAppWhisperer has always had a dual mission: to promote the most talented mobile artists of the day and to support ambitious, inquisitive viewers the world over. As the years pass TheAppWhisperer has gained readers and viewers and found new venues for that exchange. All this work thrives with the support of our community.

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Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website—— TheAppWhisperer platform has been a pivotal cyberspace for mobile artists of all abilities to learn about, to explore, to celebrate and to share mobile artworks. Joanne’s compassion, inclusivity, and humility are hallmarks in all that she does, and is particularly evident in the platform she has built. In her words, “We all have the potential to remove ourselves from the centre of any circle and to expand a sphere of compassion outward; to include everyone interested in mobile art, ensuring every artist is within reach”, she has said. Promotion of mobile artists and the art form as a primary medium in today’s art world, has become her life’s focus. She has presented lectures bolstering mobile artists and their art from as far away as the Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea to closer to her home in the UK at Focus on Imaging. Her experience as a jurist for mobile art competitions includes: Portugal, Canada, US, S Korea, UK and Italy. And her travels pioneering the breadth of mobile art includes key events in: Frankfurt, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Paris, Brazil, London. Pioneering the world’s first mobile art online gallery - has extended her reach even further, shipping from London, UK to clients in the US, Europe and The Far East to a global group of collectors looking for exclusive art to hang in their homes and offices. The online gallery specialises in prints for discerning collectors of unique, previously unseen signed limited edition art. Her journey towards becoming The App Whisperer, includes (but is not limited to) working for a paparazzi photo agency for several years and as a deputy editor for a photo print magazine. Her own freelance photographic journalistic work is also widely acclaimed. She has been published extensively both within the UK and the US in national and international titles. These include The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Popular Photography & Imaging, dpreview, NikonPro, Which? and more recently with the BBC as a Contributor, Columnist at Vogue Italia and Contributing Editor at LensCulture. Her professional photography has also been widely exhibited throughout Europe, including Italy, Portugal and the UK. She is currently writing several books, all related to mobile art and is always open to requests for new commissions for either writing or photography projects or a combination of both. Please contact her at: [email protected]

One Comment

  • Cindy Karp

    So enjoyed getting to learn about the talented Susan Latty. Love her floral art.
    Been trying to find all the other interviews Joanne orchestrated with poignant questions.