Who is Jaz Higgins?
I am 27 years old and I live in Brisbane, Australia. First and foremost, I'm a Wife to a loving husband and a Mummy to a beautiful 3 year old daughter. I'm a full-time artist, and a lot of my day is spent around creating art while also juggling family life!
In six words describe your practice.
Whimsical, fantastical, feminine, colourful, surreal, determined.
How long have you been creating and how did you get started?
I've been creating for as long as I can remember. As a child I was always interested in art - painting, colouring, anything to do with colours. I started painting professionally (as in selling my work) about 5 years ago, when I realised I actually want to BE an artist full time, and that with hard work it might actually be possible. It's something I can't stop thinking about, and I love being my own boss. I feel really lucky to be able to be able to paint every day.
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
I try to keep my eyes 'open' to beautiful things that are around every day. It's easy to walk past a flower growing through a crack on the footpath or a weird looking beetle - but if you really open your eyes and think creatively you can find inspiration everywhere. I also love trawling through other people's blogs - seeing how other Work at Home Mums are doing it, and other artists. I also get inspiration from magazines, books (especially vintage ones with beautiful illustrations!), dreams, nursery rhymes, museums, art galleries, podcasts, visiting art stores, markets and trash and treasure.
Who are the people that influence and inspire you?
I instantly fell in love with pop surrealism through Mark Ryden's work. There was just something so interesting about the way he juxtapozes innocent, childlike creatures with sinister, darker elements and symbolism in his paintings. I've also always had an interest in fantasy art. Not so much the dragonny, sword fighting kind - but fairies, feminine goddesses and mermaids have always sparked my imagination.
As a child I was entranced by Enid Blyton stories and Shirley Barber's fairy paintings (the detail and colours in her works are incredible!). Today, there's a myriad of different artists that inspire me from masters like Salvador Dali to modern day artists like Marion Peck - if I were to list them all I would be here forever. With the Internet, I find new influences nearly on a daily basis!
What has been the highlight for you over the last year?
I've had quite an increase in commissioned work over the past year, which I love, because each one is a co-opperative effort - you're taking someone's ideas and making them a reality. When it turns out just how they imagined (or better!), then it's very satisfying.
What are your experiences with being involved in the MPC?
The Monthly Painters Challenge gives me a deadline to work towards each month, which is great because it forces me to be organised, but it can also be challenging! It's exciting to get a new 'theme' every month, and it makes me create things that I otherwise wouldn't have. The group of artists are all really supportive of one another, and in a workplace where most days I work alone, it's nice to be part of a team.
Where to next? What's on the Horizon?
I'm starting to stock my art in some more stores around the place, which is exciting. I'm also creating more merchandise to go with my original paintings and prints - things like postcards and possibly jewellery. I'd also like to create a stall for markets and expos.
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