Carley Cornelissen Lockdown Special

Mixed-media artist Carley Cornelissen answers our lockdown special Q&A:

Right now I am…. fitting in an hour of emails and admin between a morning run and going to my job as an assistant manager at an art supplies store in Brisbane.

At the moment I am working on… some mural concepts, one for a private commission for a residence and the other is for multiple pieces at a day care centre. This is my second time working with this company, the first centre I painted had a jungle/tropical theme while this next project is more centred on Australian native birds and flowers.

Over the course of lockdown, I have challenged myself to… continue to be productive even when things were uncertain and out of my control. I know that if I am feeling overwhelmed I can go for a run and then settle down on the couch with my drawing and some tv on in the background and I will feel much more grounded.

My proudest moment during lockdown has been... staying productive!

Recently I’ve been inspired by the work of… one of my favourite artist is Jane Guthleben, I love her colour palette, her subject matter and basically every single aspect of her work inspires me.

Lockdown has been great for my creativity because... having more time has made me slow down with my work and not have to rush to finish pieces so I can more onto the next piece whilst juggling my work and life balance as well. Not surprisingly the more I slow down, the better the work turns out!

When I’m stuck for ideas I usually…  just sit down and draw something that I really enjoy with no pressure on myself, as soon as I start that the ideas normally start flowing.

I have always been fascinated by artists who… work full time as artists. I have been balancing my job with my art practice for the last ten years and would be very interested to see how I would go just dedicating myself to full time art. I think I like the balance of both as working in an art supplies store is very fun and inspiring, also keeps me up to date with everything new and there is huge amounts of technical knowledge to be learnt which I absolutely love.

When I was a child I dreamt of…  having my own cat! And I have a cat named Thomas who we adopted nine years ago, he is now 18 years old.

My first job was… a wedding photographers assistant when I was 16. I once accidentally opened the back of the camera mid roll and exposed some photos from a ceremony, I remember being horrified that I had done it but luckily it worked out okay.

The best film I have seen in lockdown is… the new Guy Ritchie film “The Gentleman”. Loved it.

If I could see any musician (past or present) performing live, it would be… I would have to been The Doors because of my absolute obsession with them when I was a teenager.

My guilty pleasure over lockdown has been… cookies and lots of coffee.

Over lockdown I’ve found myself cooking… nothing LOL... I’m a terrible cook and I am vegan whilst my husband is the opposite so it is very basic pasta and stir fries that we adapt to suit.

My lockdown routine includes…. first a morning work out at 6am then coffee. A couple of days a week I have been taking facetime art classes with my nieces and nephews who are located in other states and have been home schooling, we do a different drawing or watercolour project each week. Before I start painting and drawing I will always do any housework or admin that needs done then I will settle in for the rest of the day in the studio or if it is a drawing I will set up on the couch and watch Netflix will working. Most of the time I will do this until 8 or 9pm with a break in the afternoon for a run and dinner. My husband has been doing his industrial design degree from home during lockdown so we would both be focused on our work most days.

I am currently reading… 'Born to Run'. I am obsessed with long distance running and have been for many years. I have run three marathons and last year I ran my first ultra marathon, 60km.

Post-lockdown, the first place I plan to travel to is... my husband and I have been wanting to go to Japan for years but have been to the US for our last two trips, so I’d have to say Japan.

If my art could work for a worthy cause, I would dedicate it to… the protection of endangered species.

The most valuable lesson I have learned through lockdown is… how valuable slowing down is.

If I were to get a tattoo to remember my lockdown experience, it would be… a cookie!

Visit Carley Cornelissen's Gallery to see some of her beautiful mixed media artworks.