Artist in Focus - Chloe Watts
Chloe Watts has recently graduated in Illustration with Animation and, for Chloe, communication, expression, and art are inextricably interlinked. She finds a catharsis in creating art as it is the way she can best articulate and express her most complex and complicated feelings. This has led to a knack for narrative and storytelling in her art, with phrases and idioms often intertwined into her works. Chloe has worked through finding and herself and her own artistic voice which has allowed her to create feats of perfectly balanced insight and intention.
Chloe’s vibrant illustrations often feature an interplay with vivid colour and bold patterns, a complex and fresh concoction of simple artistic elements. She uses both sketchy and fluid lines and shapes and with her lively, often limited to duochrome, colour palettes there is frequently just as much emphasis on negative space; her choice of colour, or lack thereof, creates bright and playful compositions which are often cut-out-esque and striking.
She has particularly focused on the figure, with elegantly stretched out bodies which are dynamic in their strength and manipulated shape. Her style and use of medium has grown, evolved and changed, as she herself has through her recent studies, and she has begun to adapt her cut-out-like illustrations into bright and colourful wooden figurines. Much like her 2D illustrations, they are expressive, interesting, and bold – a paradox of perspective and proportion.
For someone discovering your work for the first time, can you paint them a picture of your background and your style?
My work is often abstract in nature, or at least a slight distortion on reality. I enjoy creating from my perspective, and this often means portraying things in unusual methods. My work is often figurative, and I like to utilise bold colours and shapes.
Have you always been creative? And is there a particular moment you realised you were?
I have always been creative; however I am British/Sri Lankan, meaning that art was looked down upon by my family. It was only after a long period of illness in my teenage years that I decided to follow a path that would make me happy. I haven’t looked back since then, I feel that that was one of the most important decisions in my life.
What 3 things inspire you?
Children's’ drawings, the figure and my personal life.
What are the main themes behind your work?
I use my work to communicate a specific meaning, this can be overt or subtle, but usually always this is led by my mental state. My figurative work is led by my experience of body dysmorphia.
If you could spend the day with one artist - dead or alive - who would it be?
A young Tracey Emin, I feel like I create from a similar place within.
What has been one of the biggest learning curves you have experienced?
Studying through the pandemic. It was a really difficult time but I produced some of my best work and really developed as a person.
Are there any other artistic mediums you’d love to try?
Oil paints, I like to work very quickly so have been yet to be able to take the time to explore this medium.