2 Jun 2011

Artist 91: Calla O’Malley

A brand new artist feature for you now with the wonderful Calla O'Malley. Calla has a balanced style with sharp characterful subjects juxtaposed with faded backdrops, She adopts a semi naive style where she focuses the emphasis on her character and the eyes, using clever highly detailed sultry eyes on light touch girlish figures, the result is at once transfixing and slightly unnerving, having the quality of dolls. Her work walks the fine line between gothic and vintage, and does well to take the best of both and condense it into a pared down style which oozes distinctiveness. In her fashion illustration she has a gestural approach with bold lines that really capture her subject with economy, the feel is there and the sense of movement is preserved. She has a great deal of strengths to draw on and I for one would love to see her bold gestural style mingle with her dramatic and considered scenes. She has a really strong approach to composition and her work has a real sense of quality. Wishing her all the best for a bright future, it's Calla O'Malley
Who are you:
I’m Calla O’Malley, a 21 year old illustrator from Ontario, Canada.
What do you do:
I do a lot of freelance illustration for fashion, and narrative type projects. I create a lot of characters and like to convey a dreamy feeling.  I usually use pen and ink in combination with light pastel paints and digital mediums. I like the contrast between dark lines and airy colors.
How do you start: 
I’ve loved to draw and paint since I was quite young, starting off recreating artwork from vintage fairy tales along with Degas dancers. I really developed an affinity for black and white line work, light colors, and dance and fashion scenes from these things. I went on to study Art History, Visual and Digital Art, and Fashion Illustration. I eventually realized my style in putting my interests in drawing clothing, and illustrative scenes together. I’ve been lucky enough to work with a few fashion designers to create work representing their lines, along with a few independent publications and magazines. This has really helped to focus my work in the direction I want for it to go.
A personal statement about you or your work:  
I’m inspired by a lot of things, including fashion, vintage fairy tales and story books, soft focused photographs and films, and the colors in impressionist paintings. Telling stories and creating characters are also very important to me. I love that illustration gives me the chance to combine these things, and to make the mixed up dream world in my head into a reality of sorts. 
Calla's links:

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