As an independent publisher, I receive no end of questions about the makings of a publication. ‘What does it take to run a magazine?’, ‘what are the main challenges you face?’ and ‘how should I get started?’ being just fraction of the questions gracing the tongues of the curious and the aspiring. Wouldn't it be good, I thought - if there was a space that independent artists and publishers could go to find the answers to the questions we so often have to guess at. To see inspiration in other self-taught creatives and to lend a hand to those who are interested in following similar paths. So here I share with you, the birth of Make Magick Happen (Into the Soul’s of Independent Makers).
Gleaming with optimism about it’s brand-spanking new presence, I have been overwhelmed with the initial support of the series and am so excited to share a new independent maker with you all each month(!!!!!) Looking into their lives, their art, their processes, their struggles and their breakthroughs, let’s together create a community of support and betterment for our creative sisters. So without further ado, let’s introduce the beautiful first featured guest and well, Make Magick Happen…
I first met Gabriella Rosie on one of Superlatively Rude’s ‘How To Write Words That People Want To Read’ Workshops and after a day amongst her overwhelmingly positive outlook (not to mention talent) and an evening following her on Instagram, I was instantly consumed by the world of hot pinks, motivational motifs and advocacy for ‘More Girl Art’ she has created for herself. Desperate for her high vibrations to grace Hook Magazine’s pages, in 2017 Gabriella contributed artwork to The Healing Issue and I’ve been frantically seeking ways to have her back since. Having recently painted a mural for Glasses Lab London and illustrated babes for Gala Darling’s 2018 Almanac, 2018 seems more colourful than ever for Gabriella and I’m honoured to be able to share just a sprinkle of the beauty and radiance she emits within this interview...
Tell us a little bit about you and your work?
I'm an artist and it has taken me a long time to freely and openly say that. Primarily I focus on painting women and facets of what that can mean. I used to think my work was overly "girly" and therefore less legitimate but realised that was just internalised misogyny reflected onto the art world. Now I'm really playing up the ideas of femininity and these arbitrary imposed boundaries of gender.
Why do you create?
Honestly, it's a compulsion. I can't remember a time where I haven't been fully immersed in creating in some way. Colour is my favourite thing so just wandering around life gives me so much inspiration of what we have to create with. Creating can feel like an act of gratitude for having these colours to see, words to read, and hands to bring it all to life. I feel so aware of the fact that I'm literally going to be dead one day so I need to create as much as I possibly can while I'm here. It's the most exciting thing.
Defining ‘art’ is probably one of the world’s biggest philosophical debates but if you had to give it a go, what would be your definition?
Art is magic! It's the ability to create something, that only you in the whole universe of all eternity could ever create, from nothing. Last year I got the word "magic" tattooed on me as a reminder that I have the ability to create magic myself, whether that's a painting or a facet of my life. In shifting my perspective to seeing myself as a legitimate artist I guess I re-configured how I see art. It isn't this huge thing steeped in politics and comparisons, it's the most intimate, personal thing there is. It's just me, sitting with paints or a pen and bringing something to life for the pure joy and beauty of the act.
What inspires you?
So freaking much. Enthusiasm and that feeling of just being happy to be alive right now, colours, people on the street wearing amazing clothes in their own special way, hip hop, cheesy self-help books, the people I follow on Instagram, comedians, Andy Warhol, David Bowie, Amy Winehouse, Kanye West, Yayoi Kusma. Movies by M Night Shyamalan, Quentin Tarantino and Judd Apatow. I could go on and on and on. My mates always tease me about the fact that I only ever love or hate something. If I hate it, it just won't be on my radar, but if I love it, it will be all I talk about for a few months. I'll read every book on a subject, write essays, get the tshirt, listen to the soundtrack in the shower. It's kinda ridiculous.
What is a difficulty you face when working and how do you try and overcome it?
My challenge is always having a million projects I want to be doing at any point in time. It leaves me with this annoyingly short attention span and the feeling that I need to be doing so much more and that time is slipping away. I'm not sure I want to overcome it because it's gives me this variety that I crave. When I'm truly into working on something, when I'm in the zone with a painting, five hours can pass by and it will feel like I haven't even blinked. I'm figuring out what conditions allow me to do the best work with everything I want to achieve and scheduling blocks in.
One lesson you have learnt about creating on this little ol’ journey we call life?
That it is all about the journey. Whenever I forget to focus on how truly good the process feels and start stressing about the end product or money then it stops being fun. For me, it's all about painting with the windows open and some movie or playlist on repeat and getting into the meditative state where nothing in the whole world matters but how this colour is going to mix with the one next to it.
What advice would you give artists who want to quit their day jobs to solely focus on their art?
Don't do it! I know that's not fun advice at all but pitching your art as your main source of income before it's feasibly sustainable puts this awful weight on your ability to create. For me it's more important to be able to get joy from creating than money. I want to be completely free to create whatever I want to without the complexity of it having to pay my rent and feed me, too. Create and share your work and build your art to the point where you can live off it comfortably first.
What are your goals for the future?
I've just moved back home to Australia and am working on a collection called More Girl Art right now. I'm also finishing up a project called Creating Happy which is all about using art as a tool for self-care exploration. I have a few solo travels planned, too. I have some visions of where I want to be and how I want to progress with my art but so much of how I'm living is open to change and that feels so freaking good to me.
Finish the sentence: ‘Success is…’
Success is doing exactly what you want to do with your days. The idea of my days being divided by jobs and requirements feels a lot like a strait jacket. Getting to the point where I can be wherever in the world I want to be and do whatever I want to do every single day is my biggest goal. It sounds so simple but very few people truly have this luxury.
You can delve deeper into Gabi's world via her Instagram and keep up to date with her work over on her website.
All images curtesy of the artist.