Auckland, New Zealand
Intuitively Taking Each Moment as it Evolves
Kiwi artist, mother of 2 and lover of life! Mostly self taught artist, who was born & raised Aotearoa/New Zealand and I am blessed to be a part of this wonderful land.
I have 2 awesome out-there daughters who keep me real in every way.
I rediscovered my passion for creating beautiful shapes and colours after I had kids which opened up a whole new side to me, so I decided to experiment with painting, a media I hadn't explored in depth (I did art all through school winning many awards but gave it up for a career in hairdressing). I discovered that I can’t plan or think when I create, it just flows and what it will be... will be."
As a child I was always drawing and painting, creating in some way, I took art all through school and knew that I would choose something creative as my career. Hairdressing fulfilled an aspect of my inner creator for a while, but after 20 years I needed something else and as time allowed I picked up the paint brush and started experimenting. That was two years ago, and now I literally cant go for more than a few days without the need to paint something, anything!
It's difficult to pinpoint my style in one word, and even then its a mix of many things... Mostly abstract, using flowing shapes and vibrant colour to express what I am feeling.
Acrylic on mainly canvas, sometimes board, or anything I can get my hands on.
Process: there is none. Seriously, 99% of the time I have no idea what’s going to happen, its all completely in the moment. I go to the studio, pick out a size canvas that feels good to work with, it gets put on the art table, I turn to my paints, pick out 2 or 3 colours I feel like using for a background, get the biggest brush I can find and get it on the canvas, fast. From there, I then look at the blend of color and movement I have created and I seem to just know what shapes would be right for it. After painting on the basic shapes, I make in the moment decisions about colour & shading, and whether I will use stencils or not. The only time I have ever sketched out a drawing/plan first is when I am doing a commission and there are certain specs to follow.
The other thing I will mention is that I’m quick. A small- medium sized painting can take an hour not including drying time, maybe two at the most. And I always have about 5-6 paintings on the go minimum, I go from piece to piece, as each one is drying.
I have tried to go slow, but I lose my 'flow' and all the creativity comes to a grinding halt. :)
Movement, cosmos, love, light, growth, energy, balance, nature, the big picture...all that 'New Agey' type stuff ;)
Where do you get your ideas?
Influences include the above... energy, life, the cosmos, nature, love, emotions, feelings, the need for knowing more, being triggered on a deeper level.
Also other artists I like are very inspiring to me, especially with their use of colour combinations, or a style Id like to add to my process. Its a learning curve every single day, so exciting!
Why do you create art?
Fulfills an inner need, desire to express in a way that is aesthetically beautiful to me, and evokes an uplifting feeling. For me its all about the connection within and with others. I paint for me. It feels good.
How often do you create?
Daily if I can, my studio is at my house, at the very least every 2nd day,..... or apparently, I’m not very nice to be around LOL!!
What is the best artwork you ever created?
My personal favourite is 'Festival', not entirely sure if it is my 'best' as what I feel is my most fulfilling may not be another's. It was a design that took about 30 seconds to draw onto the canvas. I love the flow of the shapes and the balance of it. I also love the colours I chose for it. It was a quick smooth process, and its probably the one I have had the most comments on.
What role does the artist play in society?
Depends on the type of art...
Making one think outside of the box. Inviting the viewer to be aware of how they feel about something. Asking them to think and feel at the same time. Head/heart stuff. Getting in touch with what’s going on within.
Making one aware of issues that need our attention by invoking or stirring up emotion, a reaction or response. Whether we resonate with the 'art' or not, it still stirs up a reaction, either way.
Do you make a living with your art?
Not yet.... what I do make I tend to put it all back into creating and promoting my art.
I sell originals from FB & my website, prints, cards from Fine Art America and I have products like a calendar, bags, pillows, gift boxes and place mats on Zazzle.com
They all tick over nicely, but my biggest income is from originals. Commissions are regular too which is nice, I enjoy them. Especially when I get to hand deliver them like I recently did to Australia!
Watch this space... Reina Cottier Art is building all the time!
What are your top two methods of art promotion online?
- Facebook!- Reina Cottier Art page.
I keep it updated all the time, and give feedback to those that comment, FB in my mind, if used properly is the very best tool an artist can utilise. My art sales increased by 90% literally the day I started my art page (which wasn't that long ago!). My stats from all my sites tell me that nearly all my sales originate from an initial FB connection. And contrary to popular belief about FB & how people get their 'fans', I haven't ever solicited one single 'like' for my page.. they have all come naturally.
- My art blog, http://reinacottierart.wordpress.com
I love being able to express my processes and explain why I have arrived at a certain space or place with my art.
I chose my theme there really carefully too, first and foremost to showcase my art, after all this is what its all about right?!
I mostly love that with both the blog and FB I can interact with people, that is reward in itself. I have made some great friends online through these sites, who have yes, bought some art, but the friendship and connection is the reward for sure.
Building a relationship with people is so important. On average in the art world, 30%-40% of all sales are repeat customers. :)
My earliest influence was my mother. She was always completely immersed in her 'craft', whether that was doll making, mosaics, repairing antiques, calligraphy, painting, costume & prop making (for a theatre), and the list goes on.. a multi (UBER) talented woman who always put her craft before everything, yes everything. Our living room at home was always a dangerous obstacle course of tables and material, paints, glues, pins, staple guns and sewing machines. A narrow trail lined with boxes of craft stuff, from the front door to the kitchen meant we ate, and down to the bathroom & bedrooms to wash and sleep. An unusual upbringing indeed.
Other artists play a huge role in inspiring me, I LOVE browsing other sites and getting a feel for what turns me on art wise. Jonas Gerard is a favourite. And my previous art teacher Maria Fowler, huge influence on me, I resonate with everything she creates.
Also, nature, cultural art/artifacts/buildings/etc, anything spiritual (not religious) -the balance of life, head/heart, yin & yang, emotions, life experiences, connection to self & others.
Please recommend contemporary artist to us
Danielle Davis - an abstract artist from Hawaii. I love her energy, style & philosophy.
From her website:
Abstract painting for me is a beautiful visual language that communicates our broader reality, inspires understanding, connection & further exploration of the subject matter. I create using simple colors, forms, direction & shapes, presenting them in a symbolic manner that examines the way we as people relate to the world in our purest senses. My themes are often explained from the point of a direct observer to achieve this, but always abstract to reflect that greater view...the only absolutes are the questions themselves.
Please tell us something interesting in your life.
Hmmmm, depends what you call interesting... I guess my whole life has been a little left of centre, I am part of a loving multi cultural adopted/fostered family where love was number one. I was brought up with parents who were not 'the norm' and made sure we understood the importance of 'we are all one'. My parents, both actors were busy intellectual people. My father was a Doctor of Natural Medicine and world authority on vitamins and minerals, which in the 80's and 90's was not a common career, my mother dabbled in Natropathy, whist being wardrobe & props mistress for 2 theatres. While my friends at 16 were getting cool clothes as presents from their family, I was getting tarot cards and astrology books (of which I wanted!) I always knew about the importance of spirit/soul and acceptance, not judging people.
By 24, I owned a house, a salon and had traveled the world. (Being from NZ (at the bottom of the world) it was really important to 'get out there' and experience our beautiful planet). I was a Trade Certificate examiner and competition judge... still I was not satisfied...at 29 I owned 3 businesses and was Miss Busy Busy being Busy! After many years of hard work, hard partying and travel, I finally sold up everything and had kids. I was among the last of my friends to do this, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I had one at 39, and another at 40. My life and I changed in every possible way, I evolved into something that, even though the process of 'evolvement' was difficult and even painful at times, it has meant I am happy with who I am, not searching, not needing, not wanting,just 'being'... a sense of contentment, and yeh... peace. Happiness. All those clichés things you read about and think you will never experience :)
Did you ever feel like giving up art?
NEVER! I would sooner poke my own eyes out! Nothing can stop me, its art before housework, its art before errands, its even art before the kids sometimes! Yep, obviously my mother has rubbed off on me... bless!
Where do you see yourself as an artist in 10 years?
Fully established, making a good living and then some! Apart from continuing to create/paint beautiful designs & images, I see my designs licensed to various industries, fabrics & products. I will have people working for/with me to ensure Reina Cottier Art stays authentic in all ways. A team of energetic, inspired, happy people, a mutually beneficial relationship for all involved.
Advice for aspiring and emerging artists?
Believe in what you are doing, have your own style, set yourself apart, have goals and self motivate & self market!
Create, create, create, don’t stop, build up a cache of art, and even when you think you have done your best yet, you will outdo yourself, and then some.
Use the internet! Promote promote promote, link all your sites, make it easy for the potential client to find your art, and contact you.
Intuitively Taking Each Moment as it Evolves