Artist Profile – Jayne Branchflower

Today has got to be one of the ‘Artist Profile’ posts that I have been looking forward to featuring the most since I started Lilt Blog nearly 5 years ago.

That is because today I get to interview Jayne Branchflower.

A good friend of mine who, not only did I study textile design with at RMIT, but who I also work alongside every day, at my full time job.

To say that Jayne is an incredible talent would be an understatement. You only need to peek at the preview images of her work below to be absolutely blown away by her amazing attention to detail and exceptional rendering skills.

She is powerhouse illustrator, and someone who is not only wonderfully creative but a real perfectionist in her craft as well.  Her work is never half done, there is always meticulous planning and execution which is evident in the result of her artworks.

Jayne comes from a family of artists. Her grandfather was an artist and her mother, (as you can read in the interview below) has been a ceramicist, a leadlighter, an art teacher, and even a tattoo artist. So it is easy to understand why creativity is a huge part of Jayne’s life.

I have had the pleasure of knowing this for a while now, but today I am delighted to announce, that Jayne’s earthy and magical scenes of feminine beauties and Australian fauna and flora will be displayed for the first time ever at Off The Kerb gallery as part of a collaborative exhibition ‘Ecology’, with fellow Melbourne artist Sarah Jane Lightfoot (previously featured here).

Read on below for my interview with Jayne as we talk about what inspires her work and a little insight into her upcoming exhibition.

And please scroll down for the ‘Ecology’ exhibition details. Hope to see you there on opening night!

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what led you to becoming an illustrator?

I’ve always been a creative person but since becoming a textile designer nearly 10 years ago I realised that hadn’t been making enough time for my personal creative goals. About a year ago I came to the realisation that I needed to make this a priority and since then I have been allocating quite a lot of my free time to generate artwork purely for me! It’s been quite rewarding!

How would you describe your work?

Detail, detail and more detail. My artwork is very intricate. My pieces are stylised and quite organic which have been influenced by the Art Nouveau art and neo-traditional tattoo movements. For my latest works I have been using a mixture of Mars Lumograph Staedtler pencils which allows me to achieve smooth and subtle rendering.

Can you give us some insight into your process?

To begin, I start with collecting a range of reference materials such as flowers, leaves and photographs for me to refer to. I will then sketch up the piece 2 or 3 times before I’m happy with the flow and composition of the piece. The next stage is to transfer the outline onto the final board. I usually draw in sections and slowly work my way from top left of the page, to bottom right of the page to ensure that I don’t smudge the grey-lead all over the white ground, which can be difficult at times!

What inspires your artworks?

I have always been interested in depicting our native Australian environment. We have such unusual animals and flora which are so unique to this land that I find very intriguing.

Tell us a little bit about your upcoming exhibition.

My friend Sarah Jane Lightfoot and I have collaborated for our first exhibition called Ecology which we are both very nervous and excited about!  Ecology is an exhibition that brings the bush to the city. The beauty of the Australian bush is becoming a foreign concept to the common urbanite and finding time to explore the native flora and fauna that Australia has to offer can be a challenging task. The exhibition hopes to bring people back to nature without having to travel too far and provide an opportunity to raise awareness of the important role nature plays in the urban life.

What are 3 of your favourite resources which you look to for inspiration?

I think Instagram is such an amazing tool to gather inspiration. It’s full of so many creative and talented people who often aren’t as recognised as they should be. I often find myself flicking through people’s pages for hours. It’s such a rabbit warren of endless inspiration. I also love swanning about the Royal Botanical Gardens in Cranbourne and the Healesville Sanctuary. It’s an amazing recourse for native plants and animals where I often take snaps for future projects.

Tell us about some of the people who inspire you and why?

My mum has been my greatest inspiration! Throughout her life she has always prioritised her creativity and no matter what’s going on in her life and will always find the time for her art which is such an inspiration. She’s been a Ceramicist, a leadlighter, an art teacher, and even a tattoo artist to name a few!  She has made me appreciate and value time and to make sure I put some time aside to do things that I am truly passionate about and that every creative journey has no limitations.

If you could create an artwork for anyone in the world, who would it be?

Everyone!  (I can’t think of a particular person that I’d like to produce something for) Sorry!

What would your dream project be?

I’d love to collaborate with an organisation to help fight the battle of the extinction of Australian animals. There are so many amazing organisations that are doing some fantastic research into breeding and conservation

programs to help keep so many threatened species alive. I’d love to work with one of these organisations and help raise funds to support their ongoing contributes to these beautiful animals.

What is favourite place in Melbourne?

Everywhere! Melbourne is such an amazing City. I really enjoy exploring the grungy areas of Collingwood and Fitzroy. There’s always so much going on and has such an influential art scene.