marked up: multidisciplinary artist olivié keck on using mixed media
Cape Town-based multimedia artist Olivié Keck prides herself on being a 'creative juggler'. Using loud colours, juxtaposing ideas and jumbled associations, she is a big advocate of working with Copic and Posca markers, which she refines into a painterly effect. She chats to us about these lesser-known mediums.
1. you consider yourself a multimedia artist – what is your favourite medium to work with?
I honestly don’t have a favourite medium, but Posca and Copic markers are my foundation mediums that I'll always come home to. However, it really depends on my mood and what sort of medium best suits the message I might want to get across in the work.
2. what inspires or challenges you to take on new materials.
For me, change is a positive influencer in the process of nurturing creatively. When I’ve been pursuing a body of work intensely for a while, changing my medium makes me feel free again. Sometimes working in only one medium can make you feel tight and restricted. Trying new mediums is a chance to break the aesthetic mould for an audience, but mostly for myself.
3. tell us about your intrigue with Posca paint-based and Copic markers.
Vibrant, saturated colour is one of the staples of my work, which is what drew me to these contemporary mediums. The opacity of Posca and Copic markers lends itself to the graphic way I like to work. The way both these mediums technically straddle the line between drawing and painting makes them an unexpected and irreverent choice in relation to more traditional fine art mediums, such as oil paints.
4. being an artist with an affinity for colour, how do these fairly unusual materials aid in the messages you wish to portray?
I think the rich and vibrant colours available in these mediums are very much in contrast to the more sombre or unnerving subjects I tend towards. I hope this juxtaposition creates a ‘pleasure spiked with pain’ feeling in the works. It’s a sensation I often feel in life and I try to capture it in my work. It’s a form of visual trickery that I really love.
5. how do you find inspiration in an often overloaded and saturated world?
Sometimes the feverish transmission that contemporary life forces us to engage with can be very exhuasting, and I generally don’t engage too much because it interferes with my productivity and can make me feel disillusioned. It’s hard to distil where inspiration comes from. I genuinely find it in lots of different places. For me, inspiration usually comes out of imagining ‘what if’ scenarios. Although often ludicrous, many of these hypothetic conversations I have in my mind end up making their way into the subjects of my work.
6. how important is creation for you living in a city like CT with a thriving artistic market?
Sometimes creating can be intimidating in a place where there seems to be so much creative production around. However, it’s wonderful to see so many entrepreneurs coming out of a rising appreciation for arts and culture in Cape Town, and it’s great to be associated with this growing market.
7. what materials have you picked up before that were a total fail?
Charcoal. I really can’t stand the feeling of it or the aesthetic of it.