This week is very special because I interviewed my bestest bud! Tori Watson and I have been friends ever since she found out I was a Hanson fan in 9th grade. We bonded over the band, but have stayed besties because we have tons of stuff in common and she's one of the radest people I know. It's so wonderful to have a buddy that challenges you both intellectually (she has a HUGE brain. HUGE) and creatively. She is a great painter both on canvas and on the computer. In fact she designed our Hodgepodge banner. She also is a very talented film maker and is totally famous in the internet world through her work at hitrecord.org. I adore her, and I know you will too....
Introduce yourself in 10 words please;
Strangers are friends you haven't met yet - Hi, I'm Tori. :)
When did you know that you were an artist?
I think I knew I was an artist when I fingerpainted at nursery, then I went to school and spent a super long time learning about all the things I wasn't, and only now I'm discovering that there may have been an artist in me all along. I'm an absolute believer that every single person is a creative being with an imagination begging to be used. And an artist is someone who works hard at turning that imagination into something tangible.
What is the piece you are most proud of?
That's a really hard question to answer. I don't really stick to one medium, so everything I make tends to be quite different, from short films to animations, illustration, poetry and I even dabble in music. Front and foremost, I'm a remix artist, so I spend most of my time collaging art made by other people into new works, so often I feel like a curator rather than the creator.
If I had to pick an illustration, I think it would be "The Jar"
But if I was choosing the remixed piece I'm most proud of, I think I would choose "Two Can Dance", an animation I made from a photograph:
That animation was one of the first I ever made and it was such a triumph to work out how to make it move. I always make a habit of trying to learn something new with everything I make and that was the first piece where I really truly rolled up my sleeves to get my head around animation.
What is the biggest challenge you face as an artist?
Silencing the voice that tells me to stop trying to keep up with the big kids. I think it's so easy to compare yourself to other people and see them doing bigger better things than you and give up or not take yourself seriously. I'm working towards being comfortable in my natural stride, but I also secretly wish that I was working harder and making faster.
Who are the artists that inspire you most?
I work in a children's book museum so most of the art I see is illustration for picture books. My favourite illustrators of the moment are Ed Vere,
and Mo Willems
Outside of picture books, Sabrina Ward Harrison is a huge inspiration to me - honest, cathartic, vibrant art about daily life.
What are your goals for your art?
Really simply, my goal is to keep enjoying making art and sharing it whenever I can with whoever wants to see it.
If you were granted the wish to own any piece of artwork ever made, which piece would you choose?
When I was little we'd go to our local art gallery with my dad and there was always one painting that I would get lost in called "Isabella and the Pot of Basil". Every time I go and look at the painting, I'm hit with a wave of nostalgia - but, that aside, it's also just a really beautiful oil painting.
What is your favourite colour?
Turquoise. My collection of turquoise jewellery just keeps on growing.
If you were stranded on a desert Island with a CD player and 5 albums of your choice, what would they be?
1) Dilate by Ani Difranco
2) Ben Folds Five by Ben Folds Five
3) Gold by Ryan Adams
4) Beautiful Freak by The Eels
5) From a Basement on a Hill by Elliott Smith
I have a soft spot for James McAvoy... (especially with his american accent in "Penelope"!)
What is your favorite thing to order at a coffee shop?
My favourite thing to order is a chai tea latte! (Probably with something chocolatey on the side too!)