Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Creative Peeps Interview: Tinniegirl

All photos and artworks remain property of Tinniegirl and have been used with permission

I'm beginning a new regular series on the blog, interviewing some of my fave creative peeps, to find out a little bit more about just what makes them tick. I'm always interested to know where inspiration can be found, and how creativity has been nurtured over the years. Please read on and enjoy!


Cathy, or Tinniegirl

The name Tinnie was given to me by my Mum.  The word 'tinnie' means someone who has great luck.  I was originally being a bit tongue-in-cheek when I started using it.  But nowadays, I think why not call myself lucky?  For the most part, I guess I am.


What is your favourite creative pursuit?

Painting, without a doubt.   Although I play around with different mediums and crafts, painting is the thing I'm most drawn to.  I paint with acrylics and also incorporate occasional bits of collage and mixed-media work.

My second favourite creative pursuit is writing, and particularly blogging.  I really love the creativity involved in writing a blog.  I love the way blogging brings words and pictures together to create this amazing story.
My story.

I do love to indulge in a bit of crochet too, and would love to do some guerilla crochet projects at some stage.

What is your earliest creative memory?

A memory that always stands out for me is a doll's house that I created out of a shoe box when I was very young.  I had a miniature doll and I decided to create a house for her.  She had a bonnet made of a foil patty pan and ribbon, as well as hand sewn garments.  I made rugs and other soft furnishings for her house and then put in some tiny furniture.  It was a great house and is a really fond memory of my own early creativity.

One of my other strongest memories is of being surrounded by creative women.  My Mum, Gran and all my Aunts were extremely creative and were always sewing, knitting, crocheting, baking, preserving, cooking, etc, etc.  My passion for creativity, and love of handmade definitely grows from these roots.

Who inspires you?

We are incredibly lucky that modern technology gives us access to such a vast array of inspiration. Sometimes I'm overwhelmed by the amount of inspiration I find in the world.

Here's a few artists whose work I can't get enough of at the moment:
Mati Rose McDonough -
Flora Bowley -
Katherine Quinn -
Cori Dantini -

I'm also really inspired by the natural environment - flowers, birds, trees, pods, anything like that.  Most of my own painting is inspired by these things.

People who tell their story with integrity and authenticity really inspire me as well.  I love to read about people's journeys and to really know what makes them tick.

What are you currently working on?

At the moment I'm trying to get my head around Photoshop as I'm going to have fine art prints made of many of my paintings.  It's driving me nuts!

I've also just started work this week on some new paintings, because I needed to get my head out of the computer and get my hands messy with paint.  I'm really excited about them actually.

I'm also crocheting a blanket for my Mum, and playing around with some other new ideas.

What is your ultimate creative dream?

To work full time on my creative pursuits, and to make a sustainable living from my creativity.  To have an amazing studio at home where I spend my days painting, writing, experimenting, collaborating with other creative people and perhaps teaching in some capacity.  To be able to contribute my work and ideas to a bigger creative picture.  To make public art.  To be published.  To exhibit my work in Australia and overseas. To live an amazing creative life.

Is you work for sale, and if so, where can I buy it?

In about a month I'll be reopening my Etsy shop and you'll be able to buy fine art prints and other mixed-media works from me.  You can find my shop at

Do you have any upcoming events planned (exhibitions, markets, interviews, courses etc)?

I'm a whole lot excited and a little bit nervous about my first exhibition, which is coming up very soon.  It's opening on Thursday 22nd July at Chair 14, Darebin Rd Thornbury at 7pm.  Everyone is welcome to come along.

I'm hoping to do more exhibiting this year and perhaps some markets towards the end of the year, but I'll get through this upcoming exhibition first.

Do you have any advice for others who would like to follow their creative dream?

Never give up on your dream.  Trust your heart, and the longings that are within you.

And do something that helps you take a step towards your dreams.  For me it was buying some canvases and paint about 4 years ago.  I had no idea how to paint and I felt like such an impostor.  I almost expected the staff at the art shop to laugh at me and ask me who on earth I thought I was buying art supplies.  That was a pivotal moment for me.  It was the first time I gave myself permission to be an artist.

I've come a long way since then in terms of both my confidence and my skills.  But starting was the key. You've got to take that first fearful step, and then keep on taking steps, big or small, whatever you can manage.

Oh, and my other bit of advice is to give yourself permission to change directions, to experiment, to think you know where you're headed and then suddenly realise that you want to go in the opposite direction.  The creative journey is a topsy-turvy one and I think you just have to roll with it.

In the end you'll end up exactly where you're meant to be.  Creativity is like that.

Thanks so much Cathy for taking time to answer my nosey questions, and being a constant creative inspiration.  I'm certainly looking forward to dressing up in my party frock for the upcoming exhibition!


Stephanie and Carlos said...

What a great I interview Cam! Tinnie girl you are so inspirational! I love that you didn't think your creative skills were good enough. Art and creative media is all about self self expression and there is no right or wrong way to express yourself artistically. Awesome to see that you took that first step... And all the steps that continued after it.

Xo Steph

beck said...

Great interview Cam, how fascinating to learn more about TG. I love her advice to follow your dream. Whatever we do in life this applies. Looking forward to more interviews xo

Jodie said...

A great interview....I needed some inspiration today!

Cath @ chunkychooky said...

I can never know too much about tinniegirl. Thanks Cam, hope you are feeling better today. xx

Megan.K. said...

Well done Cam!
Loved reading more about Cathy - great pix too x

Little Ted Canvas said...

Great interview & such a nice idea, I'll look forward to reading about more inspirational & oh so talented people...

willywagtail said...

Thanks Cam for this insight into Tinniegirl. She certainly has no reason to be ashamed of her artistitic abilities. I find her style inspiring and I love the references to textiles that she includes. I can understand the phrase "gave myself permission to be an artist". We are often hampered by the prejudices of our youth. One question: What is guerilla crochet? Cherrie

Nikki said...

Hooray for Tinnigirl! Great idea to post interviews, Cam, and no better creative gem to start with than Ms Tinnie.

m.e (Cathie) said...

yay Tinniegirl!!
great interview Cam, looking forward to Ms C's exhibition.

Jodie said...

Awesome job Cam....

I'm wracking my brain about something to post for you to read.....

kitty said...

Everyone loves the Tinnie!
I got you some apples... pop over & see. x

Christina said...

It might make you laugh to know that I got a needle in my bum today. I really did.

Do you know, Cathy was the first person to ever comment on my blog? I think I have had a bit of a blog crush on her ever since. Nice to see the Creative Interview. Especially as I am thinking of a change in creative direction and some words of advice are just about what I need right now.

That, and for the bloody itching to go away entirely.


clare's craftroom said...

How great is that ! Well done both of you .

Claire Gale said...

great inspirational post you two, thanks for sharingx

teddybearswednesday said...

Really enjoyed reading this Cam, and Cathy too. thankyou xo

Anonymous said...

it was lovely to read about Cathy and her journey and I do wish I could come to her exhibition too!!

The Handmaden said...

Some great inspiration and advice there!


Great interview and thank you Tinnie girl for sharing such great advice - follow your dream ♥

Gypsy said...

Fab idea Cam, and great to learn a bit more about the very creative Tinniegirl. Thanks for sharing Cathy!

Dana Barbieri said...

What a wonderful interview! Great advice and great art!

The Creative Beast said...

Curly Pops, you are going to be the next "Charlie Rose*" of interviewers! This was a great interview and i 'm looking forward to reading more of them...and reading about the upcoming art exhibit. I hope we'll see you in your lovely party frock?!!?!

* - Charlie Rose is one of my favorite talk show hosts - he asks some of the BEST questions and the interviews feel organic to me =-)

Chasing Purple Dreams said...

Thanks Cam and Cathy,
Two of my favourite, creative, bloggy, ladies in one post, what a treat! I so wish I could come along to the exhibition opening, damn this huge country of ours…

Mookah said...

That interview was so inspiring I had to read it twice. Thanks girls.

Leni and Rose said...

Fab interview Cam. That Tinniegirl is one talented gal!

Karin said...

I enjoyed that. Thank you both!