This months interview has a very special connection to us here at ARTdiscount. Charlotte Hudders is the daughter of our very own MD!Originally trained in Theatre Design, Charlotte developed a diverse set of creative skills during this time whilst growing up in a family of artists and designers! With a successful Art & Design Consultancy offering bespoke art projects for clients in the Middle East, Charlotte creates beautiful and personalised designs through customisation, live art, wearable art and illustration.
Q. GROWING UP IN AN ARTS RELATED FAMILY BUSINESS MUST HAVE HAD AN EFFECT ON YOUR CREATIVE JOURNEY? TELL US ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND!
Yes! It definitely has. I’ve grown up in a very creative and entrepreneurial family. Art Discount and Granthams have been in the family for four generations now. My Grandpa and Great-Grandpa were sign writers, a traditional brush technique which I like to think has parallels with customisation art. My parents met at art school and my Mum is a practicing artist. One of my older brothers is an artist and the other brother is running the family art business with my Dad, it’s definitely in the blood! My brothers and I all worked in the art shop in our teenage years and I loved learning about the products and learning new techniques from the talented customers.There would be demonstration artists in the store so It was great to learn about different arts and crafts. At home, we had all sorts of art projects going on. My Mum would also make costumes for us, I think that’s where my interest for textiles and costume design started.
Q. DID YOU ALWAYS AIM TO BE A PROFESSIONAL ARTIST?
I knew from being a young girl that I wanted to be an artist in someway. Art was all around me and I was encouraged to follow my passion. I was also taught that a creative talent can lead to a successful career in the arts and to go for it! I studied Theatre and Performance Design at University. The course was very diverse, it encouraged me to explore and develop a range of creative skills from illustrating, creating costumes, set designs and scenic painting giving me a great start and grounding for my professional career as an artist.
Thank you! I would say that nature has always inspired my work. I love Botanical Illustrations, they can date back hundreds of years and can still look timeless. Over the past few years, my work has become more intricate as I’m working on smaller surfaces, customising shoes, bags, jackets, perfume bottles etc. I’ve always had an interest in hand-painting items other than the traditional canvas. I can remember painting lampshades over 15 years ago!
Q. DO YOU WORK FROM HOME OR A STUDIO?
I have a studio at home for when I work on private commissions for clients. Whether it’s customisation hand-painted art or digital illustration. Often I will work at private events, or on in-store activations creating live art for their guests, customisation, fashion sketches and portraits.
Q. CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STARTING PROCESS OF CREATING, DO YOU LISTEN TO MUSIC? QUIET OR MOVEMENT IN ORDER TO GET INTO “THE ZONE’?
I always like to have a very clear space when starting a new project. I have a full tidy up from the previous project and get all my materials prepared for starting the new work. I sit down with a coffee and sketch out to plan the work ahead. I like to listen to something when I’m working. Whether it’s music, podcasts or audiobooks. It’s nice to be transported to get in the zone.
Q. DO YOU KEEP A SKETCHBOOK? HOW OFTEN DO YOU USE IT?
I love creating sketchbooks, they are really important for developing and understanding where a project is going. Often the commissions I work on have a very quick turn around and I have very specific requests from clients, so there isn’t really time or need for it. I also have to balance my time with having a toddler as well! However, when I work on personal projects I will always begin with a sketchbook.
Q.WHAT TECHNIQUES DO YOU PREFER TO USE?
I love hand-painting on leather, it’s a great surface to paint on. I’m often painting on leather or glass freehand botanical designs.
Q. WHAT ARTIST TOOLS ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU?
My tiny paint brushes. Sometimes people comment saying there must be 6 hairs on that paintbrush! They are needed for the really delicate work, along with a steady hand.
Q. YOU ARE CURRENTLY LIVING IN DUBAI, HOW DOES THE ART COMMUNITY OVER IN DUBAI DIFFER FROM THE UK?
The art community has really come on in the 8 years I’ve been there. There are many different areas dedicated to the arts, as well as exhibitions and art events. There are really great opportunities for creatives. I meet a lot of artists who are thriving and working on a range of projects. There is some amazing graffiti and mural work around and incredible galleries show casing diverse creative talent.
Q WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE MATERIALS?
I like to work with a mix of Americana, Tarrago and Angelus paints. I stock up at Art Discount when I’m home on my supplies : ) Good quality art materials are very expensive in Dubai! Since the Pandemic I began to develop my own digital art collection, working on Pro-Create with an Apple Pen. I’m now creating more and more digital artwork for clients and so I would say my IPad Pro is also a favourite.
Q. WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?
My latest digital art piece was for Bvlgari, I created a Vintage Inspired Poster of a Woman on a Scooter on The Amalfi Coast. It was created for the client to send their clients, a ‘Happy Summer’ poster. People are starting to travel again and so it is very much celebrating that!
Q. WHERE CAN WE SEE MORE OF YOUR WORK?
Best to go to @charlotte.hudders on Instagram Or my website: www.charlottehudders.com
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