q) Where do you live and work?
a)I currently live and work in Sydney, Australia.
q)What is your creative process like?
a)I spend a lot of time thinking about ideas, sketching little thumbnails and collecting inspiration and reference material before I officially put pencil to paper. Once I’ve done all of this I get all of my materials together and will start with a fine pencil drawing, then I work up layers of softer pencil, biro, felt tip, ink and gouache, and sometimes add a little letraset to finish.
q)What is your favorite medium?
a)Pencil, biro, felt tip, ink, gouache and letraset.
q)What is your current favorite subject?
a)I’m continuing to explore the themes of escapism and isolation in my work, although I’ve started to have more of an interest in looking at carnivals/ amusement parks to depict this.
q)How long does it take for you to finish a piece?
a)If I’m really motivated I can have a piece finished in a day. But it would have to be a particularly focused day.
q)What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?
a)My first solo exhibition at the MTV gallery in Sydney.
q)Are there any contemporary artists that you love?
a)Cecilia Carlstedt, Audrey Kawasaki, Banksy, Kill Pixie, Carson Ellis
q)Can we buy your art anywhere?
a)I sell limited edition prints through the corner store on my website [kareenazerefos.com] and also through stupidkrap.com… for original pieces you have to keep an eye out for shows I’m involved in – I’m yet to have these available online.
q)Anything that people should know about that we don’t??
a)Lets see… I’m a tiny person, I collect tea sets and old photographs.
q)What is your best piece of advice for those who would like to rise in their level of artistry?
a)Indeeds it’s a cliché, but practice makes perfect… or at least close to it.
q)What inspires you to keep going when the work gets frustrating or tough?
a)A couple of weeks ago I had a few days of creative block, so to break out of it I went and had a drink with my sketchbook and the bartender at my favourite little bar in Surry Hills, The Lounge.
q)How do you describe your work to those who are unfamiliar with it?
a)Delicate, nostalgic and bittersweet illustrative work.
q)What kind of training did you have which helped you achieve your current level of artistry?
a)My background is actually in graphic design, I studied design at the College of Fine Arts, Sydney, but developed my illustration style when I finished university.
q)Is there a tool or material that you can’t imagine living without?
a)A sharp 2H pencil.
q)Who are your influences?
a)I love Egon Schiele’s work. Seeing his drawings and paintings in Vienna a couple of years ago really influenced my use of white space. I’m also influenced by music and film… the orphanage is a film I saw recently that I feel will influence some of the themes in my work.
q)What inspires you to create?
a)Stories, memories, dreams and a cup of tea with friends.