Joanne Brooker [jobrooker]
What do you do? How do you define yourself as an artist?
For myself, I define myself as a contemporary extreme portrait artist. As a professional I can call myself a cartoonist, an illustrator, a painter, a writer and a teacher. As a freelance artist I have to have many titles and skills and adapt myself to fit my clients needs.
What is your message?
I show that faces are the most primal, emotional and defining areas in their lives. I use my art as a powerful tool to make my opinions and to effect an emotional response. I comsider that laughter is as legitimate emotion in art as any.
Your biography in four lines.
Taught myself caricature drawing teachers in class. Decided that art would be the one area that I would use to make a living. Worked my way up the hard way to a be taken seriously in mdia art. Determined to work on my art for the rest of my life.
Do you upload your work to the web? If so, where could we see it?
Want more? google Joanne brooker
How is an idea born? For you, what is inspiration?
Observation. Even a cafe can give me all I need to see human nature at its best and worst. People are fascinating and I have the skills to pass on my observations.
What is art?
Communication at its most pure
When do you get your best ideas?
All around me. The news, popular culture, malls, streets, travel...anywhere , any time.
How do you evaluate whether an idea is good or not?
If I am working for a client I am trying to fit their brief as well as create artwork that I can be satisfied with. If I am creating for myself I am working for my most difficult client who is never satisfied. If at the end my client pays me then I know the idea has worked. If I put my own artwork on display then I must be satisfied that my idea has been properly realised.
Three creative ideas that you would have liked to have created?
Artwork that comments on war. Artwork that comments on media. Artwork that comments on poverty. Maybe one day I will create these to the standard I imagine in my mind.
When and how did you begin to see yourself as an artist?
When I was five years old. I worked out how to draw a rose by scribbling a tangle and adding a line for a stem. Another little girl said it looked like a rose and I was so pleased I kept finding visuals answers to communicate ideas from then on.
Why do so many artists and creators have such volatile personalities?
Art makes you vulnerable. You can do your best work and someone only has to say they dont like it without reason. This is so frustrating as there is no argument to defend. Artists have to develop a thick skin and a facade of bravado to continue.
Do you consider yourself postmodern?
All my work is contemporary comment
How should a work of art be evaluated?
Tecnically and emotionally. If my art makes you laugh then think WHY! What do you recognise to create that reaction. Stop and really look at what I am saying about a person or situation. Do not pass over a cartoon as something minor and unimportant..it is the most powerful art.
Must an artist reinvent him/herself everyday?
Always. An artist must never be complacent.There is always something new to create and challenges must be set.
Which artists do you admire and how do they influence your work?
Sebastian Krueger has taken caricature to a magnificent standard. His work is powerful dramatic portraiture of the highest standard and his technique is superb. I also love the purity and class of Hiershfields linework.
What do you think about public funding for the arts?
I think artists need to prove to other artists what they need the money for, not to beaurcrats and accountants. Public funding for bad art hurts the industry and reduces the public appreciation towards art.
Is art necessary?
As a freelance artist I have to be pragmatic about art. A client needs a visual for a reason and I provide that. I make MONEY from my art skills. I dont feel any emotional attachment to this art so maybe it is necessary and not authentic. My own art is necessary for myself so maybe that is authentic.
Does it pain you to let go of a piece you have sold?
Not a commissioned piece created to a clients brief. Some of my art has been stolen over the years and that is upsetting as they were personal pieces that I will never repeat. I prefer to give artwork I care about to my daughters.
Is a work of art purchased, or is it better said, that it is the artist who is bought?
Art to a brief is commissioned and owned by the client. Artwork that has the artists soul within it, is only borrowed. Money does not buy art, it only moves it about.
In art, there is no guide. How do you know what the next step is?
An artist looks st his/her work and decides the next step.
How do you feel about the fact that the pieces exhibited in contemporary art museums are often of artists already deceased?
People believe that art captures something of the artist soul. Therefore there is a fascination in viewing this art. They know that this is all that is left to hold. A live artist cannot be controlled in the same way, they might disappoint.
What role have the figures of art dealer, gallery owners, representatives, and intermediaries in general played in your career?
I was employed by newspaper editors. I worked to create art to fit editorial stories. A good editor and journalist trusts the instincts of the artists. Some of my best awarded work has been created witht he trust of a good editor.
What types of jobs do you usually do?
Artwork for the print media and personal commissions.
Which of your jobs or tasks do you most enjoy?
I am creating cartoon social comment on Dubai. I am loving having a forum to make my observations public in a city as dynamic as this. I am working on a new series of caricatures of public figures I admire or dispise.
Do you personally collect any items?
I exchange artwork with other professional cartoonists that I admire. I also collect old cartoon art books and referance material for my workshops.
Which websites do you frequently visit?
National Cartoonists Network and the Australian Cartoonists Association . Various artists whose work I admire and want to watch develop and be inspired by.
What advice would you give to those just beginning?
Be professional in your attitude. Perfect your technique. Do not demand that others appreciate your efforts.. learn from experts in your area. Never be satisfied. Grow a thick skin and never give up.