Hi! My name is Karena Colquhoun, and I am an artist and illustrator living in Semaphore, South Australia.
My artwork is influenced by lifelong loves and obsessions: the pulpy pages of old magazines and comic books, limited colour palettes, halftones, misregistration, vintage ephemera, advertising, packaging and typography; fireworks, Christmas, little plastic trinkets, old photos; as well as pattern and ornament and their diverse applications, such as Mexican cigar boxes, and Chinese apothecary labels. One of my greatest interests is vintage portraits, discarded, forgotten, in flea market boxes; anonymous people adrift from their histories. Inspired by their mystery, I like to shed new light and love on them and give them alternative identities.
I'm just as happy plotting points in Illustrator as I am playing with scissors and glue. I also like to use really sharp pencils, fine liners, dip pens, acrylic inks, watercolours, white charcoal on tinted paper, Print Gocco, and Photoshop. When I was a little girl, there was nothing as exciting as a new sketchpad and box of crayons, and I feel just the same about the tools and materials I use now - a magical source of infinite possibility.
I find inspiration in the ghosts of our past; memory, nostalgia, and the things we collect that record our personal stories. Both newfangled and old school, blending digital and traditional media, my work is a bittersweet mix of levity and melancholy. Above all, I hope it is friendly, accessible, and brings people some of the happiness it gives me to make it.
Favourite Beatles' album: Rubber Soul. Tea of choice: Yorkshire Blend. Role model: Little Edie. Uncannily like: Lucy van Pelt.