You may be aware of Ooberla: her characterful illustrations can currently be found on the chalkboard wall at Southsea Coffee and she recently participated in the Portsmouth Street Art Festival. She is also the creator of 3D monsters baring their teeth, popping in neon colours who epitomise mischief and fun. We caught up with her to find out what inspires her creations.
How did you get to where you are artistically?
My mum was always doing art when I was a kid, she was an art student, then restoration and there were always materials laying around the house. She also had access to the craft bank so we had anything from colouring pens to little cut out pieces of MDF to make stuff with. It’s been a natural thing, ingrained in me since I was small.
What direction do you see yourself going in?
I’d like to do more exhibitions. Next year Midge, Freakstatic and myself are showing our work together. I watched a video by Neil Gaiman that Midge sent me all about good art. He says to make a list of all the things you’d like to achieve, mine includes stuff like animation and large scale pieces.
What inspires you?
Recently, I have found looking through Instagram really inspires me, just seeing what other artists post up on there. It can be anything from my friends – the little things that happen in the day to facial expressions I see.
What piece of work are you most proud of?
It’s this Super Sculpey piece (see above image). I love working with great detail, using my hands especially making the facial expressions. This piece combines all of those things. I don’t usually do lots of planning, sometimes it starts out with a sketch but mostly it develops whilst I’m sculpting it. It took about five hours to perfect it and another four to five hours to paint. Lots of correcting happens until I feel I am happy with it.
Who do you admire creatively?
Fred Deakin from Lemon Jelly, the music and art work. I watched Yellow Submarine a million times as a kid but the first time I saw Lemon Jelly it was like, “that’s it that’s what I want to do!” I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be a designer, graphic designer, artist or make silly faces. I just knew I wanted to make things and Lemon Jelly triggered that.
How do you feel about the creative scene in Portsmouth?
I always felt a bit on the outside, a bit like I was looking in on it but I’ve recently discovered that everyone is really friendly and encouraging. You just have to take a little step and make yourself known. I think I was quite pessimistic before but now I’m making an effort people are responding to my confidence. I’ve had so many people being really kind and now I want to pass that on and encourage others to have that confidence. It’s unselfish and people genuinely want to build a great strong community.