“I pretty much always loved anything creative,” says Xia Carstens, illustrator, designer and internet native whose creative journey began at an early age. Inspired by the net and animal lol videos, her work often features cosmic cats, space girlz and dismembered body parts in vibrant colours with a predominance of pink. “It’s weird,” she tells us, “I actually used to hate pink when I was small but now I want pink everything”. Xia’s style ranges from flat 2D illustrations to more textured portraits. “I go through phases where I’ll stick to and explore a certain aesthetic for a while and then change it up every now and then,” she explains, “I get bored pretty quickly, so I enjoy learning and exploring new things”.
In answer to the question of what inspires her, Xia says that she has a lot of respect for almost anyone who is publishing or showcasing creative work. “It takes courage,” she says, “especially because it’s such a subjective thing. It can’t be right or wrong, some people will love your work while others will hate it”. Some of the local artists who she is inspired by include prolific Knysner-based painter John Metelerkamp, Gabi Lee, Simon Berndt, Anna Whysall, Tammy Joubert and Mia Chaplin. Xia keeps busy freelancing in Cape Town, and is aiming to have a couple of exhibitions this year with her prints.
Check out her website for more work.
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