Behind the Artwork: interviewing Jae Criddle for PUBLIC 2016

– by Hayley Anschutz

As FORM gears up for another celebration of urban art and activation this April, you might notice artwork appearing over the cities of Claremont and Albany. We talk to one of the West Australian artists involved in transforming urban spaces for PUBLIC 2016: Jae Criddle, discovering her inspirations and her work.


Who are you and what do you do?

 My name is Jae Criddle. I am a freelance illustrator, specialising in hand painted signage, graphic design and murals. I studied graphic design from school and went on to do illustration and I’ve been working as an illustrator for ten years. I was born and raised in Perth and I’m based in Fremantle.


What themes do you pursue in your work or where do you get your inspiration?

I do a lot of character and narrative based artwork; I draw bewildered humans and silly scenes. I have always loved naïve and outsider art so I take inspiration from that. I like that it is spontaneous and that it often isn’t tainted with preconceived ideas.


How did you get involved with FORM and PUBLIC 2016? What project are you doing with them?

I’ve done a couple of shows with FORM now. I took part in their ‘Living walls’ project in 2012, an exhibition in Northbridge, and also the Public Salon exhibition last year. I got involved this year when I applied to paint one of the spaces on the Curtin University campus for PUBLIC 2016 and they then asked me to paint here at Claremont Quarter.


Can you tell me about the work you are doing here [at Claremont]?

I’m painting the windows of the old Bellissimo building. The work is for part of a space activation street party and so I began with drawing statues and fountains, which are old-fashioned ways of fancifying a city. The illustrations have a contemporary edge though, so the artwork has an old-meets-new or old-becomes-new quality. These images also tie in with the history of Bellissimo.

I like that it is spontaneous and that it often isn’t tainted with preconceived ideas.

What advice would you give to other creative people?

I think it’s important to always run with what you love rather than trying to jump through hoops, it shows in your work. When starting out you can be made to feel like you need to please others, maybe to gain employment or to qualify for opportunities. But if you’re passionate about what you’re doing this is more fulfilling and valuable, and it is infectious.


You can keep up with Jay’s work through her Istagram @jae_criddle, or her website www.jaecriddle.com.au. Be sure to check out her mural for PUBLIC2016 on the old Bellissimo building (next to the Claremont Hotel) on Bayview Terrace, Claremont.


Photo credit: Bewley Shaylor, courtesy of FORM


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