What mediums do you use to create your pieces?
It’s all done with pen from Officeworks. I should be using a thick pen to colour them in but I’ve just been using one that’s 0.1 width. A pen that’s a bit thicker would be so much faster.
What happens then if you make a mistake?
You’ve just got to work around it. There are so many times where you are not looking and you smudge it. You’ve got to work out a way of blending it in, and sometimes it’s so annoying. I kind of like it because it makes you think on the spot. You’ve got to think about how you can blend into it and use the mistake to make it better.
Did you study art at school or attend any classes?
I think I did year 9 art but none after that. That’s why it’s so confusing for so many people that all I do is colour in now. I have always drawn in my spare time. My Grandpa was an artist and my Mum is always creating little weird pieces of art to put around the house.
Your art exhibition was called Eye Pattern Blindness, is that how you
would describe your style?
My drawings are pretty visually full on I guess, but what I am aiming for is harmony. I want them to not overwhelm and create literal eye pattern blindness. So that title was a bit tongue in cheek.
What influenced you to do an exhibition?
Doing an exhibition was quite an ambitious move on my behalf after having not really been taught much art theory or anything in the past. I wanted to give myself a challenge to find my grounding a bit and establish myself. My friend who is also an artist suggested I do an exhibition and I knew it was going to take a lot of work. It was terrifying, it was really scary, but it was so worth it. Before I just kind of drew in my bedroom. People didn’t know what kind of style I had and all I really had was a cruddy Instagram. The exhibition legitimized me a bit and I was happy with that. It’s a nice feeling knowing that I can draw my own ideas and that people like it so much they want to look at it every day. It is awesome.
What are your plans for the future?
I’ve just deferred from university to focus on my drawing a bit more and save a bit of money to go travelling. I’ll spend the year drawing up some new stuff and experimenting and just see what happens. There is no goal to have another exhibition or anything like that at the moment. The next exhibitionI would like to do would probably be joint with someone else, but not for a while.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from artists like Lucas Grogan, Zio Zieglar, Mike Perry and ‘broken fingaz’. They all use heavy patterns and striking colours but hell clean shapes that make their work look really sexy. Me and my brother and sister also grew up wearing quite a bit of Mambo and I really love some of their old designs. Before the brand went to shit, the drawings on their tshirt’s were some of the best. The old mambo drawers like Reg Mombassaand Gerry Wedd are still a massive inspiration for me. I also draw inspiration from a range of album covers and music posters, some of the best are the old lollapalooza posters.
Do you listen to music when you draw?
I’ve talked to quite a few people who draw or paint and I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t have a really deep love for music. I don’t really stop listening to music. Lately I can’t stop listening to Talking Heads and Blood Orange. They both use similar guitar with heaps of chorus on it. That is just so good. Especially, 'This must be the place' by Talking Heads. David Byrne just got it with that one. Backwards Berlin by Jagwar Ma is really getting me right now too, I have listened to it about 70 times in the past two days. There’s this string of words that I want to put it in my next piece. I’ll write lyrics down and put them in sometimes if they’re relevant to my head space, it’s everywhere in my previous pieces. The lyric integrates with the rest of the drawing and becomes part of the pattern.
You’ve done collaborations with bands such as Electric Exiles, how did that go?
I’ve just finished my piece for Electric Exiles and I am happy with the way that is has turned out. It’s quite seventies, which is really the style that I love. They really wanted to draw from seventies psychedelic, rock and roll, posters and comic strips that use a lot of oranges and thermal colours, with quite a lot of heavy patterning. It really fits in with some of my other drawings. The Black Keys, their album covers and posters really draw from that kind of era and I love so much of what they make visually.
You have also done collaborations with La Catrina moscato and Badhaus, how did that go?
The La Catrina Moscato label got a warm reception from people, which was nice. It is getting sold in a few places around Adelaide and on the Yorke Peninsula in pubs. The company has got some queries to sell in China so that would be pretty cool too.
It’s really exciting. The Badhaus posters with the design I drew are up in Rocket Bar and there is Badhaus tshirt’s with the drawing I did on them which feels so strange seeing people wear. It is exciting stuff.
This young Adelaide girl is only just getting started, and boy am I excited to see what kind of Eye Pattern Blindness she comes up with next!
@harriart_Follow her on her Instagram
ell a story and let your users know a little more about you.
19-year-old Harriet McKay may be young, but she knows her stuff. Her enthusiasm for her work and her in depth knowledge of art is not only interesting but also truly inspirational. Harriet started drawing as a hobby but her work quickly became admired by others, inspiring bands and a wine label to request commission pieces for their logos and posters. Her first exhibition Eye Pattern Blindness was a hit, with pieces selling in the first five minutes, and all of the pieces selling by the end of the exhibition.
The Adelaide Set caught up with Harriet to see where all the action takes place and to find out more.