Zoe Bergmans – Artist
I first met you when you were a make up artist at Napoleon Perdis. You had and still have a really unique sense of self-expression. It was almost like you were going against the grain, so to speak. Was that a conscious decision or is that how you’ve always been?
Zoe: I haven’t ever thought like ‘I’m going to try and be different’.. Actually if anything, I tried so hard for so long to fit in! Now I just try and be myself and not worry about what that means in terms of fitting in or standing out.
Are you self-taught or did you study art?
Zoe: I’m mainly self taught but last year I finally bit the bullet and enrolled in a fine art course. I’m currently half way through my three year degree at the Queensland College of Art.
When did you first dabble in art and make up artistry?
Zoe: Art is in my blood.. I think I’ve been creative my whole life. For a long time I tried to ignore my desire to focus on art which is how i ended up doing makeup. I wanted to do something creative while earning a living, makeup seemed an obvious choice. It’s worked out pretty well for me as it turns out I love doing makeup!
I’d say there is a definite relationship between the two professions. Have you incorporated what you’ve learned from doing make up to your life as an artist and vice versa?
Zoe: I have found that a lot of makeup artists I have worked with are also very artistic. I think it definitely makes sense that they work hand in hand.. Applying makeup is just another art form to me. I definitely have a much greater appreciation of the face shape from doing makeup!
What inspires your art? What inspires YOU?
Zoe: Oh jeez.. What doesn’t inspire me. I’m very politically conscious so I definitely think about those things in my art a lot. On the other hand I just really like making cool images. It depends what sort of mood I’m in as to what direction I take. I love the environment and looking at the details of insects and things up close. There is so much beauty in this world that we tend to glaze over!
(Zoe Bergmans – fine line drawing)
Are there specific materials you prefer to work with? Which do you prefer?
Zoe: I’m majoring in print media so I’m learning heaps about all different mediums but I tend to work mainly with fine liner pens on paper. I use a lot of tiny dots to create my images.. Some of my drawings take me up to 40 hours to do but it’s kind of therapeutic.
Street Art. Yes or No?
Zoe: So much yes! I’m actually doing a subject on it at the moment. Getting away from the pretentiousness of the gallery is so great and gives this amazing raw edge to the work. Art work on the street is always pretty current with political commentary which really interests me. I would love to see Brisbane begin to have the same sort of appreciation for street art that Melbourne has.
You do a lot of amazing fine line drawings of skulls, anatomy and animals. I’m reminded of the etchings from a botany almanac or something fantastical. How would you describe your style/genre? What is your favourite subject to draw?
Zoe: I have a serious obsessions with bones, bugs, flowers and animals. I love to draw things that look pretty at first and then you realise that there’s a bit of a creepy undertones. I’m pretty inspired by henna designs also. They have been coming through in a lot of my work this year.
Are there any local artists you are fond of?
Zoe: I go to an art school that is full of amazing local talent! Support your local artists!
There are a few art related events in Brisbane, such as Scribble Slam. Have you thought about participating? Do you attend many events at all?
Zoe: Oh I haven’t heard of that one! I go to a lot of exhibitions but not as many as I would like to! Trying to find the time to fit everything in is difficult while at uni.
What is your opinion about the Brisbane Arts and Culture climate at the moment? What would you like to see more of?
Zoe: Brisbane is getting better but we have a LONG way to go. The more we embrace the creative industries the better.
Where do you wish to go with your work?
Zoe: I honestly have no idea. At this stage I just want to keep growing and developing as an artist. It’s a tough industry to survive in. At the least I’ll be happy if I have enough money to buy my art supplies and keep on creating.