Welcome to the strange world of Redbubble artist Reckless-Buddah (aka kEda) as she invites us further down a beautifully bizarre rabbit hole. Her artworks of macabre pop-surrealist ladies appear relaxed as they hold their own organs in their hands and pose serenely with axes at the ready. With a degree in Fine Art under her belt, it wasn’t until the South African artist began teaching herself the inner workings of painting pixels in Photoshop that her illustration began to develop into the fully-fledged seductive nightmare it is today.
kEda’s artwork is certainly weird and creepy, but not horrifyingly gory. And as she explains in our chat, she’s no fan of the slasher genre. Her illustrations are brilliant in their quirky, out-of-time strangeness, and she negotiates the themes of human possession, aliens, femininity, and psychological drama perfectly.
I recently had the chance to chat with kEda about her active dream life and the relationships she has with the characters she creates.
Beth Caird: What materials do you use to create your works?
Reckless-Buddah: Trimmings of unicorn chest hair and matured (sometimes immature) brain farts.I work in both traditional and digital mediums – but the majority of my work is sketched in pencil first then scanned in and painted in Photoshop. I like to experiment a lot though and find it does influence my style quite a bit. I studied fine art, focusing on painting and printmaking, and taught myself Photoshop but recently I have been drawn to, and dabbled in custom art toys, skate decks, graffiti, and the like.
BC: The girls in your images certainly have a subversive and scary undercurrent, could you talk about where you get your inspiration from, and why it’s so interesting to you?
RB: Most of the art I create has a story; it is my take on an existing character or story or inspired by real life situations. I seem to be drawn to the macabre as I find it most interesting. It’s not the gore or the horror that amuses me, but the quirky characteristics. I myself am a complete ninny when it comes to horrors and gore and I don’t intend it to be the focus – almost all the elements I use in an image are there to make you think and look a little deeper – or I suppose to just enjoy and wonder what the hell I am on!
I like to try and bring across the ambiguities of people’s expressions and situations. Art is a two-way process and as an artist I really enjoy hearing what other people gleam from my images. The more stories you can get people to come up with, the better the piece. I actually enjoy other people’s interpretations more than my own!
BC: Are they based on anyone or anything specific?
RB: Some of my pieces are existing characters from story books (e.g. “Alice in Wonderland” — I created two pieces inspired by this story — one of each of the queens), but others just came about from my doodling and over-active imagination. Dreams are also a constant source of inspiration for me, and I have to fight back my brain when it comes time to actually sleep.
BC: Do you have any upcoming shows or events you have planned?
RB: I am co-founder of ArtFarm, a South African artist collective, and we have an exhibition coming up on Thursday, 31 October.
ArtFarm is a collective set up with the desire to bring together artists from a number of different genres together in an interactive social and work environment. Our aim is to give them the space they need to grow as individuals as well as help to create a viable industry within South Africa and abroad for our Art. To do this we seek to engage with Illustrators, Comic and Street Artists from all walks of life and encourage them to come on board to assist us in creating an informative and exciting platform for Illustrative Art in South Africa.
BC: Awesome, and lastly, what’s your favourite thing about Redbubble?
RB: I really like the Found section (with the featured images) because it gives a great view/selection of the REALLY great work available on Redbubble on an ongoing basis. It’s also great in that it bubbles hidden artists to the surface for all to see.
See more of Reckless-Buddah’s portfolio below and support her by picking up some of her goodies HERE.