"...we want to continue to experiment and push ourselves to keep us and our audience engaged."
Creature Creature is the name of collaborative artists Chanel Tang and Ambrose Rehorek who have been two of the talented folks occupying Redbubble’s Residency program. Recently, Chanel and Ambrose set aside some time to show me around their space at the Redbubble office and chat about the background and approaches to making their works, particularly when it comes to adapting their styles to suit the product-focused world of Redbubble.
Both artists have a background in fine art and graphic design and now work together to create Japanese-inspired creations which pay homage to an old-world, classic design aesthetic. Creature Creature work across a range of products using a myriad of materials which they showcased in their studio. I had the pleasure of seeing their hand-illustrated skateboard decks, their printed tees, and artworks on canvas, all of which make up their unique style.
On the day we caught up, Creature Creature were putting the finishing touches on their works in the Redbubble Residency Exhibition “Made In House” which is up at No Vacancy Gallery until the 12th of June. If you’re in Melbourne, be sure to check out the exhibition and see Creature Creature’s work in the flesh.
You were just in Japan, what was the most inspiring part about being there?
The Japanese aesthetic is a huge influence on our work as most people who follow us would see. With a background in art and design, we believe that the Japanese are the masters of simple design principles that we use consistently in our work. It was great to be surrounded by that visual culture, even the smallest thing from manhole covers on the street, to food packaging, we found inspiring. We hope to take all this information as fuel for our future artwork.
What’s been the most enjoyable part of the Redbubble residency for you both?
The most enjoyable part was just doing our work and being ourselves in such a supportive and encouraging environment. Such a privilege for an artist!
Most of your work during the residency was created on small objects. How difficult is it to then recreate these works for products like apparel and accessories?
It was a challenge and a great test on our digital and editing skills. We think it created some unique printable work as they have texture and surface about them.
"We love the problem solving aspect of art making."
What advice would you give to other artists that want to work collaboratively?
To just do it for fun and enjoyment, that way there is no pressure or ego involved. That’s the best way to go about it.
Can you tell us a bit about the evolution of your style? How has it changed for you?
We never over thought our “style” because there are two of us, so there is a range of techniques and approaches we like to explore. Also, we want to continue to experiment and push ourselves to keep us and our audience engaged. Over time we have created a Creature Creature style with our colour palette, themes and influences. We hope this is ever-evolving.
Together, how do you make decisions on palette choices?
Our colour choices are just what feels good on our eyeballs and melon hearts. This is usually some variation of teal and red. Our friend told us that the reason surgeons wear teal is to offset the intensity of the blood red. Interesting…
What’s the one thing you want to improve the most in your art?
We are constantly trying to improve skills in drawing and painting, which is something that you have to consistently work at, like any trade. We love the problem solving aspect of art making.
What’s next for you both, post-residency? What have you got planned for the future?
This year so far has been insanely busy so we hope to keep up the momentum. We will moving into another studio space and working on some random upcoming projects, so stay tuned.