Interview to Henrietta Harris


Henrietta Harris is an illustrator from New Zealand who loves surreal portraits. Have a look at her website.

Hi Henrietta. Tell us about you, who you are, what you like, what you do and everything you want to say to introduce yourself.
I live in Auckland, New Zealand and draw and paint all day every day.

I read on your website: “Henrietta has developed the timeless style that can only be achieved by having occasionally dipped one’s paintbrush accidentally in one’s coffee”. Can you tell us more about your style?
I like to think I don’t follow trends, it’s hard to tell not looking at my work from an outside perspective but I’m just constantly exploring portraiture and figure through drawing and watercolour painting.

What tools do you use to work? We are in the digital era but your art looks traditional. And I think this is your quality.
Pencil watercolour paint, that’s about it.

The most classic question for an artist: where do you find your inspiration?
So many places I stop remembering.

Why did you choose to paint faces the way you did for example in Crazy, Polo or Flee? And in M Theory we have even two version of the same portrait. What did you want to communicate?
A feeling of disjointed-ness, a dreamlike state, a glitch in time.

Why and how did you become an illustrator? Do you love to draw mainly for you, because you need to express yourself, or for your audience, because you want to tell your viewer a story with every new piece? Maybe both?
Well originally it was just for me, I’d be doing this every day regardless of having an audience or not, but the internet has opened up so many doors for getting my work out there so I find myself itching to share things as soon as they’re finished. I’m an artist because I don’t know what else I’d possibly do, it’s pretty much all I think about.

What kind of advice would you give to a young artist who want to improve his/her skills and want to begin to work as an illustrator?
It’s simply a matter of putting the work in. Don’t look at other artists and illustrators too closely, discover things for yourself, find influence further afield. Your early work won’t be what you want, mine certainly wasn’t, but it’ll slowly come to life. Just keep drawing!

June 2014


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