In Illustration: Artist Sixers with Caitlin HackettIllustration // Thursday, 29 Sep 2011
In this week's Artist Sixers, we interview the incredibly talented Caitlin Hackett, a Brooklyn-based artist and illustrator whose beautifully grotesque and finely detailed work explores the often destructive relationships between humans and animals.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Well when I was young, I wanted to be a cat, or a horse, I would gallop around the halls of my home and practice curling my tongue when I yawned just like cats do. I didn’t want to be just any cat or horse either, but preferably a magical one with a human level of sentience and access to other, more magical worlds. As I got older and realized this goal would probably never come to fruition, I just knew I wanted to work with animals in some capacity. By the time I was in middle school/early high school I wanted to be a wildlife biologist, but then of course I wound up going to art school haha.
If you could live the life of any animal for 24 hours, what animal would you choose?
That’s a hard one, I would love of course to be some kind of big cat, but I think if I had to choose an animal I would want to be one that would let me experience an utterly different world, so maybe a seal so I could explore the ocean, or a falcon, since I have always wanted to fly. Probably I would go with the falcon, when I was young I used to have dreams where I could fly all the time, I don’t have those any more, but the desire is still there.
Where do you go for inspiration?
I like to walk around Prospect park, which is very close to my apartment, but one of my very favorite places in NYC is the natural history museum, especially the north American mammals wing, I could spend days there. I also frequent various art blogs and sites (bloodmilk, Chris Mrozik’s blog, hi-fructose, juxtapoz, society6, my love for you is a stampede of horses, etc) when I’m feeling unmotivated. I also like to peruse the art section at Strand or barnes and noble when I get the chance, somehow seeing the creations of others always pushes me into action when I’m feeling lost of lacking motivation. Of course when I go to Strand I always end up buying a book, no matter how many times I swear I won’t haha, last time I wound up buying a great old book of Nature Drawings that I’ve been tearing out and framing around my apartment.
What do you listen to while you work and at what volume?
I usually have Pandora on, right now on a Wailing Jenny’s station, but I also listen to a lot of Neko Case and The Wood Brothers, usually just on a medium volume, I find I can’t have music too loud or the images from the songs just inundate my mind so I can’t focus on my own.
Imagine you've suddenly been gifted with a superhuman power. What is it, and will you use it for good or evil?
Well there are a lot of powers I’d love to have, to be able to fly is definitely up there, but my top two would be the ability to teleport anywhere I want, (ever since I saw the unicorns in the my little pony show do it when I was 4, I’ve wanted that power haha) and the ability to understand and speak any language in the world. I really don’t know which I want more, probably to teleport. I believe I’d try to use my powers for good, although I’m sure there would be some amount selfish activity involved, especially if I could teleport anywhere, but I would definitely try to create some good out of it, something to better the world.
If you could go back in time and impart one piece of wisdom to your 10-year-old self, what would you say?
To be bold and unafraid of the outcome of that boldness, to fly my freak flag proudly, so to speak, to be proud of my weirdness and the gift that it has been to my life.
You can view more of Caitlin Hackett's work at caitlinhackett.carbonmade.com.
Artist Sixers logo designed by Laura Hines.