Apart from creating wonderful artworks - any other hidden talents we should know about? Also, can you please introduce yourself?
I’m Buttons, my real name is Cherie but I’m mostly known as Buttons. I’m an artist / illustrator living in Brisbane, Australia. My work is really inspired by Japanese pop culture, the female form, pastel colours and tropical themes. With my work I love to use pastel colours with the contrast of bold outlines.
With my work I try to play around with many different mediums, but my main ones being spray paint, acrylics and digital illustration. I always love to try new things and learn new ways of creating different styles, recently I’ve been trying to learn watercolours and putting a bit of focus back into realism style pieces. I think it's important for me to jump between styles, because the more techniques and styles I learn help me to improve my art form.
Where do you see yourself and your art headed in the next few years?
In the next month I am going to start my tattoo apprenticeship. This is pretty exciting for me because it’s what I originally wanted to do once I finished high school. Although I’m glad I didn’t jump straight into it, because the past 10 years have been amazing for me. I feel really privileged to be able to work as an artist full time, and in this time I’ve been developing my art style and learning to draw (still am). I’m going to be putting a lot of my focus and energy into tattooing for the next few years, its pretty exciting to start something from the bottom and learn a new thing.
Although I’m going to put a lot of focus into it, I don’t think I will ever stop painting. Actually I KNOW I wont. I want to continue to push my art along with my tattooing, because if I’m not painting I feel like I’m not my true self.
Have you been met with any challenges as an artist along the way?
Yes of course. It’s pretty frustrating at times. Sometimes you’re totally overwhelmed with work, other times you wonder if people even remember you exist haha. For me, the artist life is a lonely life. Personally, I spend a lot of time alone, drawing, painting, whatever in my studio. I love it, I love being alone, I create better when I am alone. But sometimes two months go past and you realise you’ve only been outside to get food and you spent the day having conversations with your cat. Then I can feel a bit down, and that's when its important to have that balance where you go and see friends or just get outside and socialise.
Other challenges is money wise, people wont take you seriously, or think ‘thats easy, why do you need to get paid ‘x’ amount of money to do that’. Or some companies have a 3 month payment term, so you will be waiting months for a payment while struggling to fund your life haha. I am a bit more organised with my money now, but when starting out that was really frustrating.
And lastly, that feeling when you just CAN’T draw anything right and all your ideas suck.
My advice, just go and do something else. Sometimes if I can’t get anything down on paper, I just take some days off, go to the gym and lounge around on the couch, or do something else that isn’t art. Don’t feel like you need to be doing something every waking moment.
What does body confidence mean to you? Is it something you’ve ever struggled with and why?
Yes I have definitely struggled with it. I had an eating disorder for 8 years when I first left high school. It’s not something I ever talk about, but I am not ashamed about it. It was a very hard time for me, but I got through it. Now I feel more confident than ever and can honestly say I have no hang ups about my body. I do think its important, because for me having body confidence improves your all round quality of life.
Can you please share a little about how you go into creating artwork and how you’d describe your style?
I’ve always been an artist. Since I was really young I was always painting and drawing.
I have always drawn female characters as well, its cool to see how they have evolved from then to now. And even back that I was really inspired by anime and manga, so I always had that Japanese kind of style to my work. When I was younger, like 15-17 I did a lot of realism style paintings. And for a while there, that was what I wanted to focus on. But then I was drawn back into the more animated, ‘comic’ style. (I’m not even sure what to call my style). I like to draw in this style because nothing has to be perfect, things can be over exaggerated and weird colours. I feel like the style I work on the most now, is a reflection of myself in a way.
What message do you have for those who are struggling with body confidence/self-love/weight or appearance issues? – What’s helped you in the past?
I can say what's helped me, but I don’t know if it will help other people. I stopped weighing myself is the first thing. The second thing is, I’ve always gone to the gym, but in the past it was more of a negative thing for me. Because I went to lose weight, and I hated going, and I would just repeat the same cardio work out over and over. But now I love going, I don’t do much cardio, I focus on weights and being strong and fit rather than trying to strive for the ‘perfect body’. I think this has made me feel more confident about my body. So this is one thing that has made me feel good about myself, especially after sitting inside all day drawing and painting, it makes you feel good to get out and do some exercise. I try and do that along with yoga once or twice a week. It puts me in a good mood every time.
When it comes to female support – what comes to mind for you? Is it positive or negative?
It’s definitely positive. Theres definitely a lot of cases of females in certain industries not getting along. Either its jealousy, or they like to be ‘the only girl’. I’ve never really understood that mind set. I just see everyone as people, not male or female. And really we should all just support each other.
What’s been one of your most memorable jobs?
When I was just starting to go full time I painted at an event called the Patterson Project in Melbourne. It was a fundraiser held in a 3 story building that was going to be demolished. And there was so many artists all painting the walls inside and we painted for about 3 days. A lot of my friends were there and it was probably one of the funnest times I’ve had painting in my career so far. That is a really good memory to me.
How do you keep up your creative momentum? Where do you look to for the drive to create?
Travelling, getting away from home. I think having time away from my studio and house helps me to come back refreshed and ready to focus.
What or who have been some of your main creative influences?
I will share two of my favourite artists right now - Laura Callaghan - she is an illustrator who mainly focuses on gouache and watercolor pieces. The way she draws, the colours she uses and the details she adds really inspires me to put more time and detail into my own work. Rockin Jellybean - he is my ALL TIME favourite artist. He really inspired me when I was back in highschool developing my style.
I like people who are totally original, who really have their own style developed and you can tell a piece is theirs without them putting their name on it. Thats something I’ve always strived for with my own art.
Where have been your favourite places to travel and have those places influenced your work?
The only place I’ve travelled overseas is Japan. I’ve been there quite a few times now, and I love everything about it. I get so much inspiration when I am there. From their candy packaging, to the naughty magazines in Family Mart. Its all awesome, and everything has cool little characters on it, and everything is over the top, I love that.