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TRCH David Suchet

Art Works: Corrina Rothwell

30 December 14 words: Art Works

'There's nothing more rewarding than engaging people and getting a reaction: it could be laughter, or recognition, or "Ewww"

I was a machine-embroiderer for fifteen years but when that medium began to bore and frustrate me, I had an urge to create printed images. With neither the space, equipment or patience to learn 'proper' printing, I bought a little Bamboo Fun graphics tablet - a flat piece of plastic you plug into your computer and draw on with a plastic pen. Since then, I've upgraded to a Wacom Intuos tablet. Digital drawing's so versatile and exciting, the possibilities are endless and I absolutely love it.

Rapunzel began as a little line drawing that I did for an exhibition at Antenna in 2012. I set myself a challenge to do forty spontaneous drawings that were fun and weren't laboured over or thought about too much. The idea came from a connection that emerged in my mind between the fairytale character and a certain brand of beauty product. Most of my work is humourous, and I liked poking fun at that well-known slogan. At the same time, there's a serious element which is about how a lot of women and men feel, particularly in the face of the perfection that’s regularly shoved down our throats. This is my favourite kind of image to make – that combination of funny and serious, so it's more of a “Haha!.. Ohhh.” reaction.

Rapunzel went on to become a greeting card, then an open edition print, and then this - a one-off print created for the Winter Show at the Lover's Lights Gallery in Twickenham. I wanted to give it a bit more depth and context, so I added a background that wasn’t on previous versions. I created a stencil of a tree shape and used that to create the forest. I like using repeat patterns in my work alongside freehand drawing.

I work in the front room of my terraced house. It's got an open fire, which is really cosy – it's crackling away right now, in fact. I can't imagine a life without creating, but sometimes it's hard to stay motivated and hopeful while striking a balance between creating and earning a living. I'd really like to write and illustrate books – I've always loved the marriage of word and image, something which began with Edward Lear's A Book of Nonsense when I was a kid. I'm a big fan of Edward Gorey's work too.

The thing that's most important to me is communication. There's nothing more rewarding than engaging people and getting a reaction: it could be laughter, or recognition, or “Ewww” (I have a few slightly gory greeting cards) It's all great.

Corrina Rothwell website

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