Category Archives: Artist Interviews

Die Empty Artist Interview: Carla Benzie

Carla Benzie is exhibiting with Die Empty,
June 27th- July 3rd 2013
Opening night Friday June 28th 5-9pm
Bleeding Heart Gallery, Brisbane

Carla may be a well established, ridiculously talented tattoo artist by day, but the artist in her extends far beyond those boundaries.

Your pencil drawings are incredibly detailed and neat. Is this something that you’ve learned to do as a tattoo artist? Or have you always preferred a realistic style?
 I’ve just always liked drawing realism and surrealism.

By Carla Benzie

By Carla Benzie

Are there any subjects or themes that you won’t tattoo? Sometimes tattoo artists refuse to work on religious themes, or southern cross tattoos, etc.
I’d prefer to do my own style. It’s good when a customer comes in with an idea and lets you do what you want with it.

Almost all of your painted pieces are figurative- how do you choose which reference/models to use? Do you look for particular poses or features, or is it a vibe thing? I just look for models that I think would make an interesting painting or drawing nothing too complicated.

By Carla Benzie

By Carla Benzie

Did you always know that you wanted to be a tattoo artist? What were your favourite mediums prior to a gun and ink?
Pretty much. Always used pencils, water colour and acrylic.

You’ve been painting since you were pretty young- how old were you when you started and how did you get started? How do you feel when you haven’t painted/  practiced any art for a while?
I was probably 12 when I started doing actually paintings and drawings I think, If I don’t paint for a while it’s because I’m drawing- if I’m not drawing I’m tattooing- and if I’m not doing that I’ll be making something so there’s never a time I’m not doing something to do with art!

By Carla Benzie

By Carla Benzie

Your ‘Broken Time’ jewellery line contains some unique ‘lost and found’ items- tell us about some the precious materials that go into your creations.
I find bits and pieces at op shops, markets, antique shops, and friends give me old bits they’ve collected, I just spread them all out and play around with things that match up.

Do you have any other projects on the go or in the pipeline?
Lots of awesome things to come…….

Where do you want to be in 5 years?

By Carla Benzie

By Carla Benzie

She may be a woman of few words, but her work says it all!
Visit her website at and you’ll see why Carla has little time to talk.

Artist Interview: Josh Cranstoun

Josh and John are performing live with Die Empty,
June 27th- July 3rd 2013
Opening night Friday June 28th 5-9pm
Bleeding Heart Gallery, Brisbane

You’re our audio element to the Die Empty exhibit- please tell us a bit about the music you make and your creative processes!
As individuals, John and I incorporate many different influences into our music. He comes from a background as a DJ and I’ve always played acoustic music- we meet halfway with our love for hip hop. Our process is never the same really; we work on separate things away from each other and use our time together in the studio to develop our ideas.

Could you share a little bit about what you have planned for the Die Empty project?
The Die Empty project is such an exciting one in so many ways; a collection of artists all pouring their hearts into the show- it’s amazing. Die Empty is about a collective, not individuals, and hopefully the music reflects that just as much as the artists’ works.

What are you most looking forward to about opening night?
The payoff after months of hard work for all involved. As I have said above, it will be a sense of accomplishment for a large number of people, not just a few of the big guys that benefit. By artists, for artists.

We understand you have a few other projects on the go- what are they?
Our diverse styles allow us to focus on different aspects of our music at different times. We are currently developing solo albums for both myself and John, as well as joint collaborations for internet projects.

Do you have a creative philosophy?
I come from an acting background, so something that has become very important to me is the creative atmosphere. Often times, during auditions etc, you are made to feel like you’re under huge amounts of pressure, a situation I never performed well in. Taking time with my music and feeling comfortable and relaxed when making it is the most important thing to me by far.

What are a few things you’d like to achieve in the next 5 years?
We are at the beginning of an exciting time for our music- we are starting to perform live, getting closer to releasing albums, and hopefully in 5 years time we will have enough revenue to create music in a relaxed, motivating and secure environment.

These beautiful boys are brand spanking new on the scene, and from the samples I’ve heard we’re all in for an awesome treat!! We’ll be breaking news on their forthcoming projects as they evolve so keep those ears pinned back and primed for some listening candy!

Artist Interview: Joy French

Joy French is exhibiting with Die Empty,
June 27th- July 3rd 2013
Opening night Friday June 28th 5-9pm
Bleeding Heart Gallery, Brisbane

Miranda Kerr by Joy French

Miranda Kerr

The women in your paintings are strong and powerful; are your subjects imaginary or do you reference real women? 
I am fascinated by strong powerful , women who stand into there space, whatever role they have chosen to play ? Whether it be a mother, singer, poet, actress, mostly those who have made a mark or have inspired me,  it may be their story about their life or it maybe something visually striking where i just have to paint them.


Ray Charles by Joy French

Ray Charles

What part of the female face do you find the most time consuming to reproduce?
I LOVE THE eyes ..

On average, how long does it take to complete a portrait, and what year did you start taking your art seriously?
This is really tricky question to answer, it really does vary so much depending on the subject and my mood sometimes it can be a day sometimes a week or longer .. I Took art seriously as little girl :)) 🙂

Abigail O'Neill by Joy French

Abigail O’Neill

What advice can you give to aspiring portrait painters? Can you recommend a book or other resource that helped you learn how to produce great portraits?
Not really just practise , practise practise practise- be open to new opportunities

We understand you have an exhibition coming up at the Agora Gallery in New York, can you tell us a bit about how that opportunity came up for you?
YES , I am  in November cannot wait , they sent me an email about submitting my works- they had been watching my pieces apparently , so i went ahead and submitted my work early last year and they got back to me at dams welcoming me into the agora family, and have started to pr my work and gallery representation- very excited !! And very grateful.

Do you have any advice for artists who are just starting out professionally?
Be true to you , be open to opportunities ,it’s always about the journey not the destination …


Artist Invoking Artists

Artist Invoking Artists

You are a woman of many, many talents- what are you currently working on besides Die Empty, and which of your endevours are your all time favourite projects?
Oh thank you , I am working on the New york exhibit and currently four  commission jobs for some houses in Melbourne. Also a little photography for Tijuana cartel on one of their tours !! Photography is another great love !!

What do you aim to achieve in the next year?
TRAVEL !!! And paint. Be inspired and meet new and amazing souls to share with, love and laugh with.

You can view more of Joy French’s work at

Artist Interview: Hendrix Travis

Hendrix Travis is exhibiting with Die Empty,travis skateboard  deck #1
June 27th- July 3rd 2013
Opening night Friday June 28th 5-9pm
Bleeding Heart Gallery, Brisbane

What drives you?
A sense of wonder and infinite curiosity.

How did you discover your passion for art?
I’ve always created as a means of explaining, understanding, exploring and escaping.

What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken and was it worth it?
I have knocked back various comfortable and profitable career offers to follow my travis skateboard  deck #2passion to create.  So far it is worth it but it feels like an uphill, against the grain type battle.

One thing you want to do before you die
Hold a massively successful sell out show of work in Europe!

Tell us something you want the world to know about you
Only what it can ask in person.

Which artists you admire?
Salvador Dali, Jacek Yerka, Ernst Fuchs, M.C. Escher, H.R. Geiger, Albrecht Durer, Heironymous Bosch, the list goes on and on but these were the first to spring to mind…

What’s your favourite quote/ song lyric?travis skateboard deck #3
“There’s an ocean between, where I am and where I want to be…” Flogging Molly

What’s the first CD you bought?
Green Day, Dookie

What is your most defining characteristic?
I’d like to think it’s my sense of adventure and ability to see the magic in the world.

If you could go back in time and visit your younger self what advice would you give?
Every experience you have is a chance to learn something.  Pay attention to the learnings in  every situation, good or bad.

Any major inspirations aside from other artists?travis skateboard  deck #4
Music, travel, adventure, movies, books, everyday happenstance, synchronicities

If you were a zombie whos brains would you eat first?
My own.

How do you plan your artwork?
I try not to plan it.  I start with random mark making to music, in the vein of automatic drawing.  I then see what imagery I can pull from out of the void.

What’s your favourite item of clothing?
Waistcoat, with a pocketwatch.

What are you afraid of?
Living and dying as a no one.  I am afraid of my life being forgotten over time.  Making a difference in the world and leaving a legacy is important to me.

What was the last thing that made you cry?
Frustration at not understanding the synchronicities that had led me to be where I am and what I am doing.

What was the last thing that made you laugh?
A great evening spent with good friends and a lot of banter!

Most embarressing moment?
I suspect my most embarrassing moment has been buried by my mind deep in my subconscious and is currently not accessible to me. This being the case, I tend to trust my mind to keep it safe and have no desire to delve in there looking for it.

What do you want to be when you grow up? Is it the same as when you were little?
A famous, eccentric artist extraordinaire!

What’s the best advice your parents ever gave you?
You can be whatever you want to be.  Follow your passion.

What are you looking forward to most about the Die Empty exhibit?
The opening night which I will unfortunately miss. The fandom that will increase as a result of the exposure.

Which of your artworks is your favourite and why?
The ones not yet created, because they possess infinite possibility!

How does your art reflect who you are?
They are literally photographs of my inner thoughts, subconscious and dreams.  As a viewer sees my work, they are meandering through my imagination.  How they interpret what they see, is as much a reflection of themselves as it is me.

You can view more of Hendrix Travis’ work at

Artist Interview: Jason Gorman


Wrapped Object by Jason Gorman

Jason is exhibiting with Die Empty,
June 27th- July 3rd 2013
Opening night Friday June 28th 5-9pm
Bleeding Heart Gallery, Brisbane

What drives you?

Artists you admire:
Ken Taylor, Francis Bacon, Ron English

What’s your favourite quote/ song lyric?
Here comes that cold sunrise

What’s your favourite item of clothing?

What are you afraid of?

See more of Jason’s work at