INTERVIEW: ELIZABETH BRAIN

Liz Brain - Image 4

If you’ve been checking out our site recently I’m sure you’re now well aware, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are releasing their first long player A Million Farewells in November. A Million Farewells is a concise full­length chock­full of wooly, dreamy, delicate, white­knuckled shoegaze imbued modern hymns.

The great LP is equally matched with stunning cover art designed by Australian artist, Elizabeth Brain. The Fine Arts student specializes in collages and illustrations, her unique style and use of colour makes for a striking LP cover. Recently we had the chance to speak with Elizabeth to get to know a little bit about her artistic process, and about some of her recent projects.

How would you describe your artistic style and your artistic inspiration?

My work takes on both figurative and abstract form in a vibrant, stylised and illustrative manner. Exploring the reception of historical imprints of art nouveau and pop culture through a contemporary fine art lens.

What is your main medium of expression? What is your most preferred medium?

I like utilising the combination of collage, mixed organic and digital mediums, like watercolour which is scanned in and manipulated in photoshop. 

Liz Brain - Image 1

What projects have you worked on recently and are you working something at the moment that you could tell us about?

I’m completing my Bachelor of Fine Art at RMIT University in the next month so my time has mostly been taken up with related projects. For my final project I’m making fine art video that concerns glitch pattens and their movements, very rudimentary animation that focuses on colour. 

I saw photos of your recent installation in Melbourne. What was your thought process for this project? 

I collaborated with my sister Maree, and we wanted to bring life back into the 70 year old, two story, iconic St Kilda bar called Bigmouth, on which we did the installation / pasteup. We wanted to create a tropical, animal filled landscape which joined city and nature in a quirky, fun and lighthearted manner. 

It was quite a large-scale installation, how long did it take you to complete the whole process of designing and installing it? 

I spent around 50 hours drawing and printing, we had one practice install and then the final install took an entire day of around 8 hours. We had abseilers for the high points but I was out on the roof and pasted the rest up myself. 

Liz Brain - Image 2

When creating a piece or collection, what is your thought process, and how does your creative process work?

It is very much connected to feeling, I feel I create better works when they have a purpose or are for a particular special person I know. I tend to be naturally attracted to figurative subjects and portraiture, the human face is my strong point. I find a reference picture (because I’m not very good at drawing from scratch) and then I make it my own. 

Which of your project(s) is the most memorable to you and why?

Definitely the pasteup project I just did for Bigmouth, St Kilda Bar and Restaurant. I’ve never done anything of such huge scale and vision. 

Liz Brain - Image 3

Now getting to the ‘Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ LP cover, were you surprised that they wanted to use your art for their upcoming album cover?

At the time I was surprised, but honestly it’s probably my most favourite piece I’ve done, ever, so I’m glad they chose that specific one.

Does the image represent anything or anyone specific?

The image is actually a loose portrait of myself. It was summer, and very hot, I had locked myself up inside my house to get away from the intense heat and my face was melting off. 

TCAKH - Cover

Have you ever worked to design album artwork or artwork for musicians before? Would you be interested in working with a band again to put together an album cover?

Yes. Absolutely, mixing my art with music is a idyllic for me. 

Do you have a favourite album cover that comes to mind?

There are too many amazing album covers around, but one that comes to mind is by an Australian artist called Spoonbill, the album is called Tinkerbox. 

If you enjoyed these artworks check out more of Liz Brain’s work and grab your own copy of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ A Million Farewells, with her stunning album art, from our shop.