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based in Brooklyn . NY . USA
32 years . illustrator . designer

I grew up in the country of Western Australia, close to the beach and surrounded by bush and wild animals. I have a deep affinity for nature which is something that I love to use as a subject for my paintings. I am also half Thai, so I have spent lots of time in Thailand and love hot weather and spicy food. I currently live in New York, working as a freelance designer and illustrator. I have been here for 2 years and am enjoying it so far!

Angela Mckay por Projeto Curadoria
// Which media do you use to express yourself?

I paint mostly with gouache and watercolor.

// What is your biggest motivation to create? What inspires you?

I am inspired by anything sunny or holiday related! I am really inspired by my travel experiences and also by memories from where I grew up.

Angela Mckay por Projeto Curadoria
// What is your creative process like?

I like to paint from life if I can, so I will gather leaves and plants to study and paint from. I often take photos of places I have visited and use these as inspirations for painting later on. Its great if I can make some preliminary sketches first but I often end up jumping straight into a piece because I am quite impatient. After painting I often scan illustrations and add details digitally afterward.

Angela Mckay por Projeto Curadoria
Angela Mckay por Projeto Curadoria
// What do you do in your daily routine to help maintain creativity?

I try to spend some time outside every day if I can. I currently walk to my studio which I love because I can walk though a park and see lots of trees and people going about their business. I also try to make time for free painting, in this space I just can create whatever I feel like and not have any pressure for it to be good or to be for something specific. This definitely doesn’t happen every day but does help to unblock any creative blocks I may be experiencing.

Angela Mckay por Projeto Curadoria
Angela Mckay por Projeto Curadoria
// What are you favorite works or projects that you have done? What was the motive?

I recently worked on a few paintings for a group exhibition in Madrid, which was a big challenge but also incredibly rewarding. I’m also working on another project at the moment, doing prints and graphic design for a new restaurant that’s opening up on the Lower East Side in NY. They will be using my illustrations and prints for all different aspects of the restaurant so I’m really excited to see how it all turns out.

Angela Mckay por Projeto Curadoria
Angela Mckay por Projeto Curadoria
// Have you had a decisive moment in your career? How did this influence your trajectory?

I think moving to New York was a huge catalyst for me to do my own thing. I was forced to go freelance and really put myself out there in a city where nobody knew who I was. I had to build up my reputation and reach out to people which was really scary! I am so glad I did it though it has definitely paid off in the end.

Angela Mckay por Projeto Curadoria
// Who are your influences, inspirations, or preferred artists? How do they reflect in your own work?

Some artists who’s work I am really loving at the moment are Monica Rohan, Liz Rowland, Martine Emdur, Leah Frazer and Isabelle Feliu.

I think all these artists embody a woman’s free spirit in some way. I also really admire the way they all paint in such a carefree manner. It’s something I am trying to create in my own work.

Angela Mckay por Projeto Curadoria
Angela Mckay por Projeto Curadoria
// Do you think there still exists a bias in relation to women's free expression? Do you feel this in your work?

I definitely think there is a bias in relation to a woman's free expression, like it isn’t vaild or considered noteworthy unless it comes from a man. I do think that things are changing and that new generations are taking things into their own hands. I don’t feel this so much in my work as I am super lucky to work with a bunch of other very talented female designers who all support each other. I also find that I get great support from the online and social media community which mostly happens to be female.

Angela Mckay por Projeto Curadoria
Angela Mckay por Projeto Curadoria
// What makes you happy?

I am probably at my happiest when I’m somewhere warm, eating some kind of delicious food. Other than that, when I’m working on a painting and it’s going well, that’s probably the other happiest time!

// What tips could you give to other women to help them bring their creations into reality?

I would say just practice, practice and practice. I honestly believe that working at something consistently over a long period of time will get results. I’ve never experienced things in any other way. Also if you can reach out to people you admire for mentorship is also great! Having experienced people to guide you can be really helpful.

Angela Mckay por Projeto Curadoria
Angela Mckay por Projeto Curadoria
// Do you have a new project in the works?

I’ve just been asked to do a solo exhibition next year which I am super excited and terrified about! This is something I’ve always wanted to do so I’m really excited about the opportunity. I’ll keep everyone posted about it on my Instagram so be sure to follow along to see progress.