Liam Madsen: What mediums and subjects do you work with?
Emily Breadner: Anything I can usually get my hands on. Cameras, any film, woods or materials to carve and press, wax and brass, charcoal, pastels, paints (especially for life models), but most frequently inks, and even more recently, skin.
LM: Did you always want to be an artist?
EM: From an extremely young age it’s literally all I can remember doing, you know how you can remember snippets of playing with your toys or your dog? I remember crayons and making dresses for said toys. Throughout schooling I was always treated differently for my interests (art and music) and I was very opinionated and short due to bullying. Growing up helped a lot and moving to a couple of different high schools was an eye opening experience to say the least. But it’s always what I’ve wanted to do. When I completed high school I went on to complete my diploma in fine arts.
I’ve never seen it as something special or a “talent”, it was discomforting, looking back, being treated so differently for something that felt so normal and natural to me. It’s just what I’ve always done and will always do.
LM: Who and/or what inspired you to take your practice more seriously?
EM: I’ve always liked to say that the old masters have inspired me and still do, but modern masters are just as influential. Current practicing artists make me want to just do more, not just better. I feel that’s important. I mean so is self-development and progression, but if you constantly focus on just trying to better yourself, it doesn’t allow enough room to move and grow. My favourite artists usually inspire me enough on a daily basis and I’m lucky enough to hold some of their work either on my walls or my skin (Capilli Tupou, Simon Erl, Fergus Simms, Heather Bailey, Emily Rose).
LM: Where are you currently working and how has that had an impact on your practice?
EM: I’m working at a place called Diabolik tattoo in Newcastle Australia and I’ve been there now for 6 months, and I’ve done about 12 tattoos so far. I’m an apprentice so everything is very crucial and seems fragile at this stage of my learning, there is minimal room for error and every new tattoo I get to make is a huge step in some way. There’s a lot of pressure involved in what I do because of the nature of everything, and I still have to make sure all my jobs are done before I get to sit down and tattoo!
LM: How do you keep yourself inspired?
EM: I don’t know if I even do? It’s something I’ve always really struggled with and searching into every outlet possible always helps. I read a lot, I collect books, I have a blog for visual inspiration / storage, I also have a box of images that are referenced correctly which I call me “inspiration swipe file” that I tend to sift through when I hit a wall. That’s something I definitely recommend. Collect and store all you can.
Being at the place I work is inspiring in itself because every single day you are creating, for someone, forever. That’s a privilege and a huge blessing and a challenge for obvious reasons. So the people I see and meet every day push me to go further.
LM: Do you have any big plans for 2014?
EM: I would love to join my mentor on her ventures to participate in some more tattoo expos; we’re hoping Melbourne and New Plymouth for 2014. Even though I might not be ready to participate I can still be there at her aid and it would be an amazing experience. I hope to move out of home! And to just be getting better at my job and to hopefully travel a little bit more if I can.