Izzy interviews @itsprobablyphoebe, a local artist from Izzy's hometown in Cardiff.
*This is an archived article. Since 22 October 2017, LFB is only focusing on Berlin-related topics. Please check out our new platform, YEOJA Magazine, for material like this.
Supporting local art and finding artists close to home is always a wonderful experience and this search was no different. Where better to look than Instagram, using explore to discover friends of friends before eventually finding Phoebe Christie, @itsprobablyphoebe, a ceramics artist who actually went to the same school as me. Super local and super talented.
Phoebe has just finished her art foundation in Cardiff, making the cutest set of ceramic Buddies as her final show pieces. As a fan of her work on Instagram, I was eager to find out more about the girl behind the art.
LFB: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m Phoebe, I’m nineteen and I’m about to start studying ceramic design at London’s Central Saint Martin’s in September. I’m a bit weird but then again, who isn’t?
LFB: What is the art community like where you are from?
Phoebe: To be honest, there’s not a thriving art community in Cardiff; it’s a shame because there’s been a lot of council cuts to art programmes around Cardiff, which makes it really difficult for young people who don’t have the opportunities or resources to pursue art outside school or college or have any involvement in an art community at all. However, within my social circles, a lot of my friends make art and it’s a really vibrant and inspiring space to work in. We all influence each other in different ways, so in a sense I guess we’ve created our own little art community.
LFB: How long have you been doing ceramics and how did you get into it?
Phoebe: I’ve only been doing ceramics for the past year, I was introduced to it through a class in college. Before I discovered ceramics, I was really uncertain about which route I wanted to take within art. In my foundation year, I was able to study pretty much all areas of art which really helped me develop and realise where my passions lie. Having really enthusiastic tutors who actually cared about my individual progress and style was extremely important in helping me make a confident decision that I wanted to do ceramics professionally.
LFB: What are the main inspirations for your art?
Phoebe: I’m just a big child! I still have all my soft toys and I surround myself with everything cute I can find. I also watch a lot of cartoons and films, things like Adventure Time or Studio Ghibli that have cute and dumb creatures. Anything that’s a bit weird really.
LFB: What does your art mean to you? What impact do you want it to have on people?
Phoebe: I appreciate a lot of people, particularly my own age, making meaningful, emotional art, often pretty downhearted and raw. I do believe it’s really important to make art like that, however I want to express things differently. It’s important to have an emotional side, but it’s also really important to express joy and happiness, and I feel that’s my job – I want to make people happy.
LFB: Who are your favourite artists at the moment?
Phoebe: Laurie Melia, she makes ceramic vaginas (amongst other things), I love her use of colour and the all-round weirdness to her work. It’s really different and if you haven’t seen her work, I would really recommend taking a peek at her Instagram (@laurie_melia_ceramics)
LFB: Has the local art scene helped you as an artist?
Phoebe: In itself, I don’t think the local art scene has helped me as an artist, but like I said earlier, being around people who make art can really help you flourish as an artist.
LFB: How important is it to you to have a local space so you can experience and create art?
Phoebe: Local spaces are very important because they allow you to experience modes of art that you wouldn’t have necessarily been exposed to individually, or you might not yet have had the knowledge to access.
LFB: I love your collection of Buddies, how did they come about?
Phoebe: I don’t plan my art very thoroughly, I tend to just make things and see how they turn out. I started making plain pots and was mindlessly doodling little faces at the time and I sort of thought “these would look so much cuter if they had faces on them.” I started making the cutlery first, and having them altogether they began to look like a little family, which lead to me creating more.
LFB: Do you have a favourite Buddy?
Phoebe: How can I have a favourite! I don’t want to upset any of them! However, I do have a fork whose face melted due to a glaze malfunction, and it looks like it’s crying. Everyone loves that one the best.
LFB: How do you see your art evolving in the future?
Phoebe: I hope to get better, and develop my style further. It would be a dream to one day have a little studio and be able to sell my work, but you know, one step at a time. Mainly, I just want to keep making things that make people happy.
Phoebe is not currently selling her work and doesn’t have a website, but you can follow her on Instagram (@itsprobablyphoebe) to keep up to date with all of her work and future developments. We are definitely looking forward to seeing where her and her buddies go in the future.