Open Canvas | Abigail Bromige-Smith
Words Alexandra Lowrie
Inspired by the works of Charles Baudelaire, Abigail Bromige-Smith’s subtle and understated drawings, collages and graphic works are created out of her London based studio. She uses a juxtaposition of monochrome illustrations and bold colour placement to create work that has intrigue and a sense of humour.
How would you define your creative style?
I interpret life through image-making. Whether it’s drawing, playing with ink, or cutting out shapes, I’m constantly ‘collecting’ pieces of information about my surroundings. I play a lot with narratives and I’m fascinated with the story-telling power of collage.
What do you like about working in your medium?
I like to start everything by hand. It may take a little longer and I’m constantly scanning things, but I find it loosens me up and stretches my imagination. You never really know what you’re going to get with ink and collage, and I think that’s what keeps it exciting! My favourite pieces have come from little serendipitous moments where everything just seems to work.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Everywhere! You can get so much inspiration from the environment you’re in. I spend a lot of time people watching; noting down conversations, recording shape, architecture, and colour etc. I collect things that inspire me, so I’m a bit of a hoarder of old photographs, books and magazines. I still have a note that fell out of a library book in 2014. I love the idea that I have one piece of the story, and the rest is for me to create.
What have the highlights been to your career so far?
The biggest highlights for me, are the moments where I’ve felt really proud of myself. A while ago I started a project to record one thought every day using found text and collage. I was going through a bit of a confidence crisis at the time and decided to use these mini collages as some sort of diary for me to look back on. I had never really planned to do anything with them, but did exhibit them and was overwhelmed by the positive response they received.
What have been the obstacles you have had to be overcome so far in your career?
London living can be tricky, but I think my biggest obstacle throughout my career has been my inner critic. For me, the best way to overcome this, is to go for a walk and record everything; the sounds, colours, signs, conversations etc. I find that when I get home I’m feeling confident and full of inspiration!