Abstract Artwork by Kate Bailey, Creative New England Blog

Interview with local Artist and UNE Staff Member Kate Bailey

This week, we got chatting to UNE staff member and local artist Kate Bailey. Kate works in the UNE Comms team as a Media Officer and an avid creator and art lover. We thought we’d take this opportunity to indulge and highlight one of the awesome people from our team and let you know a little about the project she is working on at the moment!

Thank you so much for sharing a bit of your time with us, Kate!

How did you get into the art world?

I have always been fascinated by all forms of art since taking classes from primary through to high school. I went on to undertake numerous units at University including Life Drawing of the figure, Historical Art, Contemporary Creative Practice, and New Media & Visual Communication Theory amidst my Advertising and Marketing units.

As a kid, I was pretty much obsessed with drawing – anything I took an interest to I would attempt to draw in my journal. Typically super bright, super colourful scribbles that I would paste all over the house. My art today isn’t really all that different!

How would you describe the art that you typically create?

I describe myself primarily as an acrylic and oil painter who operates mainly on canvas and timber surfaces. I create custom designs for clients and paint them onto skateboards and surfboards. My designs are always incredibly bright and colourful, often on the abstract side, and usually incorporating figures. I also dabble in the use of marker, pencil, and charcoal on the side.

Custom Skateboard, abstract artwork by Kate Bailey, Creative New England Blog


My first commission came about at University after I had completed my Life Drawing subject, as I decided I would like to continue to build this portfolio so posted some of my sketches online. I got a few responses from life models wanting to be drawn which was super cool, so we organised times to meet up and just went from there!

Tell us about your studies

I studied a Bachelor of Communications and Media Studies at the University of Wollongong, majoring in Advertising and Marketing and minoring in Public Relations. I tried to incorporate as many art subjects as I could, which were definitely the most enjoyable parts! The creative community in Wollongong was a very welcoming and accepting place, and we often participated in live art sessions across campus for students and staff to enjoy which was a blast.

Do you have any up and coming exhibitions?

Yes, I’ve actually just sent a range of artworks off to The Brooklyn Art Library in the USA, whereby I’ll be featuring in an online exhibition on their website in the coming weeks #watchthisspace. It’s awesome to see galleries thinking so far out of the box to allow independent artists from all over the world to come together in such turbulent times.

Where do you find your inspiration?

I absolutely adore historical artists, so it’s tricky to choose just a few! Egon Schiele is definitely up there for his incredible work on the figure, and Sir Joseph Noel Patron produced one of my favourite pieces of all time, ‘The Reconciliation of Oberon and Titania, 1849’.

Sir Joseph Noel Paton The Quarrel Of Oberon And Titania Google Art Project 2

On a contemporary front, the stunning raw photography of Nan Goldin has inspired my own art since I was very young. She is currently residing in New York City and at 66 years old, continues to produce such beautiful photographs.

What’s one message you would give to any aspiring artist?

Just create! There are no rights or wrongs in art, no single medium, no single subject to embrace. Art in all its forms is incredibly therapeutic for the body and mind, and there’s no telling what you’re capable of producing when you put brush to paper ~ just create!

Do you have any other hobbies or activities that influence you creatively or get you inspired?

I love to research other artists of all styles and walks of life – the tiniest element of one of their pieces can influence an entire idea for a painting. I also spend a lot of time outdoors in the garden. I am always finding pattern and shape inspiration from flowers, vegetables in the patch, insects, and trees.

I’ve recently taken up the art of using epoxy resin to encapsulate natural botanicals and crystals to use as paperweights, trinket dishes, jewellery charms – all sorts of things!

I try to challenge myself to try a new form of art every couple of weeks as ‘chill-out time’ from my usual practice, and currently, I’m also making macramé crystal necklaces and earrings as well my resin art on my weekends off.

What’s the best creative advice you’ve received?

The best advice I ever received was from my Life Drawing teacher at University, who told me ‘don’t think too much, thinking affects the free-flowing process – create lines that shouldn’t be there and love them.’ Such simple advice but so important for making your pieces all the more interesting.

And finally, what’s your favourite thing about being a part of the New England community?

I grew up in the New England, so I’m a local girl through and through. We are extremely lucky to have such a rich cultural environment, and it’s great to see this continually growing. I’ve spent the last 4 years in Wollongong to complete my University degree, and whenever I brought back friends or travellers with me, they were always amazed by the character and beauty of Armidale and its surroundings.

So, in answer to your question, my favourite thing about being part of the community here would have to be not only the locals themselves, but the natural environment that surrounds them – it’s filled with inspiration wherever you look.

Thanks for your time Kate, it’s lovely to see you’ve been inspired by such a variety of different artists across mediums and time! We’re so excited to see the Laneway transform, and We will be following along on Instagram.

If you’re looking for something to keep you inspired why not check out Creative New England or join the
Facebook group to keep in the loop with up and coming competitions!

There’s something for everyone! #CreativeNewEngland