Interviewing Cindy Lane

By Gerardo Sierra

We’re already delighted with the summer here in México, but thanks to the amazing tools of the magic world of Lord Internet, we found the amazing proposal of Cindy Lane through instagram. I found it really easy to look her up on facebook and I really had to get in touch with her! I had the amazing opportunity to interview Cindy Lane, an illustrator that creates colorfull images though the beauty of watercolours. Get to know a little about her in the following questions I made her!

141: Tell us, who is Cindy Lane?
CL: I’m a happy artist and illustrator living by the beach in sunny Australia.

141: When did you start creating your art?
CL: I always drew as a child, but did not take my art “seriously” until later in life in 2010 when I was asked to teach a class. From there it grew and now I am represented by galleries, with my work in private, corporate and government collections around the world. It’s been an amazing journey!

141: What are you trying to express to your followers through your art?
CL: Just this year I have made quite a shift in my style, subject and meaning behind my work. I paint what is important to me, the natural world, and how we are impacting it, both for good and bad. There are two quotes by the great Sir David Atteborough which combine to sum up my art practice. He is my inspiration:

“An understanding of the natural world and what’s in it is a source of not only a great curiosity but great fulfillment.”

“People must feel that the natural world is important and valuable and beautiful and wonderful and an amazement and a pleasure.” David Attenborough

If viewers of my work can glimpse these quotes within my work, then I am a happy artist.

141: Was it hard to you to find your own style above all the different artistic proposals in water colors?
CL: For a long time I painted watercolours the traditional way, in a very realistic style. Whilst studying for my Fine Arts degree my lecturer said to me of my photorealist painting: “But how does this transcend the photo?” and a lightbulb moment happened. I no longer feel the need to copy every painstaking detail of how something would appear in “real life”. Instead I try to capture the essence, or life force of the creature or place I am painting. I still enjoy the photorealism of others’ work, and acknowledge the many hours of patience it takes, but for me I am so excited to be pushing the boundaries of new experimental techniques and styles, rather than achieving perfection. “Happy accidents” are part of my style now, and as I put my brush to paper, not knowing exactly how a piece will turn out is the best adrenaline rush.

141: How do you select your projects?
CL: The subject must have some meaning for me before I dedicate time to it. There must be something I can learn and grow from whilst creating it, and hopefully raise some awareness within the wider community. At the moment Ocean conservation is a big issue here in Australia. We have just suffered our worst coral bleaching event on the great Barrier reef, with 93% of the reef afflicted, and now 35% of it confirmed dead. Just yesterday it was reported that Whale sharks, an icon where I live, have just gone from “vulnerable” to “endangered”, with their global numbers halving in the last 75 years directly from man’s actions. However I don’t want to project a downwards, depressing face to these issues. I try and present my subjects in a positive way, sometimes with colour, sometimes with their poses. I want people to feel an affinity with the creatures of the sea.

141: Which is the most important project you have worked on?
CL: I am embarking on a one and a half year project to raise awareness and funds for Oceanic conservation. Along with another marine artist we will be painting the coastal environment and creatures for an exhibition December 2017 entitled “Above and Below”. We will both be travelling and researching the coastline of Australia for our paintings. I want my work to be part of a greater good, more than just a pretty painting on someone’s wall. There are so many issues that need not only attention, but addressing as well. Hopefully in my own small way I can help the creatures I feel so passionately about.

141: What steps do you think someone has to follow to become a professional illustrator?

Practice and push yourself every day. Don’t get too comfortable with what you’re doing. You need to keep the excitement in your work, if you don’t it will be obvious.  Join groups and associations that allow you to mix and learn from artists who have made it their profession. Take workshops not only in technique, but in professional practices also. But the most important thing is just to keep on creating!

141:  In your opinion, which factor is more important; method, talent or technique?
CL: I think by far the most important skill in a professional artist/illustrators kit is persistence! There will be many setbacks, knock backs and closed doors throughout your career. Being a successful artist means not giving up when you stumble across obstacles. Find another door, make new connections, never give up! Hard work and belief in yourself is what will ultimately bring success.

141. Do you think your illustration has evolved through all your years of career? Yes/no why?
CL: Most definitely, and especially this year. I have decided to take more risks, be more experimental, and enjoy the process as much as the outcome. I have started working with new products, pushing their boundaries, using them in exciting and non traditional ways, creating my own techniques. I am finding that working with watercolour pigment made from natural gemstones and minerals to be a turning point in my career. Now I can complete entire paintings using just one colour, thanks to the wonderful granulation and flocculation properties of the pigments. I use a “wet in wet” technique, dropping paint onto water pools on the paper. I use a brush, an eye dropper or syringe for paint placement, then tilt the paper every which way to coax the pigment into place. It is a magical way of working and very hypnotizing to watch, with many viewers commenting, “What sorcery is this?” Very different to my previous painting method of using the tiniest of fine brushes painting strokes .1mm wide!

141. You mentioned a little time ago to our CEO that you sent a commissioned job to our country, are you planning on coming to Mexico to present your work anytime soon?
CL: I would LOVE to visit Mexico one day. It is such an exciting country with a special life and vibrancy about it. And I believe Mexico loves it‘s whales also. I was commissioned by a woman who lives on a cliff top along Mexico’s coast. Nothing brought her more joy than to watch the whales from her windows as they made their migration along the coast. Something that we here in Perth are lucky enough to share as well. It is affectionately known as “The Humpback Highway”. Soon I am flying 3000 miles to Sydney, to see a visiting exhibition of work by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, two of my art world heroes. I know that after seeing this exhibition I will want to book a flight straight to Mexico!

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If you liked the interview, please feel free to leave any comments below this post! Don’t forget to follow Cindy on her social media:

Facebook Art Page:
Etsy Shop:
Etsy Profile:


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