Living in the heart of Wellington, the creative and actual capital of Aotearoa you’ll find many an artist, but none of them as playful and vibrant as Gigi Baddeley
Whether you’re viewing Baddeley's colourful and cartoonish animations or her stunning and emotional paintings, to know her work is to know the artist. She’s one of the few creatives that with every line and brushstroke, leaves a tiny part of herself forever embedded into the work.
We sat down with this incredible artist and got to chat not only about her incredible work but view her space, ongoing projects and learn about the passionate things she’s doing.
Do you think the city you live in has an impact on the art you create?
“Wellington has so many creatives living here, I’ve met so many people - painters, filmmakers, designers, baristas, musicians - who all have stories to tell and art to share. Being around such people always inspires me to make new things. I always wander around the city and draw heaps about this place where I live and the things that happen here. I always bring my lil sketchbook with me and spend all day capturing something that’s happening at that time.”
When is your favourite time of day to create art?
“I always try to paint whenever the light shines the brightest. In my old apartment, I would paint in the morning when the light shone through the only outward-facing window, but now that I’ve moved places, I usually paint 4 pm onwards, when the evening light shines through the kitchen windows. The low cast sun just puts me in a good mood, especially when paired with a T2 boho rose & mugwort tea, oh yeah.”
How do you define success as an artist?
“I guess I would consider success as others being to able to identify something within themselves in my art. If I can communicate something and have It provoke something within the viewer I would think that would be pretty cool. I imagine myself at a gallery, looking at art and thinking ‘huh I get it! This is cool!’ And then finding a piece of myself in the art that might have been missing from before. I want to make the kind of art that does that to somebody, that speaks for what is unspoken, I think that would be pretty neato.”
What is your latest project and what is one thing you love about it
“Recently I’ve been designing characters to be rigged in the 2D software toonboom harmony. I’ve been world-building all summer, for this story called the Arcobaleno Home. It’s been really fun and has reminded me of why I’ve chosen to go down the animation career pathway. Matching characters' stories to their visual appearance and focusing lots on colour- their relationships to each other and using it as a subversive storytelling tool. Also as *research* For this project, I’ve had to watch lots of cartoons. Summer camp island I always watch during breakfast now… ah I love to research.”
Do you feel that Aotearoa has a strong art community?
“I’ve been making stuff for a long time, and I’ve met tons of people from all walks of life who make art. Old ladies in their garages, painters in gallery cellars, and street caricature artists. Everyone adds a little bit to the pool of NZ art, and I think people who might not even consider themselves artists are one with the NZ art community, like my mum who despite only being able to draw strictly cartoon birds is still entangled within the community, going to events, collecting art and learning from artists. So get on out there and support ya local artist, or even better yet - become one.”
And lastly, what do you think about your artwork being worn by others?
“Oh wow! I think it’s really awesome! That my art just kind of exists out there in someone’s closet, so many possible ways it could end up looking with a person's outfit. Instead of looking for snails on my walks, I’m gonna have to be looking out for Gigi tee’s now, just in case I catch some of y’all in the street.”
Both of Gigi’s Women Empowerment, limited edition designs are available for purchase.