Introducing: Montana Kitching
Name Montana Kitching
Birthday January 6
Where are you originally from? Melbourne Australia.
Where do you currently live? still Melbourne !
Preferred Art Medium I mainly work with copic markers for illustration, but have been really getting into Oil painting lately!
Hobby or interest aside from art? I love swimming and seeing my friends bands play gigs, and just doing family things and watching **falling asleep in** movies with friends.
Guilty pleasures? Caramello koalas- yum. and im a sicko, but I love popping pimples!!!
Who are some of your favorite artists? My biggest inspo is Frida Kahlo and of course my brother and sisters work, my parents paintings and my grandmas! Im very very lucky to have such a talented fam :’) I also love Laura Callaghan, Lizzi Morris, Sparrow Holmes, Milena Huhta, Nyssa Sharp, Mark Whalen. Ah so many more!!
Favorite movie? Con-air (lol). It’s a really random choice I know, but I watched it with my dad when I was little and so I think it’s the nostalgia… it’s a quality movie I assure you. Very quotable.
Favorite book? I really don’t enjoy reading. I try and try but I just cannot get into it. I did love the Oprah Winfrey book “what I know for sure” though. Now THAT was inspiring.
Very difficult question. At the moment im listening to Princess Nokia, Mo, Grimes artangel album!!, Mac Demarco..
What are 3 things you want to achieve? Have a solo exhibition, Publish a book, and try live in a little cottage somewhere quite remote for a little while… I think I would struggle.
What is something you deeply love about yourself? I'm proud of the way that I treat my friends and family and those around me. I really pride myself in being a compassionate and empathetic person and that’s really important to me.
How has Instagram worked for you as an artist? Its been incredibly helpful! I think social media is amazing for getting your work out there and for spreading messages too. Its so easy to navigate and promote other artists too
What is your definition of art? A creative expression of ones self that is subjective in how it is perceived by a greater audience.
“I had a rough time with anxiety, body image, and sexuality when I was around 20 and that’s when I really started drawing and painting for passion. I drew to make sense of my thoughts, and started to use my art as therapy”
Briefly describe the circumstances under which you grew up, and how did these influence your art?
My parents are both creatives so we were brought up in a very colourful and artistic environment. Mum ran her ceramics business from home, and my siblings and I used to sit at the kitchen table and watch her for hours while she painted plates, hypnotized by them spinning on the lazy susans! And Dad painted big portraits on the weekends. We weren’t hugely fussed by toys and tv because we all loved drawing and painting and crafting. The rooms in my childhood home were all different colours and I think growing up in such a colourful bright environment has influenced me greatly- I am so drawn to bright colours, with the use of colour being huge in my illustrations and paintings.
Can you remember a specific experience from your life that has shaped who you are and what you do as an artist today?
Absolutely! I had a ~rough~ time with anxiety, body image, and sexuality when I was around 20 and that’s when I really started drawing and painting for passion. I drew to make sense of my thoughts, and started to use my art as therapy.
Have you had any struggle with mental illness (and/or addiction) and if so, would you like to share your experience with us?
Drawing about women's bodies and trying to express body positivity in my art is how I try to remain strong and not slip back. being diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety disorder was a driving force for my desire to create artwork that allows people to feel safe and reassured about mental illness.I struggled with an eating disorder as a teenager and its something that will always be a difficult thing that I live with. It’s a complicated illness that is very misunderstood really. I have always been a very anxious girl and my experience with Anxiety is romanticized and down played and it really really shouldn’t be. Its also far more common than people realize.
Artists paths are normally non-linear. Can you recall for us what your path has been like? I have never formally studied art to be honest. I guess I learnt what I know from my parents and my family and from all the hours watching them. I avoided art classes in high school because of unnecessary pressure that I put on myself to live up to the talent my brother possessed! So silly. I did do a small painting course last year, just a 6 lesson casual life painting one. It was so so fun and I learnt so much. I was the biggest teachers pet ☺
Do you think your ethnicity, gender, and/or personal preferences drove you towards becoming an artist?
Yes. My art is literally all about my personal preferences and is hugely reflective of my experiences as a white female-identifying individual in privileged circumstances.
What would you say are your artwork’s main themes?
Themes that we don’t like to talk about-- that society has made us feel uncomfortable discussing and things that get romanticized instead of taken seriously. Themes like sexuality, anxiety, body dysmorphia, self doubt and menstruation.
How would you describe your style? Honest, colourful, humourous, relatable, reassuring.
“Drawing about women's bodies and trying to express body positivity in my art is how I try to remain strong and not slip back [into my eating disorder]”
What is your opinion of the art world as it is right now? is there anything you'd like to change? I think the art world is getting better and better. Women in art are slowly starting to be taken seriously and im really excited to see the way in which the world can grow from the voices that are going to be heard and the change in perception of women’s skill and strength.
Artists are some of the most politically/socially engaged people. Do you find yourself actively supporting a particular movement or cause? I support a lot of causes but do it pretty quietly to be honest. I’m an intersectional feminist.
What draws you towards your particular art medium? Both copic markers and oil paints have one thing in common that I love and that’s their ability to blend colours very easily. I think that’s the main thing that draws me to both mediums.
“Theres a lot of "of course a girl is drawing about periods and being sad" and I find that incredibly infuriating”
What are the main obstacles you have had to overcome as an artist? Being taken seriously as a female in the art world feels like a constant struggle, especially because of the topics which I make art about. Theres a lot of “of course a girl is drawing about periods and being sad” and I find that incredibly infuriating lol. I don’t know that I would call it an obstacle, but something that I find quite difficult and am very conscious of is trying my best to not offend anyone or appear like I am trying to speak for anyone but myself. I am constantly learning through posting my work to the public.
What kind of patterns, routines or rituals do you have to keep the creative juices flowing? Just being active and surrounding myself with people who make me happy and make me honest!
What project/series are you currently working on? I'm trying to put together a collection for a solo exhibition at the moment! And im also working on an illustrative book (50/50 text and illustration) about puberty and growing up!
“[I draw] things that get romanticized instead of taken seriously. Themes like sexuality, anxiety, body dysmorphia, self doubt and menstruation”