Visual artist Tawny Chatmon delivers an unexpected blast of colour and shape in GEO, the Matisse cut-outs inspired editorial for the winter issue of Halcyon Kids magazine. We had a chance to ask Chatmon a few questions about her signature style and creative process.
JS: Tell us a bit about the concept behind GEO.
TC: Each month I’ve been challenging myself with a 30-50 day challenge and it’s really been helping with getting my creative juices flowing and giving my work purpose.The inspiration for GEO began while I was in the middle of my 30 days of patterns & prints challenge. The shoot started with an idea to create something inspired by Henri Matisse who used various shapes, circles, colours and squares throughout his work. I’d originally planned on trying to paint Matisse inspired backdrops and dropping my photographs in them afterwards but diverted from that plan and created the extra elements digitally. That usually happens with me, I’ll have one idea and it won’t work how I wanted it to so I’ll just wing it.
JS: The digital embellishment of your photographs is really exciting. How did you first start off?
TC: I’ve always been drawn to add something ‘extra’ to my photographs. Whether it was digitally sketched raindrops on a photograph I took of a girl holding an umbrella or vintage flower art placed into a photograph with a girl on a hill, I’d been doing that for years. I’d send them out as monthly promos to clients/potential clients or post them on my old blog, but had no idea at the time that there was a place for this kind of work; I just thought I was “messing around” and that it wasn’t marketable. I was also very focused mainly on promoting myself as a photographer only.
JS: Are you a graphic designer by trade then?
TC: I did graphic design and web design on the side for a few years, nothing that I promoted or advertised, I’d just accept jobs from clients or associates that knew I could do it. My mother & cousin reminded me that they always remembered me playing around like this in Microsoft Paint when I was a kid (I guess I’m telling my age here. Now they have apps and have no clue what Microsoft Paint is probably!) so it makes sense why I’m always wanting to create something digitally. Then I discovered Pinterest (which I’ve banned myself from visiting, I get lost every time I go!) a few years ago and realised there was in fact, a market for what I’d been creating and for the most part I’ve been focusing on this kind of work AND sharing it.
To view more of Tawny Chatmon’s gorgeous work, visit her website and be sure to keep up with her on the Instagram @tawnychatmon!
Photography/Artwork: Tawny Chatmon
Make-up: Judy G. Rowe
Styling: Isabelle Philogene
Wardrobe (from top to bottom, left to right):
1. Geometric striped cardigan, Peter Pilotto for Target; Stripe sweater, Target; polka dot skort, Zara; Zig Zag leggings House of Holland for Pretty P
2. Striped turtle-neck; Target
4. Sequined, striped crop top; ASOS
5. Navy and electric blue lines sweatsuit, Target
6. Hologram crop top, Rue 107; purple and mauve houndstooth skirt, Carousel & Bazaar; stripe leggings, Target
7. Floor-length babydoll top, Just Gigi
8. Lime green fringe dress with hearts, Versace for H&M
9. Sequin polka dot sweater, Tommy Hilfiger; African print geo maxi skirt, Purple Rose by Cherelle
10. Checkered sequin top, ASOS
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