Melbourne-based artist, Carla McRae collaborated with Petit to create Print 11. The print is based on a series of drawings made in 2019 while Carla was in the lush hinterland just outside Melbourne, Australia. The original ink-drawings were loose, abstract magnifications of grasslands and made with a speedball calligraphy nib.
We love the parallel in Carla’s work how LittleHumans play and grow up inspecting patches of grass; nesting their heads between blades to observe a jungle of micro-life! It’s why our childrenswear is designed to grow, transform and adventure with them. Working across multiple mediums such as drawing, digital illustration, installation, murals and rugs, Carla’s work takes inspiration from cartoons, popular culture and everyday observation with her signature blend of both detail and minimalism.
Read on below, to learn more about Carla!
PART I. CARLA’S WORLD
Tell us about your print and illustrations for Petit Pli
I was thinking a lot about attention and scale, the macro and micro, and shapes in nature. As an exercise, I wanted to see how I might draw a patch of grass, one blade at a time, considering each singular blade like a playful individual character. I created a rug design out of this drawing, as I liked the idea of people being able to sit on this patch of fantastical grass. In this iteration of the design for Petit Pli, I've remixed colours and extended the narrative to add some bouncy little grub shapes and scattered blobs and amoebas - a head nod to the LittleHumans who will be wearing these designs and a prompt to look a little closer at our world with a sense of child-like, joyful curiosity.
Do you remember how you saw the world when you were a LittleHuman?
I think I was a pretty sensitive LittleHuman - a little shy, I was a bit of a quiet observer and had a lot of big feelings I didn't know how to get out. Drawing was a good portal for me and allowed me to process my thoughts and express myself. I remember being moved by things and wanting to find ways to record or recreate them - in a way, this is still the way I approach the world and is probably somewhere close to the root of my drawing practice!
Do you have any advice to share with LittleHumans interested in following art or becoming printmakers?
Do what makes you feel good and brings you joy. Making art for yourself can be a real place of sanctuary and respite - it can take care of you. There are no rules and there is no such thing as a bad drawing!
What have LittleHumans taught you? Have they changed you as a person / artist?
They remind me to play! In an artistic sense, I love to watch the beautiful reckless abandon that a child has when making and playing - it's surprisingly hard to get back to that headspace as an adult and unlearn the boring boundaries and rules we've created for ourselves.
PART II. CARLA’S RECOMMENDATIONS 🚀
Seen any recent innovations or inspirations that have caught your eye?
I recently went to see the film 'Fire of Love' at a film festival here in Melbourne. It's a documentary about two French volcanologists, Katie and Maurice Krafft, who spent their lives researching and capturing incredible imagery of volcanoes. I haven't stopped thinking about it since I saw it (how is lava even real?!) and their passion and devotion to their craft really moved me. They were scientists but really I think they were artists too.
Recommendations where you are based?
I am based in Naarm/Melbourne, Australia. I work from a studio in Collingwood, which is a really fun area full of lots of good food, galleries, pubs and shops! I recommend just coming here and having a wander around - you'll end up somewhere fun!