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A Beautiful Talent - Candie Payne

Born in Liverpool, Artist Candie Payne spent her early years living in New York. Despite an early talent for drawing, It was Music that first shot her into the spotlight with her Album "I wish I could have loved you more". A tour with Producer Mark Ronson followed, before Candie refocused her creative energy into Art. In 2016 Payne relocated to Yorkshire and now shares a studio with her partner, artist Thomas James Butler and she is currently preparing for her next launch of interior designs. We asked Candie to talk us through how she got to this stage and her inspirations, her searingly honest answers make this a beautiful read and her Art a must-see.

How did you come to be an artist, was it always your chosen career path? 

In a way yes it was, when i was very young I was quite advanced for my age and I loved it. But there were a few red herrings along the way. There was a time when I was serious about ballet… I really wanted to be a fashion designer and I’d started designing stuff and figuring out how to make clothes. But then I went to art college and quickly fell out of love with the whole set up and left. I somehow got into singing instead which served as a welcome career diversion through my twenties.

Who did, does and continues to inspire you?  

I think when you’re creatively minded there’s nothing that isn’t an inspiration really. I’ve always visualised characters in books and poetry. I love Pablo Neruda. I think often I draw inspiration from my inner life and express what’s happening with myself through figurative drawings. My last collection ‘Shooting Stars…Falling Objects’ was about letting go and accepting the things we can’t control. And sometimes I think I’m seeking to achieve perfection in my work where it’s not possible in real life. My mum is still an inspiration in everything I do. She died in 2018 but I’m still driven to make her proud and live my life in a way that honours all she taught me. My first solo exhibition was scheduled for her birthday in 2018 as a gift to her but she got sick so it was postponed. It went ahead the year after she died so was in many ways a tribute to her. She nurtured my creativity so much and allowed me to find myself.

We lost our dad and then her a year later. I’d just moved to Yorkshire by myself so I wasn’t in a great place, still grieving and trying to settle into a new life. Looking back I think I came close to a nervous breakdown but the thing that kept spurring me on was presenting an exhibition I knew she’d be proud of, so I just threw myself into doing the best work I could in her honour. Whenever I’m struggling for motivation, in anything, I try to find it for her.

Art is such a personal thing, especially the pieces we choose to hang in our homes. Which artists take pride of place in your house? 

It’s a mix of originals, prints and even images cut from calendars or postcards leant against photographs…I’ve always loved Gustav Klimt’s drawings, and Érte, then we’ve got some Dudley Edwards, some Peter Blake and David Hockney prints. I share a house with my fiancé who’s a wonderful collage artist and painter (Thomas James Butler). I put a lot of his pieces up which he doesn’t always like! His use of colour and spontaneous style is so far removed from my own practice, it’s fascinating and beautiful to me. I’ve always understood what he’s saying with the colours and shapes. And I do have some of my own pieces up here and there I’m not ashamed to say!

What is the Dream location to have an exhibition of your work shown? 

Honestly, somewhere like the design museum in Paris and one day maybe when I’m gone, something in the Walker Art Gallery, but ultimately in peoples homes. This year I really want to build on the success of the wallpaper, fabric, ceramics and furniture pieces I introduced in my first solo exhibition The Age Of A Flower. I love the idea that fine art can translate to items we live with and be more than craft, that it can retain its integrity. I’m also experimenting with hand painting furniture pieces…I very much admire Piero Fornasetti and the world he created. I’d love to start working with interior designers at some point.

Part of the By Elleven brand ethos is to be more than just another fashion brand by sending content thats interesting and people we think are inspiring, a story that enriches your day or is simply a conversation starter. We hoped you enjoyed reading this as much as we did.

Love Jo & Rachel


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