: Tiny Art

Self proclaimed ‘die hard’ Tree of Life fan (she grew up wearing her mum’s Tree wrap skirts!), artist and full time mum Steph Rattos first caught our eye in our #treeloves hashtag on instagram with a gorgeous picture of her wearing our Choli Top. Clicking through to her instagram, we discovered Steph’s artwork and fell in love! Working with coffee and wine as her mediums, Steph creates art on a tiny scale. We got in contact with her and learned all about her, her process and inspirations…

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What’s your star sign? Do you think it suits you?

I’ve always found it hard to believe in star signs. I feel like it puts me in a box and people can tell me what I’m supposed to do and how I should act, just by me telling them my date of birth. I honestly couldn’t tell you what star sign I am, sorry! I’m not dissing the whole thing, I do find it curious though, that 80% of my friends are all born in the same month as me! I just believe that we are all completely unique individuals.

What is your biggest inspiration?

My little family. My husband is an artist and inspires me every day. He works full time and I am a full time mum. I look forward all day to when he gets home so we can talk all night! My girls, Piper is four and Pixie is one and a half.. Their growing imaginations fascinate me! Every day their tiny brains are growing and I’m finding that mine is growing with them! It’s such a shame that our vivid imagination fades over the years as we grow up, I’m trying my hardest to bring mine back. And music. I can’t do anything without music. 

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How did you develop your unique style? How would you describe your style?

I’m working on my style every day, trying to figure out what it is. Last year I did a pretty huge project: one miniature watercolour for every day of the year. (Due to extreme sleep deprivation brought on by a certain two little darlings, I only made it to 310, but I’m still so happy with that number!) That project was so helpful in discovering what I enjoy painting and drawing. Every day I would paint something different. As the year went by, I discovered that I love painting animals, flowers and leaves. Lots of leaves! 

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You paint with coffee and red wine, where did you get that idea and how does it work?

After last year’s project, I couldn’t bring myself to do another miniature painting. My brain wouldn’t let me go there. I was feeling a bit lost and really wanted to get back into painting. Early last year I did a portrait of my eldest daughter, painted with coffee. “Frank Bod” emailed me and asked me to be part of an art competition. I came up with the idea of using coffee as my medium for a portrait of my daughter. Frank Body Scrub is made from coffee and I wanted to utilise that ingredient. This year I wanted to do one for my youngest, Pixie, to put up on our wall next to Piper’s portrait, so I did that and found that I really enjoyed working with coffee! It’s a bit trickier than watercolour paint, but I enjoyed the challenge. I really look forward to my morning coffee and I love that it has become a part of my art life. And the red wine? That’s what I look forward to at the end of a long day. You can probably guess how I came up with the idea of painting with it! It’s a lot of fun to work with and I enjoy trying different types of wine to see how they dry (and taste!) 

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If you are feeling creatively stuck, how do you work around that and keep making art?

I talk to my husband! We could talk art all day if our girls would let us! We go for drives, take the girls out for a play and just talk. We read old art books together and listen to old records and come up with too many ideas that we never have time to do, so we write it down. Add it to our list of hundreds of collaborations that we want to eventually do together. One day, when we start getting sleep again!

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Do you have any goals with your artwork? Develop your style more or?

I’m changing up my style a bit at the moment, trying to find something that I really love doing. I’m still using coffee and red wine. Last night I started a little project that I’m really excited about and hope that it works, the way I see it in my head! I’d like to find what I’m really good at and just focus on that. Perfect it and make it mine.

What are your tips on making artwork that stands out from the rest?

Every now and then I need to take a step back from Instagram, Pinterest and everything that makes me feel like everything has already been done. I need to take a walk and get out into nature and tell myself that I have something in me that no one has seen before. As we’ve all seen through social media, it’s so easy to copy someone else’s idea. Sure, use their idea to inspire yourself and build on that in your own way.. But it’s SO much more challenging and rewarding to do something original! Just keep searching for that something that makes you so excited to get all your pencils and paint out and create all night! 

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Follow Steph on instagram here for more of her artwork

(All pictures taken from Steph’s instagram)