The Australian-born, New York-based artist CJ Hendry is famous for her work depicting brands—she’s drawn vintage Hermès scarves folded into flowers and Nike mags dipped into black paint for collectors, including Kanye West. Her work has also found an eager audience with her nearly 300,000 Instagram followers.
Now, she’s joining forces with a brand for the first time and teaming with Christian Louboutin on the exhibition “Complimentary Colors,” which will open at the Fringe Club during the Art Basel Hong Kong art fair this week. The storied fashion house, famous for its red-soled shoes, has been a longtime supporter of the arts; its collaboration with Hendry marks its fifth year of pairing with an artist during the fair.
The exhibition—a collection of ultra-pigmented drawings mimicking oil-paint blobs—also marks another first for Hendry: working in color. It’s something she had never previously done but tackles (in an array of shades including, of course, Louboutin red) with gusto. Here, Hendry opens up about her process for our peek inside the habits of a creative mastermind.
How do you prepare yourself to be creative; what’s your ritual?
I don’t get into a particular mindset. I crave drawing, because it’s so weirdly meditative, and it feels easy and comfortable for me. I need it for sanity.
What place is most conducive in which for you to work?
Light, bright, clean spaces. I’m working in a big studio in Tribeca now and it’s very much my happy place. But next month I’m moving to a big, beautiful warehouse in Brooklyn.
What one element is absolutely necessary for your process?
At what time of day do you prefer to work?
Night time, when I’m on my own with no distractions.
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What’s your go-to snack?
Mint M&Ms. That’s so specific, I know, but something about mint makes me feel skinny even though I’m eating chocolate.
How do you take your coffee?
Who’s your favorite collaborator?
I’ve never collaborated with anyone, really. This project with Louboutin is my first and also my favorite! Their team has been so supportive of the idea.
What do you most often do to procrastinate?
Online shopping. Or Googling random things I’ve thought about. I write things down all day and at the end of the day I’ll search them all and learn a bunch of strange things.
What’s your best trick for overcoming a block?
I haven’t quite figured that out yet. You know when an idea’s not great and sometimes go ahead with it anyway, but when there’s no passion behind an idea I don’t think anyone will enjoy what you make.
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It’s said that genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. What is that ratio like for you?
I spend maybe 3%of my time creating and the rest of the time I do methodical drafts. But that’s my practice; it takes a lot of focus.
What’s your dream project?
I don’t like to set my sites on anything for fear of disappointment. If the opportunity feels right, I’ll take it.
What have you learned from a failure?
I’ve learned to accept that not everything goes according to plan.
What’s your favorite creation thus far?
I’m loving doing this work in color. I committed to it before I knew I could really draw in color, and because of that I knew I had to figure it out. The challenge of having to do it has been great. I don’t know that I would have done it otherwise.
From: Town & Country