Cape Town-based digital artist Xia Carstens, aka Xee Summer, creates bold, bright works filled with colour. Here, we chat to her about creativity, dream collaborations and her ever-evolving style.
What do you love about being creative?
The freedom of expression. The escape from reality. The world can be such a cruel, harsh place and it’s so therapeutic to just escape into another world and play in a safe space for a couple of hours every day. I firmly believe that everyone is creative and everyone is capable of tapping into that space. It just takes courage.
How would you describe your style, and how did it develop?
I would describe my style as being very ’60s / ‘70s inspired but with a modern, childlike playfulness to it. It’s a hard thing to try put in a box as it’s ever-changing and ever-evolving.
What is your preferred medium?
Digital vector work. I obviously love drawing and painting and working with my hands but those that know me know that I have very bad cleaning OCD and I find that it’s so easy to just work digitally as I can keep everything (including myself) very clean in the process.
From vivid pink to sunny yellow, colour appears to play an integral role in your work. What do you love most about working in bright colours?
Colour for me is what makes or breaks something. Colour changes everything. Playing with colour after I have designed or illustrated something is my favourite part of the process. I have a few colours that I feel work so well together. They make me feel some sort of way and I think colour evokes emotion and sets the tone of something. I love working with happy colours.
What do you feel is your biggest achievement to date?
Being asked by VISI to do this interview of course ?
Which local artist would you most want to collaborate with and why?
Hmmm, tough one. So many incredible local artists in SA. I’d love to collaborate with Karabo Poppy. I think it’s so important for females to empower one another and support one another at the moment and I’ve always been a huge fan of her work and style.
Any local artists you think should be on our radar?
Any exciting new projects coming up?
I want to explore prints on different materials a bit more – wallpaper / fabric / scatter cushions, etc.