What do you get when you mix sneaker art with a heart full of hip-hop? Add a pinch of amazing style, femininity and a tattoo of Tupac to ensure no duplications and you have Nicolette. Place her infectious passion and soul in Sydney Australia and I give you Sydney the Artist. A beautiful being with music running through her veins and a painted canvas in her soul. Her work is dope and her style is sick, Sydney the artist is a name you need not forget.
HH: The Hip Hop culture and sneakers heavily influence your artwork. Who are your favorite artists and sneaker brands?
SA: My favorite artists are always changing, but artists that never stop inspiring me are: A Tribe Called Quest, Little Brother, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Tupac Shakur, Erykah Badu, Shuggie Otis, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Jill Scott, D'Angelo, Dead Prez, Nas, and Big Daddy Kane. Those are some of the older cats I love, new age are all of the Jamla Records artists like Rapsody, TP, Actual proof, HaLo, Big Remo, The Away team, Heather Victoria and Tyler Woods. Then there are other cats like King Mez, Chuwee, Joey Badass, AB-Soul and all of TDE, Neako, Stalley, Jeary, Crash Bandit, Laws and Young Roddy. It changes a lot, but these are who I'm playing on ITunes at the moment.
Sneaker brands, well it really depends, I have a lot of Nike, Puma, Adidas, Jordan, Supra, and Converse’s but I would rock any brand if I like the style. I’d wear a pair of $2.00 kicks or a pair of $2000.00 ones they just have to be different and creative.
HH: You are sitting down starring into a blank canvas. What do you see first, how does your creation come to life?
SA:My Canvas doesn’t stay white for long. I usually end up chucking random bits of color on to them. Generally, I think of ideas while doing everyday things like when I'm listening to music, or I see an interesting visual. I then think about how I could be influenced by it and use it in my work. For example, propaganda posters or art deco posters; I love the style of those so sometimes I’ll look at them and be really influenced by aspects of their designs. I may be working on this Rick Ross artwork, and I will want to use the popular pop art/comic book style in aspects of my piece. You should see my notes in my IPhone. It’s filled with random artwork idea's I’ve come up with just walking around.
HH: What about Sydney inspires you most? Any favorite spots?
SA: The reason I call myself Sydney, is because that's where I'm from and I love the place. It became my nick name when I moved to a smaller town called Cairns because everyone could tell I was from the big city. I liked the fact that people knew I wasn't from around there and the concept that certain people really do stand out. That's why I went with the name Sydney. I also like it because just like rappers rep their city, so do artists. If street artists and rappers have stage/tag names’ so can visual artists. It’s like an alter ego.
HH: You have an amazing portrait of Tupac on your arm. What does it symbolize to you?
SA: Tupac to me symbolizes the amazing diversity in Hip-hop. The poetry, acting, poverty, wealth, love for females and the disrespect; the glitter and gold, and the politics and symbolism, racism and unity. Tupac was a lot of different representations in hip-hop, some bad and good. I am about promoting the positive outlook on hip hop but I also know and understand the parts of it that are negative and to me having him on my arm is a reminder of all this. I’ve loved this culture since I was 11. Despite being a white middle class Australian woman with the odds against me fitting in and being apart of the culture, its what I love and what I will continue to do and be apart of.
HH: Describe a look that best describes your personal style.
SA: My style honestly changes everyday, I love to switch it up and look different all the time. I love all fashion so I try most of it. I like 80’s colors; so many colors thrown together! The pin up girl look is cool because I love feeling and looking sexy but not showing off to much skin. I have more olden day features like my skin is quite pale and my hair is red, so I try to dress to what my appearance compliments. But sometimes I just go crazy! My wardrobe is pretty intense.
HH: Whom are you listening to now?
SA: Right now Rapsody, a female MC . Not the fact that her sex should have anything to do with it, but due to the hip-hop game being a male dominated culture. I think the fact that there is a genuine lyrical hip-hop pioneer who is a female to be quite importantEspecially with the role women in hip hop play today.
We have lost essence and embraced the idea that women need to wear no clothes and have big butts and rap about sex all the time. Hip hop is not just about video girls, they’re apart of it and they’re hot, but there is a lot more to women in hip-hop. Rapsody is the perfect example of this, she just dropped the “Idea of Beautiful” and it's on repeat for me at the moment.
HH: How would you describe your signature technique? Do you prefer certain medias or will you experiment on everything?
SA: My signature, has been changing, I was a sneaker artist. Now I’m moving more into the hip-hop side of art, which is where I want to be. I think it’s colorful, child like, quite flat, and with my later pieces it tends to be a portrait with a stencil or repeated image in the background which represents that artist’s very design influenced with brush strokes and layers. I use stencils too because I like the street affect it gives. I do use a lot of mixed media, from tissue paper to fabrics to buttons and earrings. I do ceramics as well. I love experimenting and pushing myself as an artist and I’ve just started on graphic design.
HH: Where do you want your art to take you?
SA: Everywhere. I love that there are no limitations. Ideally I want to be working within the Hip-hop industry with it, but I'm constantly stretching my horizons by learning other ways I can use art to be connected and representing the Hip-Hop culture. I have just finished my Bachelor in Creative Industries, Major in Visual Arts and minor in Business. Most recently I have started a Diploma in Graphic Design, so I can start working with more mediums. I want to run my own successful business and be able to use both my business and creative skills together to benefit the industry.
HH: What social networks are you on?
Twitter - @sydneytheartistFacebook - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sydney-The-Artist/164576236992143
Tumblr - http://sydneytheartist.tumblr.com/
Website - http://www.sydneytheartist.com/