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Ask the Artist: Denise Fort

This week the Chronicle caught up with Denise Fort.

Describe your practice?
I love drawing. My own world inspired by nature and anything around us.
I also love design. Design is a very powerful tool. At the moment I do a lot of branding projects.

What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I’m finishing off a 3 year re-brand project. I loved bringing innovation into a company that develops educational teacher resources. I believe, education gives people the tools to make good choices. Soon I will be off to do my own projects again and then do more traveling. maybe. It wasn’t an easy decision, but I need more time for other projects, design and art.
For my artwork, I’m very inspired by my last trip, I visited an old friend who lives and works in Seoul. A little bit Japan, Tonga, Fiji and South Island. Since I’m back, for some reason, I’m in love with circles and triangles on square paper or canvas.

Are you from an artistic family?
My father is a very visionary thinker and he was very creative with his choices in life. But times were different and communistic politics gave my father a very difficult start in life. It wasn’t the right environment to execute a carrier as an artist, but certainly to become one in your mind!
My father did wooden sculptures, made his own binding system for his skis and he did drawing competitions with us and always won. My brother is an artist too. He is good at everything but currently he is an awesome photographer traveling through the northern and eastern parts of Europe.

When did you decide to pursue a creative career?
I didn’t decide. A lot of times I tried to escape. First we just played. Then you have to make a living and that’s what you can do best. I always worked a lot and things just started to happen.

Who are you influenced by?
By a lot of design colleagues, graphic designers and car designers. My friend in Seoul I just visited, he designs cars for Hyundai. He is one of my old study friends we used to have drawing sessions all the time.

The best piece of advice you ever got?
There are so many but the one I’m passing on to my friends, I got passed on, working in a workshop. I had to carry a whole pile of plastic sheets. Heavy and a long way over stairs. I was struggling up the stairs, loosing bits and pieces. my boss whispered into my ear while passing me: “Sometimes it is better to go twice”.

Best and worst thing about being an artist?
The best thing, it makes things happen in your life. It gets you to places, opens doors and makes you connect with others. Worst thing, being inspired but not having the time to do art.

If you weren’t an artist you’d probably be ….?
A good surfer. I look at the waves, I fall in love with them, thinking, just grab the surfboard, but something stronger comes a long and I grab my pens and I draw.

What possession would you like to save in a fire?
I would like to think I’m smarter but I probably would try to save my latest best artwork.

If money were no object what frivolous non essential would you buy for yourself?
Maybe a helicopter. Something that can fly. Or just invent the beaming machine. I would get my own one.
What four famous people dead or alive would you invite for dinner?
Russel Brand, Herman Hesse, Dalai Lama & Coco Channel. I would try to persuade Coco to stay over night and share some secrets with me.

Your ideal era?

Your best traveling experience?
Coming to New Zealand.

Are you a dog or a cat person?

Do you have recurring dreams? If so what about?
I keep on dreaming how amazing I am, then I wake up and I realize that wasn’t just a dream. No I don’t.

Where can we see your work?
Not sure. Apparently a lot of my artwork is in Raglan homes, a few in Europe, Canada, New York and I know I drew on walls in Malaysia and Australia.
In 6 weeks time, I’m going to start doing new artwork. But you can buy my prints at Raglan Roast in Raglan and Wellington. And I drew on their walls too.


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