Carolyn Hawkins

Updated: Oct 15, 2018

Carolyn Hawkins is a Melbourne based artist, musician, and basically the definition of multi-talented.

Can you tell us your name and a little bit about yourselves? (what you study, do, love, hate)

"Hello! I am Carolyn Hawkins, and am incredibly indecisive. As a result, my time is split between printmaking, illustrating various things, drawing for fun, making wonky ceramic pieces, working three jobs, and playing in two bands. I love Nico, my cat Lumpi and riding my bike. I hate mosquitos."

Can you tell us more about your creative work?

"Up until relatively recently I have always seen my various creative outputs as all over the place and lacking consistency. This bothered me a lot. Looking back, I see patterns in my work. I've always been interested in subject matter that is quite personal and closely connected with my every day life, particularly objects from around my house. I am an intensely sentimental person, and I think this feeds into my work a lot of the time. Lately when I've been making songs, illustrations, prints, whatever, I've had the approach of trying to think as little as possible before making them, and just going with what comes naturally. It seems to be working so far."

What was the first thing you ever remember making?

“My early art efforts are dark: I remember in kindergarten I would make a clay swan, put it in a clay pond, cover it with another layer of clay, and smush it in my hand until it was a perfect ball. I called this 'Suffocating the Swan'. Whaaaattt the hell. There is also a painting my mum kept from my 3 year old kindergarten self called 'Bird in a thunderstorm', which is similarly disturbing."

Can you tell us one good things and one bad thing that happened to you this week?

"Bad thing: Existential crisis on Tuesday night regarding what I'm going to do with my life, when I will be a proper adult, global warming, etc. Good thing: Listened to the Badfinger album 'Straight Up' about a million times. Good stuff."

So a little bird told me you also play in a band. Do both your musical and visual practices intertwine?

"Yep! I play in School Damage and Parsnip, and used to play in Chook Race and Pronto. I ended up doing a lot of posters for these bands, which led to designing a lot of their album art, merch, and whatever else. These kinds of projects taught me to have a much more free approach towards my art practice: previously, I would think about art to the point of being creatively paralysed. Since a lot of my friends are involved in music stuff, I've ended up making things for their bands and other creative projects too. It's all connected, and I feel very lucky that I get to work on such fun commissions!"

As a lady of many talents, where do you see yourself focusing the most time over the next few months? 

"Oh my god there is just so much... Mainly I'm thinking about going back to uni, releasing a School Damage 7" in June and our second album later in the year, hopefully recording a Parsnip album, reading a lot, get better at guitar (I'm horrible), finally updating my website, getting on top of my mental and physical health, a solo trip to Japan in December, going to the dentist, releasing a new edition of prints, working on more songs, and making a zine for the first time at the ripe age of 27."

Check it out! Carolyn designed the cover of Good Material Issue One!

Illustration by Lucinda Houghton.

Image provided by Carolyn Hawkins, Instagram @carolyn.helen

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