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Featured Artist: Kris Hartas

29th November 2018 Featured Artists

Kris' graceful and wonderfully true to life artworks caught our eye when he started printing with us earlier this year. With an educational background in architecture, Kris approaches his art practice with a high level of precision and attention to detail, spending over 180 hours per A1 artwork!

We wanted to know more about Kris' process, favourite tools and what he has planned for his art in 2019. Read on to find out more about Kris and the stippling technique he has mastered.

Tell us about your background. How did you get into stippling art and what led you to marry it with photorealism?

It might be surprising to some people, but my educational background is in Architecture. In 2012 I finished a double degree in Architecture and Interior Design. This study definitely helped me hone my technical drawing skills as I hand drew all my assignments. I suppose that’s where my love for pen art begun. However it wasn’t until I received some sad news that a good friend had been diagnosed with cancer that I had a drive to produce art. I felt so helpless at the time, not knowing how I could help her, that I decided to gift her with an engraving of a hummingbird. It was such a memorable experience seeing how I was able to lift her spirits that I wanted to continue making art. I engraved and used paint for a while...it was a bit of a roundabout way but I eventually got back to using pen. From then on my pen technique was a fairly natural progression from sketching to dotism/pointillism to eventually stippling.

Who or what influences your art practice?

I’m inspired by everything around me in day to day life. I find it extremely hard to get through the day without thinking about or finding people to talk to about my art. My clients are also extremely influential. I love generating works that are sentimental to people. When someone comes to me with an idea, they speak about it with such passion and enthusiasm, it really gets my creative juices flowing! From there it’s up to me to capture this and translate it to the page. It’s not always easy but I’m always up for the challenge. I’m also inspired by my unrelenting drive for perfection in my work. I’m always seeking to push the limits of what I’m capable of drawing in the hope that I can produce a product no one has seen before.  

What are your favourite tools of the trade? Do you have a favourite subject that you like to draw?

My favourite pen is a 0.1 Uni Pin pen, it’s the bees knees when it comes to detail and getting the works to appear soft in texture. I have a variety of other pen weights that help me to get the job done but none are as effective as the 0.1. I can’t say that I have a favourite subject to draw. I keep coming back to drawing animals in between my exploration projects. It’s always easier to give life to drawings of people and animals. At the end of the day we have more empathy to these subjects and it’s this connection I’m wanting to evoke.

How long does it take you to complete each artwork and what process do you employ to reproduce your artworks for print?  

An A1 work can take me up to and in excess of 180 hours. It’s slow tedious work and despite my best efforts I haven’t found a way to speed up the process. I usually allow 3 - 4 weeks for the full turnaround from photoshoot to framing. For non-commission pieces that I do prints of, it’s no different they get the same amount of dedication. They are scanned with very little to no editing and Image Science takes care of the rest.

How have you found the process of printing through Image Science? Was this your first experience of printing your work?

Great! I remember unpacking the first print I received from Image Science earlier this year, I couldn’t believe how great the quality was. You can see almost all of the detail in the prints as you can in the original piece of art, it’s mind blowing. The team at Imagine Science is even better, they have always been incredibly helpful and in my opinion go above and beyond of any printing company I’ve worked with.

How has being able to create limited edition prints from your original artworks been influential to your business?

For a long time I overlooked producing prints out of fear it would take away the value of my original pieces. However considering the amount of time I put into my larger pieces, it is understandable that not everyone can afford an original piece. Having scaled print versions available at a reasonable price point has meant that I can still share my work and its detail more widely.

What’s in store for you in 2019? Do you have any interesting commissions, exhibitions or works in the pipeline?

I have a few commissioned works in the pipeline for next year which is great. As I mentioned I am always so inspired and motivated when someone comes to me with a story or an idea, making it come to life is such a great reward. I’m also in the process of planning an exhibition for next year, but my subject and time frame is still to be locked in, but watch this space!

Lastly, where can people purchase your work?  

You can find me on Instagram or Facebook, if you’d like to keep up to date with my new works as they come off the drawing table. If you are looking for a unique one off piece you can contact me directly at [email protected]. Or you can visit my website - www.krishartas.com.au to purchase both originals and limited edition prints.