Pin-up art has been around since as early as the 1800s. Thanks to artists like Carla Wyzgala it’s still going strong. Her work is clearly the pin-up of the new Millennium; they are risqué, independent, strong and in complete control of their appeal. Her "Carlations", as she calls them, a vintage take on our ever growing pop culture. You can finally get pin-ups of your favourite Sailor Moon characters and Disney Princesses!
1. Where are you from?
Chicago, IL will always be home but I live in Long Beach California now.
2. How did you get started doing "Carlations"?
After my BFA in illustration from the American Academy of Art, I pursued illustration odd jobs all over the internet until I found ones that let me still draw what I love to draw. Eventually, I was only getting asked to do what I specialize in: watercolor pin-ups.
3. What was your first introduction to art?
My mom put art supplies in my (and my sister's) hands at a very young age and it was always something that I liked doing.
4. What five items can you not live without?
Not in terms of plain old survival, but more what I bring on an extended trip away: My watercolors, a good book, my swimsuit, and let's be honest here, my iphone. Or else I would need a clock and a phone and a map... Etc...
5. What was the first piece you did? How have you grown as an artist since that piece?
First piece? Probably a hand turkey, right? I'd say I've progrssed milestones.
6. Where do you find your inspiration?
I tend to be inspired by strong beautiful women, be it in all shapes and forms. I was always inspired by the Spice Girls and Sailor Moon growing up, talk about girl power!
7. Besides "Carlations" what else do you do?
I swim whenever the sun is out, I read when I'm on a comfy couch, and I love being consumed by nature.
8. How would you describe your work? How have others?
It’s influenced by the burlesque pin-up world. My favorite is when people recognize that my ladies are all strong and independent, not just objects. They have intelligence and emotion behind their eyes, AND they are sexy.
9. I saw on your website that you'll do designs for tattoos, are you a tattoo artist as well?
No, my husband is the tattoo artist and I enjoy designing them because I think my work translates well into tattoos.
10. If you weren't an artist what do you think you would be doing?
Absolutely something visual, it’s hard to say because art is how I see the world and I don't know what the world is without it.
11. From start to finish what is your process for a watercolour piece? and for your "Carlations"?
Thumbnail sketches to figure out the pose. Then a detailed clean pencil on the watercolor paper (because it does show through). Painting watercolor goes from light to dark, usually in three stages, ending in the smallest details. I have an art process book that shows all of this (in my etsy shop).
12. Oreo or Fudgee-O cookies?
Carla also does commission work. If you have something you’d like to turn into a "Carlation" I’d strongly recommend you contact her. Check out her Facebook and Instagram below as well as her personal website.